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Textbook of Ayurveda [Hardcover]

Vasant Lad
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

November 2000 1883725070 978-1883725075
Bringing forth the mysteries of Ayurveda from the classical Sanskrit texts, Dr. Lad presents this ages-old science in a framework that is clearly accessible to the modern student while remaining true to its ancient roots. In these pages, you will open the doors to this timeless, profound wisdom of the human body, mind, and consciousness. Dr. Lad describes the historical philosophies of Ayurveda and their application to human existence. He explains the basic structures and functions of the body, mind, and spirit, how they are formed and integrated, and their ultimate role in nourishing consciousness. Filled with illustrations, tables, charts, and practical examples, this book will lead the reader to a full understanding of the fundamental principles of Ayurveda.

§ Discover the concept of individual constitution and how this can help you achieve balance in your life.

§ Follow the progress of digestion—the most essential principle in ayurveda—as our food and experiences enter the body and mind. Witness their transformation into the energy of our daily lives.

§ Gain an understanding of Ayurvedic nutrition and the subtle essences that result from these processes.

§ Learn a fully functional model of healing and rejuvenation that maintains perfect health and balance with simple lifestyle modifications.


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Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to a vast subject! Feb. 11 2004
Format:Hardcover
I'm about halfway through this book at the time of writing this. This is my first book/introduction to Ayurvedic medicine and I'm feeling that I made a wonderful investment. Every topic thus far has been presented in a straight-forward and well organized manner. In learning this subject there are a lot of Sanskrit terms, and Lad clearly defines each new term or concept as it arises, and even reminds you of the definition during the discussion in case you forgot. This book makes a complicated subject very enjoyable to learn and is easy to follow. He does a great job of providing many examples to keep the information relevant, and you can begin applying these concepts and principles to your own life almost immediately.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Textbook of Ayurveda Dec 15 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great book!
Great book for anyone who would like to learn or study more about this amazing field of holistic medicine.
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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
163 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for the Ayurvedic student! Jan. 4 2003
By Tongan Tatatau - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Thank you Vasant Lad for this great tool that helps one unlock the truth called Ayurveda. Vasant Lad has presented a true text book that will become a companion of the modern day Ayurvedic student. Normally if one was to source concise information on the fundamentals of Ayurveda then one had the difficult task of studying the translations of Caraka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Vagbhata Samhita. While these texts are the foundation for modern Ayurveda they can be daunting to the student new to this amazing science. The only other method was to correlate information from books written by Vasant Lad, David Frawley, Atreya, Robert Svoboda, Subhash Ranade, Maya Tiwari etc.... and then one would build up a collection of information from different sources. Whilst this is not a bad thing (and I will continue to read books offered from these great teachers) finding enough detailed information was sometimes very hard. "The Text Book of Ayurveda: Fundamental Principles" is truly amazing. It is a must for the serious student of Ayurveda. Vasant Lad has indicated that this if the first of three, the next two dealing with; the clinical assessment of health and disease, and the management of disease. The contents of this book is vast, it covers all aspects of the philosophical foundation that Ayurveda stands upon, The Tridosha, Agni, The Seven Dhatu, The Fifteen Srotas, Ojas, Tejas, Prana, Digestion and Nutrition, to be honest this does no justice to what is actually in this textbook. Get it!
133 of 139 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful text for western students Nov. 7 2005
By Gerald Lopez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Traditionally, ayurveda has been taught orally, with reference to ancient texts like the works of Charaka, Sushruta and Vagbhata; references that are still used today. These writings, which are believed to date thousands of years, contain the eternal and universal principles of the natural science of ayurveda; however they also contain therapies and lifestyle prescriptions which are hopelessly archaic; and materia medica which are no longer accessible (e.g. opium and camel's urine!). With the spread of ayurveda to the West, there emerged a great need for a text that not only catered to the western mode of thinking and education, but that also made connections between the ayurvedic view of anatomy and physiology, and that of the West. This book attempts to do just that.

Dr.Vasant Lad is in the forefront of Vaidyas (ayurvedic practitioners) who have made ayurvedic education available to the West. He started teaching ayurveda in the USA in 1980, and has produced many prominent writers and educators on the subject. His previous books include the popular Ayurveda; The Science of Self-Healing; and The Yoga of Herbs, co-written with Dr. David Frawley, a groundbreaking book introducing the concepts of ayurvedic herbology to the western public.

This Textbook of Ayurveda comes as more in-depth ayurvedic education programmes develop in the West. It contains the necessary foundation for the understanding of a medical model far removed from the western allopathic paradigm. To understand and practise ayurveda, one literally needs to adopt, to immerse oneself in, a completely different perspective. Dr.Lad's book contains chapters on the Six Philosophies which underpin ayurveda, from the unthinkably ancient Sankhya philosophy of creation, which also forms the basis of Buddhism and some aspects of Yoga; to the Nyaya science of logic; to Yoga itself, the profound science of psychology and human potential.

Then we explore the system of 20 qualities of nature; the five elements; the three humours (Doshas) and their 15 subtypes; the concept of Agni or Digestive Fire; the Dhatus or body tissues; the Srotas or body channels; Ojas, Tejas, and Prana or the subtle humours; and Digestion and Nutrition. Each aspect is explained and related back to western anatomy, physiology and pathology. The important connection is also made between each aspect and the mind, which in ayurveda is considered a distinct but interdependent part of the body. There are copious appendices and tables on the various systems, ayurvedic properties of food, and other useful information.

A notable feature is the high quality of production. This is refreshing - and I would say necessary, if ayurvedic education is to be taken seriously by mainstream medicine. To be frank, I am fed up of poorly written, edited, designed and produced books from India. Even so-called textbooks are appallingly arranged, sometimes with no indexes or useful means of finding information. This book is clearly illustrated with line drawings, attractively designed, and printed on good paper. Two of the book's editors are ayurveda and Sanskrt instructors in New Zealand. If such talents were used more often in the editing and production of ayurvedic books, the credibility and reputation of ayurvedic education and publications would no doubt increase.

But does the book really deliver the goods? In my opinion, a lot of the correlations with western anatomy and physiology are speculative, and Dr.Lad should admit they are so. A lot of the material, while interesting, is simply not standard ayurvedic training, traditional or otherwise - and therefore misleading. If, instead of trying to pass off these wishy-washy correlations, Dr.Lad had worked on better translating and elucidating the traditional texts and principles, I believe the book would have more usefully served the growing interest in ayurveda as a clinical medical system. I feel that, while the book is insufficiently academic and credible for serious students of ayurveda, it still serves as a good introduction for the intelligent western reader.
89 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Complete Guide" July 17 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I've recently purchased several ayurvedic books and will be returning most of them now. This book has everything. I MUST have. It is very thorough and extremely interesting. Not just a rehashing of information found elsewhere. If you only have one book - get this one!
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Destined to become the definitive English-language textbook of ayurveda March 16 2008
By William Courson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Destined to become the definitive English-language textbook of ayurveda

Dr. Vasant Lad is a world-renowned ayurvedic physician, born and educated in India, with more than forty years of clinical experience. He is one of the world's leading teachers and scholars of ayurveda, and served as professor of clinical medicine at the University of Pune College of Ayurvedic Medicine & Surgery as well as director of its affiliated hospital. Currently, he is president of and a senior faculty member at the Ayurvedic Institute, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Vasant Lad is the author of several professional texts and popular works on ayurveda and has written countless articles on the subject.

There have been many textbooks published for intending practitioners of ayurveda, but until now nearly all of these have been in Sanskrit or more frequently Hindi or one of India's regional languages. Lacking facility in one or more of these, the English speaking student was left with one of two relatively time-consuming and unsatisfactory alternatives: consulting English-language translations of ayurveda's classics (i.e., the Sushruta and Charaka compendiums and the Astanga Hridaya, inter alia, a prospect unwieldy to say the least given the host of ancient therapies no longer in existence in today's world and the often untranslatable proper names of conditions and medicines) or compiling and correlating information from popular works on the subject and online sources.

Dr. Vasant Lad's "Textbook of Ayurveda: Fundamental Principles" has resolved this daunting task for the professional student of ayurveda and provided in one well-organized, well-written and very clear English-language volume all salient aspects of the philosophical and scientific foundation that ayurveda stands upon: from the metaphysical underpinnings to the foundations of ayurvedic anatomy and physiology.

The book is arranged into ten sections covering, respectively the shad darshan (the metaphysical assumptions underlying ayurveda); the elements, gunas (qualities of matter) and the tridoshic theory; dosha subtypes and their locations and functions; agni (degistive processes) the sapta dhatus (seven tissue types); srotamsi (channels or meridians), ojas, tejas, and prana (subtle forms of the doshas), digestion and nutrition and swasthavritti (ayurvedic concepts of healthy lifestyles and regimens). The flow of instructional material in the book is superlatively well-organized, with the information provided in one section providing a knowledge base for the effective study of material provided in subsequent sections.

With the coming of ayurveda to the West, there has emerged a great need for a foundation-level textbook that not only caters to Western learning styles but that also forges a link between ayurveda's conceptions of anatomy and physiology and those of Western biomedicine. It contains the necessary foundation for the understanding of a paradigm of health and disease far removed from the Western one, going far beyond the level of detail and sophistication than that encountered in works published for the interested lay public.

The appearance of this valuable work by Dr. Lad is synchronous with the creation of more and higher quality, academically rigorous programs of instruction and training in ayurveda outside of the country of its birth. Dr. Lad has written what I believe will become the definitive textbook of ayurveda for English-speaking and reading students in the West, and is due an enormous debt of thanks by the ayurvedic profession and by the public in general. I heartily and unhesitatingly recommend this work as a necessity for all aspiring practitioners of ayurveda. It will also be of use to health professionals schooled in Western biomedical concepts who wish to achieve a degree of familiarity with ayurvedic concepts.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a through reveiw Dec 12 2007
By Afshin A. Nahavandi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I think this is a through textbook.
I do yoga, meditation for 20 years and have read a lot of books, still there is a lot to learn in this book.
Also as an MD(Internal medicine)i enjoy adding knowledge of ayurveda and i feel using that for my regular office based patients is a big plus .
i strongly recommend this book .
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