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Charaka Samhita

Charaka Samhita (by Agnivesa), Susruta Samhita (by Susruta), and Ashtanga Sangraha/ Hridaya are recognized as Brihat Trayee or the greater trio.

Who is write the Charak Samhita?

Charaka Samhita occupies a very important place in the history of the world’s medical science.
Originally Agnivesa, the most intelligent amongst the disciples of Atreya Punarvasu, composed this work and it was subsequently redacted by Charaka and Dridhabala.

Even though all the eight branches of Ayurveda have been dealt with by the author, this work has become more popular as the authentic text of General Medicine (or) Kaya Chikitsa, because of the stress that has been laid on this branch. That means Charaka Samhita is the best book for general medicine.

Charaka Samhita is studied and referred to by physicians, teachers, research workers, and students of Ayurveda all over the country and abroad.

More than 40 commentaries were written on this work and it was translated into almost all Indian languages and also into some other foreign languages like Arabic, Persian, Simhali, Nepali, etc.

What is Charaka famous for?

Charaka is Famous as the father of the Indian medicine system, as well as the modern medicine system.

below I mention Charaka famous work of Charaka Samhita.

Charaka Samhita has been divided into eight sections and 120 chapters as under.

  1. Sutrasthana 30 chapters Deals with fundamental principles of Ayurveda.
  2. Nidana Sthana 8 chapters Etiology, Pathogenesis, and diagnosis of diseases.
  3. Sareera Sthana – 8 chapters Anatomy and Physiol
  4. Vimana Sthana – 8 chapters Principles governing
  5. Indriya Sthana 12 chapters Prognostic signs & symptoms
  6. Chikitsa Sthana – 30 chapters Treatment of diseases
  7. Kalpa Sthana 12 chapters Formulations for emesis, purgation, etc.
  8. Siddhi Sthana -12 chapters Principles governing the administration of elimination therapies

Sutrasthana is again subdivided into seven quadrates (Sapta Chatushkas), having 4 chapters each.

  1. Bheshaja Chatushka – Quadrate on drugs
  2. Swasta Chatushka – Quadrate on a regimen for the maintenance of health.
  3. Nirdesa Chatushka – Quadrate on various instructions
  4. Kalpana Chatushka – Quadrate on the description of therapeutic procedures.
  5. Roga Chatushka – Quadrate on the description of diseases.
  6. Yojana Chatushka – Quadrate on Administration of various therapies
  7. Annapana Chatushka Quadrate on the description of diet &drinks.

Two chapters at the end are known as Sangrahadhyaya, the concluding chapters.

In Charaka Samhita the titles of some chapters are based on the first word occurring in the chapter and the others are based on the subject matter discussed in that particular chapter.

Four types of Sutras are found in Charaka Samhita such as.

1. Guru Sutra – Statements made by the teacher.

2. Sishya Sutra – Statements/enquires made by the disciple.

3. Pratisamskarta Sutra- Statement of the redactor.

4. Ekiya Sutra – Statements made by individual scholars.

In Charaka Samhita subject matter of each chapter is described as follows.
Uddesya (statement in brief) followed by Nirdesa (detailed expansion of the above statement) & Lakshana (definition).

The total text is presented in 3 different forms.

1. Recording the proceedings of a seminar or symposium.

2. Dialogue between the teacher and disciple.

3. Narrative instructions.

At the end of each chapter, the contents are given. The colophons give the information pertaining to the name of the author, name of the redactor, title of the section, title of the chapter, and the serial number of the chapter also.

The influence of Buddhism is seen due to the incorporation of Swabhavoparama Vada’ in the text of Charaka Samhita. Fundamental principles of Tridoshas, Pancha Mahabhutas, and RasaPanchaka, have been scientifically established in this treatise.

The importance of investigating attitude (examine and then proceed) is also stressed in Charaka Samhita.

Commentaries on Charaka Samhita

More than 40 Sanskrit Commentaries were written on Charaka Samhita. Out of them the following are available partly or in full form.

1. Charakanyasa – Bhattara Harischandra – 4th cent. AD

2. Charaka Panjika – Swami kumara – After 4th cent. AD

3. Nirantarapada Hyakhya – Jejjata – 6th cent. AD

4. Ayurveda Dipika – Chakrapani-11th cent. AD

5. Tatwa Chandrika – Shivadas Sen -15th cent. AD

6. Jalpakalpataru – Gangadhar Sen -19th cent. AD

7. Charakopaskara – Yogendranath Sen -20h cent. AD

8. Charaka Pradipika – Jyotishchandra Saraswati- 20th cent. AD

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