One of India's oldest university, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), is now starting a legitimate six month certificate course called 'Bhoot Vidya' or the 'science of paranormal or supernaturals'.

Faculty of Ayurveda at the BHU is the first in India to create a separate unit of Bhoot Vidya and design a certificate course on the subject.

In the 6-month certificate course, which will begin from January and will be conducted by the faculty of Ayurveda, the doctors would be taught about remedies and psychotherapy to treat psychosomatic disorders and abnormal psychological conditions caused by unknown reasons which many consider a Bhoot (ghosts), reported Hindustan Times.

A Psychosomatic disease or illness is caused or aggravated by a mental factor such as internal conflict or stress. A psychosomatic related disease involves both mind and body and some physical diseases are thought to be particularly prone to be made worse by mental factors such as stress and anxiety.

'Bhoot Vidya' or 'Planetary Medicine' is in fact a branch of ancient science of Ayurveda and is directly used to diagnose diseases caused by unknown causes. It is mainly used to cure mental disorders of humans. So essentially, 'Bhoot' in this context is not always referred to ghosts but also referred to 'past' - a period gone by in time and no longer existing.

In modern terminology, 'Bhoot Vidya' is considered as idiopathic disease (disease arising without cause) in which the exact cause of the disease is unknown. In fact, ashtanga is the eighth organ in Ayurveda. It is not a ghost with ghosts (phantom etc.), but here the meaning is from Panchabhuta (Five material element).

The five elements are -- 1. Fire, 2. Earth, 3. Air, 4. Water and 5. Sky. Due to lack or excess of any one of these five elements (due to their deteriorating balance), physical and mental diseases.

The remedies to psychosomatic disorders and ailments caused by ‘ghosts’ will be taught to doctors holding Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) and Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree holders.

According to Yamini Bhushan Tripathi, the Ayurveda faculty dean, “A separate unit of Bhoot Vidya has been created in the faculty of Ayurveda for imparting formal education to doctors about the branch. "It deals with the Ayurvedic remedies of treating ghost-related ailments and psychosomatic disorders."

Efforts to set up a separate unit for this Ayurveda branch began six months back. The proposal was drafted after the meeting of heads of all 16 departments in the faculty that gave a go-ahead.

The proposal was then sent to the academic council of the university, which approved a separate unit and a certificate course on one of the basic branches of Ashtanga Ayurveda.

Ayurveda Vaidya Sushil Kumar Dubey, associate professor at the faculty, said, “The new unit will help in the study of various things related with the Bhoot Vidya, which deals with the psychological disorders and abnormal psychosomatic condition in a completely Ayurvedic way.

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