Doyen of Ayurveda and managing trustee of Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala Dr Panniyampilly Krishnankutty Warrier died in Kerala today, family sources said. He was 100. As per the sources, Dr Warrier breathed his last around noon.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of the “patriarch” of Ayurvedic medicine and said his contributions to popularise Ayurveda will always be remembered.
Dr PK Warrier
Dr Warrier was a prominent physician and a visionary who popularised the classical and authentic Ayurveda treatment across the world. Dr Warrier’s birth centenary celebrations were held on 8 June.
In his lifetime spanning a century, he treated tens of thousands of patients from across the globe and his patients included former presidents and former prime ministers of India and abroad.
The renowned Arya Vaidya Sala in Kottakkal near here and the Ayurveda Medical college flourished and became synonymous with Ayurveda after Dr Warrier took over the reins of the institution decades ago.
He was the youngest of their six children. He had his education from Raja’s High School, Kottakkal and Zamorin’s High School at Kozhikode. He studied Ayurveda in Arya Vaidya Pathasala (present Vaidyaratnam PS Varier Ayurveda College). He married (Late) Madhavikutty K Varier, a poet and a Kathakali writer. He has been Managing Trustee of the Arya Vaidya Sala (AVS) in Kottakal and was also AVS’s Chief Physician.
Dr Warrier has tried to propagate this holistic approach to the treatment of diseases through his writings and speeches, contributing heavily to contemporary medical literature. His writings, speeches and research papers have been compiled under the title ‘Padamudrakal’. In order to make the medicinal preparations more accurate, he established a research laboratory for the identification of medicinal plants and to ascertain the chemical identity of its pharmaceutical constituents. Now, this facility has grown into the Centre for Medicinal Plants Research, a full-fledged research institution.
He turned 100 in 2021. His 100th birthday was celebrated well by his friends and well-wishers, despite the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic. On 10 July 2021, a month after turning 100, he died suddenly at his home in Kottakkal.
Apart from his research activities initiated in the fields of drug standardization, drug development and process improvement, he authored and published several research papers in ethnopharmacology and Ayurveda. The five-volume treatise Indian Medicinal Plants – A Compendium of 500 Species, which he co-authored, amply represents his dedication to scientific research and documentation in Ayurveda.
In 1999, he was awarded an honorary D Litt by the University of Calicut. He has won Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for Biography and Autobiography for Smrithi Parvam in 2008. P.K. Warrier was awarded the 30th Dhanvanthri Award by the then Maharashtra Governor P. C. Alexander. Warrier received the Padma Shri in 1999 and the Padma Bhushan Award in 2010 from the Government of India for his contribution to Ayurveda. He celebrated his 100th birthday in 2021. Other notable awards include the “International Bhoopalman Singh Award” from Nepal, the “Dr Poulos Mar Gregorios Award” for his contribution to the development of Ayurveda and the ‘Management Leadership Award’ instituted by Kerala Management Association (KMA).
He was honoured with the Padma Shree in 1999 and Padma Bhushan in 2010.
Born to Sreedharan Namboodiri and Panniyampilly Kunhi Warrisyar on 5 June 1921, PK Warrier had his schooling in Kottakkal and joined KAS at the age of 20.
However, he was attracted to the freedom struggle during the Quit India movement and abandoned Ayurveda studies under the tutelage of his uncle and founder of KAS Vaidyaratnam PS Warrier.
However, Dr Warrier returned to studies after he realised that active politics was not his cup of tea.
Soon after completion of his studies, he joined the KAS as a trustee at the age of 24.
Leaders who condoled Dr Warrier’s death
Besides the prime minister, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, chief minister Pinararyi Vijayan and Speaker of the legislative assembly M B Rajesh also condoled Dr Warrier’s death.
The governor said, “As a physician, he was committed to the scientific pursuit of Ayurveda. He will be remembered for his matchless contribution to the modernisation of Ayurveda. As a humanist, he envisioned a life of good health and dignity for everyone in society.
“The demise of Dr Warrier is a great loss for medical sciences. My heartfelt condolences to his family and the Arya Vaidya Sala fraternity. May his soul attain Mukti”, he added.
Vijayan, in his message, said Warrier was instrumental in leading Ayurveda to global fame and it was due to his efforts that this field of medicine has gained international acceptance today.
Warrier worked towards ensuring that money should not be a barrier to treatment and from heads of state to the poor, he was approached by all for treatment.
“He was the patriarch of Ayurveda in Kerala,” the chief minister said.
Assembly Speaker MB Rajesh, condoling Warrier’s death, said that he made great contributions to Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala and was instrumental in making Ayurveda a therapeutic discipline and giving it a strong place in modern education.
Health Minister Veena George, in her message, said, “We have lost the patriarch of Ayurveda”.
Kerala Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala also condoled Warrier’s death and said that his name will always be remembered as the physician who brought the greatness of Ayurveda to the world.
BJP state president K Surendran also offered condolences on the death of Warrier. “PK Warrier was a person who made his mark in the healthcare sector,” he said.