Ayurveda thanks you Prime Minister Modi


Whatever questions may be raised about Narendra Modi’s time as Prime Minister of India, one of his greatest legacies I believe, will be his championing of the science of Ayurveda. His passionate advocacy for incorporating this science more fully into the global healthcare models and systems of today, if taken up, will bequeath substantial improvements to the future well-being and health of the world at large.

Narendra Modi is currently visiting Australia where I live, and in an article by Sarah Ison in ‘The Australian’, she writes as follows “ Mr Modi has been spruiking Ayurveda – a centuries-old medicine system relying on “natural” and holistic approaches to mental and physical health, at several key forums in recent months, including the G7 summit and at the World Health Organisation. As part of his 10-point call to action at the G7 in Hiroshima, Mr Modi said countries should promote more holistic healthcare and ‘pursue more traditional forms of medicine’ “.

I recently took my three daughters on a trip to India, with the prime aim of showing them that the supposedly esoteric science their mother is a passionate practitioner of, is in fact a common system of healthcare in India. According to UN population estimates, as of April 2023 India has overtaken China to become the most populous country on Earth, with a population of over 1.425 billion. And it’s estimated around 80% of this population use Ayurveda.

Everywhere we travelled my daughter’s couldn’t fail to miss building banners overhead advertising Ayurvedic hospitals, clinics, herbal dispensaries and pharmacies. They were also privileged and lucky enough to experience a stay in a beautiful Ayurvedic medical resort. And as we moved around the country and shared stories with those we met on our travels, they began to understand how deeply Ayurveda is part of the daily fabric of life in India. They also couldn’t but fail to notice the respect with which this ancient science is held. By trip’s end, I think it’s safe to say my mission was accomplished, and they well and truly understood Ayurveda is in fact a ‘fair dinkum’ science as we say in Australia, and not some obscure ancient wisdom that seems to excite only their mother, and that no-one appears to have heard of.

Ayurveda as a body of knowledge is a living organism, that has been the lifeblood of India down through the centuries. And it seems to me, as we grapple with questions about how to defend ourselves against pandemics, and as we search for solutions to the deep feelings of disconnection and general malaise that has overtaken so many of us, that now is the perfect time for this science to experience a renaissance of sorts. For it offers great wisdom, that if tapped into, can assist us in so many varied areas of life. Yoga, it’s sister science, has been embraced with vigour, and has well and truly proven the power and help that can be found within bodies of ancient wisdom. So what have you to lose?

There are many of us who’ve discovered Ayurveda’s wonders, and who are trying with all our might to help spread it’s profound knowledge, so more can benefit. But large thanks must also go to Narendra Modi, who has been able to use his rather large and important platform to become a standard-bearer of sorts for this great science. We thank you Prime Minister Modi.