As a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla organized a national conference on *Ayurveda: Holistic Science of Well Being for the World* on 15th & 16th July 2023 in collaboration with Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) & Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries (RIS), New Delhi at the Institute in hybrid mode. Approx. 20 renowned speakers, scholars, and philosophers across the country took part in this conference.
Generally, well-being is currently understood as general health and happiness, a state of physical, emotional, and social stability. It is broader than the idea of wellness and encompasses different dimensions of existence. According to Ayurveda, holistic health means an approach to well-being that simultaneously addresses physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects. In its application, the holistic idea of well-being is transdisciplinary. It relies on many components, such as religions, spiritual traditions, and cultures, to heal people and communities and also save the environment. Holistic health assumes importance in the context of Universal Health Coverage, SDG3, and the theme of *One Earth and One Health*. To quote our Prime Minister Narendra Modi “As the pandemic focused the global attention on health, India went a step further and focused on wellness. That is why we have put forward a vision before the world- One Earth and One Health. This involves holistic healthcare for all creatures, humans, animals or plants.”
The inaugural session of this two days conference commenced on Saturday with lamp lighting which was followed by the welcome address of Prof. Nageshwar Rao, Director, IIAS, and the Introduction of the theme by the Coordinator of the conference Dr. P. Ram Manohar Vaidya, Research Director, Amrita School of Ayurveda Kerala. The inaugural address was delivered by Shri Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Union Ministry of Ayush. Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General, of Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries (RIS) New Delhi, and Dr. Arvind Gupta, Director, of Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) New Delhi were the Guests of Honour of the conference. The presidential remarks were delivered by Prof. Shashi Prabha Kumar, Chairperson of the Governing Body of the IIAS and Convener of the Conference. She said that “Despite phenomenal progress in medical science, there are gaps and unmet needs in the idea of well-being. Against this backdrop, traditional methods of treatment have expanded globally and gained popularity in the last few decades.”
The proceedings of this conference were live on Institute’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/IIAS.shimla and can be watched there. It will also be published in the form of a book soon.