International Press Interviews


Interview with Ayurveda Portal in Germany How did you come to Ayurveda?

Dr. Ranade: Since my childhood I have seen many of Ayurvedic physicians working near by where I was born in Poona. And I don't know, that was probably a liking for me. Actually I admitted into a western medical college but I told my parents that I don't want to learn this particular type of education. At that time they thought I was probably crazy because at that time it was common to do western medical science. So I opted for Ayurveda. Since then I never turned back. I like this and I think it is in my blood.

By choice I came to Ayurveda and it is a very vast field. The more you learn you know that there is a lot to learn more.

Since I started travelling to all this different countries I have published books in ten different languages, like German, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese,

My wife, Dr. Sunanda, she is also travelling with me. She is a gynaecologist and paediatrician. She also holds courses on nutrition and Ayurvedic cooking. She has also written books about that. It is our motor of the life to propagate this science through all over the world and we are doing this since almost 25 years. Can you tell us more about your work?

Dr. Ranade: Almost 25 years I am now in Germany. I am a chairman of International Academy of Ayurveda which is now in Poona and our website is . We have branches all over the world, for example in Australia and New Zealand. My wife and I travel every year more than 100.000 miles to visit all these centers. We have centers practically in every European country, in the United States and we have also started centers in South America: in Brazil, Chile, Argentina and we have centers in Toronto, Canada. Name the country and probably we are there. I am really happy that in the last 25 years Ayurveda is really growing very big all over the world and all our centers are booming. More and more people are coming to Ayurveda.

Initially in Germany the response was from chiropractitioners, Heilpraktiker, physiotherapists. But now the proper medical doctors are also attending our courses. We get students from all the branches of medicine, from Cardiologists, orthopaedics and psychiatrists. We also have started treating patients by opening up clinics in different countries. Although there are some legal restrictions because Ayurveda is still not legally accepted in all the countries, still we have good relations with the patients and once they have a fate in you, in the physician and then there is no problem. The things are really going on well. Especially in the United States, myself and Dr. David Frawley, we are very good friends and we started working way back in 1993 and since then now there are more than 10 institutes in the United States which are imparting Ayurvedic education programmes. They are for different natures, we call it a module, a module is a one time teaching in a month. We teach on Friday, Saturday and Sunday that is one module. In USA we have 10 modules which are covered in one year. And we get two holidays, one is summer and one is Christmas. Then the students go for internship where they start practicing actually Ayurveda on patients. They start understanding Panchakarma, they put their hands on the patient, they start to diagnose different Ayurvedic concepts and they start treating the patients.

The basic programme is an 18 months programme and it is getting very good results in the United States.

Depending on the need of the people in different countries we verify these modules, somewhere it is a 10 modules programme, somewhere it is 6 or 8 modules. It is very easy in one way to teach to the medical doctors because they have the concept of anatomy and physiology and everything. For common people it takes a little bit longer because we have to teach them the basics. How is your teaching program with "SEVA-Academy" here in Munich?

Dr. Ranade: I am with SEVA since over 15 years, together with Dr. Rai. Initially we started with the introduction of Ayurvedic courses here. Now what has probably happened is a saturation of basic learning of Ayurveda. That happens to every country. Last year I suggested to Helga Schmidt von SEVA, why don't we go for an advanced programme? Now there are students who know basics, so let them give some advanced knowledge. Now I am conducting a course in internal medicine that is called Kaya chikitsa. I will do it two times in a year. We will cover the entire internal medicine diseases in three steps. We will call it Kaya chikitsa I, II and III. By this way we are offering advanced teaching programmes in Ayurveda to the German people. Do you think that Ayurveda is transferable and adaptable to everywhere in the world?

Dr. Ranade: Yes, to everywhere, there is no problem. If it was a concept of an Indian science it would not be useful to the western people. But it is not like that. The fundamental principals, once you understand them, you can apply them to anywhere, to all the parts of the world. I am practicing Ayurveda since 25 years. I see patients from Australia to Canada. It is my experience, that once you know the basic principles of Ayurveda you can apply them to every country, with every race, every religion. Yes, no problem at all. How do you evaluate the development of Ayurveda in the western countries?

Dr. Ranade: Ayurveda has been developed very nicely. Although, there are certain hurdles, and unless we come across with these hurdles, that is the main problem. For example with Yoga, what you need is only a simple mattress and you can start practicing Yoga. But with Ayurveda, unless you have medicines at your disposal, only philosophy doesn't work, you need medicine. Getting medicine into different countries is a problem that we have to solve in a proper way. Not smuggling medicines into the country. Once, we do that there is no problem at all.

There are no set right rules for importing Ayurvedic medicines in these different countries. So somebody has to formulate these rules and regulations. And then the herbs and the medicinal compounds can be brought in all these countries. But we will come over with this situation very soon. What potential do you see for Ayurveda in the western world?

Dr. Ranade: Huge! You see, what has happened is the following: we have to give credit to the Yoga first, because Yoga is well known. The people who go to the Yoga then actually turn to Ayurveda. In yoga there are not many ways of treating the disease. It is very good for healthy people, but for therapeutic purpose Yoga is limited. Unless you take the help of Ayurveda Yoga is not fulfilled completely. Majority of the people who are introduced to yoga know Indian culture. They are vegetarians, they know sattvic lifestyle. Naturally they start learning Ayurveda. That is the biggest help for Ayurveda. You see, the credit goes to Yoga – no. 1.

And the credit goes to allopathic treatment – no. 2. : Everybody everywhere in the world knows that there are many side effects to all allopathic drugs and therefore they come to Ayurveda (laughing). Do you give Ayurvedic consultations in Germany?

Dr. Ranade: Yes, very often. I have my private clinic in Frankfurt, in Sandweg 53. I work with Prof. Dipl.-Psych. Norbert Lotz, he is a psychologist and it is his clinic. About 5 times a year I come to Frankfurt and Munich. From there I travel to Switzerland and to Austria. Since about 5 years my wife is conducting the Ayurveda baby massage and other massages in a big massage school in Austria. ( do you have a special message to our visitors regarding life and Ayurveda?

Dr. Ranade: The message would be very simple: those who are really interested in being healthy they have to understand how to change their lifestyle and become healthy. You see, Ayurveda is not a medicine, Ayurveda is basically a science of life. In order to change the lifestyle also you need some courage. I know it! It is not that easy for western people to suddenly change but slowly, slowly if they adopt their proper behaviour they can come into the right lifestyle pattern and be healthy. That is my message (laughing). Thank you very much for this interview.

American Journal 'Light on Ayurveda'-Summer- 2007 issue 
- Interview of Dr. Subhash Ranade -