Amrita Sutram was conducted at Amrita School of Ayurveda from August 7-14, 2016 and was organised by Amrita Centre for Advanced Research in Ayurveda (ACARA). Students of Ayurveda from nine states of the country and also delegates from USA and France participated in the workshop to learn the basic teachings of Ayurveda from the Sutrasthana of Astangahridayam.
The Sutrasthana of Astangahridayam presents the foundational principles of Ayurveda and provides in a nutshell the essential knowledge that is needed to make a skilled clinician. The workshop was based on the principle of learning how to learn Ayurveda with ease, speed and definiteness.
Over a seven day period, the participants spent about twelve hours in a day engaging in reading the texts (Pāṭha), reflecting on its meaning (Avabodha) and practical sessions (Anuṣṭhāna). This was followed by interaction with experts in the field (Tadvidyācāryasevā) and interactive session for self study (Svādhyāya).
The workshop began with Dhanvantari Homa on the first day. Each day began with Satsanga and chanting of Viṣnusahasranāma. There were also sessions on Sanskrit, Vedic Chanting and Indian Medical Heritage. There was also a session on Tholpavakoothu, the traditional art of leather puppetry.
Each of the seven days was dedicated to a theme covering a cluster of chapters. Day one was on Counseling and Satvavajaya, Day two focussed on Healthy life style, day three on Food and nutrition, day four on Physiopathological concepts and pharmacology, day five on internal medicines, day six on external treatments and day seven on surgery.
The faculty of Amrita School of Ayurveda from the Departments of Svastha Vritta, Dravyaguna, Panchakarma, Shalakya and Shalya Tantra contributed as resource persons for the workshop. The other resource persons for Amrita Sutram were Dr. M. R. Vasudevan Nampoothiri, Br. Sankara Chaitanya, Dr. Jayan Damodaran, Dr. Murali Raghavan, Dr. Vijith Sasidhar, Dr. Gopakumar, Dr. Sreekumar and Dr. Ram Manohar. Swami Saradananda gave inspiring lectures on Sanskrit while Dr. Sivakaran Nampoothiri enlightened the audience on the Vedic methods of chanting. Dr. N. Gopalakrishnan gave a lecture on the medical heritage of India.
The participants of the workshop gave very positive feedback and many of them are continuing to practice these methods after attending the workshop.