Timeline

Ascetic involvement in teaching Ayurveda

1900s - Punjab

In the nineteenth century, schools and institutions associated with ascetic orders in the Punjab (and perhaps elsewhere in India) were an important place for the preservation and teaching of Ayurvedic knowledge.

Ascetic involvement in teaching Ayurveda

The transmission of traditional Ayurvedic knowledge is perhaps most usually associated with small brahmanical gurukul-apprentice training often conducted in established vaidya's homes. However, the institutions of heterodox ascetic orders were also important locations where Ayurveda was preserved and taught. In nineteenth-century Punjab, institutions of learning associated with ascetic orders including those associated with the Dadupanthis, Nath Yogi, Jain as well as Udasi and Nirmala lineages were known to teach indigenous medical knowledge.

Sivaramakrishnan, Kavita (2006) Old Potions, New Bottles: Recasting Indigenous Medicine in Colonial Punjab (1850-1945). Hyderabad: Orient Longman.

Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata

1835 - Kolkata

The Medical College and Hospital was established, symbolically marking a colonial policy of promoting European-style medical education in the medium of the English language.

Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata

The establishment of the Medical College and Hospital in 1935 is seen as an important symbolic statement in the colonial promotion of European-style medical training, taught in the English language.

Previous to this, Indians pursued traditional forms of medical knowledge and the British East India Company's Indian Medical Service (IMS) had a more pragmatic approach to finding local assistants for western-trained physicians to administer to the health needs of the company. The first medical training institution was the Native Medical Institution (NMI), established in 1822. The NMI taught European medicine in both English and vernacular languages, until it was replaced by the Medical College and Hospital in 1835.

Indigenous Drugs of India Reports

1896 - Calcuctta

A series of reports were commissioned from the 1890s into the 1920s exploring the use of 'indigenous drugs' for medical use.

Indigenous Drugs of India Reports

A series of reports were commissioned from the 1890s into the 1920s exploring the use of 'indigenous drugs' for medical use in the context of European chemistry and biomedical applications. 

This selective mining of Indian herbal remedies was offensive to many indigenous Indian practitioners who had a sophisticated understanding of when and how particular ingredients should be used according to traditional methods.

Foundation of Ramakrishna Mission and Math

1897 - West Bengal

From its inception in 1897, Swami Vivekananda's Ramakrishna Mission established an important association between 'yogis' and institutionalized, practical support for those suffering from famine, illness and natural disasters.

Foundation of Ramakrishna Mission and Math

From its inception in 1897, Swami Vivekananda's Ramakrishna Mission organised relief for famine and plague victims, first in Bengal and then throughout India.

This marked an important nationally-visible association between 'yogis' and institutionalized, practical support for those suffering from famine, illness and natural disasters. Although caused by drought, the effects of famines were made much worse as a result of colonial structures for the management of resources.

Synthesizing Yogic, Ayurvedic and Biomedical Bodies

1903 - Bengal

There were some attempts to synthesize and visualise different models of the body from the early twentieth century onwards.

Synthesizing Yogic, Ayurvedic and Biomedical Bodies

There were attempts to synthesize and visualise biomedical, Ayurvedic and tantric/yogic models of bodily systems from the early twentieth century onwards.

This image is from Swami Haṃsasvarūpa's Ṣaṭcakranirūpaṇacitram (1903?) in the Wellcome Collection, London.

For more on this area see Projit Bihari Mukharji (2016) Doctoring Traditions: Ayurveda, Small Technologies and Braided Sciences. Chicago: Chicago University Press and Dominik Wujastyk (2009) “Interpreting the Image of the Human Body in Premodern India”. In: International Journal of Hindu Studies 13.2, pp. 189–228. 

Rajaratna Manikrao and the Shree Jummadada Vyayam Mandir

1905 - Vadodara, Gujarat

Rajaratna Manikrao renamed his akhāṛā Shree Jummadada Vyayam Mandir (a temple dedicated to his guru and physical education).

Rajaratna Manikrao and the Shree Jummadada Vyayam Mandir

The Shree Jummadada Vyayam Mandir united the study of various Indian physical disciplines, including martial arts and yoga āsana with temple religiosity and nationalist politics. Jummadada taught Manikrao martial arts, Unani medicine and languages.

Manikrao's revival of physical culture was one of the influences on Raghavendra Rao (1890-1996), who wrote under the name “Tiruka” and travelled around India in the early 1930s disseminating writings to inspire a new generation of yogi freedom fighters and eventually settled in Malladihalli, Karnataka and treated many people with Ayurveda and yoga.

All India Ayurvedic Congress

1907 - Nasik

The All Indian Ayurvedic Congress (Akhila Ayurvediy Mahasammelan) was established with the support of the Indian National Congress.

All India Ayurvedic Congress

The All India Ayurvedic Congress was established in 1907 in Nasik to promote the profession of Ayurvedic medicine. Branches soon became established in various locations throughout India. The initiative had the support of the Indian National Congress movement and was assisted in its establishment by the Mumbai Vaidya Sabha which had been founded in 1890 to promote the interests of established Ayurvedic vaidyas. 

The photograph shows a 1907 meeting of the Indian National Congress with Indian nationalist leader Bal Gangadhar Tilak standing and Aurobindo Ghose sitting at the table with his hands folded. Both Tilak and Ghose redefined yoga and used it to promote the causes of swaraj.

Paramahamsa Madhavdasji provides yogic therapy

1915 - Malsar, Gujarat

Paramahamsa Madhavdasji a Bengali yogi who had settled at Mlsar (near Vadodara/Baroda, Gujarat) established an ashram which included an area where he provided medical treatment with 'yogic' methods.

Paramahamsa Madhavdasji provides yogic therapy

 

Paramahamsa Madhavdasji a Bengali yogi established an ashram which included an area where he provided medical treatment with yogic methods.

 

Both the future Swami Kuvalayananda and Yogananda studied with Paramhamsa Madhavdasji at his ashram.

Shri Yogendra establishes a 'Yoga Institute'

1917/18 - Bombay

Shri Yogendra (born Manibhai Haribhai Desai, 1897–1989) founded his first Yoga Institute at Versova (a beach town near Bombay).

Shri Yogendra establishes a 'Yoga Institute'

Shri Yogendra (born Manibhai Haribhai Desai, 1897–1989) founded his first Yoga Institute at Versova (a beach town near Bombay) which was an early centre for curative yoga therapy, catering largely to middle-class patrons - both men and women - in 1917/1918 at the home of Homi Dadina.

In December 1919, Yogendra and Dadina travelled to New York where he established a Yoga Institute on Bear Mountain, Harriman, New York, before returning to India towards the end of 1922. Yogendra established the more permanent Yoga Institute in Santa Cruz (a suburb of Bombay) in 1948.

K. V. Iyer - Physical Culture Therapy

1922 - Bangalore

K. V. Iyer merged bodybuilding, physical culture, and yoga āsana in his gymnasium from 1922 onward.

K. V. Iyer - Physical Culture Therapy

K. V. Iyer (1897–1980) merged bodybuilding, physical culture, and yoga āsana in his Bangalore-based gymnasium from 1922 onward, including using these methods as therapy for specific ailments.

In the Chopra Report (1948), Iyer testified that he had twelve beds at his institution and specialized in the treatment of "asthma, bronchitis, diabetes, gastro-intestinal disturbances, joint affections, mental disorders, neurasthenia and paralysis."

See Elliott Goldberg (2016) The Path of Modern Yoga: The History of an Embodied Spiritual Practice. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions.

Usman Report

1923 - Madras

A regional report with national significance. It recommended state recognition and support for the Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha systems of medicine, and the regulation of professional practice and education.

Usman Report

The Usman Report provides a pan-Indian survey of practitioners of indigenous medicine. The written commentary describes each physician's basic understanding of the practitioners’ medical system (Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha) and opinions on how training in that system should continue.

Key recommendations included establishing separate systems of indigenous medical training and incorporating useful elements of western medicine into the training of indigenous practitioners.

Ghosh College of Yoga and Physical Culture

1923 - Kolkata

Bishnu Charan Ghosh opened the Ghosh College of Yoga and Physical Culture.

Ghosh College of Yoga and Physical Culture

Bishnu Charan Ghosh (1903–1970), the younger brother of international yoga guru Paramahansa Yogananda (1893–1952), was introduced to yogic physical culture at Yogananda’s Ranchi School for Boys in Bengal.

Under Gosh, yoga āsana was studied to build the strength of the nation as well as to cure specific physical complaints. The college was where Bikram Choudhury (b. 1946) would later study.

See Jerome Armstrong (2018) Calcutta Yoga: Buddha Bose & the Yoga Family of Bishnu Ghosh and Yogananda. Webstrong LLC.

Swami Kuvalyananda and Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute

1924 - Lonavla, Maharashtra

Swami Kuvalyananda learns about yogic cures at the ashram of Madhavdasji Maharaj 

Swami Kuvalyananda establishes Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute

Swami Kuvalyananda (1883-1966), born Jagannath Ganesh Gune, studied at Baroda University where he was influenced by the nationalist Lokmanya Tilak (1856–1920), Sri Aurobindo, and physical culturalist Rajratan Manikrao. Around 1919, Gune met Madhavdasji Maharaj and became particularly interested in exploring special abilities acquired through yogic practice (siddhis) with Western scientific models.

In 1924, he established the Kaivalyadhama Yoga Ashram in Lonavla, a hill city between Bombay and Pune, for the purpose of exploring yoga and its health benefits in scientific, physiological detail. The ashram began publishing the results of his research in Yoga Mimamsa, a journal that had both national and international influence.

See Joseph Alter (2004) Yoga in Modern India The Body between Science and Philosophy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Sundaram's Yogic Physical Culture (1928)

1928 - Bangalore

S. Sundaram who worked with K. V. Iyer published Yogic Physical Culture in 1928, one of the first illustrated how-to guides for yoga āsana.

Sundaram's Yogic Physical Culture (1928)

S. Sundaram (1901–1994) worked with K. V. Iyer in the 1920s and ran the Yogic School of Physical Culture in Banglaore. His 1928 book Yogic Physical Culture  was one of the first illustrated how-to guides for yoga āsana and included a chapter about the practice of yoga by women.

Sundaram was also a leader of the Congress Party in Bangalore, participating in the "Quit India Movement" of 1942 and was a prolific author in his native Tamil, as well as teaching and writing in English, Kannada and Sanskrit.

See Mark Singleton (2010) Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice. New York: Oxford University Press.

Gandhi: Yoga and Naturopathy

1920-1948 - India

Gandhi’s powerful personal embodiment of yogic principles was coupled with a proportion of 'nature cure' - or 'naturopathy', systems of promoting health healing which were (largely) free and therefore accessible for all Indians.

Gandhi: Yoga and Naturopathy

Gandhi’s powerful embodiment of yogic principles (e.g. truth (satya), non-violence (ahiṃsā) and ‘self-restraint/celibacy’ (brahmacarya)) positioned yoga in independent India as simultaneously a system for spiritual, moral, and political transformation as well as having therapeutic and public health applications.

Gandhi also advocated simple breathing exercises, based on yogic prāṇāyāma, for promoting a healthy constitution and moderate exercise, which could be accomplished by yoga āsana. Gandhi was critical of both biomedicine and Ayurveda as being elitist and inaccessible to the majority of the Indian population.

See: Joseph Alter (2000) Gandhi's Body: Sex, Diet, and the Politics of Nationalism. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Yoga in the Jaganmohan Palace

1933-1950 - Mysore

Tirumalai Krishnamacharya taught an evolving program of yoga āsana with healing applications at the Jaganmohan Palace in Mysore.

Yoga in the Jaganmohan Palace

Tirumalai Krishnamacharya's (1888–1989) innovations to yoga were largely immortalized by the global popularity of many of his students, particularly Indra Devi (1899–2002), B. K. S. Iyengar (1918–2014), K. Pattabhi Jois (1915–2009), and his son T. K. V. Desikachar (1938–2016).

Also well versed Indian philosophy, Krishnamacharya was consistently interested in the application of āsana and prāṇāyāma to improve health. Krishnamacharya presented some of his health applications of yoga for the Chopra Report (1948)

See Mark Singleton and Ellen Goldberg (eds) (2014) Gurus of Modern Yoga. New York: Oxford University Press.

Bombay Medical Practitioners Act 1938

Bombay Province

This Act provided for the registration of qualified Ayurvedic and Unani Practitioners in India, covering the large area of the Bombay province.

Bombay Medical Practitioners Act 1938

This act was the first to establish a legal register for vaidyas and hakims, simultaneously legitimizing and controlling their practice. Originally applying to the large area of the Bombay Presidency, it provided the blueprint of registration now managed by the Central Council of Indian Medicine as part of AYUSH.

Practitioners trained in “‘western medical science’ mean[ing] the western methods of Allopathic medicine, Obstetrics and Surgery, but does not include the Homeopathic or Ayurvedic or Unani system of medicine” had been subject to statutory registration and regulation in that area since the Bombay Medical Act of 1912, and more widely under The Indian Medical Degrees Act 1916.

Pandit Malaviya's Health Cure

1938 - near Allahabad

Pandit Malaviya, nationalist leader and chancellor of Benares Hindu University, underwent a rejuvenation treatment under the guidance of a yogi, Swami Tapasviji.

Pandit Malaviya's Health Cure

Pandit Malaviya (1861–1946), nationalist leader and chancellor of Benares Hindu University, underwent a well-publicised kuṭīpraveśika rejuvenation treatment under the guidance of a yogi, Swami Tapasviji aka Tapsi Baba (c. 1770?–1955).

The rejuvenation of Pandit Malaviya associated the figure of the yogi with being a respectable healer and rejuvenator. The publicity around this incident united yoga with ayurvedic traditions and the advancement of the Indian nation. The importance given in reports of Malaviya’s rejuvenation to pañcakarma may have been an important pivot point in the public presentation of Ayurveda towards providing rejuvenation treatments as a unique contribution towards promoting health.

See: Suzanne Newcombe (2017) “Yogis, Ayurveda, and Kayakalpa” History of Science in South Asia, 5(2), 85-120. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.18732/hssa.v5i2.29

Swami Sivananda and Health

1936-63 - Rishikesh

Swami Sivananda founded the Divine Light Society in 1936, presenting intertwined ideals of yoga, health and spiritual development in his many publications, pamphlets and letters.

Swami Sivananda and Health

Swami Sivananda (1887–1963) founded the Divine Light Society in 1936 and was a prolific publisher and letter writer. He produced pamphlets and books on yoga that had both national and global influence.

Originally a biomedical doctor, turned sannyasin in Rishikesh, Sivananda presented intertwined ideals of health and spiritual development. While Sivananda's Yoga for Health (1937) emphasises identification with the immortal soul as the key to health, his Family Doctor (1942) presents an eclectic collection of remedies for health from a variety of traditions and his Health and Long Life (1945) emphasises naturopathy, diet, yogic exercise and kayakalpa as keys to longevity.

See Strauss, Sarah (2004) Positioning Yoga: Balancing Acts Across Cultures. Berg Publishers.

Royal Family of Nawanagar invests in Indigenous Medicine

1940s onwards - Jamnagar, Gujarat

The royal family of the princely state of Nawanagar invested in the promotion of indigenous medicine from the 1940s onwards.

Royal Family of Nawanagar invests in Indigenous Medicine

Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja (1895 – 1966) the Maharaja Jam Saheb of Nawanagar from 1933 to 1947 did much to promote the study of indigenous medicine, establishing the Shri Gulabkunwarba Ayurvedic Society in 1940.

In 1944, the Dhanwantari Mandir building was completed to facilitate the study of Ayurveda. One of the first projects was a new translation of the Carakasaṃhitā into English, Hindi and Gujarati which was published by the society in six volumes. In 1946, Shri Gulabkunwarba Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya was established as a college for Ayurvedic Studies in Jamnagar.

The Bhore Report

1946 – Delhi

The Bhore Report provided a blueprint for an Indian national health service based on a biomedical model. Any potential contribution of indigenous medical traditions of India is minimized.

The Bhore Report

Commissioned in 1943, the Bhore report had wide-ranging aims of providing a broad survey of the present position in regard to health conditions and health organization in British India, and recommendations for future developments.

Chairman Sir Joseph William Bhore, K.C.S.I, (1878–1960) led 24 largely British-trained medical practitioners in writing this report. In the opinion of Dominik Wujastyk, the Bhore Report represents a “decisive swing in Government opinion away from any recognition that indigenous medicine could make a contribution to the nation’s health.”

Indian Independence

15 August 1947 - India

On this day, the United Kingdom's Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act 1947 which transferred legislative sovereignty to the Indian Constituent Assembly.

Indian Independence

The state sponsorship of Ayurveda, yoga, and other forms of indigenous medicine has gradually increased with independent India. However state-sponsorship and growth has been uneven - particularly in the first decades after independence - with many regional variations.

Chopra Report

1948 - Delhi

The Chopra report explores a wide range of what might be considered Indian indigenous medicine. It includes descriptions of curative yoga, physical culture, and folk remedies, many of which have long continuities of practice, while others are innovations.

Chopra Report

The Chopra Report was a wide-ranging and well-informed survey that provided an alternative blueprint for an Indian national health service. Commissioners travelled around the country, interviewing and viewing demonstrations which were only partially transcribed and compiled in the final report. The Chopra report demonstrates a sympathetic view towards Ayurveda as well as considering the efficacy of yoga, physical culture, and other cures – many of which have long continuities of practice, while others are innovations.

The Chairman of the report, Sir Ram Nath Chopra (1882–1973) was a distinguished Indian pharmacologist who demonstrated a life-long professional engagement with Ayurveda and other indigenous health systems.

Gordhandas Seskaria College of Yoga and Cultural Synthesis

1950 - Lonavla

With the help of several generous donors, the Gordhandas Seskaria College of Yoga and Cultural Synthesis was established in Swami Kuvalayananda’s Kaivalyadhama centre in Lonavla.

Gordhandas Seskaria College of Yoga and Cultural Synthesis

The first graduates of a two-year Diploma in Yoga Pravishtha (Introductory Course) were presented with their diplomas in May 1953.

The College enjoyed considerable governmental support in its establishment with the then Chief Minister of Mumbai State, Shri B.G. Kher giving the opening address. The first graduation ceremony was presided over by the Minister of Education for the State of Bombay and Shri H.V. Divetia, the Vice-Chancellor of Gujarat University, delivered the first convocational address.

Central Institute of Research in Indigenous Systems of Medicine

1953 - Jamnagar, Gujarat

Central Institute of Research in Indigenous Systems of Medicine (CIRISM) established to promote the study of Ayurveda.

 

Central Institute of Research in Indigenous Systems of Medicine

Central Institute of Research in Indigenous Systems of Medicine (CIRISM) was established by the Government of India building on the work of the royal family of Nawanagar at Jamnagar.

The Ayurveda section began by research in grahaṇī (chronic diarrhoea) and jalodara (ascitis) cases. The Ayurvedic section initially had 27 beds and considered 130 cases in the first year; the smaller Siddha unit (8 beds) looked at skin diseases.

Dave Committee Report

1954 - Delhi

Dayashankar Trikumji Dave was appointed by the Central Council for Health as chairman of a committee to make recommendations on the establishment of standards for education and regulation of indigenous systems of medicine.

Dave Committee Report

The Dave Committee Report's (1954) recommendations included: 1) the introduction of a uniform system of training, 2) the establishment of two regulatory councils, similar to Indian Medical Council, one for regulating homeopathy and a second for regulating Ayurveda and Unani, 3) upgrading existing institutions, and 4) preparation of a pharmacopoeia and dictionary of Ayurvedic and Unani medicines.

Individual Indian states were not compelled to apply the recommendations and the extent to which they were followed varied widely across India. Yoga therapy was not considered as part of these recommendations.

Yogendra's Yoga Institute starts yoga teacher training programmes

1958 - Santa Cruz

The Yoga Institute founded by Yogendra in Santa Cruz (Bombay) begins a formal training programme for yoga teachers.

Yogendra's Yoga Institute starts yoga teacher training programmes

In this year, The Yoga Institute founded by Yogendra in Santa Cruz (Bombay) began a formal training programme for yoga teachers and Government of India the Institute as a 'Hub of Yoga Research' recognizing medical research into yoga undertaken at the Institute.

Udupa Committee Report (1958)

1958 - Delhi

The committee’s task, chaired by K. N. Udupa, was nothing less than to review the entire situation relating to ayurvedic medicine in India.

Udupa Committee Report (1958)

The recommendations of the Udupa Committee included the establishment of the Central Council for Indian Medicine (CCIM); that there should be at least one centre for post-graduate learning in indigenous medicine and a directory of Ayurvedic practitioners in each Indian state; and the establishment of postgraduate centres for study in Banaras, Poona and Trivandrum for the training of teachers and promotion of research.

Avadhoot Bhagwan Ram Kustha Seva Ashram (ABRKSA) established

1962 - Varanasi

An Aghor hospital for treatment of leprosy founded

Avadhoot Bhagwan Ram Kustha Seva Ashram (ABRKSA) established

The Aghor Guru Parampujya Aghoreshwar founded the 'Avadhoot Bhagwan Ram Kustha Seva Ashram' (ABRKSA), including a 50-bed in-patient hospital area which provides free medicine, food and clothes to those suffering from leprosy. It describes its methods of treatment as 'Ayurvedic and Fakiri', further associating yogis and ascetics with institutionalised medicine in India. Other charitable organsiations, the Sri Sarveshwari Samooh and Aghor Parishad Trust are also associated with this tradition.

For more information on Aghor methods of medical treatment see Aghor Medicine Pollution, Death, and Healing in Northern India by Ronald L. Barrett (2008).

Photograph by Darragh Mason Field.

S.A.D.T. Gupta Yogi Hospital established in Lonavla

1962 - Lonavla

S.A.D.T. Gupta Yogi Hospital was established at the Kuvalyananda Marg in Lonavla with funding from the Maharashtra State Government and Shri A. T. Gupta.

S.A.D.T. Gupta Yogi Hospital

S.A.D.T. Gupta Yogi Hospital was established at Kuvalayananda’s Kaivalyadhama Yoga Ashram offering thirty-six beds for yogic treatment and scientific study. Kaivalyadhama continues as a centre for both domestic and international education, with a focus on yogic therapy, combined with naturopathy and preventative medicine.

For more on Kuvalaynanda's contribution to the professionalisation of yoga as medicine see Joseph Alter's Yoga in Modern India The Body between Science and Philosophy (2004).

Gujarat Ayurveda University

1967 - Jamnagar, Gujarat

Gujarat Ayurveda University was formally established by the state of Gujarat, with headquarters in Jamnagar. The university built on the existing establishments promoting Ayurveda in Jamnagar.

Gujarat Ayurveda University

Gujarat Ayurveda University was formally established by the state of Gujarat, with headquarters in Jamnagar building on the existing establishments promoting Ayurveda at this location.

The establishment of the Ayurveda University unified the existing centres for the study of Ayurveda in Jamnagar, including the Post-Graduate Training Centre for Ayurveda (PGTCA) which was established by a central government grant in 1956, with other centres of Ayurvedic study in Gujarat as affiliated colleges.

Dhirendra Brahmachari

1970-1990 New Delhi, Mantalai, North India

Dhirendra Brahmachari (1924–1994) promoted the benefits of yoga in a weekly broadcast on Doordarshan, the state-owned television network and was closely, if controversially, associated with Indira Gandhi.

Dhirendra Brahmachari

Dhirendra Brahmachari (1924–1994) promoted the benefits of yoga in a weekly broadcast on Doordarshan, the state-owned television network. A video of him is available here. He operated yoga institutes in New Delhi, Mantalai and other towns in northern India as well as introducing yoga as physical culture to state-owned schools in the Delhi area. His book Yaugik Sūkṣm Vyāyām (1956) was perhaps an influential do-it-yourself manual. Notably, Harbhajan Singh Puri, popularly known as Yogi Bhajan (1929–2004), attended Dhirendra’s yoga classes in New Delhi in the 1960s and went on to found Kundalini Yoga/3HO in America.

Brahmachari was a well-known and controversial figure throughout India due to his close association with Indira Gandhi, particularly during the state of emergency (1975-1977) where he was known to act as an advisor as well as executor of Mrs. Gandhi's orders.

Establishment of the Central Council for Research in Indian Medicine and Homeopathy

1970 - New Delhi

This is the first time research into yoga and health was integrated with Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy at the national level.

Establishment of the Central Council for Research in Indian Medicine and Homeopathy

The Indian government set up an autonomous Central Council for Research in Indian Medicine and Homeopathy which explicitly included Ayurveda, Unani, Yoga, Siddha and Homeopathy in its scope.

 

World Conference on Scientific Yoga

1970 - New Delhi

World Conference on Scientific Yoga (WCSY) was organised in New Delhi

World Conference on Scientific Yoga

British citizens Christopher and John Hills helped facilitate a World Conference on Scientific Yoga in New Delhi in December 1970. Christopher Hills, a scientist deeply interested in alleviating world hunger as well as exploring the potentials of spirituality, had longstanding contacts with governmental and religious figures in India including Nehru and the leaders of Auroville during this period. He was also associated with an influential human potential and counter-cultural hub in London, Centre House (c. 1965-1973).

Participants at the 1970 conference included Dhirendra Brahmachari, Stanislav Grof, Sidney Jourard, B.K.S. Iyengar, Shri K. Pattabhi Jois, Jiddhu Krishnamurti, Swami Satchidananda, Padma Bushan Murugapa Channaveerappa Modi, R. R. Diwaker, Swami Rama, Acharya Dharma Deva Vidya Martand, and G.S Mlkote from the Kaivalyadhama Yoga Research Centre. 

Central Council of Indian Medicine established

1971 - New Delhi

The Central Council of Indian Medicine was established.

Central Council of Indian Medicine established

The Central Council of Indian Medicine Bill was passed in Parliament, giving formal recognition of Indian Systems of Medicine in the National Health Service. With this bill, the Central Council of Indian Medicine was established to evolve uniform standards of education and maintain a central register for practitioners of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani traditions of medicine.

The Science of Meditation and Relaxation

1975 - United States and Global Culture

In this year, the potential of meditation for promoting health was a subject of global headline interest.

The Science of Meditation and Relaxation

Although the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1918-2008) became a global phenomenon through his association with The Beatles in 1967, his mission to have meditation treated as a science dated from the publication of Science of Being and Art of Living – Transcendental Meditation in 1963. In 1975, he was featured on the cover of Time Magazine in the United States marking a new level of global visibility and mainstream respectability.

This year also saw the publication of Harvard-physician Herbert Benson and Miriam Kippler's The Relaxation Response which argued for the benefits of meditation more generally as a 'relaxation response'.

Seminar on Yoga, Science, and Man

March 1975 - New Delhi

Seminar on Yoga, Science, and Man held in New Delhi by the Central Council for Research in Indian Medicine and Homeopathy.

Seminar on Yoga, Science, and Man

Seminar on Yoga, Science, and Man was held in New Delhi between 14-16 March by the Central Council for Research in Indian Medicine and Homeopathy (as part of the Ministry for Heath and Family Planning) and the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences.

This seminar, chaired by D.S. Kothari, was acclaimed as a tremendous success and provided an opportunity for scientists, scholars and yogic experts to meet. There was a focus on the potential health benefits of yoga and its role in educational programmes.

Ayurvedic Education

1977 - India

Ayurvedic Education

In 1977, there were postgraduate ayurvedic institutes at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi (Banaras) and Gujarat Ayurved University (Jamnagar), as well as 15 postgraduate departments turning out 250 post-graduates every year. Across India there were 84 registered ayurvedic colleges, one Siddha and one Unani college for undergraduate degrees.

Central Council for Research in Indian Medicine and Homeopathy, Decade of Development (1977), p. 10.

Central Council of Research for Yoga and Naturopathy (CCRYN) established

1978 - New Delhi

Central Council of Research for Yoga and Naturopathy (CCRYN) established.

Central Council of Research for Yoga and Naturopathy (CCRYN) established

With the establishment of the CCRYN, yoga was officially 'twinned' with naturopathy (or nature cure) as a medical system under the Department of Health. Hospitals and Health Centres for yoga and nature cure became a common sight in major Indian cities.

WHO - Promotion and Development of Traditional Medicine

1978 - Geneva / World

The World Health Organisation of the United Nations published a report towards promoting and supporting traditional medicine worldwide.

WHO - Promotion and Development of Traditional Medicine

In 1977 the World Health Organisation of the United Nations hosted a meeting to promote and support traditional medicine worldwide, the recommendations of the meeting were published as a report in 1978.

The report made practical suggestions on policy guidelines and how traditional medicine might be co-ordinated in national health services alongside European medicine.

Hansa J Yogendra on Doordarshan

1980 - India Doordarshan Television

Hansa J Yogendra (b. 1947) airs 50-part TV series 'Yoga for Better Living' aired on the state network Doordarshan.

Hansa J Yogendra on Doordarshan

Hansa J Yogendra (b. 1947) married Jayadeva Yogendra (1929-2018), the son of the Yogendra who founded of The Yoga Institute in Santa Cruz. Her television show on Doordarshan was very popular, being rebroadcast several times. She took over the running of the Yoga Institute in 1997 and is a high-profile female figure promoting yoga in India.

WHO - Health For All

1981 - Geneva

Halfdan Mahler, Director General (1973-1983) of the WHO, defined "Health For All" as a positive vision of health beyond the eradication of disease.

WHO - Health For All

In this document, "health" was defined as a "personal state of well being, not just the availability of health services – a state of health that enables a person to lead a socially and economically productive life." This reflected a more positive vision of the promotion of health and wellbeing for national governments as a focus of policy and aspiration.

Ramalingaswami Report

1981 - Pune

Vulimiri Ramalingaswami (1921-2001) chaired a report on heath provision in India which recommended that the existing model of health care in India should be replaced by one that combined “the best elements in the tradition and culture of the people with modern science and technology.”

Ramalingaswami Report

The Ramalingaswami Report emphasized social and economic factors leading to health inequality in India and recognised five broad elements of traditional Indian culture as relevant to its recommendations for creating a health service that better met the needs of the Indian people. These included the use of yoga as an instrument for physical and mental health; an emphasis on “simple but effective things” such as naturopathy; the use of simple medicines and home-grown herbs for day-to-day illnesses, games and sports that require little equipment; and similar practices that oppose “a profit-motivated capitalist civilization [that] tries to encourage consumerism”

Vasant Lad writes article 'Yoga’s Sister Science: An Introduction to Ayurveda’

1984 - USA

The American glossy magazine Yoga Journal publishes an article by Vasant Lad entitled 'Yoga's Sister Science: An Introduction to Ayurveda'

Vasant Lad writes article 'Yoga’s Sister Science: An Introduction to Ayurveda’

Vasant Lad article in Yoga Journal is largely a promotion for his book Ayurveda: The Science of Self Healing, A Practical Guide (1984). He began teaching Ayurveda in Santa Fe, New Mexico USA in 1984 and founded the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque in 1986.

Born in India, Lad trained as a Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) in 1968 at the University of Pune and gained a Master of Ayurvedic Science (MASc) from Tilak Ayurved Mahavidyalaya in Pune (1980) before emigrating to the United States.

Maharishi Ayur-Ved Products Launched

1985 - India and Worldwide

The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi launches a range of Ayur-Ved Products

Maharishi Ayur-Ved Products Launched

Although the Maharishi may have been researching Ayurveda as part of his Vedic Science framework from the mid-late 1970s, the formal appearance of Maharishi trademarked Ayur-Ved products dates to 1985.

The flagship product was the rasāyana Amrit Kalash which was marketed to both those practicing Transcendental Meditation and those who might be looking for forms of alternative medicine to support health and well-being.

Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana - S-VYASA founded

1988 - Bangalore, Karnataka

Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana - S-VYASA founded in Karnataka

Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana - S-VYASA founded

Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana - S-VYASA was given 'deemed' status as a state-recognised university in 2012. It specialises in researching the therapeutic effects of yoga and training in Yoga Therapy. It also promotes yogic self-healing techniques and offers training in general yoga teaching as well as yoga philosophy.

Geeta Iyengar talks on Yoga and Ayurveda

1988 - Pune

B.K.S. Iyengar's daughter Geeta undertook training in Ayurveda and lectured on some of the parallels between yoga and Ayurveda.

Geeta Iyengar talks on Yoga and Ayurveda

By this time B.K.S. Iyengar's curative approach to health through yoga āsana was well-known worldwide. Iyengar yoga was particularly influential outside of India. His daughter Geeta taught in her father's yoga tradition as well as training in Ayurveda. On 12-13 December 1988, she gave a long lecture on 'Yoga and Ayurveda' where she reflected that her father B.K.S. Iyengar's method of yoga 'is very similar to the Ayurvedic ways of treating health problems. Since our programmes of sequences, seasonal and age-regulated practices have their parallel in Ayurveda.'

National yoga syllabus for schools

1991 - Santa Cruz

A yoga syllabus for schools formulated between Yoga Institute (Santa Cruz) and the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT)

National yoga syllabus for schools

A yoga syllabus for schools was formulated between the Yoga Institute (Santa Cruz) and the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

This partnership symbolised an important move towards standardisation of yoga teaching in the context of the Indian school system.

Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy (ISM&H)

1995 - New Delhi

Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy (ISM&H) was created in March 1995 within the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy (ISM&H)

Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy (ISM&H) was created in March 1995 within the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

As a department, ISM&H (1995-2003) focused its attention on the development of education & research in Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha as well as Yoga, Naturopathy and Homoeopathy.

 

David Frawley promotes Yoga and Ayurveda together

1999 - USA, India Europe

David Fawley promotes Yoga and Ayurveda as 'Sister Sciences' with his book Yoga and Ayurveda: Self-healing and Self-realization (1999) and Yoga for Your Type: An Ayurvedic Approach to Your Asana Practice (2001).

David Frawley promotes Yoga and Ayurveda together

American-born David Frawley first trained in Ayurveda with Vasant Lad in Arizona in the 1980s and has been teaching and promoting the study of the Vedas, Ayurveda and Jyotish (Indian astrology) throughout the English-speaking world.

Deepak Chopra, who has also done much to popularise Ayurveda in the United States, recognizes Frawley as one of his teachers. Frawley has been a prolific author and has done much to popularise Ayurveda, yoga and Indian spirituality globally.

Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL)

2001 - New Delhi

An initiative of the government of India to protect the traditional knowledge of India from exploitation through biopiracy and unethical patents.

Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL)

The Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) established as a collaboration between the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and AYUSH to protect the traditional knowledge of India from exploitation through biopiracy and unethical patents.

TKDL technology integrates source knowledge from diverse disciplines including Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Yoga with diverse languages including Sanskrit, Arabic, Urdu, Persian, Tamil, English, Japanese, Spanish, French and German. Access to TKDL is available to nine International Patent Offices and it is estimated that by 2018, over 200 patent applications have been withdrawn based on cross-referencing with this database.

 

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar creates Sri Sri Ayurveda products

2003 - Bengaluru

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (b.1956), who operates highly successful ashrams and wellness programs under the name of The Art of Living Foundation - opens ayurvedic line of products Sri Sri Ayurveda (now Sri Sri Tattva)

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar creates Sri Sri Ayurveda products

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (b.1956) who was formally associated with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and known as a spiritual teacher and international yoga guru in his own right from the formation of The Art of Living Foundation in 1981.

The most common practice taught by this tradition is Sudarshan Kriya, the health benefits of which are researched in biomedical contexts. His line of Ayurvedic products, Sri Sri Ayurveda was established in 2003 and was rebranded as Sri Sri Tattva in 2017.

Swami Ramdev gains national attention on TV

2003 - Aastha TV / Hariwar

Swami Ramdev has been described as India’s “most popular tele-healer” and is often described as a “household name” by the press in India

Swami Ramdev gains national attention on TV

Remembered by locals as walking around Haridwar distributing pamphlets about the benefits of yoga and Ayurveda, Ramdev developed his system of teaching yoga between 1995 and 2002. In 2003, he began teaching yoga for a commercial, spiritually-focused channel called Aastha TV.

At the end of 2007, Vedic Broadcasting Limited, managed by Ramdev’s business partner Balkrishna, took ownership of the channel. In 2011, all but one of the ten most popular religious programs in India were broadcast on Aastha TV, and the top three shows were all by Baba Ramdev.

Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH)

2003 - New Delhi

Renaming of the Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy (ISM&H) to Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH)

Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH)

In 2003, the Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy (ISM&H) was renamed the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) emphasizing Ayurveda and creating a more memorable acronym. In 2003, AYUSH was still a department within the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Bachelors in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) include yoga in Syllabus

2000 - India

Indian university syllabuses for the Bachelor in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)  require graduates to have a basic understanding of Patañjali’s
formulation of yoga as well as therapeutic applications of āsana and prāṇāyāma

Bachelors in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) include yoga in Syllabus

From around 2000, Indian university syllabuses for the Bachelor in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) start to require graduates to have a basic understanding of Patañjali’s formulation of yoga as well as therapeutic applications of āsana and prāṇāyāma. There may have been earlier adoption of yogic therapy in some courses prior to this date.

Patanjali Ayur-ved products established

2006 - Haridwar

Swami Ramdev and his business partner Balkrishna established their own Patanjali-branded Ayurvedic pharmaceuticals as well as flours, oils, noodles and a variety of other products associated with a swadeshi image.

Patanjali Ayur-ved products established

Swami Ramdev's close business associate, Balkrishna began promoting Ayurvedic medicines during Ramdev's yoga camps in the late 1990s.

Today Ramdev’s headquarters, the Patanjali Yogpeeth in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, provides both allopathic and Ayurvedic medical care and promotes research into the medical benefits of yoga and Ayurveda. Ramdev also runs a large business with Balkrishna that produces Patanjali-branded Ayurvedic medicine.

AYUSH raised to the level of an independent ministry

2014 - New Delhi

The Department Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) is raised to the level of independent ministry.

AYUSH raised to the level of an independent ministry

In 2014, the government of Narendra Modi raised the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) to the level of independent ministry.

It is now tasked with developing education and research in Ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, Unani Siddha, and Homeopathy, as well as Sowa Rigpa (traditional Tibetan Medicine) and 'other indigenous medicine systems'.

International Day of Yoga

2015 - United Nations, Geneva

19 June 2015 was the first annual International Day of Yoga as declared by a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly

International Day of Yoga

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi proposed this day to the United Nations General Assembly which passed as a unanimous resolution. It has been promoted strongly by the Government of India and AYUSH.

Modi presented yoga to the United Nations as: "an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being."

© Ayuryog 2015 - University of Vienna, Spitalgasse 2, Hof 2.1 & Hof 2.7 (Campus), 1090 Wien