I was happy to go through the monograph entitled 'Nadi Vijnana' written by Prof. S.D. Upadhyaya accepted for publication by chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan. This monograph presents an interesting and informative scientific writeup on the very important topic of pulse science. Nadi Vijnana is an ancient science of pulse reading practiced with great expertise in Medieval India.
Though pulse reading was not given that much significance in Classical Ayurvedic physicians developed remarkable acumen and expertise in pulse reading for diagnostic purposes. Pulse reading appears to have been more popular among Unani practitioners. In contemporary times there has been a gradual decline in the use of pulse reading in clinical practice and a need has been felt to revive this ancient art.
Prof. Upadhyaya has done a commendable work in producing this monograph. This timely publication is a praiseworthy attempt. This monograph contains an account of the historical perspectives of pulse science. It deals with the knowledge on art and science of pulse science. It deals with the knowledge on art and science of pulse reading in different systems of medicine. The author appears to have devoted lot of time and energy in preparing the review on the chosen topic.
The monograph also contains the observations made by the author himself in a series of patients and normal volunteers selected from the S.S. Hospital, Banaras Hindu University during the period when Dr. Upadhyaya was a research scholar. As a matter of fact the present monograph is an abridged form of the Ph. D. thesis of Dr. Upadhyaya submitted to the Banaras Hindu University for the award of Ph. D. degree in Ayuuveda Kayachikitsa.
Using a Dudgeon's sphygmograph Dr. Upadhyaya has recorded the pulse tracings of a large number of subjects and has attempted to identify the pattern of pulse characteristic of Vatika, Paittika and Kaphaja types. Such a study will definitely prove useful in developing practical guidelines for pulse reading in clinical practice. Though the study contained in this monograph is of a preliminary in nature, it gives enough lead of future work and opens newer vistas for research on ancient pulse science.
Prof. Upadhyaya is one of the noted alumni of Banaras Hindu University. He graduated from this University in early seven tees and subsequently obtained his M. D. and Ph. D. degree form the Department of Kayachiktsa of this University. He is personally known with the reviewer for several years. He is personally known with the reviewer for several years. He is a popular clinician, a keen researcher and a successful teacher. The present work is definitely an outcome of his scholarship and enthusiasm to work for the advancement of Ayurveda. I am happy to write preface for this important work and wish all the best to this publication and the author.
It gives me great pleasure in writing the foreword to this monograph complied by Dr. S.D. Upadhyay. This monograph on Nadi-Vijnan incorporates all about the rare and valuable treasure of scattered knowledge of ancient pulse lore of different civilizations of the world. This is particularly so of the Indian pulse lore which has so far been untouched in its own framework on scientific footings. The present endeavor is a first attempt in that direction.
It is claimed that the knowledge of pulse science originated some thousand years ago in various medical disciplines of the world, like Greek, Chinese etc., and it was recognized as a major tool for arriving at diagnosis. But in India, as evidenced, it perhaps saw its first dawn in its original form in the work of Sharngadhara compiled sometime in 14th century A.D. which is a historical landmark in the development of Ayurveda.
As regards the earlier classics of Ayurveda like, Charaka, Sushruta and Vagbhata and the other treatises such as the Bhel Samhita and Hareet Samhita the authors were quite silent in the topic excepting with the citation by charaka in the Indriyasthana that cessation of pulsation of ever pulsationg Manya the carotid artery, is the indicative of death. Thus by making a thorough search of the entire literature of Ayurveda available upto 14th century A.D., it can be inferred that for the first time it was Sharnagadhara who introduced the pulse science in Ayurveda. This knowledge constantly grew and flourished throughout the subsequently period in the history of the country. This science being practiced since then by the Vaidyas and the Hakeems of India has been preserved and handed down through tradition till today. In fact diagnosis by means of pulse is highly admired by the people of India even in this era of advanced science and technology.
Varanasi, since time immemorial, has been a center of great Indian culture, particularly for Ayurveda. In this holy city, late Kaviraj Pandit Satyanarayan Shastri, the great Ayurvedic physician had been pioneer in the field of pulse diagnosis for which he will be remembered with high esteem among all the physicians of Ayurveda in the years to come. Perhaps it is the great Ayurvedic tradition of Varanasi that has inspired the author for the furtherance of this work form a new angle, the first of its own kind.
Started his medical career in the college and in the Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, the author is well known to me for more than a decade in various phases of his life as my student, research scholar and the clinical registrar in the department of Kayachikitsa of this institute. The author is among the few original thinkers of Ayurveda and is known for his insight into the subject.
The author deserves every appreciation of this monumental work from many points of view. Firstly for his hard work and the great pain he has taken in collecting the various rare manuscripts specially from the Tantrik and the folk-lore literature. Secondly, the framing of the experimental work for recording the Waves of Vatika, Paittika and Kaphaja pulses and their analysis in the modern line. And thirdly the inclusion of newer idea of frequency analysis to enhance the quality of research to analysis even the slightest shades of Vata, Pitta and Kapha in a single pulse wave.
This specific work will enrich the knowledge of Ayurveda in general and to the knowledge of pulse diagnosis in particular. I am very hopeful that this scientific contribution to the traditional method of pulse diagnosis would serve as a means to serve the suffering humanity in the diagnosis of the diseases in a more simpler and analytical way. I congratulate the author and wish him all the best for this important publication.
Banaras Hindu University