Salient features of the 1st Volume:
In this book the original Sanskrit text of Cakrapani commentary has also being composed and then
translated sentence wise into English in a systematic manner for better understanding by all the
This book is having the unique feature of presentation of nearly 700 illustrations and tables
wherever necessary for easy remembrance of subject.
The Nyayas (maxims) mentioned by the commentator have been explained in detail in the text box
separately to highlight their importance in understanding various concepts for the benefit of P.G.
This book is also supplemented with the following Annexure
Important essay questions and short notes.
Important Slokas to be learnt by heart.
Alphabetical index of herbs along with their botanical names.
Glimpses of Caraka Samhita Satrasthana
Rare pictures of CharekhDanda
With changing times, the modes of learning and teaching Ayurveda are also changing. In the
era of institutionalized education, the ancient methods of learning have taken a back foot. With
students of Ayurveda coming from the background of Science, where illustrations and detailed
descriptions are the norm, they find it difficult to cope with the sutra style of depiction found in the
ancient classics. Due to this contrast in methodology of writing of books, the students often find it
difficult to be in sync with the texts. The commentaries of the classics are also written in similar
method and due to the high level of proficiency in Sanskrit required to understand the commentaries
owing to the absence of translations, it is often out of the domain of an average student of Ayurveda.
Thus, it is the need of the hour to write books which can help such students of Ayurveda to go the
depths of the Sastra and understand the commentaries. The illustrative approach used in the book
also aids the beginner to comprehend the subject in a much easier way. This style of writing will
certainly connect the new generation Ayurveda students to the Vedic knowledge in a proficient
I wish to congratulate the attempt of the author, Dr. R. Vidyanath, Retired Professor and HOD
Ayurveda Samhita, Dr. B.R.K.R. Govt. Ayurvedic College, Hyderabad to make the Sastra adept to
the modem world through his scholarly work. I hope this work will be of great help to all the stake-
holders of Ayurveda and will help them to understand the practice the Sastra in a better way.
Sound health is very much essential to achieve the four objectives of life such as Dharma
(virtue), Aretha (wealth), Kama (desires) and Moksa (salvation). Diseases are considered as the
destroyers of health and also act as stumbling blocks for attaining above mentioned four objectives
Thus once upon a time the sages having full of compassion for all creatures were assembled
in the auspicious valley of Himalayas and discussed about their miseries and then come to a
conclusion that the diseases are considered as the destroyers of health, wellbeing and life; and
found the solution by their intellectual vision.
Initially Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe revealed Ayurveda to Daksa Prajapati, and
Daksa taught it to the Asvins, the Vedic Gods of medicine, who in turn taught it to Indra. Thus the
science of Ayurveda in its entirety has been transmitted from Brahma to Indra successively.
Accordingly as deputed by the assembly, the sage Bharadvaja went to Indra and learned
Ayurveda. From Bharadvaja, Atreya and other great sages learnt it and passed on to their disciples.
Being it is too elaborate and hence it is difficult to understand by the people of present era who
are possessing short span of life and poor intellect. Keeping this in mind, sage Agnivesa composed
a treatise on Ayurveda which is neither too detailed nor too brief to understand even by the average
In course of time Agnivesa Tantra became mutilated and thus Caraka redacted and made
it suitable to study. Few centuries later, the extant Caraka Samhita has been again redacted by
Thus this work has passed through the following 3 stages.
Agnivesa wrote a treatise named Agnivesa Tantra through the teachings of Bhagavan Atreya
Caraka redacted the extant conditioned Agnivesa Tantra.
Drdhabala again redacted the mutilated work of Caraka
Atreya is the son of Atria Maharsi and he is a great teacher of Kayacikitsa. He learned the science
of life from the sage Bharadvaja and taught it to his disciples Agnivesa, Bhela, Jatakama,
Harita, Ksarapani etc. He is also known as Bhagavan Atreya, Punarvasu Atreya, Krisnatreya and
Candrabhaga. The time period of Atreya may be 1000 Be according to historians' opinion.
'Bhagavan' means the possessor of knowledge of creation and dissolution of the world; birth
and death of creatures and also both material and spiritual sciences. As Atreya possessed all the
above characteristics he is known as 'Bhagavan Atreya'.
Atreya's method of teaching
Punarvasu Atreya was adjudged as the best teacher from the methods he adopted to instruct his
students and for his arrangement and subject classification.
At the beginning of each lesson, Punarvasu Atreya announces the definite subject he proposes
to expand. Followed by it Agnivesa, brilliant among his disciplines, puts questions in order to
spotlight the salient features of the subject proposed. Afterwards the teacher while expanding these
salient points covers the whole field of the proposed subject. Occasionally, there are intelligent
interjections by Agnivesa asking for clarification on certain points.
Similarly after proposing the subject to be expounded, the disciples and other contemporary
scholars are invited to offer their individual views. For example: Discussions on the subject of Vata
(12th chapter of Siarasthana Ca. Samhita) and Rasa (26th chapter) are the best examples of this
After listening to the views of each of the learned persons participated in the discussion, Atreya
summarizes the entire deliberations and announces his final opinion.
Atreya's method of teaching is somewhat different from Socratic Method, known as teacher-
disciple dialogues. It is in its form more ancient and related to the Brahmanical method of discussion.
In the discussions, there is a true spirit of enquiry and desire for discovering and accepting the
truth on a subject without hostility.
The concepts of Trios and Pancamahavidya were fully explained by Atreya. The theory of
'Rasa' and its influences on metabolic and physiological functions and its application in therapeutics
The concept of Rasa, Gunja, Varya, Vipaka and Prabhava was explained scientifically. With the
above concepts medicine passed on from the empirical stage to the scientific stage. Hence Atreya
can be called the father of scientific medicine and the first preceptor to teach medicine scientifically
Agnivesa was the most intelligent among the six disciples of Atreya, and was the first man who
composed a treatise known as Agnivesa Tantra. It was declared as the best among all the treatises
composed by the disciples of Atreya.
Agnivesa Tantra originally consists of 12000 verses. Unfortunately the original text is not
available at present. It was redacted by Caraka and thereafter it became popular in the name of
Agnivesa was also known by the names such as Hutasa, Hutasavesa and Vahnivesa. Hutasa
and Vahni are the synonyms of Agni. Some formulations also can be seen in Gadanigraha in the
name Agnivesa viz. Changeri Ghrtam, Vasadyam Ghrtam, Satpala Ghrtam, Tiktaka Ghrtam,
Mahatiktaka Ghrtam, Tryasanddyam Ghrtam
The following works are written by him viz. Agnivesa Tantra, Aajana Nidana, and Nidana Sthana.
Besides these three, Agnivesa also wrote two more historical books viz., Ramayana Rahasya and
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
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