THE FIRST MONTH: WHAT TO EXPECT?
I’m four weeks into the ĀYU Academy Svastha Āchārya Program and I can say that it has been the most profound 4 weeks that I’ve experienced in much of my āyurvedic academics.
Everything from the amount of reading and expectations, to the deeper understanding of Sanskrit is by far more than what I’ve encountered before.
SANSKRIT FOR ĀYURVEDA
As I said, the Sanskrit portion has been especially revealing. All the other programs I’ve been part of tend to approach this subject in a more diluted and basic way. Courses usually consist of 3-4 hours of a general understanding of the workings and use of the language.
Not even the more thorough courses have the same layout as ĀYU Academy. In previous experiences, I learned the alphabet and some basic structuring rules but I don’t remember learning anything around word dissection or sandhi rules.
We mostly focused on trying to form sentences by memorizing general contexts of words and vocabulary. In ĀYU Academy, we are learning the nitty gritty.
Additionally, in the past I didn’t learn about Sanskrit’s relevance to Āyurveda and we were told pronunciation is important, but then throughout the program this notion tended to relax. We never revisited this later at any time.
TRADITIONAL ĀYURVEDA? NEW AGE ĀYURVEDA?
Now let’s talk about the background of Āyurveda in general. I had no clue about the differences or even the existence of Traditional Āyurveda versus Modern Āyurveda, versus Global/New Age Āyurveda.
I didn’t know how the colonization of the British truly affected India’s growth or lack thereof, especially with regard to Āyurveda.
If anything, the general consensus from my education was that the British came in and destroyed much of Āyurveda and that Āyurveda is having a slow revival thanks to the regions of India that were able to protect the knowledge through these turbulent time, as well as from the translated references that Caraka Saṃhitā, Suśruta Saṃhitā and Aṣṭāṅga Hṛdaya had to share.