Ayurvedic Pulse Diagnosis
Introduction to Nadi Vijana
“Ayurveda ( the vedascience of life) is a subsection of Rigveda and Atharvaveda. This wisdom was brought to the mankind by the ancient Seers (Rishis) of India from their tapobhumika (state of complete awareness). The clinical examination described in Ayurveda consists of eight points. These include the examination of pulse, face, skin, eyes, tongue, voice, urine and faeces.
The science of the pulse examination is called Nadi Vijnana. The science of nadi expands of different heights of our being (physical, astral and causal). The very beginning of nadi is at the level of pure awareness. It unfolds as the consciousness evolves into causal, astral and physical levels. The word nadi is a Sanskrit word derived from the roots Nada and Gatou which means the blueprint of the evolution of consciousness or the path of evolution of consciousness.
Ayurveda mentions that there are seventy-two thousand nadis in humans. These nadis eventually consolidate into ten and again to three and finally into one called Guru nadi. Our body is a microcosmic representation of the macrocosmic universe. Whatever happens “out there” will have an influence “in here”. Nadi Vijnana is closely linked with other branches of Veda such as Jyotisha (astrology), yoga, meditation, swarashastra ( the science of vital breath, yoga of herbs and much more.
An Ayurvedic study in India has a five-year curriculum at the college level. Nadi vijnana is not part of this curriculum. It has almost remained as a secret knowledge for the past six thousand years to be learned directly from a Master. One can study the nadi of animals, plants, trees and nature. One can also study the nadi of a person even without touching the person and also from a distant location.
The nadi examination can reveal information about an individual’s past, present and future. Many of the diseases are related to past karmas and various planetary influences. Proper remedies can be prescribed by knowing the cause of the disease by nadi vijnana.
It is essential to keep one’s fingers sensitive enough to feel the subtle movements of nadi. A simple exercise one can do is to take a strand of hair and put it on a piece of paper and cover it with another piece of paper. Now roll the hair under the tips of the index, middle and ring fingers with the eyes closed. After sensing the hair clearly under the fingers, cover the hair with a second sheet of paper and repeat the exercise. Continue this until one can feel the hair with seven sheets of paper over the hair. This ensures sufficient sensitivity of the fingers.”
Excerpted from “Nadi Vijnana” by Dr Talavane Krishna
Learning at IVAC
Although we rarely bring our conscious mind to it, the beating of the heart and the subsequent flow that is created through the body is the very basis of life as we know it. This “pulse” is indeed the pulse of our life, it carries with it every particle and cell and circulates prana or life energy in the form of various substances through our entire system. A dead body will have no pulse, as the prana has left the body, but a living one must have a pulse (though this said there are stories of some yogis who could slow their heartbeat to an immensely slow pace), it must be there.
The Rishis observed that the “information” present, as a form of a vibrational fingerprint in this pulse, was pretty much everything one would need to know to diagnose physical, mental and even spiritual ailments accurately. By spiritual ailments, we mean nothing more than the moving away from Sattva Guna (or the mode of goodness and purity) and the clouding of one’s mind with Rajas (excess action and desire without deep-rooted ultimate purpose) and tamas (inertia and depression and occlusion of light in one’s actions and life).
Learning pulse diagnosis is a journey in self-discovery as the more one understands the inherent balance and imbalance of the systems in one’s physiology, the more one’s awareness can come to a point to bring them into balance ultimately.
For any medical and therapeutic practitioners, it is a critical component. Not only does reading the pulse create a heart connection between the practitioner and the patient but if practised correctly it is an invaluable tool. India has stories of its famous pulse Vaidyas (doctors) who can give the past, present and even future illness tendencies from a few moments of touching the radial artery.
At IVAC our Vaidyas have been trained in this beautiful art by Dr Talavane Krishna, an experienced teacher of pulse diagnosis who had learnt this from his guru at a tender age and also had studied with Dr Vasant Lad of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque.
Pulse courses can be arranged on request as either introductory or deeper. Please enquire for more info.