Creating modern-day healers

A doctor’s most precious possession is a degree, but for 20- something Shubhangi, an ayurvedic doctor in the making, it’s the degree in human values that matters. This asset earned at the Sri Sri Center for Ayurveda and Research, is what she believes sets her apart from all her counterparts, “Healing and dealing with a personal touch is what I have learnt here.”

Doctors around the world are realizing that their degrees alone are not good enough. People go to hospitals not only to seek treatment, but also to get solace. The demand is for doctors who strive not just to cure a disease, but create the ground for wellbeing.

Nowadays the slant is on treating with a human touch. That’s why it’s not surprising when Shubhangi, who topped this year’s BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery) examination conducted by Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), Karnataka, said she cherishes the value system she acquired from her college.

The young lady from Maharashtra is all praise for her Alma Matter for equipping her with this intangible but priceless skill. “When we talk about the personal attention and care that we got at SSCASR, it surprises many of my friends who studied the same degree from other colleges,” she narrates. Giving all credit to her teachers for her achievement of topping the university with 80.05 per cent marks, she says, “Unlike other teachers who just come to teach, teachers at SSCASR make us learn.”

Located in the outskirts of Bangalore on Kanankapura Road, SSCASR is run by the Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Trust. The college was set up in 2004 with the wider vision of reviving the ancient system of ayurvedic healthcare. In a span of just six years, the college has significantly grown and today attracts students from all parts of India. “At the recent convocation of RGUHS our students bagged five of the Top 10 ranks,” said Sarbeswar Kar, principal of the college.

The college boasts of a unique herbal garden with over 500 -600 varieties of medicinal plants and a state-of-the-art research and development center. Students feel grateful for having such a gardenwhich has helped them to understand the healing powers of plants.

“Our focus is on providing our students with opportunities to venture out of their classrooms and enhance their learning. We are guided in every step by the revolutionary thinking of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,” said Mr. Kar. He further shared, “We deliberately located the mandatory hospital closer to the 45 villages so that not only our students get hands-on training in treating patients from villages, but also the surrounding villages benefit from our hospital. We treat more than 100 villagers every day and free medical camps are conducted in the villages every week.”

Students are also educated to the process of making ayurvedic formulations in the R&D center located nearby. “From chyawanprash(health tonics) to healing balms, I have learnt the art of making these natural remedies which are without side-effects and healthy to consume. These are so popular with my family that I make it for them whenever I am home, “shares Shubhangi. The college has revived the ancient diagnostic method of Nadi Pariksha which offers doctors a non-intrusive means of diagnosis (solely by feeling the pulse of the patient). Mastery in this field is further achieved by a three-four month training program under some of the famous ayurvedic practitioners.

Knowing that only a free mind can bring wellness to others; students are taught breathing and relaxation techniques to help them tap their intuitive knowledge. This brings in increased focus and enhanced mental clarity and they benefit tremendously from it. In present times, institutions like the SSCASR are producing modern day healers who taking a scoop of this ancient knowledge, adding a dash of their personal touch to prepare a healthy, stress-free society.