Prof. M.S. Krishnamurthy, born in Muliya-Alike, Bantwal Taluk, South Kanar District, Karnataka completed his initial education from prestigious Institution of Karnataka-Sri Sathya Sai Loka seva Education Trust (R) Alike. He completed his BAMS with IInd Rank and Gold Medal from ALN Rao memorial Ayurvedic medical college, Koppa and Post graduation MD (Ayu.) in Bhaishajya Kalpana in 2002, from IPGT and R, Jamnagar. His PG, Dissertation grabbed best thesis award (2002-Pune). He started his career as a lecturer in Alva’s Ayurved medical college, Moodbidri. During the period he got selected in UPSC (2000), CCRAS (2001) and Medical Officer (Direct recruitment-2005 Karnataka). But he continued as an Academician in the Ayurvedic College itself.
The Author obtained his Ph.D. from NIA, Jaipur (2008) under the able guidance of Prof. L.K. Dwivedi for his work entitled “Pharmaco-chemical study of Takrarista and its SOP standardization.”
The author is also has the credit of young scientist Award (1999), National Congress on Traditional Medicine, Varanasi, and Bharateeya Vijnana Parishada Puraskar (2001-2005).
Presently, he is working as a Professor and HOD, PG Department of Bhashajya Kalpana, Alva’s Ayurveda Medical College, Moodbidri, Karnataka. He is a reviewer for many of the indexed journals and has published more than 20 scientific papers in National and International journals.
Basavarajeeyam is a noble work of renowned Ayurvedic physician of Andhra Pradesh Shree Neelakanta Basavaraja Kottoru. Even now it is used as a handbook by the practitioners of South India, especially in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka. The book is complete in 25 prakaranas (chapters). The book gives due emphasis to the Nadi pareeksha-Pulse examination, Mutra pareeksha-Urine examination, Visha nidana-Poisoning and its remedies, Karma vipaka-effects of bad deeds of various diseases and Rasa shastric drugs. Several successful simple preparations of his experience are also quoted in Telugu verses.
On the whole, Basavarajeeyam is a large compendium of Ayurvedic patho-physiology and therapeutics on various diseases.
This voluminous book is translated into English in a simple and lucid way to the benefit of the Ayurvedic scholars and practitioners by distinguished writer Prof. M.S. Krishnamurthy. The appendices and foot notes given by the translator will help the enthusiast reader to locate exact point of interests and to get clear view of the principles and concepts.
As the evolvement of Ayurveda took place gradually, several newer herbs and formulations were also incorporated by the great Acharyas of Ayurveda in their therapeutics. According to the ‘kaarya-kaarana siddhanta’, newer signs and symptoms were also noticed among the patients in their routine practice. The fundamental principles of the diseases have not changed but based upon their observation and necessity to differentiate the particular illness from the usual classical disorders, they gave name for the newer symptom complexes too. Well appreciated classical compendium-Basavarajeeyam appears to be the typical evidence for the above said particulars.
In this juncture, it becomes apt to quote thus evolved classical books in various geographical areas (presently differentiated as the political province) like Sahasrayoga in Kerala, Vaidya sara sangraha in Karnataka, Rasachandamshu in Maharashtra etc. the formulations in this text have evolved based upon the availability of the herbs and manifestation of the diseases in the particular region.
In fact, these texts got mass appreciation among the physicians of that particular province due to their easy availability and gunshot remedies. Even though such manuscripts or books got popularity, it couldn’t be popularized throughout the country due to language barrier and less available print media.
Basavarajeeyam is a similar work carried in Andhra Pradesh. The author Basavaraja belonged to Shree Neelakanta Vamsha, Aradhya clan and he was the disciple of Aradhya Rama deshika and the son of Vaidya Namashivaya. Being a good compendium of Ayurvedic pharmaceutics and therapeutics the book remained in dark for several decades. Pandit Govardhana Sharma Changani Ji, edited, corrected, translated references of Andhra language into Sanskrit (Bhavarth) also, published into Devanagari Script and made it available throughout the country. Hence, today we should appreciate them for popularizing this text.
Even though few of the Hindi translations of Basavarajeeyam have been carried in recent past, there was a requirement of English translation of this book to meet the need of the days.
My beloved disciple Dr. M.S. Krishnamurthy made this effort a successful one. His dedication in completing this task in a most noble way makes me proud. Through review of the original text, inclusion of the notes and annexure in respective places will surely make the readers to appreciate this valuable book. This translation has filled a long persisting vacuum in better understanding of the subjects of the original text.
I wholeheartedly congratulate the author for contributing to the science. I look forward for more such fruitful works from Prof. Murthy in near future.
Age old health science Ayurveda got enriched in due course of time period. According to the need, the scholars of Ayurveda went on narrating the simpler but elaborative descriptions which are helpful in the understanding of the basic principles of Ayurveda. Likewise the Acharyas have tried hard to explore various measures of understanding the illness, estimating the aetio-pathology, the diagnosis of the diseases and their prognosis. Similarly, the innovative minds explored similar guidelines in the treatment of these disorders. The Acharyas have never left behind even in updating the formulations of therapeutic importance and quicker therapeutic efficiency. According to the necessity and feasibility, they incorporated locally available newer drugs in their personal practices. As they came to interact with other scholars of the time, on mutual discussion and understanding and thorough discussion, some corrections/modifications were also made and newer recipes were developed. Hence it took the shape of newer therapeutics. Thus one can appreciate various therapeutic compendiums in various parts of our country. Sahasrayoga of Kerala, Vaidyasara sangraha of Karnataka, Rasachandamshu of Maharashtra are the true results of such comprehensive works of those time period.
Basavarajeeyam is a similar work in Andhra Pradesh, perhaps which was codified in 17th-18th century. The author is the expert of Ayurveda and he was born in noble family of physicians. He mentions himself as a moon in the ocean of Neelakanta Vamsha. The author belonged to Aradhya clan and he was the disciple of Aradhya Rama deshika and the son of Vaidya Namashivaya. Through review of the colophon of the text hides out that Nilkanta Kotturu Basavaraja is his full name and he was belonged to Nidimanidi School of Bhagi cult.
No universal opinion is drawn so far regarding his place and date. Even though some scholars like Pandit Govardha Sharma Changari opine that he was belonged to Karnataka, no verses are found in Kannada language throughout the text; also, no classical or colloquial words of Kannada are mentioned with regards to any of the drug or diseases. In contrary to that hundreds together Telugu verses are scattered in this text. This strongly suggests that he spent most of his time in Andhra Pradesh. Prof. Dr. Nishteshwar too gives sufficient inputs to substantiate the above stand point. Further, on thorough review and research he affirms that he lived in Telangana District and in particular in the areas like Mahaboobnagar and Nalagonda. Probably he spent his last days at Kotturu village of Bellary district (Karnataka).
Vaidya Govardhana Changani concluded that Basavarajeeyam was written before the rule of Bijjalas’s time period. Ie 12th century A.D. Even though Acharya Priyavrat Sharma and Atrideva Vidyalankar have laid the same opinion, further references of the text is nowhere found in any of the texts codified during the period of 13th-15th Century AD. Also three more mile stones can be determined with respect to the time period based upon the external evidences. ie Firstly Basavaraju quoted Rasaratnakara text, which was written by Siddha Nityanantha, who lived in the time period of 1350 AD. Secondly, the author Basavaraju referred Kashikhanda of Srinatha Pandit (1430 AD). Thirdly Basavaraja reproduced certain chapters and contents of Vaidya chintamani as such, or more or less taking similar versions of this text. Whole of Karmavipaka is reproduced from the text of Vallabhacharya, whose time period is determined to be 15th century AD. Thus the time period of the text can be fixed around 16th-17th century AD.
Prof. Dr. Nishteshwar has a strong point of determine the time period of Basavaraju around 1764-1797 AD, taking into consideration of means of measurements quoted in the texts (refer: Coinage of India, Herbs in Vasavarajeeyam, Dr. K. nishteshwar, First edition -2003, published by Choukambbha Surabharati Prakashan, Varanasi)
The long list of about 52 books cited in the text (Ref: Basavarajeeyam, 1st Prakarana/6-12) too stands as internal evidence to determine the time period of this text.
(Inspite of adoption of different verses from various texts, their mis-match found in the reference especially with regards to Madhava Nidana, Charaka Samhita, Vagbhata etc gives much confusion regarding its originally too. But it will be prejudice to point out such mistakes/errors; much dedication, keen supervision and thorough compilation of the literatures may helpful to overcome such wrong citations/references).
Such an elaborative work remained in dark (in the form of manuscripts only) till 1913. For the first time, in 1913 it was published in telugu scripts by Shree Balakrishna Rao in Hindu Ratnakara press in Chennai. The work was edited by Late Shree Puvvada Suryanarayana with the help of a team of Telugu Pandits and physicians. From the text, it is known that two great scholars namely Sri Nivrithi Veeraswamy Sastrulu (Kanchipuram) and Shree Ghoorjara Jayakrishna Das (Shrirangapattanam) made significant efforts in redacting the versions of the text.
The first edition of the text got much popularity among the practitioners of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Due to its good practical approach, even the Northern Indian physicians started accepting the text. In this regard, significant work made by Pandith Govardhana Sharma Changani (1930) is worth memorable, who translated the text into Sanskrit. Thus the true credit of popularizing the text should go to Late Govardhana Changaniji.
As Shri Changaniji was a non-teulgu person, several spell mistakes intruded in this book. Also many words are translated inappropriately. Even though Telugu scholar Shri Nallagunda Vara Hanumantha Shasthry assisted in the codification, redaction and translation of this text, how such gross mistakes remained in the text is a mystifying query of the later physicians.
This stupendous task of English translation of Basavarajeeyam was suggested to me by my preceptor Prof. L.K. Dwivedi, when I was doing my Doctoral work under him (2005). Meanwhile I appealed him regarding my poor knowledge about telugu. Luckily my friend and colleague Dr. Ravi Rao Sorake came forward to assist in the translation of those verses. It is indeed a boon to meet Dr. Venkateshwaralu of CCRAS Bangalore who was my teacher during my graduation. He assured me regarding the supervision and verification of those telugu parts of the text and thus helped me to elucidate some of the controversial and uncleared versions hidden in my mind. Indeed I am grateful to both these scholars for their timely help, critical comments and constant encouragement.
Meanwhile I could able to get a copy of Hindi translation of Basavarajeeyam, published by CCRAS (2007) (Vd. V. Rangacharya, Dr. G.S Lavekar., Dr. Ala Narayan and Dr. Bhuvanesh Kumar Sharma). This helped me to verify my poor knowledge of telugu and to rectify the still remained technical and botanical identity of the drugs. I am highly subservient for these scholars.
While doing the translation work, I was in need of several scripts of Basavarajeeyam. In this regard, my friends Dr. Prasanna Venkatesh (Mysore), Dr. Rajendra Mouni (Kolar), Dr. Shreevatsa (Mysore) and Prof. Dr. Sathyanarayan (Manipal) made if feasible by providing sufficient inputs to this endeavour. I submit my heart-felt thanks to them.
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