Vaidyabhooshanam Raghavan Thirumulpad: Ayurveda has been synonymous with Kerala since the time of the Vedas, the sacred texts, which contain the genesis and principles of this unique health care system. Kerala also has the credit of having many master practitioners of this divine system of knowledge, each of them contributing to its popularity and acceptance in the cultural fabric of the land.
Vaidyabhooshanam Raghavan Thirumulpad is a name that is widely acknowledged in the ayurveda fraternity as an exemplary academician and as a physician. Born to Ms. K. Lakshmikkutty Nambishtathiri and Mr. D. Narayana Iyer at Chingol in Alappuzha district of Kerala in 1920, Mr. Thirumulpad is one of the few purists who believe in sustaining and practicing the age-old wisdom of Ayurveda in its entirety.
During the period 1944-49, Mr. Raghavan Thirumulpad had the fortune to learn ayurveda in the traditional Gurukula system, under the guidance of Mr. P. Vasudevan Nambisan, an eminent ayurveda scholar and former Chief Physician at Rama Varma Central Ayurveda Hospital in Trichur. Mr. Thirumulpad also did a yearlong internship in the same hospital during 1950-51 during which he specialized in Panchakarma. He was conferred the title of Vaidyabhooshanam in 1950 by the ayurveda department of the then Cochin Government. Mr. Thirumulpad also has a Certificate in Naturopathy from the Indian Institute of Natural Therapeutics, Bombay. He later got registered as an A-Class Medical Practitioner in the then Travancore-Cochin Medical Council.
Through informal education Mr. Raghavan Thirumulpad learned Sanskrit from Mr. P. S. Subbarama Pattar, Professor at Sri Kerala Varma College, Trichur, and in Tharkam (Indian Logic) from Mr. Konath Krishna Warrier, and mastered Jyothisham (Astrology) from Mr. Mandamparambath Narayanan Namboothiri.
An adorable personality, Mr. Thirumulpad is reckoned for his flair for teaching and as a physician of repute. As a teacher, he is respected by generations of ayurveda practitioners all over Kerala. His acumen as a physician is best reflected in his ability to combine the traditional as well as modern elements of ayurveda and an in-depth insight of theory and practice. As a philosopher, Mr. Thirumulpad contributed much to the theoretical advance of ayurveda.
On changing times and the manner in which ayurveda is taught these days, this is what Thirumulpad has to say "I teach in the style I am used to. My students practice it in the way they are comfortable with. I see no problem in this arrangement." Indeed an old timer, but his perceptions and attitude are in tune with changing times and events.
Mr. Raghavan Thirumulpad is a man of many parts. He adorned many roles in his favourite domain - Ayurveda, and excelled in each one of them. Teaching Sanskrit informally for Vidwan and other examinations and for ayurveda college students, training ayurveda students and young graduates in clinical practice, encouraging and guiding the activities of Ayurveda Study Circle in Chalakudi are some of his regular vocation. Many research students have benefited by seeking Mr.Thirumulpad’s informal guidance for their doctoral works. He was also associated with the Centre for Health Care Research and Education, Rajagiri College of Social Sciences at Kalamassery in Kochi.
This amiable ayurveda physician from Kerala got greatly influenced by the ideals and practices of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi during the 1950's and 60's. Mr. Thirumulpad got drawn towards some of Gandhiji's initiatives which had a socio-cultural bearing like propagation of Hindi, Khadi movement, and Sarvodaya. For this, he used to devote the morning session for medical practice and the afternoons for social service. As an ardent campaigner for the national language Hindi, he was active in the Kerala Sarvodaya Sangh.
Mr. Thirumulpad is also a prolific writer, and has to his credit, several titles on ayurveda and few works on spiritual topics. Among his noted works are Prakrithichikitsa (1957), a comprehensive treatise on Nature Cure; Sampoorna Arogyasamrakshanam (1989), on health & healthy life style; Ayurvedam-Arogyasastram (1992), an ayurvedic philosophy on health, and Dravyavijnana (1982), on ayurvedic pharmacology.
A multifaceted personality, Mr. Thirumulpad's poetic skills are evident through a number of poems that he has written in Malayalam and Sanskrit languages like Raghaveeyam, Kopisamdesah, Putropadesam, and Ayyappastuthi.
As is the case with writing, Mr. Raghavan Thirumulpad was also admired as a seasoned public speaker, a skill that unfailingly made his presence felt in the cultural, religious and scientific programmes organized in Kerala. A regular contributor to the local press, he is a regular columnist to several magazines like Mathrubhumi Arogya Masika.
Due to his overwhelming presence as an eminent ayurveda scholar, physician, academician, writer and philosopher, honours and positions came in search of him. Some of the academic bodies, which were graced by Mr. Thirumulpad’s presence, include Board of Studies (Ayurveda) under Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala (1991-1994), Faculty of Ayurveda- Kerala University, Trivandrum, Kerala (One term), Board of Studies (Ayurveda) under Calicut University, Kerala (Three terms), Faculty of Ayurveda- Kannur University, Kerala, Board of Studies & Examiner- Ayurveda College, Ayurvedic Trust, Coimbatore (One term).
Some of the prestigious honours bestowed on Mr. Raghavan Thirumulpad include Panditaratnam (1992) given by Viswa Samskritha Prathishtanam; Vidyabhooshanam (1993) conferred by Kerala Samskritha Academy, Trichur; Anga Vastra (1972) received from Kanchi Kamakodi Sankaracharya Swami Jayendra Saraswathi; Fellowship (1998) given by National Academy of Ayurveda, New Delhi, and Lifetime Achievement Award (1999) during International Seminar on Heart Diseases, Pune.
A significant initiative by Mr. Thirumulpad is the Vaidyabhooshanam K. Raghavan Thirumulpad Foundation (VKRTF) for studies in Ayurveda, established in the year 2000. The foundation has its focus on imparting informal in-depth studies in ayurveda for those who have completed formal studies.
This octogenarian who recently celebrated his sathabhishekam (celebrated by those crossing the age of 80) continues to inspire those who intend to study and practice ayurveda in an earnest manner and also is an invaluable asset to the fraternity of ayurveda physicians.
Keralites have proved their deligence and extra ordinary brillience through out the world. Keralites are well known for their honesty and efficiency in all fields. In the list of Prominent Personalities we have tried to include all famous personalities from Kerala. We are trying to collect the details of the rest. If you have the details of any such personalities, please send to us.