Ayurveda is the ancient Indian medical system,
about 2500 years old. It was written in Sanskrit. It
is mainly available in the form of three major treatises—
Caraka Samhita, a book on medicine, Suéruta Samhita,
a book on surgery and Vagbhat Samhita, a mixed and
later work. Many other concise treatises and monograms
were written later.
Ancient Indian Surgery series in-12 volumes (10 volumes of the text and 2 supplementary volumes on drugs
and synopsis) of more than 5000 pages is the only
authentic, scientific, research oriented, English syntax
interpretation of Susruta Sarhhita. The collaborative
work has been carried out by the surgeons, physicians
and scholars, mostly from the Institute of Medical
Sciences (both modern and Ayurvedic wings ),
Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India during the
last 14 years.
What is Ophthalmic and Otorhinolaryngological
Considerations in Ancient Indian Surgery?
Susruta Samhita consists of six cantos. The last
one, Uttara-tantra, deals in its first third (26 chapters)
with Salakya-tantra or the diseases of the eye, ear, nose
and throat and the head ; these form the basis of Ophthalmological and Otorhinolaryngological Considerations
in Ancient Indian Surgery.
What is the pattern of this book?
The book comprises of three sections—an initial introductory portion, main text in the middle and index
of this book plus a list of all 186 chapters of Susruta
Samhita along with their availability in the Ancient
Indian Surgery series at the end each volume is a complete book in itself and is available separately as well
as a part of the whole set.
The main text consists of the 26 chapters of Salakya-
tantra. The INTRODUCTION contains a 4 line GIST
of all the chapters and their page numbers enabling the
reader to pick out the topic of interest. Each chapter
then gives a SUMMARY in the beginning, outlining
the salient points dealt with therein, along with the
verse/stanza number concerned; each verse/stanza has
been given an appropriate HEADING in the text
followed by the ORIGINAL SANSKRIT in Devanagari script and its ENGLISH SYNTAX TRANSLA-
TION, ‘ready on the plate’, so that it will not take more
than 5 minutes for .a reader to find out the exact reference being looked for even if one is not conversant
with Sanskrit. FOOT NOTES have been given only
where considered essential. Each chapter in the end
contains a list of SUGGESTED RESEARCH
PROBLEMS the basis of which is given as the reference
number of the verse/stanza concerned.
Medicine had its beginning in mystery and superstitions in ‘she dark backyard and abysm of time’. The
mystery, the magic and the medicine were one and the
same. Medicine was first a religion, then it became a
The Pre-Vedie Age
When we look back into the diamond distant past
we see the primitive man terrified by the world around
him and ascribing diseases as well as his other misfortunes to supernatural malevolent forces and to the
influence of spirits to be placated by sacrifice. It was
the age of wizard doctor, the medicine man, the fetish
and talisman, an age which has perhaps even yet not entirely passed away. As a matter of fact the medicine
man represents the oldest professional class of which
we have record. The oldest surgical operation of
which we have evidence is trephining which consisted in opening the skull with a sharp stone instrument
with the object of letting out the evil spirit.
The Vedic Age
When we trace back to the Vedic age (8000 B. C.)
where we see the first dawn of Aryan civilization, we
find in Rigveda, the oldest and the first treatise of the
world, there is a mention of the revival of the lost eye.
The Creation of Ayurvedic Samhitas
After Upanisada age, the third important period
belongs to the glorious age of Samhitas. We see that it
was the real age of organisation, shaping, creation, preservation and particularly specification of Ayurveda as
a separate branch. In this age this great science was
specified into its different sections namely, Surgery
(Salya) and Medicine (Kayacikitsa), etc. Susruta Samhita, the treatise of Surgery, and Caraka Samhita, the
treatise of Medicine are the two greatest contributions
of this age available today more or less in complete
forms after having gone through their two or three
redactions. These are the two of the three chief constituents of the greater triad, the Brhattrayi.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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