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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 63-64

Experiential learning in Ayurveda

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Drug Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Ministry of Ayush, Government of India, New Delhi, India

Date of Submission02-Aug-2021
Date of Acceptance13-Oct-2021
Date of Web Publication19-Jan-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Narayanam Srikanth
Director General (Additional Charge), Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Ministry of Ayush, Government of India, Janakpuri, New Delhi.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdras.jdras_40_21

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How to cite this article:
Srikanth N. Experiential learning in Ayurveda. J Drug Res Ayurvedic Sci 2021;6:63-4

How to cite this URL:
Srikanth N. Experiential learning in Ayurveda. J Drug Res Ayurvedic Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Sep 27];6:63-4. Available from: http://www.jdrasccras.com/text.asp?2021/6/2/63/336033

Experiential learning is a betrothed learning procedure whereby students “learn by doing” and by reflecting on practical skills and experiences. It occurs when carefully chosen experiences are supported by reflection, critical analysis, and synthesis.[1] For medical students, experiential learning provides a new and alternative approach for learning that gives the best possible real-world experience. All ancient civilizations of the world developed their own medical systems, but the ancient Indian system of medicine is considered to be the most methodical and the most holistic system, both in its unique health ideas and curative measures. In ancient India, the “Gurukula” system of education was the method practiced for the formal transmission of classical Ayurveda knowledge across generations.[2] The ancient teaching as well as learning methods, which are elaborately described in Ayurveda classical textbooks, highlights the pre-requisites for quality teaching and learning, which offers equal importance to theoretical and practical training to mold Ayurveda practitioners. The three ways to attain knowledge and proficiency as per Ayurveda are Adhyayanam (learning), Adhyapanam (teaching), and Tadvidya Sambhasha (discussions) with the persons well-versed in the subject. Acharya Charaka allied the three sources of knowledge, viz. Aptopadesha (authoritative instructions), Pratyaksha (direct observation), and Anumana (inference) [Figure 1].[3] Out of these three sources of knowledge, the knowledge derived from authoritative instruction comes first. Thereafter investigation proceeds by means of observation and inference. Both modern and classical Ayurveda textbooks get strengthened through clinical experience gained from patients and then finally from the community with enough preparation, experience, credentials, skills, and knowledge. The key is not only to pass the exams but to remember the concepts of every subject lifelong such that it will make you a good doctor. As per Acharya Charaka,
Figure 1: Means of acquiring knowledge: Contemporary views from Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle and ancient Indian knowledge system- Darshana

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Theoretical knowledge and practical experience are very important for knowledge, and experiential learning methods inculcate the development of clinical skills in the course of medical education. Charaka never contended that the Vaidya (physician) should limit himself to the knowledge acquired from his Guru but emphasized that one should enhance his acquired knowledge by thought and practice. Knowledge gained from textbooks or demonstrated by the teachers are just the initial steps. In order to attain mastery or proficiency, the learner/medical student should cultivate the zeal to learn by themselves and from what is happening in and around the world.[4]

Various aspects of experiential learning are already part of the medical curriculum in Ayurveda. At both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, clinical teaching takes in routine teaching round, bedside teaching round, daily clinical care, critical analysis by discussion and decision-making, and opportunistic or highly structured teaching sessions held in different inpatient and outpatient settings. The bedside or clinical learning process is perfect for the acquisition of tangible and intangible skills such as observation skills, physical examination, communication skills, decision-making, prognostic differential ability, and even humanity and compassion. Research corroborates that experiential learning contributes to student rendezvous, cavernous learning, better academic outcomes, and enhanced work and life skills. The goals for the clinical learning that each student would like to experience or assimilate would be: obtain knowledge and skills; refine practice efficiency and effectiveness, clinical independence, delivery of optimal health outcomes with patients, and finally become a competent, compassionate, clinician/practitioner. Clinical research or health research is an arena where Ayurveda postgraduates can effectively utilize their unique skill sets that would benefit science and mankind.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Shui Kau C Innovative experiential learning experience: Pedagogical adopting Kolb’s learning cycle at higher education in Hong Kong. Cogent Educ 2019;6:1.  Back to cited text no. 1
Svoboda RE Ayurveda—Life, Health and Longevity. Albuquerque, NM: The Ayurvedic Press; 2004.  Back to cited text no. 2
Agnivesha, Charaka, Dridhabala, Roga Bhishakjitiya Vimana Adhyaya. 8/6–14. In: Charaka Samhita, Vimana Sthana, edited by Trikamji Aacharya VJ, Reprint ed. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Surabharati Prakashana; 2005. p. 262-4.  Back to cited text no. 3
Baragi UC, Ganer JM, Mashetti NB Teaching and learning methodology—An Ayurvedic perspective. J Ayurveda Integr Med Sci 2016;1:36-45.  Back to cited text no. 4


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