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SIGNIFICANCE OF NYAYAS (MAXIMS) IN UNDERSTANDING PHILOSOPHICAL ASPECTS OF AYURVEDA : A CRITICAL REVIEW

Rajkumar Chinthala; Shubhangi Kamble; Baghel A S; Hitesh Vyas; Bhagavathi NNL;.


Abstract

Introduction: The word ‘Nyaya’ (maxim) is defined in Sanskrit dictionaries as a tool to determine the meaning of Vedas. Maxim packs a lot of meaning into a nugget of words. Mainly two types of Nyayas are found viz. Laukika Nyayas and Shastriya Nyayas. Since antiquity, various Sanskrit scholars integrated these maxims in their works to disseminate the subject matter in a lucid manner. Similarly, ancient Ayurvedic seers utilized different maxims in many instances for the better understanding of Ayurvedic concepts. Philosophical concepts are one amongst them. It is essential for an ayurvedic scholar to understand the philosophical concepts since philosophical equilibrium plays a pivotal role in maintaining Swasthya (health). Material and Methods: Original texts of Brihattrayi (Greater trio of ayurvedic classics) along with available commentaries, translations, and published articles in peer-reviewed journals; books and other subject related material available on the internet have been thoroughly screened, compiled, organized and described in a systematic manner. Observations and Results: After a thorough screening of Brihattrayi, it is found that total 70+ maxims have been found in 150+ different contexts of Brihattrayi (Greater trio of Ayurvedic literature). Among them, Shilaputraka Nyaya, Utpalashatapatravedhini Nyaya, Alatachakradarshana Nyaya, Dirgha-shashkuli bhakshana Nyaya, and Pinda-Brahmanda Nyaya were found in different philosophical contexts of Brihattrayi whereas Andhapangu Nyaya, Vichitaranga Nyaya, and Kadambamukula Nyaya were found in philosophical related literature. Shilaputraka Nyaya illustrates the characteristic similarity in Avyakta and its derivatives. The initiation of the evolution process is best visualized by Andhapangu Nyaya. The methodology of illustration of remaining maxims has been discussed in the full paper. Conclusion: The philosophical background is like a soul to Ayurveda and it is definitely not possible to learn Ayurveda based only on the limited approach by setting aside the philosophy. Philosophical aspects are difficult to understand for an average scholar. Maxims might be helpful to combat the obstacles as they illustrate these aspects with day-to-day life situations, thus emphasizing the inevitable role of maxims for the better understanding of philosophical aspects.

Key words: Ayurveda, Brihattrayi, Maxims, Philosophical aspects.






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