Overview for A Life of Healing: A Biography of Vaidyaratnam P.S. Varier
P.S. Varier founded the Arya Vaidya Sala in 1902, one of the first centres that sold ready-made Ayurvedic medicines. Fifteen years later, he established the Arya Vaidya Patasala, one of the first educational institutions that taught Ayurveda. Today, the Patasala has become an Ayurvedic College and the Arya Vaidya Sala has evolved into a national institution, with branches all over India. A Life of Healing: A Biography of Vaidyaratnam P.S. Varier reconstructs the history of this extraordinary man and the institutions he established and nurtured. It shows how an ordinary student, spurred on by curiosity and determination to explore avenues of knowledge, succeeded in improving, modernizing and popularizing Ayurveda at a time when allopathic medicines were making inroads into the Indian market. Written in a style that brings the very rooms of the Arya Vaidya Sala to life, the book is a tribute to the man who was equally skilled in writing Ayurvedic textbooks, songs in praise of god and plays for his drama troupe to perform. Exploring the different sides of the man, the book shows how nothing was too difficult or too trivial for P.S. Varier to try: new ways of processing a medicine, different methods of instruction for students, courses of study that sought to combine various traditions, textbooks that integrated the old and the new, variations in styles of architecture, innovative ways to stage a play or novel trends in music. The author, Gita Krishnankutty, has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Mysore. She has translated several short stories and novels from Malayalam into English. She lives in Chennai.
Gita Krishnankutty (Author)
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