To some the above question may seem to contain an inherent paradox. It is thought that Modern science is antithetical to ancient wisdom and firm opponents of the Vedic medicine place this as a pivotal argument in refusing to lend ears to the advocates of Ayurveda. Let me bring to your notice a memorable lecture by Professor Ram Harsh Singh titled “The Fundamental and Applied Considerations in Srotovijnana of Ayurveda”. Prof. Singh is Emeritus Professor with the Ayurveda Faculty at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. An authority in academic Ayurvedic circles, he points out that the incongruity of these two forms of science, separated by over a millennia, one ancient and the other modern has to be read and looked at closely to establish the complementarity they exhibit. He bases his argument on the basic concept of the Srotovijnana which is the knowledge of Srotas, i.e. the channels of relations. He places the Srotas as the principal matrix of Ayurvedic biology and medicine. Srota etymologically arrives from the Sanskrit root word “Sru-Gatau” which encompasses a range of meanings, but not limited to, going, moving, continuing, connecting, filtering, flowing, leaking, and secreting.
The vedas say, “Srotomayam hi Shariram” meaning ‘the living physical body is a channel system and/or is comprised of innumerable channels designed as an inner transport system for divergent functions, both gross and subtle, tangible and intangible, biologic and energetic’. Prof. Singh lectures that the entire range of life processes in health and disease depends on the integrity of the Srotas System which is prone to lose its integrity due to out-of-order lifestyle, faulty food, and day-to-day wear and tear warranting periodic Samshodan or what he calls ‘bio-purification’. For this Ayurveda has developed its therapeutic technology popularly called “Panchakarma” therapy. He fundamentally lays that Ayurveda can be better understood in terms of philosophy and physics than by modern reductionist biology. In essence, a study of the full spectrum of the Srotas and their function will help define the phenomenon of relationships defined in modern structural and functional biology that which was addressed in the vedas in a language unlike one used now.