A year has passed since Professor Dwarkanath held his course on Ayurveda in Achberg. It was promised to the participants that the course would be worked out in writing and then put to their disposition.
Surely, many a participant has asked himself in the meantime it such a written presentation is still to be expected, or not. .... But probably nobody could expect how much a doubt upon* the publication of such a written presentation was actually justified. The problems which posed themselves when working out the material were actually insoluble and I cannot say that they have been sorted out, now that the publication is finally written. On the contrary, we had to decide to present the course in its present, though still very incomplete, form, after all.
I do not intend to go into the details of the indicated difficulties here; this alone would make a little book of its own. But the reader should know that the text here presented is published with reservations. Those reservations are especially valid for the readers who did not participate in Achberg- or one of the other seminars given by Professor Dwarakanath. In spite of certain lacks, the course itself was a great success. This real success was due to the special athmosphere which gradually developed after the second day of the course, approximately. In spite of a continuous exposition to unfamiliar ways of thinking, unaccustomed concepts and a flood of Sanskrit expressions, which firstmeant an overload to the participants, a new kind of listening developed among those present. One of them expressed this as follows: "I have understood only little, or perhaps even nothing, properly of -tha t which was said. Still I was fascinated, increasingly. Until then unknown prespecitives, wide horizons, opened up before me- and I had the feeling that here are huge treasures hidden." This occurred to everybody, more or less, and showed up in the great patience with which the participants- after initial resistance and even protests- sat in calm attention at least for two hours per lecture. Except for the material, this was also due to the person of Professor Dwarakanath himself, the complete devotion and inexhaustible effort of whom, in order to bring Ayurveda to us (Westerners), simply met full respect.
We knew that the seventy years old Professor was almost blind due to a cataract which just could not be operated before he came to Germany. Therefore he could not, for example, look up this or that in his books, as he once told me. The whole course, consisting of sixteen lectures, was therefore freely presented by him, not using any written manuscripts.
This specific element, which characterized the course in Achberg, could not be brought on to the paper as well. This is something all who did not participate should consider! The reading could to them easily appear as a "dry skeleton of abstruse concepts" which would hardly evoke the great devotion which Ayurveda to my opinion fully deserves.
And now to the written presentation itself. The working team consisted of Jan-Erite Sigdell- the writer of the text- Christian Muller and myself as his coworkers and finally Mary Hardy who wrote it all down with the typewriter (twice, actually). The process was such that Jan-Erit first listened to the tape with the lectures in English (sprinkled with Sanskrit Words), and portion-wise brought it together, written In German. When the whole tape was worked through in this manner, he started, based on the so collected portions, to write. a coherent description, under a structure of chapter headings, designed by himself. this was the first version of the course, which was then first read through by Christian and then by me. Then we had a conference upon which way we should now choose.
The first version showed us, actually, that .unexpected problems came upon us. The value of such a publication was strongly doubted upon, expecially by Christian and me. One reader wrote us, that she could not understand why there-were all these doubts ... It was clear to us that we would never be able to make this "exactly right". I would rather have preferred an own smaller publication which would by far not go into all the themes touched upon by Professor Dwarakanath, but instead in a fully responsible way give an introduction into a few basic concepts of Ayurveda. Jan-Erile, however, pleaded for a presentaiton which would follow "Achberg" as closely as possible. This would then, be it incomplete, form a start, a fundament upon which could be built. And we decided to do so.