Friday, April 25, 2008

Course 5: Ayurveda Studies @ Banaras Hindu University

My study in Ayurveda at BHU was probably one of the coolest courses I have ever taken. It involved buying a book by my professor, Dr. Ram Harsh Singh (apparently many or most of the professors at BHU write their own books), and then reading as much of it as I could, asking questions as I went along. So what I did was as I finished each chapter, I would take detailed notes, and then write questions that came up along the way. When each chapter was done, I would go to Dr. Singh’s office (in the Ayurvedic wing of the Sir Sunderlal Hospital on BHU’s campus… how cool is that?). I would ask him my questions, and then he would answer them. Of course, he is now a retired professor, and just practices Ayurveda instead of teaching. This means that he can always be found in his office. So I went there as many times as I could, and asked many questions. He suggested very strongly that I apply for BHU’s Ayurveda program in the future… I guess he liked me a lot. Many people here are struck by the fact that I was born and brought up in the United States, and yet have an interest in ancient Indian knowledge. But even I don’t know why that is the case; it simply is. And I enjoy it. I get questions like, why do you like India so much? What are you doing in the United States? Uh, you’re studying mathematics and neuroscience in the U.S., and you have an interest in Sanskrit, Vedanta, and Ayurveda? How? And why??


It’s something that I know I will have to deal with for the rest of my life, seeing as I can’t change my birthplace. But I am rather proud of being American; it’s something that I don’t want to change. So I guess I got the best of both worlds… I was born in America, and my roots are in India!


mary said...

Varun... it just goes to show how incredibly diverse your interest in knowledge is! it is so amazing that you have had the opportunity to get such a wide range of education! i can't wait to hear even more! ...missing you over here in your birth country!! love, mary

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