Prof. Dr. (Ayu) S.N. Gupta

After completion of his studies in natural sciences, Prof. Gupta was awarded the gold medal from the University of Indore for his first rank in the final examination of Ayurveda graduation. His post-graduate thesis focused on the Ayurvedic management of Diabetes mellitus. He started his career as a teacher and clinician in JS Ayurveda College, Nadiad, India. Under his guidance, this institute developed into one of the leading centers for post-graduate studies in Ayurveda medicine in India.

Having more than 35 years of teaching experience, he nowadays is heading the Postgraduate Department in Medicine (Kayacikitsa) in JS Ayurveda College. He became a popular teacher among Indian and European students because of his capacity to explain ancient philosophy with modern logics. Besides several thousand Indian students, he has trained more than 700 medical professionals through the Rosenberg European Academy of Ayurveda in Germany. As its main teacher and as the head of its academic advisory board, he fostered the development of this academy to become the largest center for education and health care services in Ayurveda in German speaking countries. Especially in the academy’s MSc in Ayurvedic Medicine study-program, he plays a key role. In several reputed international conferences and seminars he was invited as a key note lecturer and chair of scientific sessions. Several of his students are successfully practicing Ayurveda in the India and abroad holding influential posts.

As superintendent of the 150 bed College Hospital and with hundreds of OPD patients per week, he has gathered immense clinical experience. He attracts patients from nearly all parts of India and all continents due to his successful Ayurvedic treatment of especially chronic and complicated diseases.

Prof. Gupta published about 40 scientific and pubmed-listed articles, e.g. on the Ayurvedic management of Chronic Renal failure and Cirrhosis of liver associated with ascites. He is one of the contributors in Caraka Samhita New Edition Project, Orlando, USA. In German language, he authored two standard text books on Ayurveda medicine.

He served as main advisor in the clinical planning of the prestigious RCT on Osteoarthritis of the knee conducted by the Charité Medical University, Berlin, which was fully sponsored by the Government of India. He is director of The International Ayurveda Foundation, UK, core committee member of International Network for Development of Research in Ayurveda (INDRA) and managing committee member of IASTAM (India).

Prof. Gupta received several awards like Jugatram Vaidya IASTAM award for excellence in teaching of and the Fellow of Rashtriya Ayurveda Vidyapeeth by the Ministry of AYUSH, New Delhi.

The concept of Non-violence in ancient India

This seminar will take you into the depth of time in order to explore the philosophical and medical sources of literature nurturing the motives of the world’s largest population of Vegetarians.
The prime goal of every living being is to seek happiness. In modern societies, in spite of tremendous material and technical achievements, an alarming increase in unhappiness and depression is observed. Why is this so?
As a hypothesis, one reason could be that human thinking and behavior in modern societies are ignoring core life governing principles, which have been formulated as basic principles or laws in the literature of ancient cultures and their sciences. One of these principles could be called ‘holism’ – the theory that all living beings are interconnected. As body, mind and spirit in individual living beings are inseparable components, so are all living beings interrelated, composing life in general as an indivisible phenomenon. Consequently, if a small fraction of existence is perturbed, the rest of the existence will also suffer.
In the earliest Indian literature, the Vedas, this principle of holism is considered to be a fundamental reality of existence. The Yajur-Veda e.g. states: ‘Those, who see all beings as themselves, do not feel infatuation or anguish, for they experience oneness with all these beings.’ This statement needs explanation.
Newton’s laws of motion are imbedded in day-to-day thinking of modern times. Newton declared that every action brings about an opposite reaction of equal force. The Vedic law of action (karma) - often referred to as the natural law of cause and effect - states that every action brings about an equal reaction of similar qualities. Metaphorically speaking - fruits are always according to their seeds! In daily life, this subtle law of cause and effect is said to govern all our actions and their results, even though we might not be conscious about these connections.
If we want to make use of this law for our personal welfare and happiness, a simple practical guideline expounded in many Vedic texts, can serve as an ethical principle: ‘The behavior of others, which one does not like to be affected of, one should not apply on others.’ Therefore, if we want to live, we should let others live. While, if we create unrest among other living beings, this unrest will eventually return to us. So if animals are tortured by human beings, nature will create means to torture the torturers. Mad cow disease, swine flu and bird flu might not be mere co-incidences.
On the basis of the same law, the principle of ahiṃsā (non-harming any being) originated in ancient India. The Traditional Indian System of Medicine (Ayurveda) e.g. established ahiṃsā as the prime and foremost factor promoting vitality and longevity of living beings. If we support the natural course of the lives of animals, we ourselves will be awarded with a live with less external threat. Astonishingly, in Ayurvedic texts, descriptions of meats and their indications are to be found. But meat was only allowed to serve as a medicament in restricted amounts in cases of emergency e.g. in severe underweight or loss of strength. So in the context of medicine, the principle of non-violence was adjusted in order to save human life. The difference in motivation seems to be of prime importance. But never meat was recommended as a regular or healthy food in Ayurvedic texts.
This practice oriented approach towards the use of meat in a medical context and the ethical tenets of ancient Indian philosophy supporting non-violence will be discussed and critically evaluated in the seminar.

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