Some Reflections on Repertory

homeopathic medicine

Dr. Tilottama Galande, a teacher of repertory, shares some reflections on repertory from her 22 years in practice.

Being a university approved teacher of repertory from 1994 till today, I have witnessed a huge transformation in the subject of repertory, in India. Way back in 1994, when I started teaching the subject, there were no textbooks as such. There were reference books for few to refer to, and the articles in I.C.R Symposium Volumes.  There were very few in print and they were difficult to procure. I had to study each repertory with some help from the reference books if available. Fortunately, my teachers guided me a lot whenever I had queries, including how to approach each repertory. We learned and studied repertory as a subject (with various repertories ).  Repertory as a subject is taught in the final year of graduation when all the pre clinical and para clinical subjects have been covered by then. So, repertory is an “all” inclusive subject , from case taking -> diagnosing -> analysis of symptoms -> totality formation -> selection of a repertory ( book) ->, forming the “ reportorial totality ” -> conversion of symptom to rubric -> selection of rubrics  -> P.D.F ** -> miasmatic cleavage/analysis -> remedy differentiation ->  selection of remedy ->  selection of potency -> repetition of dose -> auxiliary management of the case -> follow-up -> remedy reaction and remedy relationship.

The late Dr. D. P. Rastogi , my P.G Guide , would often say, “ You should have a Repertory in your right hand , materia medica in the left hand, but Organon in your HEAD and only then can you practice Homoeopathy”.

The Synthetic  Repertory (Barthel & Klunker) should be considered as the turning point , after which lots of newer repertories appeared. With 16 sources , and many flaws, Synthetic Repertory is a repertory of Generals . All the later ones have boasted the number of contributors or sources and the expansion of the data.

In 2007, I attended a seminar by a renowned author of a repertory along with my colleagues and seniors. We were taken aback by what happened in the seminar.  The speaker started to state some symptoms and a group in the audience (probably the followers ) would shout back the rubrics. This went on for a very long time and it took a while for all of us (lesser mortals ) to realize what was happening in the hall.

Recently I did a C.C.A.H course, where the master would keep taking “n” number of rubrics or “references” from the software.  One of his repertory teachers would come up with cures after selecting just one perfect rubric having that one perfect remedy.  Today in India, there are many groups or gurus who have their teachings and method of practicing homoeopathy and they all have huge followers. I guess it’s become a fashion to practice homoeopathy by this or that method.

Hahnemann himself was very critical about repertory, as he did not want it to be a mere index. For a teacher like me, who has been teaching about how repertory was elevated from being a mere index, a collection of data or dictionary, to a system, the present situation seems like going back to the beginning of the beginning of repertory.

The student’s / followers hop from one seminar to the next, or may join the other group. There are some students who tell me that they have done courses and have followed all of them and now know everything in homoeopathy.

It is always necessary to update to the current knowledge.  It is also important to broaden the scope and horizon of every science and likewise research and updating the data is essential for the development of homoeopathy and repertory.

It is unfortunate to see that homoeopathy is often no longer Hahnemannian. Hahnemann in his Organon of Philosophy strongly condemns “Transcendental Speculations” and has conducted scientific provings of drugs (not relying empirical knowledge).  Hahnemann also differentiated “Totality of Symptoms ” from the “Sum Total of Symptoms ”. One cannot practice homoeopathy without following the fundamental laws of homoeopathy. It seems like Hahnemann ‘s teachings have lost their validity in the present trends in teaching of homoeopathy .

Though the data in repertory is growing exponentially day by day, its use is being brought down to the level of a mere index. To each his own, but if a practice is not based on the principles of homoeopathy, should it still be considered Homoeopathy?  My teacher, Dr. M. P. Arya would say that no remedy is homoeopathic, if not given on the principles of Homoeopathy.



About the author

Dr. Tilottama.B. Galande

Dr. Tilottama.B. Galande

Dr. Tilottama B. Galande hs been practicing Homoeopathy since 1992 and teaching Repertory since 1994. She has twenty year experience in clinical practice and is presently working as a Post Graduate Guide at D.Y Patil Homoeopathic Medical College. She is also a University of Pune and Maharashtra University of Health Science Approved teacher and examiner in Repertory.

10 Comments

  • My personal observation is very simple.
    1. The earlier repertoire were reflecting clinical issues of the day. Since we have evolved in diseases, the older books may be useful to patients living simple lives, eating organic foods and suffering mainly from infectious diseases. The industrialized countries suffer from more complex rubrics and most symptoms in repertory are irrelevant.
    2. Most of the repertory users believe that they possesses great armament to fight diseases. It’s just a sports at best to do sorting. Otherwise, poor patients would be going to homeopaths for complex chronic diseases.
    3. There is a need shake up the whole system, it’s pharmacopeia, pharmacy, materia medica, case taking and analysis to address the current situation.

  • I thoroughly agree with you Sir , we do need to do a lot to update Homoeopathy but on scientific basis. On the basis of the Principles of Homoeopathy if we grow we will remain a rational system . There have always been many schools of thoughts in the history of Homoeopathy but what we need today is scientific , authentic growth of the system .

  • Great newer so called remedies sxs rubrics should be removed from our repertories.Van.bouninghause is rt one yet?90+ hamann remedies are sufficient to become a successfull clini ian of hpthy

    • It is not the number of remedies but the authenticity of the remedies and the judicious selection of rubrics and repertories. I have had a teacher practicing with mostly polycrest remedies but had very good result and practice

  • Thank you and what you say is interesting, and echoed by many, but I would love to read a more comprehensive text from your years of repertory work illustrating these points, and especially cases, this would be most interesting, educational and enlightening

    • Definitely ! Well , honestly I wanted to write about the present situation and current teachings of Repertory . As a teacher it is painful to see so many new , willing Homoeopathic practitioners being drawn into a big market , which does more harm than help.

  • DEAR DR,
    YOUR ARTICLE IS INTRESTING BUT I EXPECTED SOME PRACTICAL, VALUABLE TIPS FROM YOU BEING A TEACHER OF LONG EXPERIENCE AND EXAMINER OF POST GRADUATE STUDIES IN REPERTORY.
    THANKS
    DR C S GUPTA

    • Dear Sir, I wanted to write about the present situation and current teachings of Repertory . As a teacher it is painful to see so many new , willing Homoeopathic practitioners being drawn into a big market , which does more harm than help. A teacher should not restrict teaching to only syllabus and exam.

  • Thank you Prof. Galande for your reflexions. They are very timely. Your analogy of the Repertory being nothing more than a dictionary is right on point: the advent of the dictionary did not make Shakespeare of us all! Working on improving our Repertories is a necessary pursuit that needs to be done intelligently as some rubrics are useless to us (for example: agg. riding in a carriage) and some mean nothing (many dreams that are symbolic to the patient don’t translate to a rubric directly).

    Plugging in a series of rubrics in a computer is like assembling a human with body parts stacked one on top of the other. It may have worked for Picasso on canvas, but I doubt any one would be happy walking around looking that way.

    Since you know more about the different Repertories than most of us, a column of tips (just one or two each month) would be most welcome.

    • Very correctly said !! Repertory is a tool to be used judiciously to serve it’s purpose. I will definitely try to come up with tips or articles if you want me to . I am open for suggestions if any. Thank You !!

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