Who is an Ayurvedic Doctor?


Many people are referring to Vaidya as an Ayurvedic doctor. But is that even the correct term? This blog post will discuss the proper term for an Ayurvedic doctor and their different stages of evolution. The subjects are from Vaidya P. Rammanohar, and Mr. Rajiv Malhotra in the vlog: ‘Vaidya’.

Firstly, ayurvedic practitioners today,  prefer to call themselves doctors rather than ‘Vaidya’. There could be many reasons for this, viz , when Ayurveda went into decline, ayurvedic practitioners were traditional healers and seen as not so well trained. They tended to be looked down upon and called quacks. The zeitgeist may be that western medicine is seen to be more prestigious and well-trained.

The term-  ‘Doctor’,  is a monopoly, exclusively exercised by the western medical doctor. Also,  if you look at the etymology, the word Doctor, comes from Latin, meaning to see or to teach. It only means that if you have a deep knowledge of the subject, you can start teaching others.

Stages of Physician in Ayurveda

In Ayurveda, there are five different terms for medical practitioners depending on how evolved they are as human beings. Here are the following:


So the one that is close to the word doctor, which means somebody to diagnose and treat illnesses, is the word Cikitsaka. This is one of the most straightforward words to denote a physician in ancient times. When one completes the study of Ayurveda and gets skills to treat patients, one is known as a Cikitsaka. Cikitsaka comes from the rootkit rogapanaye, meaning to remove the disease. They are the ones who have the necessary clinical skills to manage conditions. If one does not obtain these skills, then, the study of Ayurveda becomes futile. But this is not the only criteria. 


In Ayurveda, the practitioner gives a roadmap for even the self-evolution of the physician. So when you have just completed the courses, all you can claim is to be a physician who is the Chikitsaka.

Over time, you build a reputation, and when people are familiar, the fear of the disease goes away because they are confident that you can heal them. This is the second stage of the evolution of the physician, which is called the Bhisak. While a Cikitsaka has to announce his clinical skills to the public initially, his ability becomes known to the world in due course.

When Cikitsaka attains a reputation for treating diseases, he becomes the one who removes the fear of the disease in the people. This is what Bhisak means. Bhi means fear. Basak is the one who pulls the worry. The word Bhisak is not used to a fresh graduate but a more advanced and considered as a specialist.


Additionally, in Ayurveda, a physician should go deep into an individual’s personality. And this ability can just be developed over a long time, and Vaidya represents a significant shift of being a physician.

The term ‘Vaidya’, is derived from the root Vid which means to – know. Thus, broadly it means a knowledgeable person. But it has been used explicitly in Ayurveda to denote a physician. Vaidya is related explicitly to Vedana- the pain and pleasure of the patient. So Vaidya is the one who is empathetic to the pain and pleasure of the patient.

The synonyms of Vaidya are to set goals and set directions because as the bhisak evolves, he gains profound insight. Apart from just treating diseases and reassuring the patient, he begins to feel the patient’s pain and pleasure, which is the Vedana. He develops and becomes empathetic. Now he becomes a “true healer”, who makes the patient whole again—not just fixing diseases.


The next term is Pranabhisara. As the physician grows in stature & acquires profound insights, then,  feeling the pain and pleasure of the patient, he begins to connect to the Prana of the patient. Prana means life. In Ayurveda, Prana is like the thread of consciousness that connects the self, mind, senses, and body and holds them together to express life. 

‘Abhisara’ means friend. Now the Vaidya becomes a Pranabhisara- a friend of the patient’s Prana. He becomes a support to the Prana of the patient because he can reach and feel the Prana due to his empathy.


‘Pranacarya’, means the master of the Prana. When the Vaidya becomes the friend of the Prana of his patients, the Prana entrusts itself to the Vaidya. This trust is not at the conscious level of the patient. It is at the deep subconscious level. The Prana of the patient reaches out to the Vaidya and surrenders itself. The Vaidya now becomes the master of the Prana of his patient and comes to be called Pranacarya. This is the goal that all Ayurveda graduates should aspire for.

The Lifestyle of the Vaidya

The first thing,  as any scientist, is that you should be free of raga-  dvesha. Because the mind is the instrument to use, the physician will know everything. There should be no mind noise. A Vaidya’s tool to diagnose a patient is their mind and body, whereas the western doctors have machines like CT Scan, X-Ray, etc. To diagnose a patient, a Vaidya should be in tune with the patient’s mind and body so he can listen and feel what the patient’s feeling. Vaidya is less dependent on instrumentation for diagnosis and has to evolve himself as an instrument. But the ayurvedic doctor can use a diagnostic report, but a Vaidya should develop this ability also.

Are you thinking of consulting an Ayurvedic doctor? Prepare to talk about yourself when you visit one. A trained practitioner will not only examine your body but will also take an extensive personal and medical history. Including questions about daily diet, working conditions, exercise routines, relationships, and mental health. Because Ayurveda emphasizes balance in all areas of your life, if you want to know more about the world of Ayurveda, subscribe to Organic Ayurveda Life!

Source: Vaidya ≠ Doctor | Rajiv Malhotra with Vaidya P. Rammanohar

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