The Australian Association of Ayurveda (AAA) is a voluntary, not-for-profit organisation of professionals interested in understanding and managing the impact of ageing in Australian society.
The History of the AAA is linked with the history of the development of Ayurveda in Australia. It all began in 1979 with the 1st International Congress on Traditional Asian Medicine, known as ICTAM, organised by the renowned Indologist and Head of the Department of Asian Studies at the Australian National University in Canberra, Professor A. L. Basham, the author of A Wonder That Was India. Prof. Acharya Manfred Junius and Dr. Krishna Kumar were invited by Prof. A. L. Basham as Italian delegates to attend this breakthrough congress. This was the largest gathering of like-minded scholars, physicians, and practitioners of Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tibetan Medicine, Korean Traditional Medicine, Japanese Traditional Medicine and other forms of traditional medicine that ever took place on the subject on an International level.
From India alone there were over forty delegates including Ayurvedic scholars and practitioners, writers, physicians attending this congress led by the famous scholar, writer and physician, Vaidya Shiva Sharma of Bombay (now Mumbai).
The Congress was an astounding success, which led to the establishment of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine, also known as IASTAM.
The same year Prof. Acharya Manfred Junius together with Dr. Krishna Kumar with his family migrated from Italy to South Australia with the assistance and encouragement of the South Australian Government to establish a herbal industry in the State that led to the establishment of Australerba Herbal Products and Spagyric Laboratories at Ridleyton, South Australia.
Having an Ayurvedic background both Prof. Acharya Junius and Dr Kumar in association with a well known Transcendental Meditation and Yoga teacher, Mrs Athena Yiossis, considered introducing Ayurveda for the first time in Adelaide. At that time Ayurveda or Ayurvedic medicine was an unknown terminology except for a few yoga practitioners who had been to India for their yoga training.
After several consultations and considerations in 1981 it was suggested that Mrs. Yiossis while attending a Transcendental Meditation conference in Delhi, India, should contact Vaidya Bhagwan Dash, a renown Ayurvedic scholar, practitioner of Ayurveda and author of several ayurvedic books, if he would consider coming to Adelaide for a lecture/seminar on Ayurveda.
Upon her return from India Mrs Yiossis advised that Vaidya Bhagwan Dash would be delighted to come to Adelaide for a lecture/ seminar on Ayurveda.
Sponsored by the Australerba Herbal Products and Spagyric Laboratories Vaidya Bhagwan Dash came to Adelaide with the excitement of the participants of the lecture/seminar on Ayurveda in March 1982 for four weeks.
Prior to commencing such an important event in the history of Ayurveda in Australia Vaidya Bhagwan Dash performed a Vedic Homa (fire) ceremony to bless the occasion and for its future prosperity.
Mrs. Yiossis generously provided lecturing facilities in her meditation hall and hospitality to Vaidya Bhagwan Dash. There were twenty-three students enrolled for this first lecture/seminar on Ayurveda.
Seeing the enthusiastic response to the seminar the Australian School of Ayurveda (ASA) was registered as an educational institution headed by Prof. Acharya Manfred Junius on the 30th March 1982 for teaching and promulgation of traditional Ayurveda in Australia.
Following that Vaidya Bhagwan Dash came twice a year to teach the interested students for a few years, however, due to his increasing commitments with World Health Organisation he could not come to Australia regularly, and suggested that the Australian School of Ayurveda contact Prof. Dr. P.H. Kulkarni, then the Dean of the Faculty of Ayurvedic Medicine at the University of Poona, India, start a structured academic course of Ayurveda. Prof. Kulkarni had also been a Director of the Institute of Indian Medicine based in Poona (now Pune), India.
After a few years of correspondence with Prof. Kulkarni the ASA developed courses that led to first two years study for the Certificate of Proficiency In Ayurveda and a further two years studies for the Diploma of Ayurveda.
In March 1986 the first batch of students for the Certificate of Proficiency In Ayurveda were enrolled, Prof. P.H. Kulkarni came from Poona to conduct the course.
Since then the eminent scholars, academics and practitioners of Ayurveda, such as, Prof. Arun Shitre, Prof. Vijay Doiphode, Prof. Sadanand Sardeshmukh, Prof. Suhas Parchure, Prof. Kinjawadekar, Prof. Jayant Barde, Dr. V.V. Bhagwat and others lectured at the Australian School of Ayurveda along with Acharya Manfred Junius and Dr. Krishna Kumar.
In 1988 the first batch of twelve graduates went to Pune for their placement, practical training and official graduation ceremony.
A Five member Ad-Hoc Committee was formed to establish the Constitution of the AAA comprising Acharya Prof. Manfred Junius, Prof. Dr. P H Kulkarni, Dr. Krishna Kumar, Mrs. Athena Yiossis and Dr. Karl Horst Poehlmann.
The AAA was first registered in South Australia on 9th February 1988 under the Association Incorporation Act 1985 with Dr Krishna Kumar as the first President and Treasurer, Acharya Junius as Vice-President, Mrs. Athena Yiossis as Secretary and Dr. K. H. Poehlmann as a Committee Member and Prof. Dr. P H Kulkarni as an advisor.
President: Dr. Santosh Kumar Yadav
Vice-President: Dr Vanita Sharma
Secretary: Dr. Kushagra Bendale
Assistant Secretary: Dr Karuna Jaiswal
Treasurer: Dr Kusum Lata