Sunday, March 30, 2008

Recommended Books on Ayurveda

When you start studying any subject, it is important to get the right books. This is even more important for Indology subjects because more than 90% books are written by authors who even don't understand the basics of subject.

There are some other problems as well. First of all the original text (Charak, Sushrut, Vagbhat) etc. are very old and not written keeping the present time in mind. Even some of the recent commentaries are pretty old and the language used is not very easy to understand. Also most of the books lack the practical approach and are almost with no examples. So here are few of my recommended books that I found the best available in the market -

IN HINDI

1. Chikitsa Chandrodaya by Babu Haridas Ji Vaidya (in Hindi)
Publisher: Haridas & Company (P) Ltd., Mathura
When I was searching for books I never thought that the best books will be from my neighbouring city. I am from Agra so I am very pleased that these books are published from Mathura. These books are talk in details about theory as well as practical. Almost all important diseased are dealt in this book. Also the author has also given Yunani medicine at many places.

2. Aadhunik Chikitsashastra by Dharmadutt Vaidya (in Hindi)
Publisher: Motilal Banarasidas
This is another gem of the book that I found. It is around 1000 page book which talks in detail about the Ayurvedic medicine as well as Modern medines for various diseases. There are other sections on medical emergencies and clinical method which make this book really useful. This book also bridges the gap between modern medicine and Ayurveda by using both the systems in complimentory way. Also use of Hing-lish make this book easy to read. I am not sure whether an Eglish translation of this book is available or not but definately hope for one.

IN ENGLISH

Truly speaking I have not found any good book in English on Ayurveda. One thing that I don't like about the books in English is that these book mix Ayurveda with other systems and hence diluting the subject. Some of the popular books are books by Vasant Lad, David Frawley and Svoboda. Out of these books, I liked Textbook Of Ayurveda (two volumes) by Vasant Lad. This is a good book from the theory perspective and dealt with theory in details. But once it come to the practical examples, this book cannot be compared with other books. In fact, in both the volumes, the author keep talking about theory which is very disappointing. Though seeing the dearth of good books on Ayurveda in English, this can be easily rated as the best book available in market. There is another popular books in English named Ayurveda Healing by David Frawley. Though keep in mind that this books is for beginner level and lacks the depth and details of the book by Vasant Lad.

Please note that above list of recommended books is written for people who want to get into the details of the subject. I'll rate the level of all above books from Intermediate to Advanced. In case you are just casual reader of Ayurveda, these are not the recommended books.

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