Late Sri. Vaidya Ratnam Kottarathil Raghavan Thirumuplad was honored by the Government of India with a posthumous award of Padmabhushan, for Medicine –Aayurveda, on the eve of the Republic day of 2011. A very learned Aayurvedic physician, Sanskrit scholar, writer, philosopher and a great Gandhian, Shri. Raghavan Thirumulpad (1920 -2010) had passed away (about two months before) on 22nd November, 2010, at the ripe age of ninety at his residence in Chalakudy, before the award was declared.

Shri.Thirumuplad was a very rare personality. Basically an Ayurvedic physician, he combined in himself the best of theory and  practice, the traditional scholarship and the contemporary medical knowledge. In addition, he was a prolific writer and made very significant contributions to the Ayurveda literature through his original treatises, books, commenatries

Raghavan Thirumulpad  was born on the 20th of May, 1920, at   Chingoli, (Alappuzha District), as the son of Smt. K. Laksmy Kutty Nambishtathiri of Chalakudy and Shri Srambikkal D. Narayana Iyer of Chingoli (near Haripad). He did his schooling in the Government High School, Chalakudy (1937), and took his Certificate in Naturopathy from the Indian Institute of Therapeutics, in the then Bombay (1949).  In 1950, he underwent training under the eminent Ayurveda Scholar, Shri. P. Vasudevan Nambeesan and obtained his Vaidya Bhushanam and was registered as a Class Medical Practitioner in Travancore-Cochin Medical Council.He has had his traditional Education in Sanskrit under Guru Sri.P.S.Subbarama Pattar, then Professor Sri.Kerala Varma College, Thrissur. Shri. Thirumulpad also learned Tharakam (Indian Philosophy) under Sri Konath Krishna Warrier and Astrology under Sri.Mandamparambath Narayanan Namboothiri.

 Shri. Thirumulpad had contributed greatly for the promotion of education in Ayurveda Medicines in various capacities. Some of the important positions he held for this purpose were:

  • Member, Board of Studies (Ayurveda), M.G.University, (1991-1994) and Faculty of Ayurvdea, Kerala University, Kerala Calicut University (Three terms), Kannur University.
  •  Member, Board of Studies & Examiner, Ayurveda College, Ayurvedic Trust, Coimbatore
  • Member, Syndicate & Academic Council, Sree Sankara University of Sanskrit, Kalady, Kerala (1997-00) 
  • Honorary Member,   Loka Swasthya Parampara Samithy, Coimbatore – an organization devoted to the promotion of traditional medical practices

In addition, he was involved in the activities like teaching Sanskrit for Vidwan and other examinations, imparting training to Ayurveda students and young graduates in clinical practices, taking classes in higher texts of Ayurveda for Ayurveda students, leading the activities of Ayurveda Study Circle, and heading and guiding the association of students and practitioners of Ayurveda. He is reputed for his many famous lectures at various seminars at the State, National and International levels and has been always  associated himself with the activities of the Centre for Health Care Research and Education, Rajagiri College of Social Sciences Kalamassery, Cochin, and the like.

He was a guide in Sanskrit and Ayurveda for the doctorate level researches. Shri. Thirumulpad established the K. Raghavan Thirumulpad Foundation for Advanced Studies in Ayurveda to promote in-depth academic studies in Ayurveda at Chalakudy.  Presently, the Foundation is engaged in publishing a highly rated Quarterly journal (Vaidyasamvadam) in which Thirumulpad wrote many articles on the fundamental and clinical aspects of Ayurveda.

It is said that, recently, Dr. M. S. Valiathan, the renowned medical scientist and Founder-Director of Sri Chithira Thirunal Institute of Medical Sciences, sought the guidance of Sri. Thirumulpad, for an in depth study on Charakasamhitha (a classical text of Ayurveda) as a part of Home Baba fellowship. This work was published by the Orient Longmans under the title, ‘TheLegacy of Charaka’. Shri. Thirumupad was  atrue Gandhian  in his lifestyle -sinple and human to the core. Inspired by Gandhian ideals, Shri. Thirumulpad was very active in the programmes initiated by Gandhiji - like nature cure, propagation of Hindi, Khadi movement, and Sarvodaya. This scholar has also penned a number of polemical articles in various newspapers and magazines, defending Gandhian politics and philosophy. A collection of such articles - in response to the book ‘Mahatma and ism’ written by the Marxist ideologue and leader E M S Nampoodiripad - was published in a book form in 1957 under the title ‘Ism and Mahatma’.He was translator of great repute in Malayalam. and has translated various classics from Sanskrit and Tamil into Malayalam.He has authored many poems, slokas and kavyas in Sanskrit and in simple and chaste Malayalam. Some of them like Raghavyeeyam, Kopisamdesah, Puthropadesam, Ayyappa Sthuthi were his great works. Bagavat Geetha, Thirukkural, Hariye Theduka, Chhaya Narayaneeya, Devi Mahathmyam, etc. were his other important works. He was awarded the titles of "Panditha Rathnam", (Viswa Samskrithapati Sthanam, Kerala) Vidya Bhooshanam (Samskritha Academy, Thrissur), the  Acharya, the STEC and K.K.Rahulan Awards, etc. The Ashtanga Rathna Award (Best Doctor Award for the total contribution to Ayurveda) by Govt. of Kerala was given to Sri. Thirumulpad in 2007. 

In the demise of Shri. Raghavan Thirumulpad, Kerala lost a very learned Ayurveda physician, scholar, writer and a devoted Gandhian.


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Comment by kmlakshmy on November 25, 2011 at 2:08pm

but he is not kottarathil raghavan thirumulpad,k stands for 'kizhakke madham.'

Comment by kmlakshmy on November 25, 2011 at 1:57pm

it is so nice to meet you here.we havent actually been able to come to terms with the loss of our father. it is so soothing to meet people like you.

Comment by K. R. Narayanan on November 25, 2011 at 4:17am
I know him ever sine I was in the College. I am Rajan's college mate and friend. Grandson of Jail Supdt. Ganapthy Iyer of Irinjalakuda
Comment by kmlakshmy on November 24, 2011 at 9:11am

thank you very much for remembering my father.i would like to know how you are connected with him.

Comment by മധു ബാലകൃഷ്ണന്‍ on November 17, 2011 at 12:00pm

good article sir, tks for sharing this valuable one.

Comment by Ajay on November 17, 2011 at 11:59am

Sir, while on this I remember the old method of examinations conducted by the Ayurvedic gurukuls. It goes like this, when the Guru feels that his student has gathered enough score points to be a Vaidya, he would call him and request him to bring as many herbs as possible which does not have medicinal quality. Most of them return with somany in their hands, and are religiously disqualified. Only those students who would return without a single herb would qualify , as the moral goes, every single herb mother nature provided has a medicinal value.


Good to remember such eminent personalities sir, thanks for sharing


Comment by C.P.Krishnakumar on November 17, 2011 at 10:19am

Nice article on a great human being. Thanks to Mr.Narayanan for writing this note.




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