Psychotherapy Or Grah Or Bhoot Vidya

Grah or Bhoot Vidya is a branch of Ayurveda that deals with mental disorders. It is one of the eight main branches of Ayurveda known as Ashtanga Ayurveda. According to the Ayurvedic text contained in the ‘Graham Vidya Dravya’ deals with the treatment of the mental disorders through the use of medications as well as yoga and meditation.   

Ayurveda and Psychic disorders

Ayurveda is the ancient Indian medicinal science which is considered to be one of the most advanced medical treatments. The Ayurvedic therapy has gained popularity in the western world as a complimentary healthcare system and also as a form of complimentary alternative medicine, CAM. Bhoot Vidya can be said to be similar to the modern methods of Psychotherapy and Hypnotism and Mind Power. 

Graha Chikitsa and Bhoot Vidya

Graha chikitsa deals primarily with the psychic disorders of human beings caused by unknown factors. This Ayurvedic treatment addresses specifically diseases of the mind or the patient’s psychic conditions that are caused by the evil spirits or by super natural forces that are invisible known as bootas. The name bootas refers to ghosts or bad spirits. Another theory is that the name boota represents virus or bacteria that is not visible to the naked eye and causes abnormality in the psychological health of the patient.   Modern science treats such illness as the idiopathic diseases whose exact cause is unknown.
The diagnostic and treatment of diseases of the mind in Bhoot Vidya works to eliminate the different factors that are responsible for the imbalance of the mind. The bacteria and virus that cause disturbances in the health of the body and mind are called bhoot, the word representing a ghost. Bhoot Vidya is the process of getting rid of these invisible forces that cause infection in the body and to create a pure and disease free environment.

Causes of mental disease

Ayurveda further goes on to explain that the cause of the mental diseases can be the past karmas meaning deeds of the past. Bhoot Vidya deals with the mental and psychological diseases for which there is no explanation of the Tridosha concept of Ayurveda and where the cause is not visible. The disturbance of mind is perceived as the Rajasic (passion) and Tamasic (ignorance) forces of the m. The Ayurvedic name Bhoot Vidya, is evidence to the people’s belief in the super natural forces and evil spirits. Graha Chikitsa or Bhoot Vidya addressed the same diseases that fall under the modern science of Psychiatry. These are diseases such as epilepsy and insanity.

Treatment  In Ayurveda

Bhoot Vidya recommends the use of several disinfectant herbs classified under ‘graha vidya dravya’.   It recommends fumigation as a way of getting rid of the germs from the atmosphere. ‘Yagnya’ (fumigation) is performed using small sticks of plants with disinfectant property called samidha to improve the atmosphere around the psychologically affected person. Alongside the disinfecting, certain other methods such as dietary adjustments, chanting of mantras and yogic therapies are used. Pranayama and Meditation and Pranayama are aimed at pacifying the disturbed mind. 
Ayurveda considers the reason behind mental disturbances as a result of affliction of bad spirits such as Asura, Deva, Gandharva, Pitara, Naga, Pishacha and Yaksha and other demons. The treatments are carried out by Manatriks who deal with the extra-human elements such as the devils or spirits of dead people. It is also believed that the mental disturbances are caused by the movements of planets.  
However, there is scope for extensive research on the causes of these disorders on the basis of pathology and physiology.   

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