The Legacy of Caraka, Susruta, and Vagbhata - The Three Masters of Ayurveda (Set of 3 Volumes)

Item Code: NAG697
Author: M.S.Valiathan
Publisher: Orient Longman Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2011
Pages: 2481 (10 B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.0 inch X 6.0 inch
Weight 3 kg
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Book Description
The Legacy of Caraka
Back of the Book

ISBN: 9788173716676

Caraka, the master physician, is believed to have lived in the first century AD. The Samhita composed by him forms the bedrock of ayurvedic practice today. His contribution to India's cultural inheritance was profound.

Caraka Samhita was, in fact, a revision of an older text Agnivesa Tantra, which was written several centuries before Caraka's time. Caraka's revision became so popular that it was translated into Tibetan, Arabic, English and many Indian languages. The Legacy of Caraka retells the Samhita in a new format. Instead of adhering to the sequence of the Sthanas in the original, the author has retold the Samhita through thematically structured chapter, in contemporary idiom. The retelling has involved some degree of restructuring and condensation but ha ensured that whatever is stated can be traced back to the original. In a detailed introduction, the author has commented on specific of view of modern medicine.

This book will be special interest to students of Ayurveda, medicine and other sciences, and those interested in the history of science in India.

About the Author

A native of Kerala, Dr. MS Valiathan received his medical education in India and subsequent training in surgery and cardiac surgery in the UK and USA. During a career spanning three decades as a cardiac surgeon and investigator, his major interests were cardiac surgery in children, studies on a tropical heart muscle disease and the development of cardiovascular devices. His contributions in these areas are embodied in a monograph and many scientific papers. A Vice-Chancellorship followed before he took up the study of the Caraka Samhita as Homi Bhabha Senior Fellow at the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Karnataka, India.

Dr. Valiathan is married to Ashima, an orthodontist. They have a daughter, Manna, and a son Manish.


  An appreciation  
  List of illustrations  
  List of Illustrations  
I Caraka and his legacy I
  Historical Caraka - Philosophical moorings - Medical science - Pharmacology - Practice of medicine - Caraka the teacher - human destiny  
II Atharva Veda to Caraka xvii
  Atharvan echoes in Caraka - Human body in Atharva Veda  
III Diseases in Caraka's period xxiii
  Infectious diseases and infected conditions (disgestive disorders, fever, leprosy, smallpox, pulmonary TB, abscess, cellulites, sores) - Non-infectious diseases (seizures, piles, gaseous lumps, heart diseases, alcohol-related disorders, pallor, polyuria, bleeding disorders, insanity)  
IV Doctrines and concepts l
  Five constituents of matter (pancabhuta) - Three dosas (tridosa) A regimen dictated by seasons (rtucarya) - Natural urges (vegas)  
V Five evacuative procedures (pancakarma) lxiv
VI Procedures for rejuvenation and enhanced virility (Rasayana and vajikarana) lxviii
VII Medicinal Plants lxx
  Classification - Mechanism of action - Preparation of formulations - Anti-dosa plants  
VIII Food and drinks lxxvii
XI Habitat lxxx
X Learning to be a physician lxxxii
Section 1
  Mind and matter; life and death; health and disease; food and drugs; a code of living; a physician's calling  
1 Ayurveda 1
  Branches of Ayurveda - Categories in Ayurveda - Equilibrium of dhatus - Equilibrium of dosas - Settling disturbed equilibrium of dosas - Summary of drug formulations  
2 Drugs formulations in therapeutics 15
3 Sense perception and well-being 20
  Oiling the body - Role of smoking, food, sexual intercourse, general conduct, traditions  
4 Life in accord with the seasons 30
5 Suppression of natural urges;
comments on physical miscellany
6 The medical quartet 39
  Types of physicians - Forecasting outcome  
7 Three desires, means of knowledge and some triads 44
  Means of knowledge (authority, perception, inference and reasoning) - Rebirth -Disease and treatment (triads of life, strength, causation, action, time, diseases, disease channels, physician and treatment)  
8 Lubricants in therapeutics 53
  Action - Candidates for therapy - Administration - Basis of dosage - Method of therapy  
9 Fomentation 59
  Choice of candidate - Techniques  
10 Evacuative therapy 65
  A house for therapy - Two forms of therapy  
11 Imbalance of dosas - varied expressions 73
  Disorders of the head - Disorders of the heart - Abscesses - Swellings - Imbalance of dosas  
12 Slimming and building up in therapeutics 84
13 Obesity and leanness; stray remarks on sleep 88
  Obesity - Leanness -Sleep  
14 Blood 92
  Narcosis - Fainting - Coma  
15 Food as the source of man and his diseases 95
  Origin of man and his diseases - Food as the source - Wholesome and unwholesome food  
16 Rasas 100
  Evolution and attributes - Six rasas -Action of tastes - Antagonisms in foods  
17 Food and drink 110
  Food - Drink - Water - Post-prandial drinks  
18 the fate of food and drinks in the body 140
  Food and drink - Dhatus as targets of dosa perturbation  
19 Physicians - genuine and fraudulent 144
20 Rasas, dosas and a healthful diet 146
  rasa-dosa interaction - Downstream aspects - Dietetic rules  
21 Epidemics; reflections on lifespan 151
22 Norms for the quantity of meals 156
23 Body - a network of channels 159
  Flow through body channels - The heart and its ten great vassels  
24 Disease - Manifold expressions of deranged dosas 163
25 Infestation by worms (krmi) 166
  Evacuative measures for intestinal and head worms - Eradicative measures  
26 Training of a physician - theory, practice and ethics 169
  The physician at the bedside - the body of the patient - Initiation of treatment -Drugs for evacuative therapy  
27 The body and its knower 184
  The individual (mind, sense organs, intellect, prakrti) - The self - the supreme Self -Causes of sorrow and disease  
28 Conception 191
  Begetting a child - A religious ceremony - Perturbed dosas - Early pregnancy and gender of the baby-Signs and symptoms of pregnancy - The self and the embryo  
29 Genesis of the embryo 195
30 Pregnancy - fetal development, anomalies and personality types 198
  pregnancy (sequential development of fetus) - Fetal development and anomalies - Personality types  
31 Antenatal and postnatal management 204
  The fetus and the course of pregnancy - Antenatal care - Miscarriage - A house for delivery - Childbirth -After delivery - Breastfeeding - The nursery  
32 The individual and the cosmos 215
33 A count of body parts 218
  Skin, the body frontier - The parts of the body - Bones - Sense organs - Vital principles - Viscera - The body essences  
34 The spectre of death 223
  Warning signs - Sudden death - Prognostic role of a house call  
Section 2
  Rejuvenant and virile therapy; diseases and the regimens for treatment  
35 Rejuvenant therapy (rasayana) 233
  Celestial origin -Two regimens for rejuvenation (intramural and extramural) - Rasayana formulations - Rasayana formulation with metals  
36 virile therapy (vajikarana) 243
37 Fevers (jvara) 251
  Causation - Classification and clinical features - treatment - Other fevers  
38 Pitta-induced bleeding disorders (Rakta pitta) 269
  Cause - Clinical features - Clinical outcome - Treatment  
39 Gaseous and hemorrhagic
lumps of the abdomen (gulma)
  Five types of lumps -Signs and symptoms - formulations in treatment - Abdominal lumps in women  
40 Polyurias (pramehas) 285
  Kaphaja Prameha - Pittaja Prameha - Vataja Prameha - Treatment - General measures  
41 Skin disorders including leprosy (kustha) 292
  Causation - Seven types of kustha - Other skin disorders (ksudra kusthas) - Treatment  
42 Phthisis (sosa) 302
  Causes - Premonitory signs and clinical course - Body processes as the basis of clinical features - Treatment  
43 Insanity (unmada) 310
  Classification on the basis of causation - Treatment  
44 Epilepsy (apasmara) 317
  Clinical features - Treatment - Delusional state in epilepsy - Disease begetting disease  
45 chest injuries and their sequelae (ksata ksina) 323
  Clinical features - Treatment - Diet - Formulations  
46 Swelling (svayathu) 328
  Classification - Sites - Treatment  
47 Abdominal disease with distension (udara) 328
  Classification - Treatment  
48 Piles (arsa) 348
49 Digestion and digestive disorders (grahani) 359
  Digestion - Digestive disorders - Treatment  
50 Disorders of pallor (panduroga) (anemias) 371
  Kamala - Earth eating (pica) - Jaundice with white stools  
51 Hiccup; shortness of breath (hikka; svasa) 377
  Causes and mechanisms - Types - Management  
52 Cough (atisara) 396
  Cause - Management  
53 Diarrhea (atisara) 396
  Types - Management  
54 Vomiting (chhardi) 405
  causes - Management  
55 Cellulitis (visarpa) 410
  Types - Clinical features - Management  
56 Thirst (trsna) 420
  Clinical Feature -Management  
57 Poisoning (visa) 425
  Types - Qualities - Clinical course - Clinical features - snakes and snake bite - Bites by spiders and other creatures - Procedures - Other measures of management - Suspected bites - Homicidal poisoning  
58 Alcoholic disorders (madatyaya) 440
  Proper and other uses - Clinical features - Management - Complications  
59 Sores and injuries (vrana) 448
  Causes - Classifications - Clinical features - Clinical course - Treatment  
60 Three regional disorders
bastic, hrdaya and siras
  Vital regions (marmas) of the body - Disorders of the vital regions - Disorders of the head - Pelvis - Heart region and chest disorders - the head region  
61 Numb and immobile thighs (urustambha) 478
62 Disorders of perturbed vata (vatavyadhi) 482
  Clinical features - treatment - Mixed types - Wrapping  
63 Disorders of perturbed vata and blood (vatasonita) 495
  Clinical features and types - Treatment  
64 Disorders of the reproductive system; reflections on the principles of therapeutics 503
  Disorders of the female genital organs - Disorders of breast milk (ksira dosa) - Seminal disorders and impotence (sukradosa) - Principles of therapeutics  
65 Drugs for evacuation (emetics and purgatives) 520
  Emetics - Purgatives - Preparations/formulations  
66 Evacuative procedures (pancakarma) and formulations 545
  Emesis an purgation (general guidelines, complications and management) - Head evacuation - Suitable and unsuitable clinical conditions for evacuation (emesis, purgation) - Enema (non - lubricant, lubricant) - Head evacuation - Enemas (general conditions, procedural details, formulations for non-lubricant and lubricant enemas) - Complication of enemas and guidelines for management - Special enemas - Post-evacuation management  
  Epilogue 584
  Botanical names 585
  Glossary 600
  Index 629

The Legacy of Susruta

ISBN: 9788173716669

Since The Legacy of Caraka was published three years ago it has drawn the favourable notice of reviewers and accounted for three new impressions and a translation into Malayalam. It was against this rosy background that friends, especially Dr Kuttykrishnan Nair of Thiruvananthapuram two reviewers and my wife Ashima urged me to write a similar volume on the Susruta Samhita which ranks in authority with Caraka's. I was persuaded that the welcome accorded to y Caraka study had not a little to do with its thematic approach would be appropriate in a book on the Susruta Samhita. Fortunately the use of a simpler and later version of Sanskrit, more logical presentation of material and the overall surgical orientation of the text made the study of the Susruta Samhita less difficult and less time-consuming than my Caraka endeavour. Apart from thematically arranged material which leaves out none of the chapters of the original and the tabular presentation of data, The Legacy of Susruta also features a large number of figures to illustrate events, instruments, anatomy and a variety of procedures.

I was introduced to the Susruta Samhita through Kaviraj Kunjalal Bhishagratna's classic and highly readable edition which continues to be popular. However, I found that a more accurate and contemporary understanding of the original was provided by using Professor P V Sharma's translation in association with Dalhana's Nibandhasangraha commentary. My practice throughout was to study the original on my own for rearranging the vast and carried material and to follow up by reading the translation and commentary before writing my text. I have differed from them here and there and clarified the description of several surgical procedures. I have made no attempt to survey the extensive literature on the Susruta Samhita (it would have been a pedantic exercise) and have confined myself to an overview of Susruta's times and contributions in the introductory essay as I did in The Legacy of Caraka. I am well aware that readers are less interested in what other say about Susruta than in what he himself had said.

My effort received a major boost by my appointment as a National Research Professor when the study was in progress. I am grateful to the Government of India for this singular honour and hopeful that the Professorship may, by a subtle alchemy, graduate into a national science initiative for research in ayurveda unburdened by herbal product development and global marketing. I was fortunate tht may endeavour caught the attention of Dr P K Warrier, the much-admired Managing Trustee and Chief Physician of the Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal who laid me under a debt of obligation by offering whole-hearted cooperation. It was on his suggestion that Dr K Rajagopalan of Kollam, a consultant to the Arya Vaidya Sala, agreed to review my manuscript. A reputed senior physician who migrated to ayurveda from modern medicine, he is recognized widely for his profound scholarship of Brhatrayi. His insistence on fidelity to the original which he could often quote from memory, and his friendly demenour made my discussions with him in Kottakkal an enjoyable experience. Apart from allowing me free access to the Arya Vaidya Sala library, Dr Warrier also introduced me to Dr C Ramankutty of the Arya Vaidya Sala who is an ayurvedic physician, a meticulous scholar and an authority on medicinal plants. Dr Ramankutty liberally and cheerfully checked the accuracy of references and diacritical marks in my manuscript, prepared the botanical names of plant, formulated on index and also corrected the proofs. I have no words to thank these two outstanding scholars for their expert assistance. The Kottakkal team also included Dr T S Murali, Chief of R&D, who made sure that the arrangements for travel, meetings and exchange of information were always efficient and faultless. To all my friends in the Arya Vaidya Sala I owe a debt of gratitude.

I am grateful to Dr Ramdas Pai, President of Manipal Academy of Higher Education for continuing to provide excellent facilities for my study in the academically vibrant atmosphere of Manipal. Mr. Abraham Joy prepared the illustrations for the present volume based on whatever information and drawings were available in the literature and on his own innovative ideas. His drawings have enlivened the book, for which he deserves my sincere thanks.

I am beholden to Professor Jyotir Mitra of Banaras Hindu University for enlightening me on Panini's references to Susruta, to Dr K Sasidharan, Professor Urology, for drawing my attention to the revival of the perineal approach of Susruta by Gadhvi for prostatectomy and to Dr Suresh Pillai, Associate Professor of ENT, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, who supplied the sketches for nose repair based on the terse account of Susruta. Special thanks are due to Ms Usha Kamath who typed and retyped the voluminous manuscript and kept track of files with admirable patience and efficiency as papers moved in and out between Manipal, Kottakkal and the publisher's office in Chennai. Last, but not least, I acknowledge gratefully the editorial assistance and support of Ms Padmaja Anant of Orient Longman Private Limited.

The Samhitas of Caraka and Susruta are timeless classics whose authority was acknowledged by the great Vagbhata many centuries ago. Their Forerunners-Agnivesatantra and Susrutatantra-and many other ancient texts are lost, probably forever. We should be thankful that the Samhitas are still with us and their language can be understood unlike the script of Mohenjo-daro which smiles enigmatically but remains indecipherable. We are Fortunate that we can not only read what Caraka and Susruta wrote but can also discover ourselves and out lives 'in sickness and in health' in what they wrote so very long ago.



About the Book:


The Legacy of Susruta

Susruta's name is synonymous with India's surgical inheritance. A legendary figure, he is believed to have lived and taught in Varanasi several centuries before the Buddha, and composed the Susrutatantra which became a timeless medical classic. Though the original text was lost long ago a redaction by Nagarjuna survived as Susruta Samhita and won universal acclaim. The Samhita is a study of the human condition in health and disease with undisguised emphasis on surgery, and rivals Caraka's classic in authority. In The Legacy of Susruta, the text of Susruta Samhita has been recast in a thematic fashion without sacrificing any of the content of the original chapters. Furthermore, it presents much of the data in tabular form, and features many tables and illustrations in an effort to reach out to readers who may include not only students of ayurveda but also of modern medicine, biological and social sciences and the history of science.

A native of Kerala, Dr. M S Valiathan received his medical education in India and training in surgery and cardiac surgery in the UK and USA. During a career spanning three decades as a surgeon and investigator, his major interests were cardiac surgery in Children, studies on a tropical heart muscle disease, and the development of cardiovascular devices. His contributions are embodied in a monograph, many scientific papers and a family of medical devices including a tilting disc heart valve, all of which are used widely in India. The present volume is a companion to The Legacy of Caraka which was published by Orient Longman in 2003.

Dr. Valiathan is a National Research Professor of the Government of India. He is married to Ashima, an orthodontist. They have a daughter, Manna, and a son Manish.


Transliteration chart    
Quotes from Susruta    
List of figures    
Introduction : Susruta – A Surgical Colossus    
Chapter 1: At the feet, Divodasa, Dhanvantari 1
  Kasiraja Divodasa Dhanvantari begins instruction in ayurveda; emphasis on surgery as preferred by pupils; Susruta as the representative of pupils  
Chapter 2: Initiation and training of physicians 7
  Initiation for the study of ayurveda; exhortation by the preceptor; equal importance of theory and practice; method of study and importance of understanding; royal permission to practice medicine  
Chapter 3: Surgical procedures; pre- and postoperative care (pradhana, purva and pascat karma) 16
  Eight surgical procedures; accessories for surgery; incision and drainage of abscess; chanting a protective hymn; detailed classification and indication for surgical procedures; bandaging; complications  
Chapter 4: Surgical instruments (yantras and sastras) 30
  Blunt and sharp instruments; classification; use and functions; supportive instruments  
Chapter 5: Use of alkalis (ksara) 47
  Two varieties; indications; methods of preparation; technique of application  
Chapter 6: Cauterisation (agnikarma); burns and treatment 51
  Cauterisation ranks above caustic alkali; procedure; indications; burns, classifications and treatment; inhalation injury  
Chapter 7: Blood-letting (raktavisravana) : methods and management 56
  Benefits; indications; two methods, scarification and venesection, indications of each; each; venesection at different locations and for varied clinical conditions; use of leeches  
Chapter 8: Assorted surgical techniques 66
  Piercing the ear; reconstruction of the ear lobe; pre0 and postoperative measures; reconstruction of the nose and lip; foreign bodies and their removal  
Chapter 9: Fractures and dislocations (kandabhagna; sandhimukta) 80
  Classification; treatment; management of regional injuries; oils for promotion of bone healing  
Chapter 10: Diseases and their classification 91
  Surgical/Medical and other types of classifications; detailed classification under seven types on the basis of causation; dosas targeting dhatus to produce diseases  
Chapter 11: Time, seasons and the human body 95
  Units of time; classification of seasons; effects of seasons on life; deranged seasons turning habitat two wasteland  
Chapter 12: Dosas 100
  Three dosas as three pillars of support for the body; functions of dosas derived from etymology; perturbation of dosas; stages suitable for medical intervention during perturbation  
Chapter 13: Fall and rise of dosas, dhatus and malas; observations on blood 105
  Dosas, dhatus and malas as the basic components of the body; effects of the increase and decrease of each component; effects of derangement of ojas; disturbance in equilibrium of dosas, dhatus and malas; observation on blood  
Chapter 14: Rasas 114
  Six primary and sixty-three secondary tastes; dosas and rasas; characteristics of each rasa; classification of substances according to primary tastes  
Chapter 15: Wholesomeness: food incompatibilities 119
  Wholesome articles of diet; unwholesome combination of articles and incompatibilities in diet; unwholesomeness from cooking; combination of tastes causing incompatibility in potency and post-digestive taste  
Chapter 16: Geographical Influences influences in pharmacy 124
  The influence of locale on plants and human beings; criteria for the selection of land for harvesting plants; classification of land into six types; effects of wind  
Chapter 17: Principles of therapeutics 127
  The medical quarter for successful therapeutics; evaluation of patients to include traits of longevity, standard measurements for body parts, the dominance of dhatus, status of diseases, season, status of digestive fire, age, physical and mental strength adjustment, constitution and drugs; locale  
Chapter 18: Liquids for intake 135
  Water quality; purification; qualities and effects of water from different sources; milk, curd, ghee, oils, honey, sugarcane products, wines, urine from different sources and their effects on the body  
Chapter 19: Food 160
  Classification; cereals; meats; fruits; greens; rubber; salts; prepared foods; sweet edibles; drinks after meals and their subgroups in details; their qualities and effects on dosas and the rest of the body  
Chapter 20: A code for dining 215
  Comfortable searing; protocol for serving meals and drinks; containers for different items of menu; meals to suit seasons; forbidden foods; conduct after meals; hints on managing indigestion; properties of food and their effects  
Chapter 21: Predictors of death and recovery 221
  What messengers, omens and dreams foretell; deranged sense as predictors of fatal outcome; derangements in form and function as predictors of death; inversion of qualities in body parts as predictors of death; incurability diseases  
Chapter 22: Basis of drug action: drugs as substances 233
  Properties of drugs based on the dominance of bhutas; drugs as substances affecting dosas; how drugs act  
Chapter 23: Tastes in the transformation of substances 238
  Bhutas and testes; six primary taster and each indicating the dominance of specified bhutas; dosas and tastes; characteristics and functions of tastes; drugs grouped according to tastes  
Chapter 24: Classification 244
  Classification into thirty-seven groups; drugs in each group, effect on dosas and rest of the body  
Chapter 25: Emetics and purgatives 250
  Central role in evacuative therapy; six emetics, their preparation, administration and indications; parts of six plants as purgatives, their preparation, actions; purgative wines; fruit formulations for purgation; milk juices for purgation and need for caution  
Chapter 26: Drugs for topical use in wounds, abscesses and ulcers 260
  Local applications on wounds, abscesses and ulcers; drugs for managing inflammation – hastening maturation, drainage, cleaning, promoting healing and promoting or destroying granulation tissue  
Chapter 27: Vata disorders (Vatavyadhi) 264
  Types of vata and their derangements; clinical features; treatment by formulations; specific measures in different locations; major disorders and their management  
Chapter 28: Piles (arsas) 282
  Different types and locations; clinical features; treatment with caustic alkali; cauterization and excision; use of instruments; medical treatment in early stages  
Chapter 29: Urinary calculi (asmari) 291
  Four types based on kapha; anatomy of the urinary apparatus; treatment with formulations; management of gravel; removal of vesical calculus through perineal approach; postoperative management; structures to be safeguarded  
Chapter 30: Urinary obstruction; difficult urination (mutraghata, mutrakrcchra) 299
  Different types of obstruction; clinical features; formulations for treatment ; difficult urination; types and clinical features; formulations for treatment  
Chapter 31: Diseases of the urinary tract (prameha) 306
  Predisposing causes; premonitory signs and symptoms; different types and clinical features; treatment consisting of procedures and formulations; social considerations in treatment; diabetic boils and treatment  
Chapter 32: Fistula-in-ano (bhagandara) 317
  Different types; premonitory signs; clinical features of different types; treatment by surgery; postoperative are; special formulations  
Chapter 33 : Skin diseases (kustha) 323
  Erroneous conduct as the basic cause; communicable nature; minor and major diseases and clinical features of both categories; leprosy; treatment with reference to diet, medical procedures and formulations  
Chapter 34: Abdominal swelling (udararoga) 336
  Eight types and their clinical features; treatment of different types; formulations  
Chapter 35: Inflammation and suppuration (sopha) 344
  Six types of inflammation; inflammation progressing to suppuration; clinical features; principle of local treatment; generalised swelling distinguished from localised; formulations for treating generalised swelling  
Chapter 36: Abscesses (vidradhi) 349
  Different types; clinical features; treatment including local measures; suppuration of bone marrow
Chapter 37: Cellulitis, sinuses, breast disease in women (visarpa, nadi, stanaroga) 355
  Different types of cellulitis; clinical features and treatment; breast disease and treatment; sinuses and types; use of ksarasutra for treating sinuses; medicated wicks for treating sinuses; formulations  
Chapter 38: Ulcers (vrana) 363
  Different classifications based on causation; clinical features; prognosis; influence of location on healing; incurability and fatal signs, general and local treatment; sixty procedures in treatment; formulation in treatment; would care  
Chapter 39: Traumatic injuries (sadyaovrana) 381
  Different types and clinical features; surgical management; use of formulations; injuries in special locations  
Chapter 40: Cystic and glandular swelling; tumours; goiter (grandhi, apaci, arbuda, galaganda) 387
  Clinical features to distinguish the swellings; causative factors; treatment at local and general level for each condition; role of surgery including scarification, scraping, cauterization and incision and drainage; use of formulations  
Chapter 41: Scrotal swellings; genital inflammation and elephantiasis (vrddhi, upadamsa, slipada) 395
  Different types of swellings and clinical features; genital inflammation; elephantiasis; treatment of each type of scrotal swelling due to genital inflammation and elephantiasis; formulations in treatment  
Chapter 42: Minor disorders (ksudraroga) 401
  Minor disorders listed with clinical features and treatment; medical surgical aspects of treatment; local measures and formulations  
Chapter 43: Sukadosa 408
  Eighteen disorders caused by sukadosa; clinical features; treatment involving local measures and formations; poor prognosis of certain types  
Chapter 44: Oral diseases (mukharoga) 411
  Diseases affecting the lips gums, teeth, tongue, palate, throat and oral cavity; each group listed separately with clinical features; treatment of each condition; local and general measures including blood letting; incurable conditions  
Chapter 45: Fevers (Jvara) 421
  King of diseases; prodromal symptoms; classification based on dosas; specific fevers; fever following localization in various dhatus; externally induced fevers; samana, sodhana and dietary regimen to treatment; personal care; formulations; special measures for intermittent and complex fever; complications; use of enemas  
Chapter 46: Diarrhea (atisara) 441
  Causes, premonitory signs, clinical feature; treatment of different types of unripe diarrheas; ripe diarrheas following the control of unripe; dysentery; dietary management; role of enemas; grahani  
Chapter 47: Phthisis (sosa) 453
  Grave illness caused by three perturbed dosas; eleven clinical features; premonitory signs' treatment; diet; formulations  
Chapter 48: Gaseous lumps of the abdomen (gulma) 458
  Premonitory signs; clinical features; treatment; enemas; formulations; other measures including blood-letting and fomentation; management of colics with and without abdominal lumps; special colics  
Chapter 49: Heart disease; pallor and jaundice; internal bleeding (hrdroga, panduroga, kamala, raktapitta) 466
  Heart disease caused by perturbed dosas and its treatment; heart disease caused by worms; pallor and jaundice; kamala; treatment by evacuative measures and formulations; internal bleeding; management  
Chapter 50: Fainting; alcoholic disorders (murccha, panatyaya) 476
  Six types of fainting with clinical features; treatment of coma; wine; alcoholic disorders including severe intoxication and complications; treatment by formulations to address the perturbation of dosas; specific measures to treat burning sensation; management of the affluent  
Chapter 51: Morbid thirst; loss of appetite; regurgitations; vomiting; hiccup (trsna, arocaka, udavarta, chardi, hikka) 485
  Morbid thirst: clinical features and treatment by formulations; Loss of appetite: causes and treatment by evacuative measures and formulations Regurgitation: thirteen types; clinical features and treatment; serious manifestation; Vomiting; clinical features and treatment; Hiccup: varied causes; different types; procedures, diet preparations and formulations in treatment  
Chapter 52: Shortness of breath; cough; hoarse voice (svasa, kasa, svarabheda) 499
  Shortness of breath: types, clinical features and treatment; formulations and other measures; Cough: types, clinical features and treatment; formulations; Hoarseness of voice: types, clinical features and treatment  
Chapter 53: Worm infestation; diarrhea due to indigestion (krmiroga, visucika) 508
  Worm infestation: sources and types of worms; treatment; Diarrhea due to indigestion: three types of indigestion responsible for diarrhea; treatment by formulations, dietary regimen and evacuative measures  
Chapter 54: Eye and eye diseases 514
  Anatomy of the eyeball; eye diseases caused by perturbed dosas and prognosis; eye diseases according to precise location and clinical features; seventeen general diseases with clinical features; diseases of the pupil; diseases caused by trauma  
Chapter 55: Treatment of eye diseases 527
Chapter 56: Eye diseases; treatment by surgical measures 538
  Eye diseases treated by scraping, incision, excision; surgery for entropion; postoperative care  
Chapter 57: Diseases of the papillary region (Drsti) 543
  Twelve diseases; three curable, three incurable and six palliable; treatment of curable types by medical procedures and formulations; of palliable types of evacuative measures and formulations; general observations on cataract (timira); medical measures in early stage; surgical treatment; kaca disorder  
Chapter 58: Medical procedures in the treatment of eye diseases 551
  Commonly employed procedures – tarpana, putapaka, ascyotana, seka, sirovasti, collyrium application; royal collyrium  
Chapter 59 : Diseases of the ear, nose and head 558
Chapter 60: Diseases of the ear lobe following elongation 572
Chapter 61: Children's diseases caused by junior planets (balagraha) 574
  Seizure of children by junior planets; nine junior planets of female and male gender; mythical origins; preference for children; clinical features of seizure by each planets; treatment by medical measures, propitiatory procedure and special hymns  
Chapter 62: Role of planets in the origin of disorders 584
  Planets as noctural assailants; eight groups of masters of innumerable planets; signs of entry of planets in human beings; bhutavidya as the study of the influence of planets on human health; oblations to propitiate bhutas; role of formulations  
Chapter 63: Seizures (apasmara) 589
  Causes and premonitory symptoms; clinical features; seizures according to dosas; treatment; general and Specific for each type; special to dosas; treatment; general and specific for each type; special formulations; evacuative procedures including venesection  
Chapter 64: Insanity (unmade) 593
  Six types; premonitory signs; clinical features; treatment; medical procedures; surprise measures; dietary regimen; formulations; venesection; psychological support  
Chapter 65: Poisoning 596
  Supreme role of a physician in safeguarding the king from poisoning; a royal war camp; medical quartet as the prerequisite for successful treatment; supervision of the royal kitchen by the physician; watch over the staff; articles liable to poisoning and tests for detection; signs of poisoning; antidotes  
Chapter 66: Fixed and mobile poisons 604
  Ten varieties subclassified into fifty-five poisons; signs and symptoms of poisoning by each type; chronic poisoning; clinical staging of poisoning and treatment during different stages; mobile poisons from sixteen sources; symptoms of poisoning; antidotes and remedial measures; prognosis and general observations  
Chapter 67: Snake bite (sarpadasta) 612
  Eighty snakes and their groupings; three types of snake bites; snakes classified based on physical characteristics and also on caste basis; listing of eighty snakes; clinical features of snake bites; stages of poisoning; poisoning in animals and birds; treatment; hymns; blood-letting, cauterization and other procedures; treatment according to the stage of poisoning; according to the patient's constitution and clinical features; snake bites in animals; anti-poison formulations  
Chapter 68: Poisoning by rats and other animals (musikavisa and others) 624
  Types of rat; rat bite and clinical features; treatment; remedies to bites by different types of rats; medical procedures including evacuative therapy and the application of collyrium; bites by other animals; fear of water; treatment of bites by rabid animals; evacuative therapy, dietary regimen; hymn  
Chapter 69: Poisoning by insects (kitavlsa) 629
  Classification of insects according to dosa characteristics; clinical features of bites; bites by insects outside the dosa based grouping and clinical features; bites by frogs, visvambhara, flies and mosquitoes with clinical features; treatment; formulations used for various insect bites; scorpion bite; clinical features; treatment; spider bite; difficulty in diagnosis and treatment; clinical features according to the time elapsed after bite; classification of spiders; prognosis of spider bite; treatment by formulations; curable and incurable categories  
Chapter 70: Lubricant therapy and fomentation (snehana, svedana) 640
  Lubricant and their sources; preparation of lubricants; administration of lubricants; ghee as a lubricant; importance of dosage; lubricants mixed with food; when lubricants should be withheld; signs of satisfactory and unsatisfactory therapy  
Chapter 71: Emesis and purgation (vamana, virecana) 649
  Emesis; preparation and procedure; when to perform and when forbidden; purgation; preparation and procedure; when to perform and when forbidden; dosage of drugs; precautions; faulty methods and complications thereof; secondary complications  
Chapter 72: Enemas (vasti) 661
  Most important among therapeutic measures; functions of enemas; conditions where beneficial; equipment; non-lubricant and lubricant enemas; faulty methods and complications in the use of non-lubricant enemas; lubricant enema, snuff and intake; management after enema; complications and management; urethral and vaginal douche; preparation of enema fluid; formulations  
Chapter 73: Complications of medical procedures 681
  Dietary regimen during medical procedures including lubricant therapy, emesis, purgation, blood-letting and enemas; regimen to suit the strength of the patient; effect of personal conduct on health; adverse consequences of imprudent conduct  
Chapter 74: Smoking, snuffing and gargling (dhuma, nasya, kavala) 684
  Smoking: five types; drugs used in each type; equipment; procedure; when to smoke and not to smoke; gargling; four types and characteristics of each  
Chapter 75: Origin of Life 692
Chapter 76: Procreation; fetal anomalies 697
  Seminal and menstrual disorders associated with sterility; treatment of disorders; effects of maternal conduct during pregnancy on the fetus; sexual intercourse for procreation; sexual aberrations; effect of sexual and other conduct on the fetus  
Chapter 77: Development of the fetus 703
  Conception; fertile period; features of pregnancy;' stages of fetal development; special likes and dislikes during pregnancy as a reflection of fetal feelings; maternal desires influencing baby's prospects; sources of fetal parts  
Chapter 78: Development of the fetus; dosa prakrti 708
  Initial development of seven skin layers; appearance of seven membranes between dhatus and investing them; genesis of organs; liver, spleen, lungs, intestines, kidney, urinary bladder, blood vessels, ligaments, heart; heart as the seat of consciousness; dosa prakrtis; seven types; decided at conception and valid throughout life span; characteristics of each type; psychological personalities as satvic, rajasic and tamasic types; comments on sleep  
Chapter 79: Pregnancy; delivery; neonatal care 716
  Personal conduct of the mother during pregnancy; neonatal care on monthly basis; onset of labour; delivery; complications; care of the newborn; post partum care of the mother; retained placenta; pyometra (makkalla); care of the baby; role of the wet nurse; neonatal illnesses and treatment; care from infancy to adulthood; abortions and complications; treatment in threatened abortion  
Chapter 80: Malpresentations of the fetus (mudhagarbha) 727
  Circumstances favouring malpositions and malpresentations of fetus; four types based on abnormal presentation; fetal death; treatment: difficulty and high risk of surgical treatment; cesarean section when mother dies and fetus is alive; manual extraction of the dead fetus; surgical destruction of the dead fetus; postoperative management; special formulations  
Chapter 81: A count of body parts 733
  Parts and subparts; enumeration of body constituents; hollow viscera; nine openings; tendons; jala, kurcas; mamsa, rajju; sivani; sanghata; simanta; bones; enumeration and types of bones; enumeration and types of joints; enumeration of ligaments; muscle; cadaveric dissection essential for surgical training  
Chapter 82: Vital spots (marmas) 743
  One hundred and seven vital spots; based on muscle, blood vessels, ligaments, bone and joints; enumeration in different locations; distribution of the spots in the body; vital spots according to prognosis following injury; structure of vital spots; clinical features of injuries to vital spots in different locations; measurement of spots; implications of the spots for surgical procedures  
Chapter 83: Srotas; siras and dhamanis 753
  Dhamanis and srotas distinct from siras; siras radiating from the umbilicus; siras as conduits for vata, pitta, kapha and blood; location and enumeration of siras unsuitable for venesection or surgical incision; Twenty-four dhamanis arising from the umbilicus; functions of those causing upwards, downwards and in the oblique directions; srotas as conduits for air, food, water, rasa, blood, muscle, adipose tissue, urine, feces, semen and menstrual blood, consequences of injury  
Chapter 84: Life in harmony with seasons 760
  A code of living for maintaining good health; perturbation of dosas by drastic changes in seasons; methods and merits of life in accord with changing seasons; guidelines to diet and drugs  
Chapter 85: Warding off diseases 764
  Code of daily conduct; teeth and oral hygiene; betel chewing; head massage with oil; oil massage and bath; physical exercise; cosmetics, clothes and adornments; worship; diet; personal conduct; general conduct; list of forbidden activities; drinks according to seasons, guidelines for sexual activity and consequences of violations  
Chapter 86: Virile therapy (vajikarana) 775
  Regular use of drugs for enhancing sexual potency, sexual stimulants other than formulations; four types of importance; formulations with method of preparation and effects  
Chapter 87: Rejuvenant therapy (rasayana) 778
  Useful in youth or middle age to counter disorders; formulations of vidanga sees or kasmari fruits; details of procedure during their administration and extraordinary results; other formulations; measures to promote intellect and long life; formulations to promote long life, for the care of face and hair; ceremonial aspect of rasayanas and details of procedure with daily progress; attaining supernatural powers; benefits of rejuvenant therapy; on the soma plant; eighteen drugs as potent as soma for rejuvenation; morphological features of the plants for identification; where and when to find them  
  Epilogue 791
  Thirty-two structural elements of the text (tantrayukti); necessary to interconnect statements, clarify ideas and contradict false views; key to understanding the text  
Botanical names   793
Glossary   808
Index   826

The Legacy of Vagbhata
ISBN: 9788173716683
Back of the Book

Vagbhata completes the Great three (Brhatrayi) of Ayurveda with his predecessor, Caraka and Susruta. His identify and period are controversial but a major section of the scholarly community believes that he was a native of Sindh, who lived in the sixth century and wrote Astangadrdayam and Astangasangrah. The two texts frankly acknowledge the authority of the Samhitas of Caraka and Susruta and closely follow in the footsteps of the earlier masters.

The legacy of Vagbhata is based on a study of Astangahrdayam and employs a thematic approach with the plentiful of tables. As in the earlier volumes on Caraka and Susruta great care has been taken in this volume on Vagbhata to maintain fidelity to the original text while ensuring easy readability for the students of Ayurvedic medicine and the sciences.


About the Author

A native of Kerala Dr. M S Valiathan received his medical education in Indian and training in surgery and cardiac sugary in the UK and USA. During a career a panning three decades as a surgeon and investigator his major interests were cardiac surgery in children studies on a tropical heart muscle disease and the development of cardiovascular devices. His contributors are embodied in a monograph many scientific papers and a family of medical devices including a tilting disc heart valve which are used widely in India.

Dr. Valiathan is a National Research Professor of the government of India. He is married to Ashima an orthodontist. They have a daughter Manna and a son Manish.



This volume is the third in my Legacy series the two previous ones on Caraka and Susruta having appeared in print during the last five years. The welcome received by the earlier books from a growing readership and their positive appraisal by scholarly persuaded me to undertake a similar exercise on Vagbhata and complete the series on the Great Trinity (Brhattrayi) of Ayurveda.

In writing the Legacy series, I had adopted from the start a format which I hoped would make them readily accessible to the students who opt for Ayurveda and medicine after twelve years of school while maintaining utmost fidelity to the original texts. In The Legacy of Vagbhata, I have therefore refrains form lengthy and inconclusive discussion on non medical topics such as the identity of Vagbhata his date place and so on. Apart form the fact that our ancestors who shaped India’s cultural inheritance were loath to talk about themselves the results of scholarly debates on the historical and personal data of Vagbhata seemed to me to be of limited inters tot benefit to students who are impatient to get on with medical studies. I read many reference to Vagbhata in the books on Ayurvedic history by reputed authors such as Heinrich Zimmer PV Sharma and NVK Varier and also held discussions with senior Ayurvedic colleagues before settling on two editions of Astangahrdaya as the basic texts for my study. These were Asrangahrdayam (three volumes) text and English commentary by Professor Srinath Murthy and Astangahradayam text with Malayalam translation by PM Govindan Vaidyar Astangahrdayam (text with Sarvangasundare commentary of Arunadatta and Ayurvedarasayana tika of Hemadari) edited by harisastry. Once again I followed the thematic approach on the lines of my books on Caraka and Susruta, which seems to have been well accepted by the readers. I must acknowledge that the work on Vagbhata made less demands on my time and effort than the study of the two Samhitas and often became a joyful experience.

Though I had opted to study Astangahrdaya as it represented the essence of Vagbhata’s legacy I had to consider Astangasangraha regardless of whether it was authored by the same Vagbhata. However on going through Sangraha with its extensive commentary by my mentor Shri Ragahvan Thirumulpad I soon realized that neither time nor my training would permit me to write on Vagbhata’s legacy based on a critical and exhaustive study of Sangraha and Hrdaya. Nevertheless as Astangahrdaya proudly claimed that its sprang from the churning of the ocean of Astangasangraha I have attempters a limited comparative analysis of three identical subjects drawn from the Carakasamhita Astangasangraha and Astangahrdaya in the Introduction. The analysis confirmed the general impression that the core of Ayurvedic doctrines profile of diseases and procedures remained unchanged over centuries whereas changes which did over were more or less confined to the domain of medical formulations. The limited exercise also suggested the appropriateness of doing a well planned comparative study on the evolution of Ayurvedic concepts and practice based on classical texts form Caraka to Vagbhata because the five or six centuries which separated them were marked by foreign incisions and major social upheavals in India.

Dr. Ramankutty of the Arya Vaidya Sala Kottakkal a brilliant Ayurvedic scholar and authority on medicinal plants has been a friend philosopher and guide during my Ayurvedic studies for the last few years. He not only encouraged scanned my entire manuscript and made numerous suggestions for corrections and improvements. Additionally he gave valuable assistance by listing the botanical names of plants mentioned in this book preparing an index and reading the proofs. I have no words to thank him for his untiring support and assistance. As Astangahrdaya is a distillate of earlier texts. I have taken the liberty of reproducing some of the figures drawn by MR. joy for my books on Caraka and Susruta in the present volume for the permission of which I express my thanks to Orient Blackswan. The inimitable picture of Vagbhata on the cover which has allusions to his legendary connection with Kerala was drawn specially for this volume by the renowned artist Nabudiri of Keral to whom I am much beholden.

I am grateful to the Ministry of Human Resources Development Governments of India for the award of a National Research Professorship which has supported me during my years of labor in the Ayurvedic vineyard. I am equally grateful to DR. Ramdas Pai President of the Manipal University for continuing to provide me excellent facilities and a congenial environment to follow my academic pursuit in Manipal. It is a pleasure to acknowledge with thanks the assistance of Ms Usha Kamath who typed and retyped my bulky manuscript untiringly and oversaw the smooth movement of papers in the Manipal Kottakkal Chennai triangle. I am grateful to Ms Ramaa kishore for reading the proofs. Ms Padmaja Anant or Orient Blackswan has been unfailingly supportive fore which I am grateful to her.

I can do no better than conclude by quoting Goethe Nowhere would anyone grant that science and poetry can be united. People forgot that science had developed from poetry and they failed to take into consideration that a swing of the pendulum might beneficently reunite the two at a higher level and to mutual advantage Vagbhata represents Goethe’s beneficent reunion of science and poetry at a higher level.



Caraka Susruta and Vagbhata are the Great (Brhatrayi) of Ayurveda. In line with his predecessors Vagbhata cared to say little about himself or the times he lived in and let his works speak for himself. In the Astangahrdaya (AH) he stated explicitly that Astangasangraha (AS) grew out of the boundless and immaculate knowledge of ancient sages and AH was no more than its distillate which would benefit even the less industrious. He affirmed that AH fulfilled the 18 requirements for an authoritative text which was at the same time free from 15 defects which bedevil inferior works. His confidence in AH was so great that he threw a challenge to his contemporaries and posterity on the inescapability of studying masterly texts such as AH regardless of whether they had been composed by ancient sages in the line of Caraka and Susruta. For him the heart of the massive literature of Ayurveda throbbed in AH which he believed would radiate beneficence for the whole world. One would therefore do no injustice to Vagbhata if a twenty first century study on his legacy were to be based on AH.

Astangahrdaya is one of the authorities’ texts of Ayurveda which continues to be equally popular among students practitioners and scholars. It is medically oriented work with principal emphasis on internal medicine(kayacikitsa) and only brief references o surgical obstruct that of the Samhitas of Caraka and Susruta whose names are revered but whose works are not widely read. The descriptions of medical concepts procedures and herbal formulations in AH can be traced to the Samhitas of Caraka and Susruta which were to the source for as well as. AH owned its great appeal over earlier texts to the beauty of its verses its masterly style of condensation logical arrangement of topics clarity of description another merits. No wonder it was translated into foreign languages such as Arabic Persian Tibetan many centuries ago and more recently into European languages.

Uttaratantra constitutes a large part of AH and deals with diseases of children disease caused by evil spirits disease of the head and neck surgical treatment poisoning rejuvenant and virilising therapies. The existence of Uttarasthana in CS is controversial but many of the subjects discussed in AH under Uttaratantra are conversed in the Cikitsa and other Sthanas of CS. Unlike CS and AS which contain a mixture of prose and poetry AH is composed in verse barring a few prose lines at the beginning and end of each chapter. A summary of the subjects dealt with in AH is indicated below.

Sutra: Wish for long life code of daily and seasonal conduct food and drinks ensuring safety of food substance and properties tastes dosas in health and disease principles of treatment procedures in treatments instruments and their use in surgery.

Sarira: Development of the embryo; pregnancy and disorders associated with it; parts of the body; vital spots; significance of messengers; omens and dreams.

Nidana: Diagnosis based on clinical features; fever pitta-induced bleeding, cough, hiccup shortness of breath hoarseness of voice phthisis alcoholic intoxication, piles, diarrhea and bowel disorders, loss of appetite, vomiting, heart disease, morbid thirst scrotal enlargements, gaseous lumps of abdomen urinary obstruction, polyurias including diabetes, abscesses, abdominal enlargement pallor swelling cellulites skin disease including leprosy, leucoderma, worm infestation vata disorders blood disorders.

Cikitsa:Fever, Pitta-induced bleeding, cough, shortness of breath, hiccup, hoarseness of voice, phthisis vomiting loss of appetite heart disease urinary obstruction intoxication, piles, diarrhea, bowel disorders urinary obstruction polyurias including diabetes abscess abdominal enlargement scrotal swelling worm infestation, gaseous lumps of the abdomen, pallor, swelling, celluttuis, skin disorders including leprosy leucoderma vata-induced blood disorders.

Kalpa: Siddhi : Emesis purgation and complication enemas and complications drugs employed in the procedures.

Uttara: children’s diseases, disease caused by evil spirits insanity epilepsy, eye diseases; diseases of the car, nose, mouth, head; ulcers, fracture, ano-rectal fistula, tumors, filarial, swelling, glandular swellings and sinuses; minor diseases; poisoning bites by snakes spiders rats insects rejuvenent therapy virilising therapy.

The immense popularity of AH is testified by the many commentaries on it numbering over thirty excluding commentaries partly regional only in manuscript form and only six are said to be available in print form. Among these Arunadatta’s Savangasundara which reaches back to the twelfth century has received the highest critical acclaim. Among the commentaries in regional languages, PM Govindan Vaidyan’s Arunodaya century and chapped Achutha varier’s commentary in Malayalam have been popular in Kerala where AH became a great favorite among the intelligentsia centuries ago.

Vagbhata identity place of birth date and religious affiliation are far form certain. Scholars are equally divided on the question whether AS and AH were composed by an identical Vagbhata or whether Vagbhata Senior authored AS and Vagbhata Junior summarized it later as AH. There is a scholarly view that another Vagbhata (Madhya Vagbhata) intervened between the senior and junior Vagbhata and wrote Astangavatara. The Vagbhata who wrote AS stated in the concluding verse there lived a great physician named Vagbhata who was my grandfather whose name I bear. His son was Simhagupta who was my father. I was born I Sindhudesa. After learning the science form Avalokita my teacher and more form my father and devoting myself to a large number of books in this science. I have composed this text. He also claimed that the text was written to suit his times (yanagupta). The scholars who claim that the Vagbhata of AS is the same individual who composed AH point to the statement at the end of AH that it is a distillate of AS which is an ocean of medical science; and a large number of verses from AS reproduced without changes in AH etc., as evidence of the identify of the authors. On the other hand other s noted that ancient commentators distinguished Vrddha Vagbhata who wrote AS from Vagbhata who authored AH and the dissonance between the two texts in relation to style observation on faith and sociology scientific principles etc. (PV Sharma). In the present state of learned ignorance the identity of Vagbhata cannot be established with certainly nor can the question in AH antedating AS be answered on the basis of irrefutable evidence.

Vagbhata’s date: As AH contains several verses form the CS which was revised and completed by Drdhabala, Vagbhata probably lived after Drdhabala whose date has been fixed by general agreement around 500 A.D Professor Srikantha Murhty has pointed to a verse closely similar to one form AH or probably taken from it in the Brhatsamhita of Varhamihira who is known to have lived between 500-580 AD. This would support the view the Vagbhata lived in the sixth century when Gupta rules was beginning to decline in north India.

Legendary Vagbhata : Reputed commentators such as Jejjata and Niscalakara have described Vagbhata as a raja or Rajarsi. Professor PV Sharma was of the opinion that Vagbhata might have left his small kingdom in Shindh and moved to Ujjain Following the invasion by sakas. Vagbhata’s connection with Kerala is also legendry. He is the patron saint of Ayurveda and Astangahrdaya the principal text for the traditional learning of Ayurveda in Kerala. According to popular belief, Vagbhata a Brahmana masters Ayurveda under the guidance of a Buddhist teacher in Sindhiseas when Buddhism was a dominant religion and Buddhist physicians the leaders of Ayurvedic practice and training. On the completion of training Vagbhata found himself ostracized by Brahmans whereupon he left Sichudesa on a long journey which ended in Kerala. There he found intelligent and admiring pupils among the Namputiris who were hungry for Ayurvedic knowledge. According to this belief he establish the Astavaidya families each specializing in one branch of Ayurveda and all depending on AH as their therapeutic manual. Unfortunately no evidence of Ayurveda and Astangahrdaya in Sri Lanka believe that Vagbhata lived in the island after his departure form Sind.




Transliteration Chart  
Quotes form Vagbhata  
Section I
Chapter 1: Ayurveda an Overview
Divine origin of Ayurveda – eight divisions – dosas and
properties – dhatus and malas – tastes – substances (dravya) and
qualities (guna) – health and disease – principles of treatment - prognosis
Section II: Healthy Living (Svastavrtta)
Chapter 2: A Code for Healthy conduct (Svastavrtta)
A day in Healthy living – sleep – sexual intercourse – general and
personal conduct – unacceptable conduct
Chapter 3: Life in Harmony with seasons (rtucarya)
Six seasons – lifestyle changes to suit the seasons
Section III: Drinks and Food (Dravadravya)
Chapter 4: Liquids as food (dravadravya)
Water for different sources – milk and Milk products-
sugarcane juice and products – oils- wines- urines
Chapter 5: Food (annasvarupa)
Classification – awned cereals – pulses – prepared foods – meats-
greens – fruit – medication – salts- alkalis - plants
Chapter 6: Food Safety (annaraksa)
Signs of positioned food and drinks – signs of poison giver – tests
for poisoned food – disease caused by poisons – incompatible food
adaptation and de adaptation to food
Chapter 7: Measure of food for health (matrasitiya)
adequate quantity of food – alasaka, ajirna – code for dining
– unacceptable and acceptable food for regular use – after drinks
Section IV: Human Body (Sarira)
Chapter 8: Pancabhutas as the stuff of existence(dravyavijnana)
Pancabhutas – properties – taste – potency, post digestive taste,
specific effective action (prabhava)
Chapter 9: Tastes (rasas)
Six primary tastes- properties – actions of tastes- classification
of substances according to taste- combination of tastes
Chapter 10: Dosas, tissues (dhatus) wastes(malas)
Basic components of the body

Three Dosas and their actions – tissues – manifestations of
excess in tissues malas – deficiency of dosas tissues and malas
treatments of increase in dosas – fires (agnis) in the body – ojas
Chapter 11: Dosas, (dosabhediya)
Locations and divisions of three dosas- accumulations and
perturbation of dosas- general features of dosa perturbation
- classification of diseases based on the origin –guidelines for
the physician in examining patients.


Section V: Developments, Structure and Function
of the Body (sarira)
Chapter 12: Procreation Pregnancy and fetal development
(garbhotpatti, garbhavakrantiya)

Menstruation – semen and Menstrual blood-rituals associated
with conception –antenatal care – congenital anomalies- fetal
development –delivery –postnatal care


Chapter 13:Disorders of pregnancy (garbhavyapat)
Abortion- fetal anomalies- fetal death – extraction of placenta-
abdominal delivery –protection of pregnancy – false pregnancy


Chapter 14: Body parts and function (angavibhaga)
Major and accessory parts – maternal and paternal contribution
to body composition –skin membranes (kalas), hollow and
other viscera- tendons muscles none’s – veins suitable and
unsuitable for vensection – sirasand dhamanis –digestive
fire – digestion of food –medical triads –measure of body
tissues – body constitution (dehapraktri) and dosa prakrti – ideal physique


Chapter 15: Vital Spots (marmas)
Location in the body – consequences of injury – vital sports
in relation to tissues and structure – clinical features of injury
prognosis – measure of vital spots – sequelae of injury


Section VI: Outline of Medical Measures (Cikitsa)
Chapter 16: Management of perturbed dosas ((dosopakrama)
Disease induced by vata, pitta and kapha – principles of
treatment – dosas lodged in other than native locations- dosas
mixed with poorly digested food – management of dosas during
change of seasons – time for ingestion of drugs


Chapter 17: Increasing (brmhana, santarpana)
and reducing (langhana, apatarpana)
the body mass

Reducing the body mass and persons requiring it – increasing
body mass and persons requiring it – therapy for increasing and
decreasing body mass – complication of over treatment


Chapter 18: Groups of drugs for evacuative
and other measures (sodhanadi group)

thirty three groups and functions in therapeutics


Chapter 19: Herbal drugs (bhesajakalpa)
Five decoctions –features – dosage – cooking procedure
- weights and measures –geographical influences on drugs


Chapter 20: Lubricant therapy (snehana)
four lubricants – persons requiring bared form lubricant
therapy – time for therapy – aftercare – signs of satisfactory
lubrication – emergency lubricant therapy


Chapter 21: Fomentation (svedana)
Four methods- principles of application procedure – excess
treatment – person appropriate and inappropriate for receiving
treatment – fermentation without fire


Chapter 22: Emesis and purgation (vamana,virecana)
Appropriate and inappropriate condition for emesis- procedure
for emesis – aftercare – appropriate and inappropriate condition
for purgation – poor results – aftercare


Chapter 23:Emetics and purgative; medical formulations;
complications (vamankalpa, virencankalpa)

Emetics – madana jimuta, iksvaku dhamargava ksveda, kutaja
- medical formulations –purgatives –trivrt rajavrksa tilvaka,
sudha snakhini – saptala, danti dravanti haritaki – medicinal
formulations – complications due to inadequate or excess use


Chapter 24: Enemas (Vasti)
Non-lubricant enema – condition and persons appropriate/
inappropriate for the procedure –lubricant enemas – condition
and persons appropriate/ inappropriate for the procedure
– equipment for enema – technique – enemas for dosa disorders
special enemas –urethral and vaginal enema


Chapter 25: More on enemas ( vastikalpa)
Non-lubricant enemas – applications in dosa – dominant diseases
- idea enemas; lubricant enemas – classified compilation of
enemas – post enemas, management


Chapter 26: Nasal Purging (nasya)
Three methods – persons and conditions – inappropriate and
appropriate for the procedure – technique – time for the
procedure – aftercare


Chapter 27: Others procedures smoking
(dhumapana) gargling (kabaja)

Three grades of medicate smoking – persons and conditions
barred form smoking – gargles – equipment – procedure – drugs for
medicinal smoke – gargles – local application inside the mouth
and on the face – application of oil pouch in the head


Chapter 28:Produres for eye care (ascyotana, anjana)
Eye drops; collyrium – conditions inappropriate for the use
of collyrium – time of application – technique tarpana and
putapaka – procedure


Section VII: Outline of Surgical Measures (Salya)
Chapter 29: Blunt instruments (yantras)
Uses- classification into cruciform, forceps, tubular rod-like
hooks with subtypes – animal horn and gourd – accessory


Chapter 30: Sharp instruments (sastras)
Twenty-six types – description and surgical applications -
application of leeches –procedure


Chapter 31: Vensection (siravyadh)
Condition appropriate and inappropriate for consecution
- choice of location – procedure – special sites- aftercare


Chapter 32: Removal of foreign bodies (salyaharana)
Sings of foreign bodies in different locations – treatments and


Chapter 33: Surgical operations (sastrakarma)
Draining abscesses – pre and post operative care – management
of traumatic wounds- bandaging – chronic ulcers


Chapter 34: Cauterization (ksaragnikarma)
alkaline cautery – inappropriate conditions for use – preparation
and durable qualities alkalis –cauterization procedure- thermal
cattery –appropriate and inappropriate use of cauterization


Section VIII: Systemic Diseases
Chapter 35: causation and clinical course of diseases
(nidana, purvarupa, rupa, upasaya, samprapti)

Cause – premonitory sign and clinical features – causes for
increase in dosas


Chapter 36: Fevers (jvara)
fevers caused by vata pitta and kapha singly or jointly – caused
by external agents- other classification of fevers – treatment
-evacuative procedures – diet role of ghee milk – medicinal
formulation – treatment of complex fevers


Chapter 37: Pitta included bleeding disease (raktapitta)
Premonitory signs- clinical features – treatments – pacificatory
and evacuative measures – dietary preparations- medicinal


Chapter 38: Cough (kasa)
Different types of cough – treatment of cough due to vata, pitta,
kapha excess- diet-medicinal formulations – cough following
chest injury and treatment – cough in phthisis


Chapter 39: Shortness of breath hiccup (svasa; hikka)
Five years of shortness of breath and hiccup – treatments
- evacuative measures – medicinal formulation – other measures


Chapter 40: Phthisis and allied conditions (sosa)
Causes – Premonitory signs and clinical features – treatment
- evacuative and building up procedures – diet- formulations
hoarseness – features – loss of appetite treatment
excessive salivation and treatment vomiting and treatment –heart
disease treatments morbid thirst and treatment


Chapter 41: Alcoholic intoxication (madatyaya)
Stages of intoxication – clinical features- fainting – coma
– treatment – wine as antidote – formulation – role of milk – in
praise of wine – treatment of non alcoholic intoxication


Chapter 42: Diarrhea (arisara)
Clinical features – different classification – treatments of unripe
and ripe diarrheas- dysentery – rectal prolapsed- enemas puttapaka
etc. in treatment – diarrhea induced by dosas and treatment


Chapter 43: Bowel disorder (grahani)
clinical features – classification – treatments of different types
formulations – role of fate in enhancing digestive power


Chapter 44: Polyrias (prameha)
Twenty types – clinical features – complications – treatments
evacuative measures – medicinal formulations


Chapter 45: Abscess (vidradhi)
Six types – clinical feature – complications – prognosis -
treatment – medical procedures – local measures – formulations
internal abscesses of treatment


Chapter 46: Disease of pallor (panduroga)
five types and clinical features – jaundice – treatment – medicinal
formulations – treatments of jaundice


Chapter 47: Vata disorders (vatayadhi)
clinical features according to the location of vata – general
treatment for vata excess- specific treatment for different
condition – important formulations


Chapter 48: Vata induced blood disorders gout like
Disorders (vatasonita, vatarakta)

Clinical features according to the vitiation of dosas- vata
perturbations alone or with other dosas dhauts and malas
interference of ate by other dosas and among its divisions
- general treatment and specific treatments for individual
condition – medicinal formulations


Chapter 49: Swelling (sopha)
Causes – clinical features – treatment – dietary regimen-
evacuative measures – formulations – local treatments


Chapter 50: Cellulitis (visarpa)
Clinical features – different types – treatment – general and local


Chapter 51: Diseases caused by suppression of physical
urges (vega)

Clinical features and treatment of each – general guidelines


Section IX: Health and disease of children
Chapter 52:Case of the Newborn (balopacarniya)

Attendance at birth – breast feeding – naming ceremony – care
of the infant – piercing the ear- waning – medicated ghess


Chapter 53: Diseases of children (balamayas)
Breast Milk, healthy and unhealthy – recognition of pain
in children – diseases caused by dosas – vitiated breast milk
diseases caused by eruption of teeth – treatment in general
phthisis in children – rectal ulcers


Chapter 54: Diseases in children caused by evil spirits (balagrahas)
twelve balagrahas – clinical features on seizure by each – purpose
of seizure – treatment – medicinal formulations - fumigation
sacrificial rituals


Section X
Chapter 55: Superhuman power in humans (bhutacijnaniya)
vulnerable moments – timing of seizure by sprits – traits
following seizure – treatment – formulations – sacred rituals


Section XIII: Poisoning (Visa)
Chapter 56: Insanity (unmade)
Causes and types – treatment – medicinal formulations -
miscellaneous measures


Section XII
Chapter 57: Seizure disorder ( apasmara)
Causes and types – treatment – medicinal formulations


Section XIII : Poisoning (Visa)
Chapter 58: Poisons : Fixed and Mobile (Visa; Sthavara
and jangama)

Properties of poisons – stages of poisoning – medicinal
formulation as antidotes – delayed poisons – artificial poisons
potentiation of poisons – treatment


Chapter 59: Snake Bites (sarpavisa)
Types and morphological features of poisonous snakes – varieties
of bites –stages of poisoning – bites defying cure – treatment
- vensection protection of the heart – medicinal formulations


Chapter 60: Bites by insects spiders (kitalutadi visa)
Bites bu insects including scorpion – clinical features – treatment -
spider bites with clinical feature – clinical course and


Chapter 61: Poisoning by bites of rats dogs
(musika –alarkavisa)

Types of rats – rabid dog- treatment of rat bite and dog bite


Section XIV Regional Disorders
Chapter 62: Piles (arsas)
Classification of types – promontory signs and clinical
– features – piles in any rectal and other locations – treatment
- cauterization – local and general measures – bloodletting
- medical formulations and diet – enemas – management of
bleeding piles


Chapter 63: Urinary obstruction (metrakrcchra)
Twenty types – clinical feature of stone in the


Chapter 64: Scrotal swelling (vrddhi)
Seven types – clinical features – treatment – formulation -


Chapter 65: Gaseous lumps of the abdomen (gulma)
Causes – clinical features – blood included lump in women
treatment of different types – evacuative measures – formulations
surgical treatment – cauterization with alkali – diet- treatment
of blood induced lumps


Chapter 66: Abdominal swelling (Udara)
Types and clinical features – treatment – evacuative measures
- specific formulations for each type – surgical measures


Chapter 67: leprosy (kustha)
Seven types and clinical feature – location and clinical feature
– treatment – evacuative measure – formulation – local measures


Chapter 68: Leucoderma (svitra)
Types based on dosas and clinical features – treatment


Chapter 69: Worm infestation (krmi)
External and internal types – four kinds based on origin – species
of worms – clinical features – treatment – evacuative measure
- formulations


Chapter 70: Ulcers (Vrana)
Externally and internally caused ulcers- fifteen types -
prognosis – treatment – early and ripening stage – burst abscess
- formulations – thermal cautery – traumatic wounds –local
and general measures – ulcers in specific locations and treatment
visceral injuries and treatment


Chapter 71: Fracture and dislocations (bhanga,

Fracture resistant to treatment – outline of treatment – reduction
immobilization bandaging – fracture at specific sites


Chapter 72: Rectal fistula (bhangandara)
Abscesses preceding fistula – different types of fistulae -
Treatment – local measures including alkaline thermal cautery,
sugery – medicinal formulations for internal and local use


Chapter 73: Glandular swellings tumours, filarial
swelling, cervical glandular swellings
sinus ulcer (grandhi, arbuda slipada
apcat, nadi)

Glandular swelling – nine types – treatment in the unripe
and ripe stages – surgery
Tumours – six years – treatment similar to glandular swellings
filarial swelling – clinical features – treatment according to dosa
Cervical glandular swellings – clinical features – treatment
evacuative measures formulations bloodletting – surgical excision
Sinus ulcer-ulcer with sinus tracks- caused by dosas or foreign
body – clinical features – treatment – fermentation – surgery
including removal of foreign body – local applications


Chapter 74: Diseases of the genital organs (guhyaroga)
Causes – twenty three types – clinical features – treatment
– formulations – fermentation bloodletting – surgical
measures – disease of the vagina – twenty types – clinical
features – treatment – evacuative measures – medicated tampon


Chapter 75: Minor diseases (ksudraroga)
Thirty six types – clinical features – treatment – formulation
bloodletting – evacuative therapy- surgical measures


Section XV: Diseases of Head Neck (salakya)
Chapter 76: Disease of the year (karnaroga)
twenty five types – clinical features – treatment of each type
- evacuative and local measure – formulation – surgical repair
of defects of ear nose and lips


Chapter 77: Disease of the Nose (Nasaroga)
Thirteen types – clinical features – treatment of each type-
evacuative measures and local applications – formulations


Chapter 78: Oral Disease (mukharoga)
Disease of lips (11) – teeth (10)- gums (13) – tongue (6)
palate (8) – throat (18) – clinical features – treatment for each
condition – general measures such as evacuative therapy and
blood letting – local measures such as fomentation gargle and
application of pastes – formulations


Chapter 79: Disease of the Head (siroroga)
Eleven types – clinical features – treatment – general measures
including evacuative therapy and bloodletting – local measures
such as fomentation application of pasts medicated smoking
and application of head pouch – formulation


Section XVI: Diseases of the Eye (Netraroga)
Chapter 80: Disease of the Eyelids (vartma)
Disease of different parts of the eye – twenty four types of
diseases of eyelids – clinical features – prognosis – treatment
local application – surgical measures


Chapter 81: Disease of the fornix, sclera and cornea
(sandhi –sita- asitaroga)

Nine types affecting fornix – thirteen types affecting sclera-
five types affecting cornea- guidelines to medical and surgical
treatment – fermentation and techniques for each of three


Chapter 82: Vision Defect (drsti)
Seven types – clinical features – treatment – medicinal
formalities – preparations for animal sources – treatment fo
timira based on dosa dominance – general conduct


Chapter 83: Blindness due to the disorders of lens

Six types – clinical features – couching of lens – postoperative
care – complications and management


Chapter 84: Global diseases of the eye (sarvaksiroga)
Sixteen types – clinical features – specific treatment
of each – formulation – general measures – prophylaxis


Section XVII: Fatal Signs (ristas)
Chapter 85: Signs of imminent death (rista)
Varieties fo signs – signs related to appearance sense organs,
voice shadow, activates clinical features in different diseases - other signs


Chapter 86: Messengers omens dreams (duta nimitta,

Inauspicious messengers – omens – auspicious inauspicious
and mixed – dreams and their effects – auspicious dreams


Section XVIII
Chapter 87: Rejuvenant therapy (rasayana)
types of therapy – formulations – benefits – various drugs
including lasuna and silajatu


Section XIX
Chapter 88: Virilising therapy (vajikarana)
Benefits – formulation – erotics


Chapter 89: Epilogue
List if major disease and remedies – efficacy of treatment
about Astangahrdaya


Botanical Names






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