By Elizabeth Herman ┃Posted: August 23, 2018
What does it mean to be a true master of a healing art? This podcast introduces a renaissance man, an expert on the ancient science of Ayurveda, and a man who treated all human beings with compassion.
Michael Fischman describes how Vaidya Mishra, who passed away in April of 2017, fulfilled so many roles.
Vaidya was “an Ayurvedic healthcare practitioner, product developer, researcher and educator... born into the… Shakavansia Ayurvedic lineage. After receiving a degree in Ayurvedic medicine and surgery from Bihar University, Vaidya studied and apprenticed with his father for seven years. He later travelled to the United States to work for MAPI, Maharishi Ayurvedic Products.”
This podcast is a tribute to the world renowned master Ayurvedic physician, Vaidya R K Mishra, who was born into a 5000-year-old family tradition of Ayurvedic doctors dating back to the time of Lord Krishna. His in-depth theoretical knowledge of this ancient science was accompanied by unparalleled compassionate and practical healing skills.
Connecting with Vaidya
Michael Fischman describes how, when he met Vaidya, “I was a novice to Ayurveda, but even so, I could see how Vaidya had an unusual depth of understanding about this ancient health science; but more fascinating than his knowledge was the care and compassion he displayed while treating patients. For me, it was hypnotic and expansive to be around him.
If I weren’t already established in my commitment to my spiritual path teaching meditation, I would have dropped everything to study Ayurveda with Vaidya.The connection was so strong.
While conducting interviews for this show, I realized that the heart connection I felt with Vaidya wasn’t unique. So many people were pulled by his magnetic force, and wanted to learn the principles of Shakavansia Ayurveda from him.”
Melina Takvorian, one of Vaidya’s earliest patients, married Vaidya in 2011 after becoming involved in his work during the 1980s. She says, “In the vedic tradition we speak of siddhis, which are supernatural powers, you know. Intuition is a supernatural power when it’s perfected and many of us have it but some people have perfected it.
I knew, through his consultations, through his knowingness of situations, through the formulas he was making, that he was connected to a higher intelligence that was running bigger things than just his life and smaller things.”
A legacy of quality
Divya Alter, founder of an Ayurvedic Culinary School, Bhagavat Life, and of Divya’s Kitchen, an authentic Ayurvedic restaurant in New York City that’s based on the principles of Vaidya’s dietary guidelines, says, “We try to select the best quality ingredients. For example, we use only organic dairy, we make our own fresh cheese, and we use organic, non-homogenized milk from grass-fed cows, because this is the most non-inflammatory. We never serve leftovers.
Vaidya was very particular about leftovers and when we first told him we were starting the restaurant, he said, ‘Don’t serve leftovers!’ And especially with lentils, he said ‘The worst leftover is lentils.’ And I said, ‘But what if we keep it hot in the steam table?’ So he said, ‘Even that, you have to cook the dahl and the kitchari twice a day, for lunch and for dinner.’ And that’s what we do because afterwards it just creates more bloating in the body. Then we also use cultured ghee, which I make myself.”
Fischman concludes the podcast about Vaidya, saying, “His passing brings to a close the generations of Vaidyas who came from the Shakavansia lineage, but his legacy lives on through the work of his dedicated wife Melina, Dr. Tidlebaum, Divya Alter, and the countless practitioners and therapists that Vaidya had trained. They’re all committed to sharing his work and spreading the light of his healing knowledge.”
By Elizabeth Herman - PhD in English, with concentrations in Rhetoric and Composition, and Literature, she offers writing support to clients, teaches locally, and lives in Boone, NC. With a longtime keen interest in Yoga and Ayurveda, she recently completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training with Sri Sri School of Yoga.