4 Pillars of Treatment & Most Important is Physician: Ayurvedic View
The words Treatment and Physician / Doctor always go together. Also, their actions and effects are inter-dependent, inter-linked and inseparable. The same concept suits to the Human and Nature. We are well known about the prevailing health of the living beings as well as the Mother Nature. Both are at risk and trying to overcome and heal. But, in between all these, there is a serious concern about which we need to think deeply. Otherwise, it may lead to a worst situation than this, the concern is Endangered Humanity. The humanity is endangered and its consequences are clearly visible around us.
As the balance of Tridoshas is a requirement for a healthy body, similarly the balance between all the living creatures and nature is the essence of Healthy Planet.
विकारो धातुवैषम्यं, साम्यं प्रकृतिरुच्यते।
सुखसंज्ञकमारोग्यं, विकारो दुःखमेव च।।
---- CharakSamhita, Sutrasthanam, 9/4
Meaning: Imbalance of Tridoshas (Vata, Pitta & Kapha) and disproportion of the seven elements, Sapta Dhatu (the supporting and structural units of the body) is known as the disease. The appropriate quality and quantity of these seven tissues is considered as the Prakriti (healthy type of human body). Health is the real happiness and Disease is the grief.
Treatment and Doctors
There used to be a time when the physicians were considered as the Divine Souls. People used to worship Doctors as they worship God. If we talk about the system of medicine and its practitioners, so Ayurveda is the ancient one and the Ayurvedic practitioners are called as Vaidyas. They had learned, obtained and always practiced the best qualities of a human as well as a Healer. On the basis of their qualities, knowledge and acts, the basic requirements of a proper treatment were described in the Ayurvedic texts.
Yes, it was about centuries ago, but the importance of Doctors is seen at various times during all the last years of human life. One of those recent incidents is witnessed by all of us. The 2020 pandemic, which started to affect humans from the very first week of this year and not stopped even yet. During the initial stage of this deadly pandemic, Doctors were the only warriors and had been valued even more than the supreme power. But, because of some unprofessional and unethical medical practitioners, the people have started to disrespect the doctors.
It feels really downhearted to see why and how can the practitioners of such a pure and divine practice become a stigma on the whole profession. Hence, here is a trial to recall the principles of the medical profession, who are considered as the angels of God so that the humanity can be re-established and the trust can be re-built.
What is Treatment?
चतुर्णां भिषगादीनां शस्तानां धातुवैकृते।
प्रवृत्तिर्धातुसाम्यार्था चिकित्सेत्यभिधीयते ।।
---- CharakSamhita, Sutrasthanam, 9/5
Meaning: When the Dosha, Dhatu and the functioning of the body organs get disturbed, then the actions of a Doctor, taken with his complete knowledge and experience is termed as Treatment.
For a good understanding of this whole concept, let us consider some Ancient verses for a proper treatment and the importance of Physician to ensure its value. Ayurveda has laid the four pillars of an effective treatment which should possess some qualities to alleviate the diseases successfully. What are these pillars and what are their features?
Four Pillars of Treatment
Charak Samhita is one of the foundational texts of Indian traditional Medicine, Ayurveda. It does not only provide clear explanation of the diseases and their effective treatment through herbs but also include the teachings for spreading Humanity and the benefits of Nature. Coming back to our topic, here we will refer to the 9th Chapter of Charak Samhita, which defines 4 pillars of treatment and their essentials.
भिषग्द्रव्याण्युपस्थाता रोगी पादचतुष्तयम्।
गुणवत् कारणं ज्ञेयं विकारव्युपशान्तये।।
---- CharakSamhita, Sutrasthanam, 9/3
Meaning: Vaidya (Physician / Doctor), Aushadhi (Drug / Medicine), Paricharak (Nursing Staff) and Rogi (Patient) are the four pillars of treatment. When these all are endowed with their specific qualities then it helps in the alleviation of all the diseases.
So, after knowing the names of the four essence of treatment, let us move towards their qualities and features that make them potent. Thus, the names and the qualities of these pillars are enlisted and explained below:
- Physician / Doctor
- Drug / Medicine
- Nursing Staff
Qualities of Four Pillars of Treatment
1. Physician / Doctor
श्रुते पर्यवदातत्वं बहुशो दृष्टकर्मता।
दाक्ष्यं शौचमिति ज्ञेयं वैद्ये गुणचतुष्टयम्।।
---- CharakSamhita, Sutrasthanam, 9/6
Meaning: A Vaidya should possess the qualities such as proficiency in theoretical knowledge (that is learned), extensive practical experience, dexterity and purity (of body and mind).
2. Drug / Medicine
बहुता तत्र योग्यत्वमनेक विधकल्पना।
सम्पच्चेति चतुष्कोअयं द्रव्याणां गुण उच्यते।।
---- CharakSamhita, Sutrasthanam, 9/7
Meaning: Availability in Abundance, therapeutic (ability to treat disease), flexible to take any form as per the requirement and formulation, fresh and free from insects, and rich in the properties, potency and taste. A drug should possess these four qualities.
3. Nursing Staff
उपचारज्ञता दाक्ष्यमनुरागश्च भर्तरि।
शौचं चेति चतुष्कोअयं गुणः परिचरे जने।।
---- CharakSamhita, Sutrasthanam, 9/8
Meaning: Affection towards the patient, Alertness, Intelligence, and Purity of Mind and Body are provided as the four qualities of the nursing staff.
ज्ञापकत्वं च रोगाणामातुरस्य गुणाः स्मृताः।।
---- CharakSamhita, Sutrasthanam, 9/9
Meaning: Retaining Power, Obedient to Physician, Fearlessness, and ability to describe his disease and condition clearly should be the four qualities of a patient.
Hence, we have clearly explained the qualities of all the four basic pillars of a treatment with the help of Ancient Verses as explained in Charak Samhita, Sutrasthanam. Now, we need to move further to know the importance of a Physician so that we can easily maintain the glory and respect of the profession, we are practicing.
Importance of Physician
कारणं षोडशगुणं सिद्धौ पादचतुष्टयम्।
विज्ञाता शासिता योक्ता प्रधानं भिषगत्र तु।।
मृद्दण्ड चक्र सूत्राद्याः कुम्भकारादृते यथा।
नावहन्ति गुणं वैद्यादृते पादत्रयं तथा।।
---- CharakSamhita, Sutrasthanam, 9/10-13
Meaning: The four pillars possessing the sixteen qualities are responsible for the successful treatment. The one, who knows, governs and manages them, is the physician. Therefore, the doctor is considered as the head. As the clay, wheel, yarn and the stick cannot make earthenware until and unless the potter manages them all. Likewise, the patient, the nursing staff and the herb cannot treat the disease without a good Doctor.
Hope with all the above verses and the explanations, the importance of a Doctor in a treatment process and its supremacy over all other pillars is clearly understood. At last but not the least, it is to clarify that if you want to practice a profession then learn its basics well before applying otherwise you will not only disrespect the professional ethics but also will make it nasty for all.
Moreover, as per the further verses from the same chapter of Charak Samhita, it is to be advised to all the people out there that analyze the attitude and behavior of the doctors towards other humans before getting a treatment from him. Getting treatment from a non-rational doctor may cost you a lot without giving any fruitful returns.