Deerghanjiviteeya Adhyaya

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Sutra Sthana Chapter 1. Longevity


The title of Charak Samhita’s the very first chapter, Deerghanjiviteeya Adhyaya, literally means the chapter on longevity. This is symbolic, because it implies that Ayurveda is not merely the science of life, but also a science of longevity. This chapter deliberates on the purpose of long life and health as the means of achieving the four primary instincts of human beings (purushartha chatustaya). These are virtue (dharma), wealth(artha), gratification(kama) and emancipation(moksha). Some of the basic tenets of Ayurveda and its scope are explained. The chapter introduces fundamental principles of Ayurveda, including its definition, objective, concept of three sharira (bodily) dosha and their qualities, and two manasa (mental) dosha and their treatment. The theory of similarity (samanya) and dissimilarity (vishesha), pharmaco-therapeutic aspects, classification of drugs, list of herbs and other animal products useful in purification and pacification therapies are highlighted. Through these deliberations, this chapter essentially lays the foundation for building the body of knowledge on life sciences and healthcare that Charak Samhita is known for.

Keywords: Longevity, Ayurveda, science of life, dravya, material, Mahabhuta, Samanya(similarity), Vishesha(dissimilarity) Guna, Karma, Rasa, Dosha, Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Rajas, Tamas, Sattva, qualities of good and bad physicians, medial ethics.

Deerghanjiviteeya Adhyaya
Section/Chapter Sutra Sthana Chapter 1
Tetrad/Sub-section Bheshaja Chatushka
Preceding Chapter None
Succeeding Chapter Apamarga Tanduliya
Other Sections Nidana Sthana, Vimana Sthana, Sharira Sthana, Indriya Sthana, Chikitsa Sthana, Kalpa Sthana, Siddhi Sthana



The Charak Samhita begins with a chapter detailing the means to attaining a long, healthy and happy life, explaining certain basic tenets of Ayurveda and the consequent foundational concepts necessary to build a body of knowledge. This chapter provides a description of the origin, definition, and scope of Ayurveda. It further deliberates on the critical concepts of Ayu (or the life-span of a human being) and its qualitative dimensions, and arogya (or health) as a means of achieving the four fundamental instincts (virtue, wealth, gratification and emancipation) of life on this earth.

In Ayurveda, the process of scientific inquiry and creation of knowledge involves the community of people or societies at large (loka). Within the community, it is believed that scientific knowledge is created by the interchange of information between patients, practitioners and researchers through various modes of interaction. The knowledge created in this process is theorized, supported with applicable evidence and logic, and then documented systematically in the scientific scriptures (shastra). This explains the mode of Ayurvedic knowledge creation (which corresponds with the current method of scientific inquiry and knowledge creation). Once documented, the “higher levels” of scientific knowledge – or inferences - of the shastra are delivered again to the loka for public use. Thus, knowledge creation is a dynamic, iterative process involving the loka and the shastra. When this dynamic interaction stops, knowledge becomes static and is dropped back in the history and the search for new alternative knowledge continues.

The process of origin/emergence of Ayurveda (ayurvedavatarana) as described in this chapter should be viewed from this perspective, symbolic of this iterative process of creation of knowledge. It touches upon certain basic tenets of Ayurveda such as the four dimensional concept of ayu or life and its qualitative categorization into sukhayu (happy life), duhkhayu (unhappy life), hitayu (positive life in harmony with self and the surroundings), and ahitayu(negative life, with negative state of mind and in disharmony with the surroundings), reflecting on the individual as well as the social aspects of one’s life. The chapter also deals with the doctrine of samanya (similar) and vishesha (dissimilar), dravya samgraha(knowledge of physical material), attributes of physical and mental dosha, the basic causes of ill-health, the origin of rasa (taste) and its significance, the attributes of six tastes, the nature of the material world, and the whole range of ayurvedic materia medica. Overall, as one can expect from the very first chapter of any treatise, this chapter gives guidelines about important fundamental concepts of Ayurveda that are necessary to understand the whole text.

It is very important for a physician to have the full knowledge of materials used in formulating Ayurvedic drugs. For this purpose, the chapter provides a detailed taxonomy of groups of medications (or recipes), including properties and actions of each ingredient within a group. To zero in from the generic to the specific, the entire “universe” of ingredients are classified into three groups: those that are useful for maintaining good health, those that are useful for treating disorders, and finally, those that are harmful to health. The first two categories, i.e., ingredients useful for health and for treating the diseases have been described by further dividing them into various ways with categorization by three general sources viz. animal-based, plant-based, and earth/mineral-based. Plant-based ingredients are further sub-classified according to their parts used viz. fruits, roots, latex and bark, with relevant examples that are further subdivided according to their applicability in therapeutics e.g. useful for vamana (therapeutic emesis), virechana (therapeutic purgation) or basti (therapeutic enema). The specific actions of the individual ingredients of such groups which may not find place in later chapters have been described herein e.g. five types of salts and eight types of urine.

The chapter suggests that Ayurveda beginners may take the help of local people or communities living in or around forests and herders in identifying herbs. Charak denounces quackery or ayurvedic practitioners with little or limited knowledge of plants and considers that the best physician is the one who has full knowledge of ayurvedic drugs, their pharmacology, mode of administration and their use according to the condition of the patient. Exploitation of a helpless patient by a physician is considered a sin in Ayurveda.

In summary, this first chapter of Ayurveda provides, for someone aspiring to become an Ayurvedic practitioner, a foundational course that teaches not only the basic tenets of Ayurveda, but also the foundational principles and practices for leading a long and healthy life.

Sanskrit text, transliteration, and English translation

सूत्रस्थानम् - १. दीर्घञ्जीवितीयोऽध्यायः

अथातो दीर्घञ्जीवितीयमध्यायं व्याख्यास्यामः||१||

इति ह स्माह भगवानात्रेयः||२||

Athātō dīrghañjīvitīyamadhyāyamvyākhyāsyāmaḥ||1||

Iti ha smāha bhagavānātrēyaḥ||2||

athAto dIrgha~jjIvitIyamadhyAyaM vyAkhyAsyAmaH||1||

iti ha smAha bhagavAnAtreyaH||2||

Now we shall expound the chapter "Deerghanjiviteeya" (longevity). Thus said Lord Atreya[[1]]. [1-2]

Note: The whole Charak Samhita is documented as the conversation between preceptor Aterya and his disciple Agnivesha. It is a part of knowledge transfer through oral tradition from Guru to his Shishya. Hence the first two introductory verses of each chapter are about the name of chapter told by Atreya to Agnivesha.

Origin of Ayurveda

Hierarchy of transfer of knowledge of Ayurveda

दीर्घं जीवितमन्विच्छन्भरद्वाज उपागमत्|

इन्द्रमुग्रतपा बुद्ध्वा शरण्यममरेश्वरम्||३||

dīrghaṁ jīvitamanvicchanbharadvāja upāgamat|

indramugratapā buddhvā śaraṇyamamarēśvaram||3||

dIrghaM jIvitamanvicchanbharadvAja upAgamat|

indramugratapA buddhvA sharaNyamamareshvaram||3||

Bharadwaja [[2]], a great ascetic, went to Indra[[3]], the King of Gods and the saviour, in quest of longevity. [3]

ब्रह्मणा हि यथाप्रोक्तमायुर्वेदं प्रजापतिः|

जग्राह निखिलेनादावश्विनौ तु पुनस्ततः||४||

अश्विभ्यां भगवाञ्छक्रः प्रतिपेदे ह केवलम्|

ऋषिप्रोक्तो भरद्वाजस्तस्माच्छक्रमुपागमत्||५||

brahmaṇā hi yathāprōktamāyurvēdaṁ prajāpatiḥ|

jagrāha nikhilēnādāvaśvinau tu punastataḥ||4||

aśvibhyāṁ bhagavāñchakraḥ pratipēdē ha kēvalam|

r̥ṣiprōktō bharadvājastasmācchakramupāgamat||5||

brahmaNA hi yathAproktamAyurvedaM prajApatiH|

jagrAha nikhilenAdAvashvinau tu punastataH||4||

ashvibhyAM bhagavA~jchakraH pratipede ha kevalam|

RuShiprokto bharadvAjastasmAcchakramupAgamat||5||

At first, Prajapati [[4]] received Ayurveda in its entirety as recited by Brahma[[5]], from whom the Ashwins (received), and from Ashwins lord Indra received it fully. That is why Bharadwaja , as beseeched by the sages, came to Indra.[4-5]

Problem of health and conference for its solution

विघ्नभूता यदा रोगाः प्रादुर्भूताः शरीरिणाम्|

तपोपवासाध्ययनब्रह्मचर्यव्रतायुषाम् ||६||

तदा भूतेष्वनुक्रोशं पुरस्कृत्य महर्षयः|

समेताः पुण्यकर्माणः पार्श्वे हिमवतः शुभे||७||

vighnabhūtā yadā rōgāḥ prādurbhūtāḥ śarīriṇām|

tapōpavāsādhyayanabrahmacaryavratāyuṣām ||6||

tadā bhūtēṣvanukrōśaṁ puraskr̥tya maharṣayaḥ|

samētāḥ puṇyakarmāṇaḥ pārśvē himavataḥ śubhē||7||

vighnabhUtA yadA rogAH prAdurbhUtAH sharIriNAm|

tapopavAsAdhyayanabrahmacaryavratAyuShAm ||6||

tadA bhUteShvanukroshaM puraskRutya maharShayaH|

sametAH puNyakarmANaH pArshve himavataH shubhe||7||

When diseases started blighting life, creating impediments in penance, abstinence, study, celibacy, religious observance and life span of mankind, the holy sages, out of their compassion for creatures, assembled at an auspicious place near the Himalayas. [6-7]

List of scholars participated in the conference

अङ्गिरा जमदग्निश्च वसिष्ठः कश्यपो भृगुः|

आत्रेयो गौतमः साङ्ख्यः पुलस्त्यो नारदोऽसितः||८||

अगस्त्यो वामदेवश्च मार्कण्डेयाश्वलायनौ|

पारिक्षिर्भिक्षुरात्रेयो भरद्वाजः कपिञ्ज(ष्ठ)लः||९||

विश्वामित्राश्मरथ्यौ च भार्गवश्च्यवनोऽभिजित्|

गार्ग्यः शाण्डिल्यकौण्डिल्यौ(न्यौ)वार्क्षिर्देवलगालवौ||१०||

साङ्कृत्यो बैजवापिश्च कुशिको बादरायणः|

बडिशः शरलोमा च काप्यकात्यायनावुभौ||११||

काङ्कायनः कैकशेयो धौम्यो मारीचकाश्यपौ|

शर्कराक्षो हिरण्याक्षो लोकाक्षः पैङ्गिरेव च||१२||

शौनकः शाकुनेयश्च मैत्रेयो मैमतायनिः|

वैखानसा वालखिल्यास्तथा चान्ये महर्षयः||१३||

ब्रह्मज्ञानस्य निधयो द(य)मस्य नियमस्य च|

तपसस्तेजसा दीप्ता हूयमाना इवाग्नयः||१४||

सुखोपविष्टास्ते तत्र पुण्यां चक्रुः कथामिमाम्|

aṅgirā jamadagniśca vasiṣṭhaḥ kaśyapō bhr̥guḥ|

ātrēyō gautamaḥ sāṅkhyaḥ pulastyō nāradō'sitaḥ||8||

agastyō vāmadēvaśca mārkaṇḍēyāśvalāyanau|

pārikṣirbhikṣurātrēyō bharadvājaḥ kapiñja(ṣṭha)laḥ||9||

viśvāmitrāśmarathyau ca bhārgavaścyavanō'bhijit|

gārgyaḥ śāṇḍilyakauṇḍilyau(nyau)vārkṣirdēvalagālavau||10||

sāṅkr̥tyō baijavāpiśca kuśikō bādarāyaṇaḥ|

baḍiśaḥ śaralōmā ca kāpyakātyāyanāvubhau||11||

kāṅkāyanaḥ kaikaśēyō dhaumyō mārīcakāśyapau|

śarkarākṣō hiraṇyākṣō lōkākṣaḥ paiṅgirēva ca||12||

śaunakaḥ śākunēyaśca maitrēyō maimatāyaniḥ|

vaikhānasā vālakhilyāstathā cānyē maharṣayaḥ||13||

brahmajñānasya nidhayō da(ya)masya niyamasya ca|

tapasastējasā dīptā hūyamānā ivāgnayaḥ||14||

sukhōpaviṣṭāstē tatra puṇyāṁ cakruḥ kathāmimām|

a~ggirA jamadagnishca vasiShThaH kashyapo bhRuguH|

Atreyo gautamaH sA~gkhyaH pulastyo nArado~asitaH||8||

agastyo vAmadevashca mArkaNDeyAshvalAyanau|

pArikShirbhikShurAtreyo bharadvAjaH kapi~jja(ShTha)laH||9||

vishvAmitrAshmarathyau ca bhArgavashcyavano~abhijit|

gArgyaH shANDilyakauNDilyau(nyau)vArkShirdevalagAlavau||10||

sA~gkRutyo baijavApishca kushiko bAdarAyaNaH|

baDishaH sharalomA ca kApyakAtyAyanAvubhau||11||

kA~gkAyanaH kaikasheyo dhaumyo mArIcakAshyapau|

sharkarAkSho hiraNyAkSho lokAkShaH pai~ggireva ca||12||

shaunakaH shAkuneyashca maitreyo maimatAyaniH|

vaikhAnasA vAlakhilyAstathA cAnye maharShayaH||13||

brahmaj~jAnasya nidhayo da(ya)masya niyamasya ca|

tapasastejasA dIptA hUyamAnA ivAgnayaH||14||

sukhopaviShTAste tatra puNyAM cakruH kathAmimAm|15|

Among them were Angira[6], Jamadagni [7], Vashishtha [8], Kashyapa [9], Bhrigu [10], Atreya [11], [Gautam], Samkhya [12], Pulastya [13], Narada [14], Asita [15], Agastya [16], Vamadeva [17], Markandeya[[18]], Ashvalayana, Parikshi, Bhikshu Atreya, [Bharadwaja], Kapinjala, Vishwamitra[[19]], Ashmarathya, Bhargava[[20]], Chyavana[[21]], Abhijit Gargya[[22]], Shandilya[[23]], Kaundinya (lya), Varkshi, Devala[[24]], Galava, Sankrutya, Baijavapi, Kushika, Badarayana[[25]], Badisha, Sharaloma, Kapya, Katyayana[[26]], Kankayana, Kaikasheya, Dhaumya, Maricha, Kashyapa, Sharkaraksha, Hiranyaksha, Lokaksha, Paingi, Shaunaka[[27]], Shakunteya, Maitreya, and Maimatayani, along with the sages of Vaikhanasa[[28]] and Valakhilya orders and other great sages. They all, sources of spiritual knowledge, (self control) and restraint of mind, illumined with brilliance of penance like fire, having oblations took their seats comfortably and held auspicious deliberations. [11-15]

Four Objectives of Life

धर्मार्थकाममोक्षाणामारोग्यं मूलमुत्तमम्||१५||

रोगास्तस्यापहर्तारः श्रेयसो जीवितस्य च|

प्रादुर्भूतो मनुष्याणामन्तरायो महानयम्||१६||

कः स्यात्तेषां शमोपाय इत्युक्त्वा ध्यानमास्थिताः|

अथ ते शरणं शक्रं ददृशुर्ध्यानचक्षुषा||१७||

स वक्ष्यति शमोपायं यथावदमरप्रभुः|

dharmārthakāmamōkṣāṇāmārōgyaṁ mūlamuttamam||15||

rōgāstasyāpahartāraḥ śrēyasō jīvitasya ca|

prādurbhūtō manuṣyāṇāmantarāyō mahānayam||16||

kaḥ syāttēṣāṁ śamōpāya ityuktvā dhyānamāsthitāḥ|

atha tē śaraṇaṁ śakraṁ dadr̥śurdhyānacakṣuṣā||17||

sa vakṣyati śamōpāyaṁ yathāvadamaraprabhuḥ|

dharmArthakAmamokShANAmArogyaM mUlamuttamam||15||

rogAstasyApahartAraH shreyaso jIvitasya ca|

prAdurbhUto manuShyANAmantarAyo mahAnayam||16||

kaH syAtteShAM shamopAya ityuktvA dhyAnamAsthitAH|

atha te sharaNaM shakraM dadRushurdhyAnacakShuShA||17||

sa vakShyati shamopAyaM yathAvadamaraprabhuH|18|

Health is the best source of virtue, wealth, gratification and emancipation while diseases are destroyers of this (source), welfare and life itself. Now this (disease) has appeared as a great obstacle for human beings and what could be the means for their amelioration. Saying this they concentrated on finding the solution. Then in that state of meditation they realized Indra as savior. That the King of the Gods only be able to tell the correct means of amelioration (of diseases).[15-17]

Knowledge transfer from Indra to Bharadwaja

कः सहस्राक्षभवनं गच्छेत् प्रष्टुं शचीपतिम्||१८||

अहमर्थे नियुज्येयमत्रेति प्रथमं वचः|

भरद्वाजोऽब्रवीत्तस्मादृषिभिः स नियोजितः||१९||

स शक्रभवनं गत्वा सुरर्षिगणमध्यगम् |

ददर्श बलहन्तारं दीप्यमानमिवानलम्||२०||

सोऽभिगम्य जयाशीर्भिरभिनन्द्य सुरेश्वरम्|

प्रोवाच विनयाद्धीमानृषीणां वाक्यमुत्तमम्||२१||

व्याधयो हि समुत्पन्नाः सर्वप्राणिभयङ्कराः|

तद्ब्रूहि मे शमोपायं यथावदमरप्रभो||२२||

तस्मै प्रोवाच भगवानायुर्वेदं शतक्रतुः|

पदैरल्पैर्मतिं बुद्ध्वा विपुलां परमर्षये||२३||

kaḥ sahasrākṣabhavanaṁ gacchēt praṣṭuṁ śacīpatim||18||

ahamarthē niyujyēyamatrēti prathamaṁ vacaḥ|

bharadvājō'bravīttasmādr̥ṣibhiḥ sa niyōjitaḥ||19||

sa śakrabhavanaṁ gatvā surarṣigaṇamadhyagam [1] |

dadarśa balahantāraṁ dīpyamānamivānalam||20||

sō'bhigamya jayāśīrbhirabhinandya surēśvaram|

prōvāca vinayāddhīmānr̥ṣīṇāṁ vākyamuttamam||21||

vyādhayō hi samutpannāḥ sarvaprāṇibhayaṅkarāḥ|

tadbrūhi mē śamōpāyaṁ yathāvadamaraprabhō||22||

tasmai prōvāca bhagavānāyurvēdaṁ śatakratuḥ|

padairalpairmatiṁ buddhvā vipulāṁ paramarṣayē||23||

kaH sahasrAkShabhavanaM gacchet praShTuM shacIpatim||18||

ahamarthe niyujyeyamatreti prathamaM vacaH|

bharadvAjo~abravIttasmAdRuShibhiH sa niyojitaH||19||

sa shakrabhavanaM gatvA surarShigaNamadhyagam [1] |

dadarsha balahantAraM [2] dIpyamAnamivAnalam||20||

so~abhigamya [3] jayAshIrbhirabhinandya sureshvaram|

provAca vinayAddhImAnRuShINAM [4] vAkyamuttamam||21||

vyAdhayo hi samutpannAH sarvaprANibhaya~gkarAH|

tadbrUhi me shamopAyaM yathAvadamaraprabho||22||

tasmai provAca bhagavAnAyurvedaM shatakratuH| Ayurveda padairalpairmatiM buddhvA vipulAM paramarShaye||23||

Who should go to the abode of Indra to inquire about correct means of amelioration of disease? On this, volunteered Bharadwaja, “I may be deputed for this work” and so he was deputed by the sages. Having gone to Indra’s abode, he saw Indra- the slayer of Bala (a demon), sitting in the midst of the groups of godly sages and glittering like fire. He approached him with felicitating words of praises and blessings and the intelligent one submitted to him the message of the sages humbly and in the best possible way- “Diseases causing fear in all living beings have appeared so, O Lord of the Gods! Tell me the proper measure for their amelioration!”. Then Lord Indra, having sensed the wide intelligence of the great sage, delivered to him Ayurveda in a few words. [18-23]

Three principles for knowledge of Health and Disease

हेतुलिङ्गौषधज्ञानं स्वस्थातुरपरायणम्|

त्रिसूत्रं शाश्वतं पुण्यं बुबुधे यं पितामहः||२४||

hētuliṅgauṣadhajñānaṁ svasthāturaparāyaṇam|

trisūtraṁ śāśvataṁ puṇyaṁ bubudhē yaṁ pitāmahaḥ||24||

hetuli~ggauShadhaj~jAnaM svasthAturaparAyaNam|

trisUtraM shAshvataM puNyaM bubudhe yaM pitAmahaH||24||

Ayurveda provides the knowledge of etiology, symptomatology and therapeutics, best ways for both the healthy and the sick this tri-aphorismic, continuing for the time immemorial and virtuous knowledge which was known to Brahma first. [24]

सोऽनन्तपारं त्रिस्कन्धमायुर्वेदं महामतिः|

यथावदचिरात् सर्वं बुबुधे तन्मना मुनिः||२५||

तेनायुरमितं लेभे भरद्वाजः सुखान्वितम्|

ऋषिभ्योऽनधिकं तच्च शशंसानवशेषयन्||२६||

sō'nantapāraṁ triskandhamāyurvēdaṁ mahāmatiḥ|

yathāvadacirāt sarvaṁ bubudhē tanmanā muniḥ||25||

tēnāyuramitaṁ lēbhē bharadvājaḥ sukhānvitam|

r̥ṣibhyō'nadhikaṁ tacca śaśaṁsānavaśēṣayan||26||

so~anantapAraM triskandhamAyurvedaM mahAmatiH|

yathAvadacirAt sarvaM bubudhe tanmanA muniH||25||

tenAyuramitaM lebhe bharadvAjaH sukhAnvitam|

RuShibhyo~anadhikaM tacca shashaMsAnavasheShayan||26||

He (Bharadwaja), the intelligent and focussed sage, acquired the endless and three-pronged Ayurveda properly and entirely in a short time. With this, Bharadwaja attained immeasurably blissful long-life. Thereafter, he transmitted that knowledge as it is neither more or less to the sages.[25-26]

Six Basic Principles of Knowledge

ऋषयश्च भरद्वाजाज्जगृहुस्तं प्रजाहितम्|

दीर्घमायुश्चिकीर्षन्तो वेदं वर्धनमायुषः||२७||

महर्षयस्ते ददृशुर्यथावज्ज्ञानचक्षुषा|

सामान्यं च विशेषं च गुणान् द्रव्याणि कर्म च||२८||

समवायं च तज्ज्ञात्वा तन्त्रोक्तं विधिमास्थिताः|

लेभिरे परमं शर्म जीवितं चाप्यनित्वरम् ||२९||

r̥ṣayaśca bharadvājājjagr̥hustaṁ prajāhitam|

dīrghamāyuścikīrṣantō vēdaṁ vardhanamāyuṣaḥ||27||

maharṣayastē dadr̥śuryathāvajjñānacakṣuṣā|

sāmānyaṁ ca viśēṣaṁ ca guṇān dravyāṇi karma ca||28||

samavāyaṁ ca tajjñātvā tantrōktaṁ vidhimāsthitāḥ|

lēbhirē paramaṁ śarma jīvitaṁ cāpyanitvaram ||29||

RuShayashca bharadvAjAjjagRuhustaM prajAhitam|

dIrghamAyushcikIrShanto vedaM vardhanamAyuShaH||27||

maharShayaste dadRushuryathAvajj~jAnacakShuShA|

sAmAnyaM ca visheShaM ca guNAn dravyANi karma ca||28||

samavAyaM ca tajj~jAtvA tantroktaM vidhimAsthitAH|

lebhire paramaM sharma jIvitaM cApyanitvaram ||29||

The sages, desirous of long life, also received that benevolent veda (compendium of knowledge) of enhancing life from Bharadwaja. The great sages further grasped properly the knowledge of samanya (similarity), vishesha (dissimilarity), guna (property), dravya (substance), karma (action) and samvaya (inherence) by which they followed the tenets of the compendium and attained highest well-being and non-perishable life span. [27-29]

Six disciples of Punarvasu Atreya

अथ मैत्रीपरः पुण्यमायुर्वेदं पुनर्वसुः|

शिष्येभ्यो दत्तवान् षड्भ्यः सर्वभूतानुकम्पया||३०||

अग्निवेशश्च भेल(ड)श्च जतूकर्णः पराशरः|

हारीतः क्षारपाणिश्च जगृहुस्तन्मुनेर्वचः||३१||

atha maitrīparaḥ puṇyamāyurvēdaṁ punarvasuḥ|

śiṣyēbhyō dattavān ṣaḍbhyaḥ sarvabhūtānukampayā||30||

agnivēśaśca bhēla(ḍa)śca jatūkarṇaḥ parāśaraḥ|

hārītaḥ kṣārapāṇiśca jagr̥hustanmunērvacaḥ||31|

atha maitrIparaH puNyamAyurvedaM punarvasuH|

shiShyebhyo dattavAn ShaDbhyaH sarvabhUtAnukampayA||30||

agniveshashca bhela(Da)shca jatUkarNaH parAsharaH|

hArItaH kShArapANishca jagRuhustanmunervacaH||31||

Now, Punarvasu (Lord Atreya), the friend of humanity, out of his benevolence, bestowed the virtuous Ayurveda upon his six disciples. (The disciples) Agnivesha, Bhela, Jatukarna, Parashara, Harita and Ksharapani received the word of instruction from the sage Punarvasu. [30-31]

Inception of Agnivesha Tantra

बुद्धेर्विशेषस्तत्रासीन्नोपदेशान्तरं मुनेः|

तन्त्रस्य कर्ता प्रथममग्निवेशो यतोऽभवत्||३२||

अथ भेलादयश्चक्रुः स्वं स्वं तन्त्रं कृतानि च|

श्रावयामासुरात्रेयं सर्षिसङ्घं सुमेधसः||३३||

श्रुत्वा सूत्रणमर्थानामृषयः पुण्यकर्मणाम्|

यथावत्सूत्रितमिति प्रहृष्टास्तेऽनुमेनिरे||३४||

सर्व एवास्तुवंस्तांश्च सर्वभूतहितैषिणः|

साधु [१] भूतेष्वनुक्रोश इत्युच्चैरब्रुवन् समम्||३५||

तं पुण्यं शुश्रुवुः शब्दं दिवि देवर्षयः स्थिताः|

सामराः परमर्षीणां श्रुत्वा मुमुदिरे परम्||३६||

अहो साध्विति निर्घोषो लोकांस्त्रीनन्ववा(ना)दयत्|

नभसि स्निग्धगम्भीरो हर्षाद्भूतैरुदीरितः||३७||

शिवो वायुर्ववौ सर्वा भाभिरुन्मीलिता दिशः|

निपेतुः सजलाश्चैव दिव्याः कुसुमवृष्टयः||३८||

अथाग्निवेशप्रमुखान् विविशुर्ज्ञानदेवताः|

बुद्धिः सिद्धिः स्मृतिर्मेधा धृतिः कीर्तिः क्षमा दया||३९||

तानि चानुमतान्येषां तन्त्राणि परमर्षिभिः|

भ(भा)वाय भूतसङ्घानां प्रतिष्ठां भुवि लेभिरे||४०||

buddhērviśēṣastatrāsīnnōpadēśāntaraṁ munēḥ|

tantrasya kartā prathamamagnivēśō yatō'bhavat||32||

atha bhēlādayaścakruḥ svaṁ svaṁ tantraṁ kr̥tāni ca|

śrāvayāmāsurātrēyaṁ sarṣisaṅghaṁ sumēdhasaḥ||33||

śrutvā sūtraṇamarthānāmr̥ṣayaḥ puṇyakarmaṇām|

yathāvatsūtritamiti prahr̥ṣṭāstē'numēnirē||34||

sarva ēvāstuvaṁstāṁśca sarvabhūtahitaiṣiṇaḥ|

sādhu [1] bhūtēṣvanukrōśa ityuccairabruvan samam||35||

taṁ puṇyaṁ śuśruvuḥ śabdaṁ divi dēvarṣayaḥ sthitāḥ|

sāmarāḥ paramarṣīṇāṁ śrutvā mumudirē param||36||

ahō sādhviti nirghōṣō lōkāṁstrīnanvavā(nā)dayat|

nabhasi snigdhagambhīrō harṣādbhūtairudīritaḥ||37||

śivō vāyurvavau sarvā bhābhirunmīlitā diśaḥ|

nipētuḥ sajalāścaiva divyāḥ kusumavr̥ṣṭayaḥ||38||

athāgnivēśapramukhān viviśurjñānadēvatāḥ|

buddhiḥ siddhiḥ smr̥tirmēdhā dhr̥tiḥ kīrtiḥ kṣamā dayā||39||

tāni cānumatānyēṣāṁ tantrāṇi paramarṣibhiḥ|

bha(bhā)vāya bhūtasaṅghānāṁ pratiṣṭhāṁ bhuvi lēbhirē||40||

buddhervisheShastatrAsInnopadeshAntaraM muneH|

tantrasya kartA prathamamagnivesho yato~abhavat||32||

atha bhelAdayashcakruH svaM svaM tantraM kRutAni ca|

shrAvayAmAsurAtreyaM sarShisa~gghaM sumedhasaH||33||

shrutvA sUtraNamarthAnAmRuShayaH puNyakarmaNAm|

yathAvatsUtritamiti prahRuShTAste~anumenire||34||

sarva evAstuvaMstAMshca sarvabhUtahitaiShiNaH|

sAdhu [1] bhUteShvanukrosha ityuccairabruvan samam||35||

taM puNyaM shushruvuH shabdaM divi devarShayaH sthitAH|

sAmarAH paramarShINAM shrutvA mumudire param||36||

aho sAdhviti nirghoSho lokAMstrInanvavA(nA)dayat|

nabhasi snigdhagambhIro harShAdbhUtairudIritaH||37||

shivo vAyurvavau sarvA bhAbhirunmIlitA dishaH|

nipetuH sajalAshcaiva divyAH kusumavRuShTayaH||38||

athAgniveshapramukhAn vivishurj~jAnadevatAH|

buddhiH siddhiH smRutirmedhA dhRutiH kIrtiH kShamA dayA||39||

tAni cAnumatAnyeShAM tantrANi paramarShibhiH|

bha(bhA)vAya bhUtasa~gghAnAM pratiShThAM bhuvi lebhire||40||

It was only the extraordinary merit and not the instructions of the sage that made Agnivesha the author of the first compendium. Subsequently, Bhela etc. also authored their own compendiums and all of them, the intelligent ones, presented their work before Atreya. The sages, on hearing the composition of the various branches of Ayurveda, were extremely pleased and approved it unanimously as a well-composed body of work. All praised the sages, the benefactors of all creatures, for their compassion towards fellow beings. These emphatic, wise words of the sages were heard by the deities and gods in heaven, who became extremely pleased. Their collective appreciation, in the form of a unanimous “well done!” resonated throughout the Three Worlds. Pleasant winds began to blow, there was lustre all around, and there were divine showers of buddhi(Intellect), siddhi(success), smriti (memory), medha (grasping power of intellect to learn sciences), dhriti (restraint), kirti (fame), kshama (forbearance) and daya (kindness) on those sages (Agnivesha, etc). Thus, compendiums approved by the great sages were established on (strong) footing for the welfare of the living. [32-40]

Definition and Scope of Ayurveda

हिताहितं सुखं दुःखमायुस्तस्य हिताहितम्|

मानं च तच्च यत्रोक्तमायुर्वेदः स उच्यते||४१||

hitāhitaṁ sukhaṁ duḥkhamāyustasya hitāhitam|

mānaṁ ca tacca yatrōktamāyurvēdaḥ sa ucyatē||41||

hitAhitaM sukhaM duHkhamAyustasya hitAhitam|

mAnaM ca tacca yatroktamAyurvedaH sa ucyate||41||

Ayurveda is that which deals with good, bad, blissful and sorrowful life, and with what is wholesome and unwholesome for it, longevity, and about what Ayu (life) is in itself. [41]

Definition of Ayu (life) and its synonyms

शरीरेन्द्रियसत्त्वात्मसंयोगो धारि जीवितम्|

नित्यगश्चानुबन्धश्च पर्यायैरायुरुच्यते||४२||

śarīrēndriyasattvātmasaṁyōgō dhāri jīvitam|

nityagaścānubandhaśca paryāyairāyurucyatē||42||

sharIrendriyasattvAtmasaMyogo dhAri jIvitam|

nityagashcAnubandhashca paryAyairAyurucyate||42||

Ayu (life) implies the conjunction of physical body, senses, mind and soul and is known by the synonym dhari (that which sustains), jivita (that which is live), nityaga (that which is in continuum), and anubandha (that which is interdependent, or a link between past life and the future life). [42]

Superiority of Ayurveda (over other Vedas)

तस्यायुषः पुण्यतमो वेदो वेदविदां मतः|

वक्ष्यते यन्मनुष्याणां लोकयोरुभयोर्हितम् ||४३||

tasyāyuṣaḥ puṇyatamō vēdō vēdavidāṁ mataḥ|

vakṣyatē yanmanuṣyāṇāṁ lōkayōrubhayōrhitam ||43||

tasyAyuShaH puNyatamo vedo vedavidAM mataH|

vakShyate yanmanuShyANAM lokayorubhayorhitam ||43||

Vedic scholars regard Ayurveda as the most exalted of vedas, and that which is said to be good for both the worlds for the human beings – the present and the after-life. [43]

Principle of Samanya (similarity) and Vishesha (difference)

सर्वदा सर्वभावानां सामान्यं वृद्धिकारणम्|

ह्रासहेतुर्विशेषश्च, प्रवृत्तिरुभयस्य तु||४४||

sarvadā sarvabhāvānāṁ sāmānyaṁ vr̥ddhikāraṇam|

hrāsahēturviśēṣaśca, pravr̥ttirubhayasya tu||44||

sarvadA sarvabhAvAnAM sAmAnyaM vRuddhikAraNam|

hrAsaheturvisheShashca, pravRuttirubhayasya tu||44||

The principle samanya causes increase and the principle vishesha causes decrease of all the existing elements at all times, both these effects are produced by their application in the body.[44]

सामान्यमेकत्वकरं, विशेषस्तु पृथक्त्वकृत्|

तुल्यार्थता हि सामान्यं, विशेषस्तु विपर्ययः||४५||

sāmānyamēkatvakaraṁ, viśēṣastu pr̥thaktvakr̥t|

tulyārthatā hi sāmānyaṁ, viśēṣastu viparyayaḥ||45||

sAmAnyamekatvakaraM, visheShastu pRuthaktvakRut|

tulyArthatA hi sAmAnyaM, visheShastu viparyayaH||45||

Samanya (is the principle which ) enables to understand similarity (between objects), and vishesha (is the principle which) enables to understand distinction(between objects). Again similarity proposes similar purpose (or action) while dissimilarity has opposite one.[45]

The Tripods of Living World and subject of Ayurveda

सत्त्वमात्मा शरीरं च त्रयमेतत्त्रिदण्डवत्|

लोकस्तिष्ठति संयोगात्तत्र सर्वं प्रतिष्ठितम्||४६||

स पुमांश्चेतनं तच्च तच्चाधिकरणं स्मृतम्|

वेदस्यास्य, तदर्थं हि वेदोऽयं सम्प्रकाशितः||४७||

sattvamātmā śarīraṁ ca trayamētattridaṇḍavat|

lōkastiṣṭhati saṁyōgāttatra sarvaṁ pratiṣṭhitam||46||

sa pumāṁścētanaṁ tacca taccādhikaraṇaṁ smr̥tam|

vēdasyāsya, tadarthaṁ hi vēdō'yaṁ samprakāśitaḥ||47||

sattvamAtmA sharIraM ca trayametattridaNDavat|

lokastiShThati saMyogAttatra sarvaM pratiShThitam||46||

sa pumAMshcetanaM tacca taccAdhikaraNaM smRutam|

vedasyAsya, tadarthaM hi vedo~ayaM samprakAshitaH||47||

Mind, soul and body- these three are like a tripod. By their conjunction, existence of the living world is sustained. It is the substratum for everything which presently exists. This conjugation is termed as Purusha (holistic human being) and Chetana (sentient). It is the adhikarana (subject matter) for Ayurveda. Knowledge of Ayurveda is promulgated for the sake of this conjugation only. [46-47]

Dravya, Guna and Karma

Sentient and Insentient dravya (elements)

खादीन्यात्मा मनः कालो दिशश्च द्रव्यसङ्ग्रहः|

सेन्द्रियं चेतनं द्रव्यं, निरिन्द्रियमचेतनम्||४८||

khādīnyātmā manaḥ kālō diśaśca dravyasaṅgrahaḥ|

sēndriyaṁ cētanaṁ dravyaṁ, nirindriyamacētanam||48||

khAdInyAtmA manaH kAlo dishashca dravyasa~ggrahaH|

sendriyaM cetanaM dravyaM, nirindriyamacetanam||48||

Panchamahabhuta (the five fundamental elements, akasha, vayu, tejas, aap and prithvi), Soul, mind, time and dik (orientation in space) are collectively called dravyas (elements). dravya, when is supplemented with sense organs, form the sentient being, while without them would be insentient. [48]

Guna (basic properties/ qualities) and Karma (actions)

सार्था गुर्वादयो बुद्धिः प्रयत्नान्ताः परादयः|

गुणाः प्रोक्ताः . प्रयत्नादि कर्म चेष्टितमुच्यते||४९||

sārthā gurvādayō buddhiḥ prayatnāntāḥ parādayaḥ|

guṇāḥ prōktāḥ prayatnādi karma cēṣṭitamucyatē||49||

sArthA gurvAdayo buddhiH prayatnAntAH parAdayaH|

guNAH proktAH prayatnAdi karma ceShTitamucyate||49||

Sense objects (shabda, sparsha, rupa, rasa, gandha (sound, touch, sight, taste and smell respectively), properties beginning with guru (twenty properties like guru, laghu, etc), buddhi (intelligence) and ending with prayatna (effort),properties beginning with para are called gunas. The movement initiated by (the attribute of Atma) prayatna (effort) is called karma (action).[49]

Inseparable Concomitance of Element and Properties

समवायोऽपृथग्भावो भूम्यादीनां गुणैर्मतः|

स नित्यो यत्र हि द्रव्यं न तत्रानियतो गुणः||५०||

samavāyō'pr̥thagbhāvō bhūmyādīnāṁ guṇairmataḥ|

sa nityō yatra hi dravyaṁ na tatrāniyatō guṇaḥ||50||

samavAyo~apRuthagbhAvo bhUmyAdInAM guNairmataH|

sa nityo yatra hi dravyaM na tatrAniyato guNaH||50||

Samavaya (inseparable concomitance) is the inseparable relationship of dravya with their gunas (properties). This is eternal because whenever a dravya exists, it is not devoid of gunas. [50]

Definition of Dravya

यत्राश्रिताः कर्मगुणाः कारणं समवायि यत्|


yatrāśritāḥ karmaguṇāḥ kāraṇaṁ samavāyi yat|

taddravyaṁ ||51||

yatrAshritAH karmaguNAH kAraNaM samavAyi yat|

taddravyaM ...|51|

dravya (element including drugs) is the substratum for karma (actions) and guna (properties) and that which is the samavayi karana (intrinsic or material cause of its effect). [51]

Definition of Guna

समवायी तु निश्चेष्टः कारणं गुणः||५१||

samavāyī tu niścēṣṭaḥ kāraṇaṁ guṇaḥ||51||

samavAyI tu nishceShTaH kAraNaM guNaH||51||

Guna (property) is related with samavaya (inseperable concomitance to dravya), is devoid of action and is (asamavayi), i.e., non-inherent cause of its effect). [51]

Karma (action)

संयोगे च विभागे च कारणं द्रव्यमाश्रितम्|

कर्तव्यस्य क्रिया कर्म कर्म नान्यदपेक्षते||५२||

saṁyōgē ca vibhāgē ca kāraṇaṁ dravyamāśritam|

kartavyasya kriyā karma karma nānyadapēkṣatē||52||

saMyoge ca vibhAge ca kAraNaM dravyamAshritam|

kartavyasya kriyA karma karma nAnyadapekShate||52||

The causative factor in conjunction and disjunction is located in dravya and performance of the activities to be done (as intended by the doer) is karma (action). Karma does not depend on any other factor (to produce the activities). [52]

Principles of equilibrium and dis-equilibrium

The Objective of this Compendium

इत्युक्तं कारणं कार्यं धातुसाम्यमिहोच्यते|

धातुसाम्यक्रिया चोक्ता तन्त्रस्यास्य प्रयोजनम्||५३||

ityuktaṁ kāraṇaṁ kāryaṁ dhātusāmyamihōcyatē|

dhātusāmyakriyā cōktā tantrasyāsya prayōjanam||53||

ityuktaM kAraNaM kAryaM dhAtusAmyamihocyate|

dhAtusAmyakriyA coktA tantrasyAsya prayojanam||53||

Thus has been described the cause. Now the effect dhatusamya is discussed here because the objective of this compendium is achievement of dhatusamya (equilibrium of sustaining and nourishing factors i.e. body constituents). [53]

Three Types of Causes of Diseases

कालबुद्धीन्द्रियार्थानां योगो मिथ्या न चाति च|

द्वयाश्रयाणां व्याधीनां त्रिविधो हेतुसङ्ग्रहः||५४||

kālabuddhīndriyārthānāṁ yōgō mithyā na cāti ca|

dvayāśrayāṇāṁ vyādhīnāṁ trividhō hētusaṅgrahaḥ||54||

kAlabuddhIndriyArthAnAM yogo mithyA na cAti ca|

dvayAshrayANAM vyAdhInAM trividho hetusa~ggrahaH||54||

Erroneous use, avoidance and excessive use of time factor, intellect and sense objects is the threefold cause of both psychic and somatic disorders. [54]

Two Sites of Pleasure and Disease

शरीरं सत्त्वसञ्ज्ञं च व्याधीनामाश्रयो मतः|

तथा सुखानां, योगस्तु सुखानां कारणं समः||५५||

śarīraṁ sattvasañjñaṁ ca vyādhīnāmāśrayō mataḥ|

tathā sukhānāṁ, yōgastu sukhānāṁ kāraṇaṁ samaḥ||55||

sharIraM sattvasa~jj~jaM ca vyAdhInAmAshrayo mataH|

tathA sukhAnAM, yogastu sukhAnAM kAraNaM samaH||55||

Both body and mind are the locations of disorders as well as pleasures. The balanced use (of the factors mentioned in previous verse) is the cause of pleasures. [55]

The Nature of Atma

निर्विकारः परस्त्वात्मा सत्त्वभूतगुणेन्द्रियैः|

चैतन्ये कारणं नित्यो द्रष्टा पश्यति हि क्रियाः||५६||

nirvikāraḥ parastvātmā sattvabhūtaguṇēndriyaiḥ|

caitanyē kāraṇaṁ nityō draṣṭā paśyati hi kriyāḥ||56||

nirvikAraH parastvAtmA sattvabhUtaguNendriyaiH|

caitanye kAraNaM nityo draShTA pashyati hi kriyAH||56||

The soul is free from all diseases and supreme. It is the cause of consciousness when in conjunction with the mind, objects of senses (bhuta guna) and sense organs. It is eternal and the observer who witness of all (psychic and somatic) activities. [56]


Three Sharira dosha and two Manas dosha

वायुः पित्तं कफश्चोक्तः शारीरो दोषसङ्ग्रहः|

मानसः पुनरुद्दिष्टो रजश्च तम एव च||५७||

vāyuḥ pittaṁ kaphaścōktaḥ śārīrō dōṣasaṅgrahaḥ|

mānasaḥ punaruddiṣṭō rajaśca tama ēva ca||57||

vAyuH pittaM kaphashcoktaH shArIro doShasa~ggrahaH|

mAnasaH punaruddiShTo rajashca tama eva ca||57||

Vayu, pitta and kapha are described as bodily dosha, rajas and tamas are the mental ones. [57]

Treatment of these dosha

प्रशाम्यत्यौषधैः पूर्वो दैवयुक्तिव्यपाश्रयैः|

मानसो ज्ञानविज्ञानधैर्यस्मृतिसमाधिभिः||५८||

praśāmyatyauṣadhaiḥ pūrvō daivayuktivyapāśrayaiḥ|

mānasō jñānavijñānadhairyasmr̥tisamādhibhiḥ||58||

prashAmyatyauShadhaiH pUrvo daivayuktivyapAshrayaiH|

mAnaso j~jAnavij~jAnadhairyasmRutisamAdhibhiH||58||

The former ones (sharira dosha) are pacified by remedial measures of divine and rational qualities while the latter ones (manas dosha) can be treated with general and specific knowledge, temperance, memory and concentration. [58]

Properties of dosha

रूक्षः शीतो लघुः सूक्ष्मश्चलोऽथ विशदः खरः|

विपरीतगुणैर्द्रव्यैर्मारुतः सम्प्रशाम्यति||५९||

सस्नेहमुष्णं तीक्ष्णं च द्रवमम्लं सरं कटु|

विपरीतगुणैः पित्तं द्रव्यैराशु प्रशाम्यति||६०||


श्लेष्मणः प्रशमं यान्ति विपरीतगुणैर्गुणाः||६१||

rūkṣaḥ śītō laghuḥ sūkṣmaścalō'tha viśadaḥ kharaḥ|

viparītaguṇairdravyairmārutaḥ sampraśāmyati||59||

sasnēhamuṣṇaṁ [1] tīkṣṇaṁ ca dravamamlaṁ saraṁ kaṭu|

viparītaguṇaiḥ pittaṁ dravyairāśu praśāmyati||60||


ślēṣmaṇaḥ praśamaṁ yānti viparītaguṇairguṇāḥ||61||

rUkShaH shIto laghuH sUkShmashcalo~atha vishadaH kharaH|

viparItaguNairdravyairmArutaH samprashAmyati||59||

sasnehamuShNaM [1] tIkShNaM ca dravamamlaM saraM kaTu|

viparItaguNaiH pittaM dravyairAshu prashAmyati||60||


shleShmaNaH prashamaM yAnti viparItaguNairguNAH||61||

Vayu is dry, cold, light, subtle, mobile, non-slimy and rough in its characteristics and can be pacified by drugs that have opposite properties (i.e., creamy or oily, heavy and thick in their property). Pitta is mildly unctuous, hot, sharp, viscous, sour, mobile and pungent, and can readily be pacified by drugs and food articles having opposite properties. Kapha is heavy and dense, cold, soft, unctuous, sweet, immobile and slimy, and can be subsided by drugs and food articles possessing opposite properties. [59-61]

Fundamental principle of disease management and prognosis


भेषजैर्विनिवर्तन्ते विकाराः साध्यसम्मताः||६२||

साधनं न त्वसाध्यानां व्याधीनामुपदिश्यते|

भूयश्चातो यथाद्रव्यं गुणकर्माणि वक्ष्यते||६३||


bhēṣajairvinivartantē vikārāḥ sādhyasammatāḥ||62||

sādhanaṁ na tvasādhyānāṁ vyādhīnāmupadiśyatē|

bhūyaścātō yathādravyaṁ guṇakarmāṇi vakṣyatē||63||


bheShajairvinivartante vikArAH sAdhyasammatAH||62||

sAdhanaM na tvasAdhyAnAM vyAdhInAmupadishyate|63|

bhUyashcAto yathAdravyaM guNakarmANi vakShyate||63||

Curable disorders can be treated using drugs having opposite properties and administered with due consideration to place or location, dosage and time. Treatment of incurable diseases is not advised (in Ayurveda). Now described, in detail, are the properties and actions of drugs [62-63]

Concept and applications of rasarasa (taste sensations)

Origin of rasa (taste sensations)

रसनार्थो रसस्तस्य द्रव्यमापः क्षितिस्तथा|

निर्वृत्तौ च विशेषे च प्रत्ययाः खादयस्त्रयः||६४||

rasanārthō rasastasya dravyamāpaḥ kṣitistathā|

nirvr̥ttau ca viśēṣē ca pratyayāḥ khādayastrayaḥ||64||

rasanArtho rasastasya dravyamApaH kShitistathA|

nirvRuttau ca visheShe ca pratyayAH khAdayastrayaH||64||

Rasa (taste) is the object of gustatory sense organ or tongue (rasana). Source elements for its manifestation are apa (jala mahabhuta) and kshiti (prithvi mahabhuta). The variation in taste are caused due to other three mahabhuta like kha (akasha, vayu and agni). [64]

Six rasa

स्वादुरम्लोऽथ लवणः कटुकस्तिक्त एव च|

कषायश्चेति षट्कोऽयं रसानां सङ्ग्रहः स्मृतः||६५||

svāduramlō'tha lavaṇaḥ kaṭukastikta ēva ca|

kaṣāyaścēti ṣaṭkō'yaṁ rasānāṁ saṅgrahaḥ smr̥taḥ||65||

svAduramlo~atha lavaNaH kaTukastikta eva ca|

kaShAyashceti ShaTko~ayaM rasAnAM sa~ggrahaH smRutaH||65||

Sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent – this is the group of six rasa (tastes). [65]

Effect of rasa on dosha

स्वाद्वम्ललवणा वायुं, कषायस्वादुतिक्तकाः|

जयन्ति पित्तं, श्लेष्माणं कषायकटुतिक्तकाः||६६||

(कट्वम्ललवणाः पित्तं, स्वाद्वम्ललवणाः कफम्|

कटुतिक्तकषायाश्च कोपयन्ति समीरणम् ||१||)

svādvamlalavaṇā vāyuṁ, kaṣāyasvādutiktakāḥ|

jayanti pittaṁ, ślēṣmāṇaṁ kaṣāyakaṭutiktakāḥ||66||

(kaṭvamlalavaṇāḥ pittaṁ, svādvamlalavaṇāḥ kapham|

kaṭutiktakaṣāyāśca kōpayanti samīraṇam ||1||)|

svAdvamlalavaNA vAyuM, kaShAyasvAdutiktakAH|

jayanti pittaM, shleShmANaM kaShAyakaTutiktakAH||66||

(kaTvamlalavaNAH pittaM, svAdvamlalavaNAH kapham|

kaTutiktakaShAyAshca kopayanti samIraNam ||1||)

(Among these tastes) sweet, sour and salty overcome vayu, astringent, sweet and bitter subdue pitta and astringent, pungent and bitter win over kapha. [66]

Classification of dravya based on their biological effects

किञ्चिद्दोषप्रशमनं किञ्चिद्धातुप्रदूषणम्|

स्वस्थवृत्तौ मतं किञ्चित्त्रिविधं द्रव्यमुच्यते||६७||

kiñciddōṣapraśamanaṁ kiñciddhātupradūṣaṇam|

svasthavr̥ttau mataṁ kiñcittrividhaṁ dravyamucyatē||67||

ki~jciddoShaprashamanaM ki~jciddhAtupradUShaNam|

svasthavRuttau mataM ki~jcittrividhaM dravyamucyate||67||

Drug is of three types- (based on prabhava) (1) some (drugs) are pacifiers of dosha, (2) some vitiate dhatus and (3) some are taken as (responsible for) maintaining normal health. [67]

Classification of Matters according to Source

तत् पुनस्त्रिविधं प्रोक्तं जङ्गमौद्भिदपार्थिवम् |६८|

tat punastrividhaṁ prōktaṁ jaṅgamaudbhidapārthivam |68|

tat punastrividhaM proktaM ja~ggamaudbhidapArthivam |68|

According to the source of origin, the drugs are of three types viz. animal origin, plant origin and earth origin.[68]

Animal origin drugs

मधूनि गोरसाः पित्तं वसा मज्जाऽसृगामिषम्||६८||

विण्मूत्रचर्मरेतोऽस्थिस्नायुशृङ्गनखाः खुराः|

जङ्गमेभ्यः प्रयुज्यन्ते केशा लोमानि रोचनाः||६९||

madhūni gōrasāḥ pittaṁ vasā majjā'sr̥gāmiṣam||68||

viṇmūtracarmarētō'sthisnāyuśr̥ṅganakhāḥ khurāḥ|

jaṅgamēbhyaḥ prayujyantē kēśā lōmāni rōcanāḥ||69||

madhUni gorasAH pittaM vasA majjA~asRugAmiSham||68||

viNmUtracarmareto~asthisnAyushRu~gganakhAH khurAH|

ja~ggamebhyaH prayujyante keshA lomAni rocanAH||69||

Animal origin drugs - Honey, milk, bile, animal-fat, bone-marrow, blood, flesh, excrements, urine, skin, semen, bone, ligaments, horns, nails, hoof, hair, down (fine soft dense hair) and inspissated bile - are substances obtained from animals [68-69].

Earth origin drugs

सुवर्णं समलाः पञ्च लोहाः ससिकताः सुधा|

मनःशिलाले मणयो लवणं गैरिकाञ्जने||७०||

भौममौषधमुद्दिष्टमौद्भिदं तु चतुर्विधम्|

वनस्पतिस्तथा वीरुद्वानस्पत्यस्तथौषधिः||७१||

suvarṇaṁ samalāḥ pañca lōhāḥ sasikatāḥ sudhā|

manaḥśilālē maṇayō lavaṇaṁ gairikāñjanē||70||

bhaumamauṣadhamuddiṣṭamaudbhidaṁ tu caturvidham|

vanaspatistathā vīrudvānaspatyastathauṣadhiḥ||71||

suvarNaM samalAH pa~jca lohAH sasikatAH sudhA|

manaHshilAle maNayo lavaNaM gairikA~jjane||70||

bhaumamauShadhamuddiShTamaudbhidaM tu caturvidham|

vanaspatistathA vIrudvAnaspatyastathauShadhiH||71||

Drugs obtained from earth are gold, five metals (silver, copper, tin, lead and iron) along with their by-products such as shilajatu (bitumen), sand, lime, red and yellow arsenic (manahshila and hartala), gems, salt, red ochre and antimony. Plant origin drugs: Plant origin drugs are of four types viz. direct fruiters, creepers, flower based fruiters and herbs [70-71].

फलैर्वनस्पतिः पुष्पैर्वानस्पत्यः फलैरपि|

ओषध्यः फलपाकान्ताः प्रतानैर्वीरुधः स्मृताः||७२||

phalairvanaspatiḥ puṣpairvānaspatyaḥ phalairapi|

ōṣadhyaḥ phalapākāntāḥ pratānairvīrudhaḥ smr̥tāḥ||72||

phalairvanaspatiH puShpairvAnaspatyaH phalairapi|

oShadhyaH phalapAkAntAH pratAnairvIrudhaH smRutAH||72||

The plants which bear fruit without visible flowers are known as vanaspati (Gymno-spermia). The plants bearing both flowers and fruits are known as vanaspatya (angio-spermia). The plants which die out after flowering are known as aushadha (annuals). The plants which creep or twine are known as virudha (creepers) [72]

Plant’s parts used as drugs


क्षाराः क्षीरं फलं पुष्पं भस्म तैलानि कण्टकाः||७३||

पत्राणि शुङ्गाः कन्दाश्च प्ररोहाश्चौद्भिदो गणः|७४|


kṣārāḥ kṣīraṁ phalaṁ puṣpaṁ bhasma tailāni kaṇṭakāḥ||73||

patrāṇi śuṅgāḥ kandāśca prarōhāścaudbhidō gaṇaḥ|74|


kShArAH kShIraM phalaM puShpaM bhasma tailAni kaNTakAH||73||

patrANi shu~ggAH kandAshca prarohAshcaudbhido gaNaH|74|

The roots bark, pith, exudation, stalk, juice, sprouts, alkalis, latex, fruits, flowers, ash, oil, thorns, leaves, buds, bulbs and off-shoots of the plants are used as drugs [73-73.5]

Classifications of drugs based on their various forms and applications

मूलिन्यः षोडशैकोना फलिन्यो विंशतिः स्मृताः||७४||

महास्नेहाश्च चत्वारः पञ्चैव लवणानि च|

अष्टौ मूत्राणि सङ्ख्यातान्यष्टावेव पयांसि च||७५||

शोधनार्थाश्च षड् वृक्षाः पुनर्वसुनिदर्शिताः|

य एतान् वेत्ति संयोक्तुं विकारेषु स वेदवित्||७६||

mūlinyaḥ ṣōḍaśaikōnā phalinyō viṁśatiḥ smr̥tāḥ||74||

mahāsnēhāśca catvāraḥ pañcaiva lavaṇāni ca|

aṣṭau mūtrāṇi saṅkhyātānyaṣṭāvēva payāṁsi ca||75||

śōdhanārthāśca ṣaḍ vr̥kṣāḥ punarvasunidarśitāḥ|

ya ētān vētti saṁyōktuṁ vikārēṣu sa vēdavit||76||

mUlinyaH ShoDashaikonA phalinyo viMshatiH smRutAH||74||

mahAsnehAshca catvAraH pa~jcaiva lavaNAni ca|

aShTau mUtrANi sa~gkhyAtAnyaShTAveva payAMsi ca||75||

shodhanArthAshca ShaD vRukShAH punarvasunidarshitAH|

ya etAn vetti saMyoktuM vikAreShu sa vedavit||76||

Per the school of Punarvasu (Lord Atreya), roots of 16 plants and fruits of 19 plants are used as drugs. Similarly, principal unctuous (mahasneha) substances are of four types and main salts are of five types. Urine and milk for medicinal purposes are obtained from 8 different animals and six plants are used for purification (shodhana). The physician who knows how to use all these materials for curing the disease is the expert physician [74-76].

Sixteen roots used for shodhana (purification):

हस्तिदन्ती हैमवती श्यामा त्रिवृदधोगुडा|

सप्तला श्वेतनामा च प्रत्यक्श्रेणी गवाक्ष्यपि||७७||

ज्योतिष्मती च बिम्बी च शणपुष्पी विषाणिका|

अजगन्धा द्रवन्ती च क्षीरिणी चात्र षोडशी||७८||

शणपुष्पी च बिम्बी च च्छर्दने हैमवत्यपि|

श्वेता ज्योतिष्मती चैव योज्या शीर्षविरेचने||७९||

एकादशावशिष्टा याः प्रयोज्यास्ता विरेचने|

इत्युक्ता नामकर्मभ्यां मूलिन्यः...|८०|

hastidantī haimavatī śyāmā trivr̥dadhōguḍā|

saptalā śvētanāmā ca pratyakśrēṇī gavākṣyapi||77||

jyōtiṣmatī ca bimbī ca śaṇapuṣpī viṣāṇikā|

ajagandhā dravantī ca kṣīriṇī cātra ṣōḍaśī||78||

śaṇapuṣpī ca bimbī ca cchardanē haimavatyapi|

śvētā jyōtiṣmatī caiva yōjyā śīrṣavirēcanē||79||

ēkādaśāvaśiṣṭā yāḥ prayōjyāstā virēcanē|

ityuktā nāmakarmabhyāṁ mūlinyaḥ...|80|

hastidantI haimavatI shyAmA trivRudadhoguDA|

saptalA shvetanAmA ca pratyakshreNI gavAkShyapi||77||

jyotiShmatI ca bimbI ca shaNapuShpI viShANikA|

ajagandhA dravantI ca kShIriNI cAtra ShoDashI||78||

shaNapuShpI ca bimbI ca cchardane haimavatyapi|

shvetA jyotiShmatI caiva yojyA shIrShavirecane||79||

ekAdashAvashiShTA yAH prayojyAstA virecane|

ityuktA nAmakarmabhyAM mUlinyaH...|80|

The roots of 16 plants whose roots are used for shodhana are Hastidanti (Brihatphala,Godumba- Croton oblongifolius), Haimavati (Vacha-Acorus calamus), Shyama Trivrit (Operculina turpenthum Linn.) , Adhoguda (Vriddha daru - Argyreia speciosa Sweet.), Saptala ( Charmakasha-Euphorbia pilosa), Shvetanama (Shweta aparajita -Clitoria ternatea), Pratyakshreni (Danti -Baliospermum montanum Muell.-Arg), Gavakshi (Indravaruni- Cirrullus colocynthis Schrad), Jyotishmati (Celastrus panniculatus Willd.), Bimbi (Coccinia indica W. & A.), Shanapushpi (Crotalaria verrucosa Linn.), Vishanika (Aavartani - Helicteres isora Linn.), Ajagandha , Dravanti (Croton tiglium Linn.) and Kshirini (dugdhika- Euphorbia thymifolia Linn.).

Out of these Shanapushpi (Crotalaria verrucosa Linn.), Bimbi (Coccinia indica W. & A.) and Haimavati (Vacha-Acorus calamus) are used for therapeutic emesis (vamana). Shveta(Clitoria ternatea) and Jyotishmati (Celastrus panniculatus Willd.) are used for intra nasal administration (nasya) . The remaining 11 drugs are used for therapeutic purgation (virechana).[77-80]

Fruits used for shodhana (purification therapy)

...फलिनीः शृणु||८०||

शङ्खिन्यथ विडङ्गानि त्रपुषं मदनानि च|

धामार्गवमथेक्ष्वाकु जीमूतं कृतवेधनम्|

आनूपं स्थलजं चैव क्लीतकं द्विविधं स्मृतम्||८१||

प्रकीर्या चोदकीर्या च प्रत्यक्पुष्पा तथाऽभया|

अन्तःकोटरपुष्पी च हस्तिपर्ण्याश्च शारदम्||८२||

कम्पिल्लकारग्वधयोः फलं यत् कुटजस्य च|

धामार्गवमथेक्ष्वाकु जीमूतं कृतवेधनम्||८३||

मदनं कुटजं चैव त्रपुषं हस्तिपर्णिनी|

एतानि वमने चैव योज्यान्यास्थापनेषु च||८४||

नस्तः प्रच्छर्दने चैव प्रत्यक्पुष्पा विधीयते|

दश यान्यवशिष्टानि तान्युक्तानि विरेचने||८५||

नामकर्मभिरुक्तानि फलान्येकोनविंशतिः|८६|

...phalinīḥ śr̥ṇu||80||

śaṅkhinyatha viḍaṅgāni trapuṣaṁ madanāni ca|

dhāmārgavamathēkṣvāku jīmūtaṁ kr̥tavēdhanam|

ānūpaṁ sthalajaṁ caiva klītakaṁ dvividhaṁ smr̥tam||81||

prakīryā cōdakīryā ca pratyakpuṣpā tathābhayā|

antaḥkōṭarapuṣpī ca hastiparṇyāśca śāradam||82||

kampillakāragvadhayōḥ phalaṁ yat kuṭajasya ca|

dhāmārgavamathēkṣvāku jīmūtaṁ kr̥tavēdhanam||83||

madanaṁ kuṭajaṁ caiva trapuṣaṁ hastiparṇinī|

ētāni vamanē caiva yōjyānyāsthāpanēṣu ca||84||

nastaḥ pracchardanē caiva pratyakpuṣpā vidhīyatē|

daśa yānyavaśiṣṭāni tānyuktāni virēcanē||85||

nāmakarmabhiruktāni phalānyēkōnaviṁśatiḥ|86|

...phalinIH shRuNu||80||

sha~gkhinyatha viDa~ggAni trapuShaM madanAni ca|

dhAmArgavamathekShvAku jImUtaM kRutavedhanam|

AnUpaM sthalajaM caiva klItakaM dvividhaM smRutam||81||

prakIryA codakIryA ca pratyakpuShpA tathA~abhayA|

antaHkoTarapuShpI ca hastiparNyAshca shAradam||82||

kampillakAragvadhayoH phalaM yat kuTajasya ca|

dhAmArgavamathekShvAku jImUtaM kRutavedhanam||83||

madanaM kuTajaM caiva trapuShaM hastiparNinI|

etAni vamane caiva yojyAnyAsthApaneShu ca||84||

nastaH pracchardane caiva pratyakpuShpA vidhIyate|

dasha yAnyavashiShTAni tAnyuktAni virecane||85||

nAmakarmabhiruktAni phalAnyekonaviMshatiH|86|

Fruits of the following 19 plants are used as drugs- Shankhini, Vidanga, Trapusha, Madanaphala, Dhamargava, Ikshvaku, Jimutam, Kritavedhana, two types of Klitakam occurring in marshy and dry land (anupam, sthalaja), Prakirya, Udakirya, Pratyakpushpa, Abhaya, Antahkotarapushpi, Hastiparni, Sharada, Kampillaka, Aragvadhaphala and Kutaja. Out of the above Dhamargava, Ikshvaku, Jimutam, Krutavedhana, Madanaphala, Kutaja, Trapusham and Hastiparnini are used for vamana and asthapana basti. Pratyakpushpa is used for nasya karma. The remaining 10 drugs are useful for virechana karma. Thus the names and main actions of 19 fruiters have been described [81-85.5].

Four major unctuous substances

सर्पिस्तैलं वसा मज्जा स्नेहो दिष्टश्चतुर्विधः ||८६||

पानाभ्यञ्जनबस्त्यर्थं नस्यार्थं चैव योगतः|

sarpistailaṁ vasā majjā snēhō diṣṭaścaturvidhaḥ ||86||

pānābhyañjanabastyarthaṁ nasyārthaṁ caiva yōgataḥ|

sarpistailaM vasA majjA sneho diShTashcaturvidhaH [2] ||86||

pAnAbhya~jjanabastyarthaM nasyArthaM caiva yogataH|

Ghee, oil, animal-fat and bone-marrow are the four major unctuous substances. These are used after preparing with other drugs for potion, inunction, medicated enema and errhine (nasya) therapy [86].

General actions of unctuous substances

स्नेहना जीवना वर्ण्या बलोपचयवर्धनाः||८७||

स्नेहा ह्येते च विहिता वातपित्तकफापहाः|८८|

snēhanā jīvanā varṇyā balōpacayavardhanāḥ||87||

snēhā hyētē ca vihitā vātapittakaphāpahāḥ|88|

snehanA jIvanA varNyA balopacayavardhanAH||87||

snehA hyete ca vihitA vAtapittakaphApahAH|88|

The unctuous substances produce oiliness, vitality, complexion, strength and growth in the body and provide relief in vata, pitta and kapha [87-87.5]

Five salts

सौवर्चलं सैन्धवं च विडमौद्भिदमेव च||८८||

सामुद्रेण सहैतानि पञ्च स्युर्लवणानि च|

स्निग्धान्युष्णानि तीक्ष्णानि दीपनीयतमानि च||८९||

sauvarcalaṁ saindhavaṁ ca viḍamaudbhidamēva ca||88||

sāmudrēṇa sahaitāni pañca syurlavaṇāni ca|

snigdhānyuṣṇāni tīkṣṇāni dīpanīyatamāni ca||89||

sauvarcalaM saindhavaM ca viDamaudbhidameva ca||88||

sAmudreNa sahaitAni pa~jca syurlavaNAni ca|

snigdhAnyuShNAni tIkShNAni dIpanIyatamAni ca||89||

Five principal salts are black/sochal salt (sauvarchala), rock salt (saindhava), ammonium chloride (vid), earth/efflorescence salt (audbhid) and sea salt (samudra). They are unctuous, hot, sharp/acute and foremost in digestive-stimulants [88-89].

Utility of salts

आलेपनार्थे युज्यन्ते स्नेहस्वेदविधौ तथा|

अधोभागोर्ध्वभागेषु निरूहेष्वनुवासने||९०||

अभ्यञ्जने भोजनार्थे शिरसश्च विरेचने|

शस्त्रकर्मणि वर्त्यर्थमञ्जनोत्सादनेषु च||९१||

अजीर्णानाहयोर्वाते गुल्मे शूले तथोदरे|

उक्तानि लवणा(नि)...|९२|

ālēpanārthē yujyantē snēhasvēdavidhau tathā|

adhōbhāgōrdhvabhāgēṣu nirūhēṣvanuvāsanē||90||

abhyañjanē bhōjanārthē śirasaśca virēcanē|

śastrakarmaṇi vartyarthamañjanōtsādanēṣu ca||91||

ajīrṇānāhayōrvātē gulmē śūlē tathōdarē|

uktāni lavaṇā(ni)...|92|

AlepanArthe yujyante snehasvedavidhau tathA|

adhobhAgordhvabhAgeShu nirUheShvanuvAsane||90||

abhya~jjane bhojanArthe shirasashca virecane|

shastrakarmaNi vartyarthama~jjanotsAdaneShu ca||91||

ajIrNAnAhayorvAte gulme shUle tathodare|

uktAni lavaNA(ni)...|92|

Salts are used for external applications (alepa), oleation, sudation, in emesis and purgation preparations, in evacuation and unctuous types of enemata preparations, inunction and errhine therapy; in surgical operations, suppository, collyrium, friction massage and as a food. It is indicated in indigestion, constipation, disorders of vata, gulma, colic and abdominal diseases. Thus, salts have been described [90-91.5]

Eight important varieties of urine

... न्यू(ऊ)र्ध्वं मूत्राण्यष्टौ निबोध मे||९२||

मुख्यानि यानि दिष्टानि सर्वाण्यात्रेयशासने|

अविमूत्रमजामूत्रं गोमूत्रं माहिषं च यत् ||९३||

हस्तिमूत्रमथोष्ट्रस्य हयस्य च खरस्य च|

... nyū(ū)rdhvaṁ mūtrāṇyaṣṭau nibōdha mē||92||

mukhyāni yāni diṣṭāni sarvāṇyātrēyaśāsanē|

avimūtramajāmūtraṁ gōmūtraṁ māhiṣaṁ ca yat ||93||

hastimūtramathōṣṭrasya hayasya ca kharasya ca|

... nyU(U)rdhvaM mUtrANyaShTau nibodha me||92||

mukhyAni yAni diShTAni sarvANyAtreyashAsane|

avimUtramajAmUtraM gomUtraM mAhiShaM ca yat [4] ||93||

hastimUtramathoShTrasya hayasya ca kharasya ca|

Eight principal urines described by the Atreya School for medicinal use are urine of ewe, she-goat, cow, she-buffalo, elephant, she-camel, mare and she-donkey [92-93]

General properties and external uses of urine

उष्णं तीक्ष्णमथोऽरूक्षं कटुकं लवणान्वितम्||९४||

मूत्रमुत्सादने युक्तं युक्तमालेपनेषु च|

uṣṇaṁ tīkṣṇamathō'rūkṣaṁ kaṭukaṁ lavaṇānvitam||94||

mūtramutsādanē yuktaṁ yuktamālēpanēṣu ca|

uShNaM tIkShNamatho~arUkShaM kaTukaM lavaNAnvitam||94||

mUtramutsAdane yuktaM yuktamAlepaneShu ca|

Generally, urines have hot, acute and non-dry actions, are pungent and salty in taste and are used for frictional massage and external applications (alepa) [94].

Internal uses of urine

युक्तमास्थापने मूत्रं युक्तं चापि विरेचने||९५||

स्वेदेष्वपि च तद्युक्तमानाहेष्वगदेषु च|

उदरेष्वथ चार्शःसु गुल्मिकुष्ठिकिलासिषु [४] ||९६||

तद्युक्तमुपनाहेषु परिषेके तथैव च|

yuktamāsthāpanē mūtraṁ yuktaṁ cāpi virēcanē||95||

svēdēṣvapi ca tadyuktamānāhēṣvagadēṣu ca|

udarēṣvatha cārśaḥsu gulmikuṣṭhikilāsiṣu ||96||

tadyuktamupanāhēṣu pariṣēkē tathaiva ca|

yuktamAsthApane mUtraM yuktaM cApi virecane||95||

svedeShvapi ca tadyuktamAnAheShvagadeShu ca|

udareShvatha cArshaHsu gulmikuShThikilAsiShu ||96||

tadyuktamupanAheShu pariSheke tathaiva ca|

Urines are also used in the preparations of evacuator enema, purgatives, poultice (upanaha) and affusion (parisheka) as well as in antidote (agada) preparations. It is indicated in afflictions such as retention of feces, urine and flatulence (anaha), generalized enlargement of abdomen (udara roga), gulma, piles, dermatosis (kushtha) and leukoderma [95-96.5]

दीपनीयं विषघ्नं च क्रिमिघ्नं चोपदिश्यते||९७||

पाण्डुरोगोपसृष्टानामुत्तमं शर्म चोच्यते|

dīpanīyaṁ viṣaghnaṁ ca krimighnaṁ cōpadiśyatē||97||

pāṇḍurōgōpasr̥ṣṭānāmuttamaṁ śarma cōcyatē|

dIpanIyaM viShaghnaM ca krimighnaM copadishyate||97||

pANDurogopasRuShTAnAmuttamaM sharma cocyate|

Urines have been prescribed as digestive stimulants, antidotes to poison and as vermicides. They are excellent for the treatment of persons suffering from pandu (anemia) [97.5]

श्लेष्माणं शमयेत् पीतं मारुतं चानुलोमयेत्||९८||

कर्षेत् पित्तमधोभागमित्यस्मिन् गुणसङ्ग्रहः|

सामान्येन मयोक्तस्तु पृथक्त्वेन प्रवक्ष्यते||९९||

ślēṣmāṇaṁ śamayēt pītaṁ mārutaṁ cānulōmayēt||98||

karṣēt pittamadhōbhāgamityasmin guṇasaṅgrahaḥ|

sāmānyēna mayōktastu pr̥thaktvēna pravakṣyatē||99||

shleShmANaM shamayet pItaM mArutaM cAnulomayet||98||

karShet pittamadhobhAgamityasmin guNasa~ggrahaH|

sAmAnyena mayoktastu pRuthaktvena pravakShyate||99||

Oral intake of urine pacifies kapha, regulates peristaltic movement of vata and evacuates morbid pitta through lower channels. General properties and actions of urine thus have been described. Now they will be described individually [98-99]

Properties of urine of ewe and goat

अविमूत्रं सतिक्तं स्यात् स्निग्धं पित्ताविरोधि च|

आजं कषायमधुरं पथ्यं दोषान्निहन्ति च||१००||

avimūtraṁ satiktaṁ syāt snigdhaṁ pittāvirōdhi ca|

ājaṁ kaṣāyamadhuraṁ pathyaṁ dōṣānnihanti ca||100||

avimUtraM satiktaM syAt snigdhaM pittAvirodhi ca|

AjaM kaShAyamadhuraM pathyaM doShAnnihanti ca||100||

The urine of ewe is slightly bitter, unctuous and not antagonistic to pitta. The urine of she-goat is astringent, sweet and wholesome and dispels the morbid dosha [100]

Properties of cow’s urine

गव्यं समधुरं किञ्चिद्दोषघ्नं क्रिमिकुष्ठनुत्|

कण्डूं च शमयेत् पीतं सम्यग्दोषोदरे हितम्||१०१||

gavyaṁ samadhuraṁ kiñciddōṣaghnaṁ krimikuṣṭhanut|

kaṇḍūṁ ca śamayēt pītaṁ samyagdōṣōdarē hitam||101||

gavyaM samadhuraM ki~jciddoShaghnaM krimikuShThanut|

kaNDUM ca shamayet pItaM samyagdoShodare hitam||101||

The urine of cow is slightly sweet, alleviates discordance of dosha and cures worms and chronic dermatoses (kushtha) and relieves pruritis. Its proper intake cures disorders of abdomen [101]

Properties of urine of buffalo and elephant

अर्शःशोफोदरघ्नं तु सक्षारं माहिषं सरम्|

हास्तिकं लवणं मूत्रं हितं तु क्रिमिकुष्ठिनाम्||१०२||

प्रशस्तं बद्धविण्मूत्रविषश्लेष्मामयार्शसाम्|

arśaḥśōphōdaraghnaṁ tu sakṣāraṁ māhiṣaṁ saram|

hāstikaṁ lavaṇaṁ mūtraṁ hitaṁ tu krimikuṣṭhinām||102||

praśastaṁ baddhaviṇmūtraviṣaślēṣmāmayārśasām|

arshaHshophodaraghnaM tu sakShAraM mAhiShaM saram|

hAstikaM lavaNaM mUtraM hitaM tu krimikuShThinAm||102||

prashastaM baddhaviNmUtraviShashleShmAmayArshasAm|

The urine of buffalo provides relief in piles, edema and disorders leading to general enlargement of abdomen (udara roga). The urine of she-elephant is salty and provides relief in worms and dermatoses (kushtha). It is also useful in the treatment of retention of feces and urine, poisoning, kapha disorders and piles [102.5]

Properties of urine of she-camel

सतिक्तं श्वासकासघ्नमर्शोघ्नं चौष्ट्रमुच्यते||१०३||

satiktaṁ śvāsakāsaghnamarśōghnaṁ cauṣṭramucyatē||103||

satiktaM shvAsakAsaghnamarshoghnaM cauShTramucyate||103||

The urine of she-camel is slightly bitter and provides relief in breathlessness, cough and piles [103].

Properties of urine of mare and she-donkey

वाजिनां तिक्तकटुकं कुष्ठव्रणविषापहम्|


इतीहोक्तानि मूत्राणि यथासामर्थ्ययोगतः|१०५|

vājināṁ tiktakaṭukaṁ kuṣṭhavraṇaviṣāpaham|


itīhōktāni mūtrāṇi yathāsāmarthyayōgataḥ|105|

vAjinAM tiktakaTukaM kuShThavraNaviShApaham|


itIhoktAni mUtrANi yathAsAmarthyayogataH|105|

Urine of mare is bitter and pungent in taste and provides relief in dermatoses (kushtha), wounds and poisoning. Urine of she-donkey provides relief in epilepsy, major psychosis and severe chronic psychosomatic diseases (graha) of children. Thus described were the medicinal properties and action of eight types of urine. [104].

Eight important varieties of milk

अतः क्षीराणि वक्ष्यन्ते कर्म चैषां गुणाश्च ये||१०५||

अविक्षीरमजाक्षीरं गोक्षीरं माहिषं च यत्|

उष्ट्रीणामथ नागीनां वडवायाः स्त्रियास्तथा||१०६||

ataḥ kṣīrāṇi vakṣyantē karma caiṣāṁ guṇāśca yē||105||

avikṣīramajākṣīraṁ gōkṣīraṁ māhiṣaṁ ca yat|

uṣṭrīṇāmatha nāgīnāṁ vaḍavāyāḥ striyāstathā||106||

ataH kShIrANi vakShyante karma caiShAM guNAshca ye||105||

avikShIramajAkShIraM gokShIraM mAhiShaM ca yat|

uShTrINAmatha nAgInAM vaDavAyAH striyAstathA||106||

Henceforth properties and actions of (eight types) milk are being described.

The milks of sheep, goat, cow, buffalo, camel, elephant, mare and woman are used for medicinal purposes. [105-106]

General properties and actions of milk

प्रायशो मधुरं स्निग्धं शीतं स्तन्यं पयो मतम्|

प्रीणनं बृंहणं वृष्यं मेध्यं बल्यं मनस्करम्||१०७||

जीवनीयं श्रमहरं श्वासकासनिबर्हणम्|

हन्ति शोणितपित्तं च सन्धानं विहतस्य च||१०८||

सर्वप्राणभृतां सात्म्यं शमनं शोधनं तथा|

तृष्णाघ्नं दीपनीयं च श्रेष्ठं क्षीणक्षतेषु च||१०९||

prāyaśō madhuraṁ snigdhaṁ śītaṁ stanyaṁ payō matam|

prīṇanaṁ br̥ṁhaṇaṁ vr̥ṣyaṁ mēdhyaṁ balyaṁ manaskaram||107||

jīvanīyaṁ śramaharaṁ śvāsakāsanibarhaṇam|

hanti śōṇitapittaṁ ca sandhānaṁ vihatasya ca||108||

sarvaprāṇabhr̥tāṁ sātmyaṁ śamanaṁ śōdhanaṁ tathā|

tr̥ṣṇāghnaṁ dīpanīyaṁ ca śrēṣṭhaṁ kṣīṇakṣatēṣu ca||109||

prAyasho madhuraM snigdhaM shItaM stanyaM payo matam|

prINanaM bRuMhaNaM vRuShyaM medhyaM balyaM manaskaram||107||

jIvanIyaM shramaharaM shvAsakAsanibarhaNam|

hanti shoNitapittaM ca sandhAnaM vihatasya ca||108||

sarvaprANabhRutAM sAtmyaM shamanaM shodhanaM tathA|

tRuShNAghnaM dIpanIyaM ca shreShThaM kShINakShateShu ca||109||

Generally, milk is sweet, unctuous, cooling, galactagogue, pleasing, aphrodisiac, brain tonic (medhya, which increases intelligence), strengthening, exhilarating, vitalizing, refreshing; curative to dyspnea, cough, bleeding, synthesizer in injuries/fracture; wholesome to all living creatures, pacifies and evacuates the dosha, quenches the thirst, stimulates the digestion and very useful in emaciation due to lung ulcer [107-109].

General indications of milk

पाण्डुरोगेऽम्लपित्ते च शोषे गुल्मे तथोदरे|

अतीसारे ज्वरे दाहे श्वयथौ च विशेषतः ||११०||

योनिशुक्रप्रदोषेषु मूत्रेष्वप्रचुरेषु च|

पुरीषे ग्रथिते पथ्यं वातपित्तविकारिणाम्||१११||

pāṇḍurōgē'mlapittē ca śōṣē gulmē tathōdarē|

atīsārē jvarē dāhē śvayathau ca viśēṣataḥ ||110||

yōniśukrapradōṣēṣu mūtrēṣvapracurēṣu ca|

purīṣē grathitē pathyaṁ vātapittavikāriṇām||111||

pANDuroge~amlapitte ca shoShe gulme tathodare|

atIsAre jvare dAhe shvayathau ca visheShataH ||110||

yonishukrapradoSheShu mUtreShvapracureShu ca|

purIShe grathite pathyaM vAtapittavikAriNAm||111||

Milk is indicated in pandu(anemia), amlapitta (acid dyspepsia), consumption, gulma and udara roga (generalized enlargement of abdomen), diarrhea, fever, burning sensation, particularly in edema, vaginal and seminal disorders, oliguria and hard stools. It is wholesome to disorders of vata and pitta [110-111].

Pharmaceutical uses of milk

नस्यालेपावगाहेषु वमनास्थापनेषु च|

विरेचने स्नेहने च पयः सर्वत्र युज्यते||११२||

nasyālēpāvagāhēṣu vamanāsthāpanēṣu ca|

virēcanē snēhanē ca payaḥ sarvatra yujyatē||112||

nasyAlepAvagAheShu vamanAsthApaneShu ca|

virecane snehane ca payaH sarvatra yujyate||112||

Milk is used in many types of preparation including for nasal medication, external applications, tub baths, emesis, enema, purgation and unctuous therapies [112]

यथाक्रमं क्षीरगुणानेकैकस्य पृथक् पृथक्|

अन्नपानादिकेऽध्याये भूयो वक्ष्याम्यशेषतः||११३||

yathākramaṁ kṣīraguṇānēkaikasya pr̥thak pr̥thak|

annapānādikē'dhyāyē bhūyō vakṣyāmyaśēṣataḥ||113||

yathAkramaM kShIraguNAnekaikasya pRuthak pRuthak|

annapAnAdike~adhyAye bhUyo vakShyAmyasheShataH||113||

Further exhaustive description of uses and action of the individual milk will be explained in due order in the chapter entitled Annapanavidhi Adhyaya [113].

Plants with latex

अथापरे त्रयो वृक्षाः पृथग्ये फलमूलिभिः|

स्नुह्यर्काश्मन्तकास्तेषामिदं कर्म पृथक् पृथक्||११४||

वमनेऽश्मन्तकं विद्यात् स्नुहीक्षीरं विरेचने|

क्षीरमर्कस्य विज्ञेयं वमने सविरेचने||११५||

athāparē trayō vr̥kṣāḥ pr̥thagyē phalamūlibhiḥ|

snuhyarkāśmantakāstēṣāmidaṁ karma pr̥thak pr̥thak||114||

vamanē'śmantakaṁ vidyāt snuhīkṣīraṁ virēcanē|

kṣīramarkasya vijñēyaṁ vamanē savirēcanē||115||

athApare trayo vRukShAH pRuthagye phalamUlibhiH|

snuhyarkAshmantakAsteShAmidaM karma pRuthak pRuthak||114||

vamane~ashmantakaM vidyAt snuhIkShIraM virecane|

kShIramarkasya vij~jeyaM vamane savirecane||115||

Now other than fruiters and rooter, three plants whose latex is used will be described. These three plants are Snuhi, Arka and Ashmantaka. Ashmantaka is used for therapeutic emesis ; latex of Snuhi is used for purgation and latex of Arka is used both for emesis and purgation therapies [114-115]

Three bark-plants used as drug

इमांस्त्रीनपरान् वृक्षानाहुर्येषां हितास्त्वचः|

पूतीकः कृष्णगन्धा च तिल्वकश्च तथा तरुः||११६||

imāṁstrīnaparān vr̥kṣānāhuryēṣāṁ hitāstvacaḥ|

pūtīkaḥ kr̥ṣṇagandhā ca tilvakaśca tathā taruḥ||116||

imAMstrInaparAn vRukShAnAhuryeShAM hitAstvacaH|

pUtIkaH kRuShNagandhA ca tilvakashca tathA taruH||116||

There are three more trees whose bark is used as drug. These are Putika, Krishnagandha and Tilvaka [116]

विरेचने प्रयोक्तव्यः पूतीकस्तिल्वकस्तथा|

कृष्णगन्धा परीसर्पे शोथेष्वर्शःसु चोच्यते||११७||

दद्रुविद्रधिगण्डेषु कुष्ठेष्वप्यलजीषु च|

षड्वृक्षाञ्छोधनानेतानपि विद्याद्विचक्षणः||११८||

virēcanē prayōktavyaḥ pūtīkastilvakastathā|

kr̥ṣṇagandhā parīsarpē śōthēṣvarśaḥsu cōcyatē||117||

dadruvidradhigaṇḍēṣu kuṣṭhēṣvapyalajīṣu ca|

ṣaḍvr̥kṣāñchōdhanānētānapi vidyādvicakṣaṇaḥ||118||

virecane prayoktavyaH pUtIkastilvakastathA|

kRuShNagandhA parIsarpe shotheShvarshaHsu cocyate||117||

dadruvidradhigaNDeShu kuShTheShvapyalajIShu ca|

ShaDvRukShA~jchodhanAnetAnapi vidyAdvicakShaNaH||118||

The barks of Putika and Tilvaka are used for purgation therapy. Indications of bark of Krishnagandha are erysipelas, inflammation, piles, ringworm, abscess, nodules, dermatosis and gangrene (alaji). The wise physician should also acquire the knowledge of the above mentioned six plants (three with latex and three with bark) of their pacification actions [117-118].

Conclusion of descriptions of the plants

इत्युक्ताः फलमूलिन्यः स्नेहाश्च लवणानि च|

मूत्रं क्षीराणि वृक्षाश्च षड् ये दिष्टपयस्त्वचः||११९||

ityuktāḥ phalamūlinyaḥ snēhāśca lavaṇāni ca|

mūtraṁ kṣīrāṇi vr̥kṣāśca ṣaḍ yē diṣṭapayastvacaḥ||119||

ityuktAH phalamUlinyaH snehAshca lavaNAni ca|

mUtraM kShIrANi vRukShAshca ShaD ye diShTapayastvacaH||119||

Thus have been described the fruiters, rooters, unctuous substances, salts, urines, milks and the six plants whose latex and barks are used [119]

Sources of identification of plants

ओषधीर्नामरूपाभ्यां जानते ह्यजपा वने|

अविपाश्चैव गोपाश्च ये चान्ये वनवासिनः||१२०||

ōṣadhīrnāmarūpābhyāṁ jānatē hyajapā vanē|

avipāścaiva gōpāśca yē cānyē vanavāsinaḥ||120||

oShadhIrnAmarUpAbhyAM jAnate hyajapA vane|

avipAshcaiva gopAshca ye cAnye vanavAsinaH||120||

Goat-herders, sheep-herders, cowherders and forest-dwellers are acquainted with names and forms/identification of various medicinal herbs and the plants [120]

Limitation of knowledge of names of plants only

न नामज्ञानमात्रेण रूपज्ञानेन वा पुनः|

ओषधीनां परां प्राप्तिं कश्चिद्वेदितुमर्हति||१२१||

na nāmajñānamātrēṇa rūpajñānēna vā punaḥ|

ōṣadhīnāṁ parāṁ prāptiṁ kaścidvēditumarhati||121||

na nAmaj~jAnamAtreNa rUpaj~jAnena vA punaH|

oShadhInAM parAM prAptiM kashcidveditumarhati||121||

Just by knowing the names and forms of herbs, though, no one can claim to have a perfect knowledge of medicinal uses of the plants [121]

Importance of complete knowledge of therapeutic actions of plants

योगवित्त्वप्यरूपज्ञस्तासां तत्त्वविदुच्यते|

किं पुनर्यो विजानीयादोषधीः सर्वथा भिषक्||१२२||

yōgavittvapyarūpajñastāsāṁ tattvaviducyatē|

kiṁ punaryō vijānīyādōṣadhīḥ sarvathā bhiṣak||122||

yogavittvapyarUpaj~jastAsAM tattvaviducyate|

kiM punaryo vijAnIyAdoShadhIH sarvathA bhiShak||122||

If one who knows the uses and actions of the herbs, though not acquainted with their forms, is called a pharmacologist, then what need be said of the physician who knows the herbs from all aspects![122]

Ethics in clinical practice

Qualities of best physician

योगमासां तु यो विद्याद्देशकालोपपादितम्|

पुरुषं पुरुषं वीक्ष्य स ज्ञेयो भिषगुत्तमः||१२३||

yōgamāsāṁ tu yō vidyāddēśakālōpapāditam|

puruṣaṁ puruṣaṁ vīkṣya sa jñēyō bhiṣaguttamaḥ||123||

yogamAsAM tu yo vidyAddeshakAlopapAditam|

puruShaM puruShaM vIkShya sa j~jeyo bhiShaguttamaH||123||

He is the best of physicians who knows the science of administration of drugs with due reference to country and season and who uses it only after examining each and every patient individually [123]

Importance of judicious use of medicine

यथा विषं यथा शस्त्रं यथाऽग्निरशनिर्यथा|

तथौषधमविज्ञातं विज्ञातममृतं यथा||१२४||

yathā viṣaṁ yathā śastraṁ yathā'gniraśaniryathā|

tathauṣadhamavijñātaṁ vijñātamamr̥taṁ yathā||124||

yathA viShaM yathA shastraM yathA~agnirashaniryathA|

tathauShadhamavij~jAtaM vij~jAtamamRutaM yathA||124||

A drug that is understood perfectly can be used as an ambrosia. But the use of a drug that is not understood perfectly may work as poison, weapon, fire or a "bolt of thunder" [124]

औषधं ह्यनभिज्ञातं नामरूपगुणैस्त्रिभिः|

विज्ञातं चापि दुर्युक्तमनर्थायोपपद्यते||१२५||

auṣadhaṁ hyanabhijñātaṁ nāmarūpaguṇaistribhiḥ|

vijñātaṁ cāpi duryuktamanarthāyōpapadyatē||125||

auShadhaM hyanabhij~jAtaM nAmarUpaguNaistribhiH|

vij~jAtaM cApi duryuktamanarthAyopapadyate||125||

A drug whose name, form and properties are not known or a drug ,though known but not administered properly, spells disaster [125]

योगादपि विषं तीक्ष्णमुत्तमं भेषजं भवेत्|

भेषजं चापि दुर्युक्तं तीक्ष्णं सम्पद्यते विषम्||१२६||

yōgādapi viṣaṁ tīkṣṇamuttamaṁ bhēṣajaṁ bhavēt|

bhēṣajaṁ cāpi duryuktaṁ tīkṣṇaṁ sampadyatē viṣam||126||

yogAdapi viShaM tIkShNamuttamaM bheShajaM bhavet|

bheShajaM cApi duryuktaM tIkShNaM sampadyate viSham||126||

Even a virulent poison can be converted into an excellent medicine when prepared and administered using the right methods. Conversely, even a good medicine may act as a potent poison if improperly administered [126].

तस्मान्न भिषजा युक्तं युक्तिबाह्येन भेषजम्|

धीमता किञ्चिदादेयं जीवितारोग्यकाङ्क्षिणा||१२७||

tasmānna bhiṣajā yuktaṁ yuktibāhyēna bhēṣajam|

dhīmatā kiñcidādēyaṁ jīvitārōgyakāṅkṣiṇā||127||

tasmAnna bhiShajA yuktaM yuktibAhyena bheShajam|

dhImatA ki~jcidAdeyaM jIvitArogyakA~gkShiNA||127||

Therefore an intelligent man who desires health and long life should not take any medicine prescribed by a physician who is a complete stranger to the application of medicines [127]

कुर्यान्निपतितो मूर्ध्नि सशेषं वासवाशनिः|

सशेषमातुरं कुर्यान्नत्वज्ञमतमौषधम्||१२८||

kuryānnipatitō mūrdhni saśēṣaṁ vāsavāśaniḥ|

saśēṣamāturaṁ kuryānnatvajñamatamauṣadham||128||

kuryAnnipatito mUrdhni sasheShaM vAsavAshaniH|

sasheShamAturaM kuryAnnatvaj~jamatamauShadham||128||

One may survive a bolt of lightning on one’s head, but one cannot expect to escape the fatal effects of medicines prescribed by an ignorant physician. [128]

Denouncing of quacks

दुःखिताय शयानाय श्रद्दधानाय रोगिणे|

यो भेषजमविज्ञाय प्राज्ञमानी प्रयच्छति||१२९||

त्यक्तधर्मस्य पापस्य मृत्युभूतस्य दुर्मतेः|

नरो नरकपाती स्यात्तस्य सम्भाषणादपि||१३०||

duḥkhitāya śayānāya śraddadhānāya rōgiṇē|

yō bhēṣajamavijñāya prājñamānī prayacchati||129||

tyaktadharmasya pāpasya mr̥tyubhūtasya durmatēḥ|

narō narakapātī syāttasya sambhāṣaṇādapi||130||

duHkhitAya shayAnAya shraddadhAnAya rogiNe|

yo bheShajamavij~jAya prAj~jamAnI prayacchati||129||

tyaktadharmasya pApasya mRutyubhUtasya durmateH|

naro narakapAtI syAttasya sambhAShaNAdapi||130||

The vainglorious and charlatan person, the quack, if administers medicines to the ailing bed-ridden patient who has implicit faith in him, such a quack is considered one who totally evades his duty, sinful, wicked and death incarnate. Even just by conversing with such quack may lead a person to hell [130]

Sinful deeds about exploitation of patient

वरमाशीविषविषं क्वथितं ताम्रमेव वा|

पीतमत्यग्निसन्तप्ता भक्षिता वाऽप्ययोगुडाः||१३१||

नतु श्रुतवतां वेशं बिभ्रता शरणागतात्|

गृहीतमन्नं पानं वा वित्तं वा रोगपीडितात्||१३२||

varamāśīviṣaviṣaṁ kvathitaṁ tāmramēva vā|

pītamatyagnisantaptā bhakṣitā vā'pyayōguḍāḥ||131||

natu śrutavatāṁ vēśaṁ bibhratā śaraṇāgatāt|

gr̥hītamannaṁ pānaṁ vā vittaṁ vā rōgapīḍitāt||132||

varamAshIviShaviShaM kvathitaM tAmrameva vA|

pItamatyagnisantaptA bhakShitA vA~apyayoguDAH||131||

natu shrutavatAM veshaM bibhratA sharaNAgatAt|

gRuhItamannaM pAnaM vA vittaM vA rogapIDitAt||132||

It is better for a person who has put on the garb of the physician to take the venom of the cobra or melted copper or to swallow heated iron balls than to extort food, drink or money from a man who is afflicted with disease and has sought his aid [131-132]

Quest to become good physician

भिषग्बुभूषुर्मतिमानतः स्वगुणसम्पदि|

परं प्रयत्नमातिष्ठेत् प्राणदः स्याद्यथा नृणाम्||१३३||

bhiṣagbubhūṣurmatimānataḥ svaguṇasampadi|

paraṁ prayatnamātiṣṭhēt prāṇadaḥ syādyathā nr̥ṇām||133||

bhiShagbubhUShurmatimAnataH svaguNasampadi|

paraM prayatnamAtiShThet prANadaH syAdyathA nRuNAm||133||

Therefore, the intelligent person, who is aspiring to be a good physician, should always persevere to his best of abilities in acquiring the best qualities of a physician so that he may be a real giver of life to the people [133]

Qualities of best drug and physician

तदेव युक्तं भैषज्यं यदारोग्याय कल्पते|

स चैव भिषजां श्रेष्ठो रोगेभ्यो यः प्रमोचयेत्||१३४||

tadēva yuktaṁ bhaiṣajyaṁ yadārōgyāya kalpatē|

sa caiva bhiṣajāṁ śrēṣṭhō rōgēbhyō yaḥ pramōcayēt||134||

tadeva yuktaM bhaiShajyaM yadArogyAya kalpate|

sa caiva bhiShajAM shreShTho rogebhyo yaH pramocayet||134||

The right medicine is that which restores the health and best physician is that who relieves patients from their diseases [134]

सम्यक्प्रयोगं सर्वेषां सिद्धिराख्याति कर्मणाम्|

सिद्धिराख्याति सर्वैश्च गुणैर्युक्तं भिषक्तमम्||१३५||

samyakprayōgaṁ sarvēṣāṁ siddhirākhyāti karmaṇām|

siddhirākhyāti sarvaiśca guṇairyuktaṁ bhiṣaktamam||135||

samyakprayogaM sarveShAM siddhirAkhyAti karmaNAm|

siddhirAkhyAti sarvaishca guNairyuktaM bhiShaktamam||135||

Correct application of all therapeutic measures is reflected in success in treatment (siddhi) and the success in turn reflects that physician is endowed with all the qualities of a best physician [135]


तत्र श्लोकाः-

आयुर्वेदागमो हेतुरागमस्य प्रवर्तनम्|

सूत्रणस्याभ्यनुज्ञानमायुर्वेदस्य निर्णयः||१३६||

सम्पूर्णं कारणं कार्यमायुर्वेदप्रयोजनम्|

हेतवश्चैव दोषाश्च भेषजं सङ्ग्रहेण च||१३७||

रसाः सप्रत्ययद्रव्यास्त्रिविधो द्रव्यसङ्ग्रहः|

मूलिन्यश्च फलिन्यश्च स्नेहाश्च लवणानि च||१३८||

मूत्रं क्षीराणि वृक्षाश्च षड् ये क्षीरत्वगाश्रयाः|

कर्माणि चैषां सर्वेषां योगायोगगुणागुणाः||१३९||

वैद्यापवादो यत्रस्थाः सर्वे च भिषजां गुणाः|

सर्वमेतत् समाख्यातं पूर्वाध्याये महर्षिणा||१४०||

tatra ślōkāḥ-

āyurvēdāgamō hēturāgamasya pravartanam|

sūtraṇasyābhyanujñānamāyurvēdasya nirṇayaḥ||136||

sampūrṇaṁ kāraṇaṁ kāryamāyurvēdaprayōjanam|

hētavaścaiva dōṣāśca bhēṣajaṁ saṅgrahēṇa ca||137||

rasāḥ sapratyayadravyāstrividhō dravyasaṅgrahaḥ|

mūlinyaśca phalinyaśca snēhāśca lavaṇāni ca||138||

mūtraṁ kṣīrāṇi vr̥kṣāśca ṣaḍ yē kṣīratvagāśrayāḥ|

karmāṇi caiṣāṁ sarvēṣāṁ yōgāyōgaguṇāguṇāḥ||139||

vaidyāpavādō yatrasthāḥ sarvē ca bhiṣajāṁ guṇāḥ|

sarvamētat samākhyātaṁ pūrvādhyāyē maharṣiṇā||140||

tatra shlokAH-

AyurvedAgamo heturAgamasya pravartanam|

sUtraNasyAbhyanuj~jAnamAyurvedasya nirNayaH||136||

sampUrNaM kAraNaM kAryamAyurvedaprayojanam|

hetavashcaiva doShAshca bheShajaM sa~ggraheNa ca||137||

rasAH sapratyayadravyAstrividho dravyasa~ggrahaH|

mUlinyashca phalinyashca snehAshca lavaNAni ca||138||

mUtraM kShIrANi vRukShAshca ShaD ye kShIratvagAshrayAH|

karmANi caiShAM sarveShAM yogAyogaguNAguNAH||139||

vaidyApavAdo yatrasthAH sarve ca bhiShajAM guNAH|

sarvametat samAkhyAtaM pUrvAdhyAye maharShiNA||140||

Here are the re-capitulatory verses

The origin of Ayurveda, circumstances of its advent onto the world of the living, its promulgation, the approbation of the aphoristic compilation, the definition of Ayurveda are described. [136]

A complete definition of the causes, the effects and objects of Ayurveda; and in brief causes and treatment of the dosha have been described. [137]

Causes, dravya, the tastes, three-fold classification of the drugs or thedravya, rooters, fruiters, unctuous substances and salts are described in brief. [138]

Urines, milk, six plants whose latex and barks are used as drugs; actions of all of these; merits and demerits of the right and wrong administration of them have been described. [139]

The denunciation of quacks, points indicating the qualities of best physician; all these have been described in brief in the first chapter by the great sages. [140]

इत्यग्निवेशकृते तन्त्रे चरकप्रतिसंस्कृते सूत्रस्थाने दीर्घञ्जीवितीयो नाम प्रथमोऽध्यायः||१||

ityagnivēśakr̥tē tantrē carakapratisaṁskr̥tē sūtrasthānē dīrghañjīvitīyō nāma prathamō'dhyāyaḥ||1||

Thus the first chapter entitled ‘The Quest for Longevity’ of the section of Sutra Sthana (general principles) of the treatise compiled by Agnivesha and revised by Charak is completed (1).

Tattva Vimarsha (Fundamental Principles)

  • The quest for longevity is the basic purpose of any medical science and the desire to live long is the important desire of every mankind. [verse 3]
  • An interactive conversation between patients, practitioners, researchers and community (Loka) members through symposiums, discussions continuously added and enriched the Shastra, or the Scientific body of knowledge, to help find the most effective formulations to alleviate diseases.
  • The patient seeks treatment when the disease becomes obstacle in daily routine of one’s life. [verse 6]
  • Four objectives of life: Health is the root to attain all four basic objectives of life i.e. Dharma (guidelines for life or virtues), Artha (Wealth). Kama (desires or enjoyments) and Moksha (emancipation). The diseases are destroyer of all this as well as harmony within an environment. [verse 15]
  • Three principles for knowledge of health and disease: The best ways of knowledge about health and disease are knowing hetu(causes), linga (symptomatology) and aushadha (therapeutics). [Verse 24]
  • Six categories of everything : Samanya (principle of similarity), vishesha (principle of distinction), guna (property), dravya (~substance), karma (action) and samavaya (inherence/ inseparable concomittance) are six basic categories of everything existing in the world.By knowing this, the tenets of the compendium can be followed and highest well-being and non-perishable life span can be attained. [verse 27-29]
  • Two ways for attainment of knowledge: Ayurveda knowledge can be attained through gyana chakshu (literally, eyes of knowledge/wisdom, or an ability to discern through the use of intellect) and dhyana chakshu (through meditation on the subject). [Verse 17,28]
  • Eight divine powers after knowledge: After acquiring knowledge of Ayurveda, one gets empowered with buddhi (knowledge/intellect/wisdom), siddhi (success), smriti (memory), medha (grasping power of intellect), dhriti (restraint), kirti (fame), kshama (forbearance) and daya (kindness). [verse 39]
  • Definition of Ayurveda: Ayurveda deals with all aspects of life (good, bad, happy and unhappy life) and its extent.
  • Definition of Ayu (life) and its synonyms: Ayu means the conjunction of physical body, senses, mind and soul. It shall be sustainable, in continuum and live at all times. Moreover, it shall be synchronized with other forms like sukshma sharira (subtle body). These four components function together in harmony over a range of spectrum of matter and energy. Each of these components has its own attributes merged on the two ends of the spectrum. The integrative entity of Ayu denotes life process with the atman, also referred to as jiva-atman (or the fundamental self) at the higher end and the physical body at the lowest end. The atma (or atman, as it is written sometimes) is integral to and a part of paramatma i.e. the cosmic consciousness or the supreme soul. Thus the whole creation is a unified field of consciousness (a super nonphysical energy yet to be decoded in the light of modern science). Any attempt to successfully decode this field of consciousness or energy may warrant recoding of modern science itself.
  • Ayurveda is the most holistic body of knowledge of all bodies of knowledge, because it is good for present life as well as life after death of the human beings. [verse 43].
  • Theory of samanya and vishesha: Samanya is the principle which enables to understand similarity between objects, while vishesha is the principle which enables to understand distinction between objects. [Verse 44-45]
  • The three fundamental pillars of the sentient human being are Mind, soul and body constituting its foundation. The objective of Ayurveda is to understand and explain all aspects of purusha. [Verse 46-47]
  • Basic elements: Panchamahabhuta (or the Five Elements), such as akasha (space),vayu (air), tejas (fire), apa (water), and prithvi (earth), and spiritual, spatial and temporal elements (soul, mind, time and space) are collectively considered basic elements (of this universe). All the entities in the universe can be categorized into chetana (sentient/animate) and achetana (insentient/inanimate). The basis for this classification is not presence or absence of atma (soul), but the presence or absence of sense organs. Guna (basic properties/qualities) and karma (actions): Sense objects (shabda'" (sound), sparsha(touch), rupa (appearance), rasa(taste) and gandha(smell)) are five vaisheshika (specific) properties.
  • Guru (heavy), laghu (light), sheeta (cool), ushna (hot), snigdha (unctuous), ruksha (dry), manda (mild/slow acting), tikshna (strong/fast acting), sthira (stable/immobile), sara (unstable), mridu (soft), kathina (hard), vishada (non-slimy), pichchila (sticky), shlakshna (smooth), khara (rough), sthoola (gross), sukshma (subtle), sandra (solid), drava (liquid/fluid) are twenty samanya (general) properties.
  • Buddhi (knowledge) with smriti (memory), chetana (consciousness), dhriti (restraint), ahankara (ego), ichcha (inclination/desire), dwesha (aversion), sukha (comfort] , dukkha (discomfort), prayatna (effort) are properties of the atman or the Self.
  • Para (superior), aparatva (other than the superior/best), yukti (plan), samkhya (numeration), samyoga (combination), vibhaga (division), prithkatva (difference), parimana (measurement), samskar (processing/transformation), and abhyasa (continuous practice) are ten paradi (literally, "para" and "adi" (et cetera)), i.e., general properties . [verse 49]
  • The movement initiated by prayatna (effort) is called karma (action). [verse 49]
  • Samavaya(Inseparability) : Samavaya is the inherent property of blending of dravya (i.e., substances/elements e.g., prithvi or earth etc.) with their gunas (properties) and karma (actions).This is universal because no dravya (substance) is devoid of property. Every substance has some or the other property. [verse 50]
  • dravya: dravya is that in which the karma (action) and guna (properties) reside inherently and which is the samavayi karana (material cause) for any karya(effect). [verse 51] Any entity which fulfils this criteria can be called as a dravya. Matter, energy and force all have certain guna (properties) and karma (actions) and they are samavayi karana for the effects, so all such entities can be called as dravya.
  • Guna: Guna (properties) [verse 51] are inherent in a dravya. Karma (action) is also inherent in dravya. But unlike karma, gunas cannot initiate any movement on their own. The movements have to be initiated by karma.
  • Karma(action/effect): Action is inherent in the very phenomenon of combination/conjunction and division/disjunction , and thus, inherent in dravya as well. The act of combining or dividing is karma (action). Karma does not require anything else. [verse 52]
  • Karana (cause) and a definition of health: The factor responsible for action is karana (or cause), which results in a desired karya (effect or outcome), which is the end product of karma. In this verse, samanya, vishesha etc. are termed as karana (cause), and the karya (desired effect) is dhatusamya i.e. homostasis. Dhatusamya leads to health. Therefore, such a balanced state of the body constituents itself can be a definition of good health. [verse 53]
  • Karya [Results to be achieved]: The objective of Ayurveda is to maintain and restore equilibrium among dhatus (the factors responsible for various physiological actions). [verse 53]
  • Three causes of all diseases: Misuse/abuse, avoidance and excessive use of time, intellect and sense objects constitute the threefold cause of both psychic and somatic disorders. [verse 54]
  • Locations for disease and pleasures: Body and mind are the locations of disorders as well as pleasures. The balanced use of time, intellect and sense objects is the cause of pleasures. Equilibrium leads to pleasures. [ verse 55]
  • The soul: The soul is free from all diseases and supreme. It is the cause of consciousness in conjunction with the mind, objects of senses and sense organs. It is eternal and the seer who witnesses all the psychic and somatic activities. The soul doesn’t get affected by any abnormalities. [verse 56]
  • Dosha: Vata, pitta and kapha are dosha associated with the body. Rajas and tamas are mental dosha. These dosha can vitiate the body and mind respectively and are responsible for diseases. [verse 57]
    • Treatment of these dosha: Body-related dosha are pacified by the remedial measures of divine and rational therapeutics. The treatment for vitiated mental dosha includes knowledge of self, specific scientific knowledge, encouragement of mind, remembrance/memory of experiences and meditation/concentration. These are the principles of psychotherapy in Ayurveda. [verse 58]
    • Properties of vata dosha & treatment: Vata dosha is ruksha(dry), sheeta (cool), laghu (light), sukshma (subtle), chala (mobile), vishada (non-slimy) and khara (rough) in properties and is pacified by the drugs (and substances) having opposite properties. [verse 59]
    • Properties of pitta dosha and treatment: Pitta dosha is sasneha (or, with unctuousness), ushna (hot), tikshna (strong/fast acting), drava (liquid), amla (sour), sara (unstable) and katu (pungent) and is pacified immediately by the drugs (and substances) having opposite properties. [verse 60]
    • Properties of kapha dosha and treatment: The properties of kapha are guru (heavy), sheeta (cool), mrudu (soft), snigdha (unctuous), madhura (sweet), sthira (stable/immobile) and pichchila (slimy). This is subsided by (the drugs and substances having) opposite properties. [verse 61]
    • Curability and incurability of diseases: Curable disorders are treated by drugs having opposite properties as mentioned above. The drugs should be administered after due considerations of three factors like desha, matra and kala. Desha means the place of birth and residence of a person. Matra (dose) should be decided as per the strength of patient, stage of disease, severity of disease and agni. In kala, the season of precipitation of disease and time of administration of drug should be considered. These factors should be considered to achieve maximum efficacy of the treatments. Treatment of incurable diseases is not advised. [verse 62]
  • Rasa (taste sensations): It is the object of gustatory sense organ or tongue (rasana). Its source material constituents are apa and prithvi. The variation in manifestation of six tastes like sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent is due to combination of other three mahabhuta like akasha, vayu and tejas. [verse 64]
  • In vata disorders, the food and drugs with sweet, sour and salty tastes should be used. Remaining three tastes like pungent, bitter and astringent vitiate vata dosha.
  • In pitta disorders, the food and drugs with astringent, sweet and bitter tastes should be used. Remaining three tastes like sour, salty and pungent vitiate pitta dosha.
  • In kapha disorders, those with astringent, pungent and bitter should be used. Remaining three tastes like sweet, sour and salty vitiate kapha dosha.
  • These tastes are useful in specific diseases because their basic constituents are opposite to the basic constituents of respective dosha. [verse 65-66]
Shadrasa(six tastes) Panchabhautic composition Biological impact
Kapha Pitta Vata
Madhura/Sweet Jala + Prithvi
Amla/ Sour Prithvi + Agni
Lavana/ Salt Agni + Jala
Katu /Pungent Vayu + Agni
Tikta/Bitter Akash + Vayu
Kashaya/Astringent Vayu + Prithvi

  • All the material substances are classified into three categories: (1) Pacifiers of dosha, (2) those which vitiate dhatu and (3) those maintaining health.[Verse 67]

Vidhi Vimarsha (Applied Inferences)

Threefold method of learning Ayurveda

Ayurveda can be understood completely and effectively by gaining the threefold knowledge of hetu (cause), linga (symptoms) and aushadha(remedies). Charak Samhita explains the causes, symptoms and remedies pertaining to health and diseases, and therefore should be used as the definitive source of knowledge of Ayurveda. Three encyclopedias named "Hetu kosha", "Linga kosha" and "aushadha kosha" are prepared by Ayurveda scholars at Tilak Maharashtra University, Pune.[1] The current medical system follows this methodology of understanding causes, observing clinical features and managing the abnormal conditions through various therapeutic modalities.

Six categories

A group of entities can be classified in diverse ways, based on the purpose and the criteria of classification. Enlightened with the knowledge of Ayurveda, when the sages observed the world, they realized that from the perspective of Ayurveda (for maintenance and promotion of health, and for curing diseases) all the entities in the world can be classified into six categories. These six categories are described as padartha by vaisheshika darshana. But Ayurveda terms them as karana(cause), with dhatusamya(state of equilibrium of all body constituents, i.e. health) as their desired effect. In other words, these six categories can be used to maintain or restore health. As per Sushruta Samhita the duty of a vaidya(physician) is to maintain or restore health, can be executed in three ways-

  1. By augmenting the body constituents which are depleted, to normal level.
  2. By depleting the body constituents which are abnormally increased, to normal level.
  3. By maintaining the body constituents which are proportionate, in their normal proportions.

For executing all these three duties, the vaidya (Ayurvedic practitioner or physician) requires samanya which leads to increase and vishesha, which leads to decrease of existent imbalances/impurities. Therefore, they are mentioned first. Samanya and vishesha reside in dravya, guna and karma, so a vaidya needs to study them. Relationship of guna and karma with dravya is samavaya. Samavaya is responsible for existence of all the three - dravya, guna and karma. Their relationship is indicated by placing all three in continuation in that verse. Ayurveda gives more importance to gunas (properties and also qualities). So guna is mentioned first. E.g. Vacha is described as ugragandha (having strong smell).If the drug is not possessing these desired qualities, vaidya may not select that drug, instead he may select an alternative. It may appear that the concepts of samanya etc. are philosophical. But Ayurveda applies these concepts in practice. Out of these six categories, dravya, guna and karma truly exist. Samanya, vishesha and samavaya do not exist in the physical world. They exist in a metaphysical sense.

Definition of Ayurveda

Here four types of ayu are mentioned. Happy and unhappy life are more related to personal happiness or unhappiness. But there is good or righteous life and bad or sinful life also, where the person affects the harmony between his self and his surrounding. His/her acts do not impact just him or her, as an individual, but the society at large as well. There is a karmic consideration of one’s actions that could impact one’s life after death as well. Details of these are described in Sutra Sthana, Chapter 30. Ayurveda describes factors beneficial and non beneficial for all these four types of life. Ayurveda also describes ayu pramana (the span of life). This is described in two ways. In the 8th chapter of Sutra Sthana, guidelines to understand signs to predict longevity in new born babies are described. Methods like dashavidha pareeksha (ten point examination) also help in understanding the life span of a person. On the other hand, the section Indriya Sthana helps to predict or understand the circumstances leading to the death of a person in near future, i.e. when the life span comes to an end. Ayurveda also describes ayu itself i.e. definition and understanding about Ayu.

Definition of Ayu and its synonyms

Ayurveda discusses about Ayu which is conjugation of four factors, and life is not just about the body or like a machine. Besides body it also consists of indriya (sense organs), mana(mind) and atma(soul). Not just mechanical functions, but the living body consists of dynamic processes with sensations, feelings and intelligence, memory etc. in each of it’s functional units termed as paramanu (cell). The knowledge of ayu is explained by keeping such a living body in view.

Indriya (sense organs)

Ayurveda accepts separate existence of indriya (sense organs). Indriya are made up of the five mahabhutas. Each indriya is composed of portions of all five mahabhutas, with predominance of one of them. Accepting separate existence of indriya and understanding their composition as made up of mahabhutas is a significant concept philosophically, and also having important practical applications. Each indriya operates with the help of certain organs and structures called as adhishthana (substratum). E.g. eyes, specially retina, optic nerve and the centre for vision in the brain, all can be termed as adhishthana. There is separate existence of indriya, which is very subtle and therefore invisible. Since all these are made up of mahabhutas, with specific diet and specific medicines they can be treated. This is because food and medicines(drugs) are also made up of mahabhutas. Subtle portion from food nourishes indriyas, and medicines can influence and regularise their functions. One can realise, that even the conditions pertaining to adhishthana like optic nerve degeneration are very much difficult to treat, so one can imagine about the conditions related to indriya. But with acceptance of indriya and understanding their composition by mahabhutas provides scope to treat conditions not only pertaining to adhishthana, but also indriya. Similarly accepting separate existence of mana (mind) is also significant. Because not only by correcting the higher functions of brain which are attributed to mind, but by directly acting on mind, Ayurveda provides better scope for it’s treatment. Accepting existence of atma (soul) is again very much significant. Buddhi (intelligence), smriti (memory) etc. are attributes of atma. By accepting separate existence of atma, they can be better understood and treated to improve.

Atma along with the subtle indriyas and mana when enters in the union of sperm and ovum, ayu(life) starts. Even after in vivo fertilization of ovum with advanced procedures like ICSI, sometimes new life may not be started. As per Ayurveda, it can be understood that atma has not entered in that union. The conjugation of four factors i.e. the body and atma which enters in it with indriya and mana, continues till death. At the time of death, atma along with indriya and mana leaves the body. When atma realises that it is distinct from the body, indriya and mana, it gets moksha (emancipation).

Synonyms of Ayu (life)

Ayu is described with various synonyms. Each one of them is significant and they provide understanding about different aspects about Ayu. Its synonym, dhari (the support), indicates that as long as the conjugation of these four factors continues, the living body is protected. Any threat to the existence is counteracted by protective mechanisms like the healing of wounds. As soon as there is a disjunction of these factors, death occurs and the decomposition of body starts. Jeevitam (animation) suggests that only as long as the conjugation of these factors continues, there is liveliness, responsive and sentient nature. This is lost as soon as there is disjunction. Nityaga (the flux) suggests that this conjugation of four factors is a dynamic process, a continuum. The living body keeps on undergoing changes, at every moment. Anubandha (the link) suggests that this conjugation is continued as a link every moment. It also forms a link at its beginning point with the previous life, and at the end point, with the next life.

Certain branches of veda like Dhanurveda (pertaining to knowledge of archery and war technology) are beneficial for the present life. Where as certain portions like upanishada and aranyaka are beneficial for the life after death. But Ayurveda is beneficial not only for this life, but for the other life also. By providing sound health, it is beneficial for present life. With sound health only it’s possible to perform specific rituals and good acts, which may lead to better life after death. Also with sound health only it is possible to make efforts to acquire the supreme knowledge which will lead to emancipation.

Theory of samanya and vishesha

Samanya and vishesha are pertaining to dravya, guna and karma. E.g. when a person observes a white pen, there is a process involved in this understanding. The light emitted by that pen reaches the eyes. This sensation is conducted to the centre in the brain through indriya (sense organ). This happens in the presence of mind. We know that an absent minded person may not pay attention to this pen. The mind processes the information and analyses it, based on which the buddhi (intelligence), which is an attribute of the atma (soul), takes a decision about the nature of the object and on whether it is beneficial or not. This process is called as jnanotpatti (manifestation of knowledge). When we see another white pen, the same procedure is repeated and we understand that it also a white pen. We observe two white pens, and understand that they are similar. This is refered in the verse 45 as ekatva (similarity). How do we understand this similarity? It is said that both these white pens have an inherent principle called samanya which helps us to understand similarity (samanyam ekatvakaram). When we observe a black pen, we understand the distinction between it and the white pen. It is said that both of them contained a principle vishesha due to which we understood the dissimilarity, distinction (prithaktvakrita). This is the brief essence of the principle of Samanya-vishesha. This concept is also found in vaisheshika darshana (a school of Indian philosophy). Many other schools of philosophy have discussed it, but Ayurveda has applied this concept in practice.

  • Continuous use of dravya, guna or karma which are similar to the body constituents, results in the increase of them. Whereas, continuous use of dissimilar dravya, guna and karma, result in the decrease of them/ e.g. eating the meat of animals causes an increase in the content of muscle tissue in the human body (dravya samanya). But not only this, eating of other food articles like masha (black gram) also results in an increase of muscle tissue. This happens because of the properties present in masha like guru, picchila, sthira etc. are similar to that of muscle tissue, although muscle tissue and black gram are different materials (guna samanya). Also, activities like rest and proper sleep induce similar properties like sthira, guru etc. which help in increase in muscle tissue (Karma samanya).
  • These effects on the body of dravya, guna and karma having samanya and vishesha can be exerted only when they are applied directly to the body (pravrittih ubhayasya). Also when we use any dravya, guna or karma, samanya and vishesha both come to action, with respect to different body constituents. E.g. Maricha (black pepper) decreases kapha and vata, but at the same time increases pitta. While using food or medicines, we must understand that it will be favorable to certain body constituents, but at the same time it will be unfavorable to other constituents (ubhayasya pravrittih). The effects are like double edged sword. By keeping this in mind one should make appropriate use of food or medicines.

Contemporary view

It has been referred from Vaisheshika [29] [30] school of thought. The principle is also translated in various texts as the principle of generality and specificity, sameness and antagonism, homologous and heterologous, and similar or dissimilar. The generality (i.e.sameness, homology, similarity) unifies similar substances having similar properties and action, and specificity (i.e. particularity, antagonism, heterology, dissimilarity) denotes dissimilarity of substances. The principle is applicable in every aspect of life including human biology as well as in nature. It is also important in preservation of health and treatment of diseases. The universal significance of the principle of Samanya and Vishesha beyond Ayurveda is proved through three case studies viz. Case of family, case of climate change-induced biodiversity depletion and case of poverty reduction and access to health care by Pandey DN and Pandey NP.[2]

Basic elements

All the objects can be classified as animate and inanimate. The basis for this classification is not presence or absence of atma (soul) in specific objects. Because atma is described as vibhu (ubiquitous, i.e. present everywhere). But the presence of atma is manifested through sense organs. Therefore, presence or absence of indriya (sense organs) is taken as the base for classification of animate and inanimate objects. Sense organs here do not refer to only externally known organs like eyes, ears etc. Indriya are subtle and therefore imperceptible entities. Externally known organs like eyes, ears etc. are just their tools. E.g. plants do not exhibit external sensory organs like eyes etc., but they have all the sensations which are realised by subtle indriya present internally. It is significant to note that it was known to ancient Indians, and also to Ayurvedic physicians specially, that plants do possess sensations like photosensitivity, auditory, taste, olfactory and tactile sensation i.e. all five sensations [verse 48]

  • To acquire knowledge, a person interacts with the external world. For this purpose, he mainly makes use of his five senses. In other words, the vehicles of interaction between the internal and external world are the five senses. With this view point, the external world is composed of objects of our senses. In the words of Nobel laureate Sir James Jeans (in his book ‘The New Background of Science’), matter is that which is capable of originating objective sensations. Since there are five objects of senses, the worldly objects can be categorised into five groups. From where do these five categories originate? There must be five sources of origin of these fundamental elements, the five mahabhutas. Bhuta (or bhoota) means anything which exists or anything which has evolved. Since everything evolved from these five (pancha), they are referred as maha (great) bhuta(element). Mahabhutas exist in purest unconjugated, further indivisible forms termed as tanmatra in the beginning of the evolution of the universe. But eventually, they combine with each other by means of specific phenomena to form mahabhutas and then several conjugations result in formation of worldly objects. Everything in the present universe is composed of all five mahabhutas. Even the so called elementary particles are composed of them. Being so subtle they cannot be perceived physically. But their existence can be inferred by observing their functions. The theory of five mahabhutas is immensely important to understand Ayurveda. This theory is being studied presently worldwide. This would be evident from the fact that during 1990s, five international seminars were held on this concept of five mahabhutas by Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts in India, in which eminent scientists from international arena participated and presented their papers. E.g. the ex-chief of Atomic Commission of India, Dr. Raja Ramanna, presented a paper on ‘Chit-Achit and Ishwar’.
  • The composition of human body is studied in terms of mahabhutas. Dosha- dhatu and mala, which are the most important body constituents, are also composed of mahabhutas. Every object in the present universe is composed of mahabhutas, therefore can be used as medicine, if properly studied. The medicines therefore are administered considering their panchabhautika composition. In manufacturing of drugs also one has to understand the changes in terms of mahabhutas. Thus the concept of five mahabhutas is a core fundamental concept is applicable in every field of Ayurveda.
  • All the activities in the living body are possible only in the presence of atma (soul). Also they are always in relation to dik (Orientation in space) and kala (season). The concept of space-time resembles with the concept of dik-kala. Therefore atma- dik and kala are considered as nimitta karana (incidental cause) for every activity.
  • Guna (basic properties/qualities) and karma (actions)- Guna in Ayurveda are not studied in terms of physical or chemical properties of various objects, but in terms of their effects on the living body. E.g. a food article or a drug is called as guru(heavy) not as per its mass or weight. But by its property to augment body tissues. Ruksha (dry) is that which dessicates.
  • Out of the 41 guna mentioned here, shabda (sound), sparsha (touch), rupa (appearance- shape, colour, etc.), rasa (taste), gandha (smell) are termed as artha, because they are the objects of senses. They are specialised characteristics of particular mahabhutas. Guru etc. guna are in the form of 10 pairs of opposite characteristics. These are the guna present in the tissues of living body, therefore they are called as sharira (pertaining to body) guna. They are also present in the food articles and drugs. They manifest in an object, because of specific composition of mahabhutas. Therefore, they are termed as bhautika (pertaining to bhutas). Ichcha (desire), buddhi (including intellect, power of resolution, memory, awareness, sense of ego), dvesha (hatred), sukha (pleasure), dukkha (pain), and prayatna (effort) are six guna that are termed as atma guna (attributes of soul). Para and ten other properties are very much important in formulating treatment, hence termed as chikitsya guna.
  • Atma (soul) is ubiquitous. Prayatna (effort) is described as an attribute of atma. An action is initiated in the presence of atma. It is said that the attribute prayatna (effort) provides initiation for the action. The term karma is also used in different other sense elsewhere. E.g. it refers to Panchakarma (five specific therapies for purification of the body) and purvakarma (previous deeds of a person). To differentiate the term karma here, the word cheshtitam is used. By using the word, it is clarified that here this word is used in the sense of movements.
  • Samavaya (Inseparable concomitance)- Samavaya is the inherent inseparable concomitance of prithvi etc. (dravya) with their guṇas (properties) and karma (actions). This relationship is inseparable, because dravya and guna-karma evolve together. If a dravya is destroyed, guna-karma cannot exist and vice a versa. Dravya, guna-karma evolve and get destroyed, and are replaced by newer ones, but their relationship never changes. Whenever a dravya exists, it is never devoid of guna-karma. In this sense, it is said that samavaya is eternal. Out of the six categories of existants, dravya, guna and karma actually exist. But if their mutual relationship is not there, none of them can exist. Therefore, samavaya is the base of existance for everything. [ verse 50]

Mahabhuta and dosha:

The present universe is composed of five mahabhutas. When we observe various activities and functions in the human body and the external world, it is understood that functionally, five mahabhutas form three groups. Functions of prithvi and apa are complementary to each other and they work together. Same way akasha and vayu form a group. Agni keeps balance in these two groups. In the external world and in the living body, we can classify all the activities and functions grossly in three groups. On one hand we find functions like evolution of the universe and various objects, new creations, birth in case of living beings, growth and development, augmentation of existing structures and tissues, conjunction- conglomeration and unions required for this, synthesis, anabolism, impletion, nourishment. On the other hand we observe depletion of existing structures and tissues, dissociation or disjunction, division, catabolism, dessication, reduction, destruction and annihilation of existing structures, death in case of living beings and dissolution of the universe. For all these functions various movements are required which form the third group. These three kinds of functions are termed as visarga(producing/creating), adana(reducing/taking away) and vikshepa(moving). These activities are performed by the group of prithvi- apa, agni and akasha-vayu respectively. In the external world and in the living body we find these activities are going on in a controlled and guided manner, systematically. Therefore, there must be some principles of the universe which control them. These are Soma (Chandra or Moon)- Surya (Agni, fire or Sun) and Anila (Vayu or Air). In the living body also such activities are going on in a coordinated, systematic, controlled and guided manner. The body constituents which govern them are representatives of Soma-Surya-Anila. They are called as kapha, pitta and vata respectively. They are called as the three dosha. Ayurveda studies and understands all the normal and abnormal activities in the human body in terms of the three dosha. This system of three dosha, is very important practically for each physician. A physician having average knowledge also can make use of this system for successful treatment. While a physician having in-depth knowledge can use the same system to understand minute details, due to which his treatment will become precise and therefore providing quicker and better success. The theory of three dosha i.e. Tridosha is very much important to understand Ayurveda.

Rasa (taste sensations)

Every dravya in the present universe is composed of specific mode of conjugation of all five mahabhutas. Rasa (taste) is a specialized property of apa mahabhuta. When apa mahabhuta is in tanmatra (purest unconjugated form) state, it does not possess taste. When it comes in contact with prithvi, the taste is formed. The variation in manifestation of six tastes like sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent is due to a combination of other three Mahabhuta like akasha, vayu and tejas. [verse 64]

Although the term rasa apparently refers to six tastes like sweet, sour etc., but here the effects of the drugs with those tastes on the living body are given more importance. E.g. by saying that a particular drug is having madhura rasa, it is expected that not only that the drug will have sweet taste, but more than that it will have specific effects like nourishing body tissues, wholesome for hair etc. Any drug having such effects on the body is said to possess madhura rasa.

Four objectives of life

What is the purpose of life? What goals is one expected to achieve by living? These questions come to the mind of any wise person. The same is discussed by various Indian and world philosophies. As per Vedic traditions, dharma (righteousness or rules to lead a virtuous life), artha (wealth), kama (desires or enjoyments), and moksha (emancipation) are the four goals of life. Fulfillment of various desires and enjoyment is a fundamental goal of any human being and comes instinctively. For this, one requires wealth. Dharma is a set of rules or guidelines for good personal life and also for the whole society. The absence of dharma would only result in anarchy and violence. Therefore, dharma is essential. All the enjoyments are momentary. Every pleasure is followed by sorrow and vice versa. So one thinks of a state of permanent bliss, totally devoid of any sorrow or pain. Therefore, the concept of moksha (emancipation) is relevant. Here it is emphasized that without sound health one cannot achieve these goals. It is further emphasized, that one has to maintain a perfect balance between dharma, artha and kama in order to attain moksha.

Classification of drugs

Rasa, guna, veerya and vipaka are important properties present in a dravya. They can be identified by specific methods. But due to specific arrangements of mahabhutas, which causes specific transformations, a dravya is possessing unique property termed as prabhava. Mahabhutas being very subtle and unobservable with our senses, their conjugations or transformations can’t be readily understood. So prabhava is unexplicable. But it is understood based on the effects produced by it. Drugs can be classified on various parameters, based on prabhava also various classifications are possible. Here a gross classification based on three most important effects of prabhava is mentioned.

  • Dosha prashamana (dosha pacifying):

Dosha prashamana are the drugs which bring back the equilibrium of dosha. Amalaki and durlabha pacify all the three dosha as well as correct the function of dhatu. Amalaki pacifies vata due to madhura -amla rasa and madhura vipaka, pitta due to madhura-tikta-kashaya , rasa and sheeta veerya, kapha due to katu-tikta –kashaya rasa and guna like ruksha, laghu. This explanation of the mode of action of amalaki on three doshas is true. But question arises why with the same set of properties, different actions are not possible like vitiation of kapha with madhura-amla rasa, madhura vipaka and sheeta veerya. So there must be some other factor also influencing the actions. This factor is prabhava. The drugs with doshaprashamana prabhava always only pacify the dosha and never vitiate them, whereas the drugs with dhatu pradushana prabhava always vitiate, never pacify.

  • Dhatu pradushana (vitiating dhatu): There are some substances which by their very nature harm the body e.g. mandaka dadhi (immature curd/yogurt), slow and acute poisons etc.
  • Swasthavrittahita (maintaining health): The substances which help in maintaining, promotion and preservation of the health of the healthy persons are swasthavratta hitakara. Rasayana and vajikarana as well as daily and seasonal regimens etc. are belonging to this group. Red rice, old rice, wheat, barley, green gram etc are good for daily use to maintain and promote health. The primary function of the substances under this category is to maintain the equilibrium of the dosha so that they are neither increased/aggravated nor decreased. Thus they help normal functioning of the body. [verse 67]
  • Use of herbal medicines:

Ayurveda in general and Charak in particular commonly use plant origin drugs. Animal origin drugs such as milk and its products are mainly used as diet articles and often as drugs also. As per present trend only cow’s urine is used that also mixed with herbal preparations as bhavana (fortification) or to make enema preparation strong particularly to combat ama conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Classical Ayurveda does not advise to use human urine. Other substances of animal origin are rarely used except shells of aquatic animals.

  • Use of minerals:

Samalah indicates byproducts such as bitumen. Salt, minerals and alkaline products obtained from earth are also included in this group. Minerals and metals obtained from earth are first subjected to purification and then converting to nano particles (bhasma) by the various methods described separately for each product. The metals are subjected to anaerobic incinerating processes to convert it into bhasma which is nano form of the metal. Thus the earth-products becomes free from side effects of the gross metal and very potent and cures many diseases when administered with specific decoctions. It also reduces the bulk of doses of the herbal substances when mixed with these bhasma. (Verse 70).

  • Plant origin drugs are classified in four groups viz. vanaspati (direct fruiters), virudha (creepers), vanaspatya (flower-based fruiters) and aushadhi (herbs).
  • Vanaspati (direct fruiters): There are some plants which bear fruits without visible flowers.
  • Virudha (creepers): The plants which spread with branches are virudha e.g. guduchi
  • Vanaspatya (flower-based or flowering fruiters): The plants of this group bear first visible flowers and then fruits.
  • Aushadhi (herbs): The plants which die out after bearing the fruits are aushadha e.g. wheat, paddy, barley, lentils etc (Verse 71-72).
  • Fruits of both the types of klitaka (Glycyrrhiza glabra Linn.) are most useful for purgation, though Sushruta mentions use of its root generally. Only autumnal fruits of hastiparini are most useful. Sushruta advises use of leaves of aragvadha (Cassia fistula Linn.) for purgation but in the present context, its fruits are mentioned because they are useful (80-86).
  • Ghee is the most important unctuous substance among various types of unctuous substances, because it possesses an unique quality of absorbing the properties of processed drugs without losing its own properties. Therefore ghee is the best media for processing drugs. (87-88).
  • Saindhva (rock salt) is very useful among all salts, but here sauvarchala (sochal salt) is listed first because of its most palatable taste. Otherwise sochal salt comes only after saindhava in order of priority (89-92).
  • Urine from the female species of various animals have generally been advised for therapeutic purposes because they are considered light(Charak Sutra 27/238). Some commentators ascribe heaviness to males with shukra and lightness of urine due to dissociation of female with shukra but it is not acceptable as females are not completely devoid of shukra dhatu. So in a nutshell, urine of female animals serves as efficacious in treating the many diseases. Next in order comes urine of male species. The urine of an impotent animal is considered inauspicious and thus not mentioned (93-105).
  • Sweetness, nourishment, unctuousness, and coolness are the general properties of the milk, but milk of some animals may differ in this regard. For instance, milk of she-camel is slightly saline in taste while she-goat is astringent. Similarly, milk of a she-camel also differs in properties as it is rough and hot. Hence the specific properties mentioned of the individual milk should also be considered in this regard (Charak Sutra 27/217-224). Milk is beneficial for mental faculties due to its specific action and also due to its general nourishing property which includes the proper growth of the mental faculties also and not the mind itself which is eternal.
  • Milk is beneficial for certain states or conditions of raktapitta (bleeding disorders) as it is mentioned that even if after administration of the various decoctions, stimulation of digestive power and pacification of kapha. Raktapitta not cured indicates vata predominance and in such conditions the milk of a she-goat or of a cow, boiled with five times its volume of water is advised (Charak Chikitsa 4:82-83). Thus, it is not correct to say that milk is harmful for adhoga and urdhvaga raktapitta due to laxative and kapha vitiating properties respectively. Milk is, of course, useful in raktapitta only at a certain stage (105-113).
  • Krishnagandha is included in the list of shodhana drugs though it has no elimination action. It seems this drug is included in the list owing to its external purification action and application as paste (116-119).
  • Local people such as goat-herders, sheep-herders, cow-herder and other forest dwellers are generally well versed with identification of the local herbs. Therefore, the beginner may take their help of these people for identification of the plants available in their areas. However, mere knowing the name and form of the plant is not sufficient and one must know their pharmacological properties, therapeutic actions and underlying principle of its application. Hence the best physician is the one who is well acquainted with drugs in their entirely (120-123).
  • To become a successful physician, it is very necessary to acquaint with identification of the drug material as well as to know detail pharmacological and therapeutic properties and actions of the drug.
  • Physician should use only those drugs which are well known from every aspect (pharmacological effect). The unknown drug may act as poison and kill the patient. Therefore, if a physician knows all the three aspects viz., names, forms and properties of drugs can treat the patients successfully. Hence the patient should not take medicine from pseudo-physicians and similarly a physician should not prescribe a drug which is not well known (124-133).
  • Correct drug and knowledgeable physicians are the two important pillars of successful treatment. Therefore, it is necessary to know the qualities of correct medicine and a good physician. The drugs having all the requisite properties and actions required for cure a particular disease is considered as the proper drug. For a good physician, it is necessary to have all the knowledge of the principles underlying the correct application of medicines. Sometimes a randomly prescribed medicine by a pseudo physician also succeeds in alleviating disease and in that case the credit is not his but it is just accidental. Thus, only that physician is best who has proficiency in the principle governing the use of a drug, knows all the aspects of the medicine to select and thus has the capability of curing the diseases (134).
  • Ayurveda has a very scientific principle of karya-karana vada which says every action (karya) has its specific cause (karana). Therefore, on the basis of this principle, if the disease is cured, it can be said that a proper medicine having all the requisite curative properties and action has been administered. Similarly, if there is a success in curing a disease, it also implies that the physician is proficient in Ayurveda and is endowed with all the good qualities as envisaged in Khuddaka chatushpada (Charak Sutra l0/ 6) (135)
  • All over the world, plants are recognized by their scientific names (in Latin, mostly), and hence generally accepted Latin names of plants mentioned in this chapter are given here to facilitate their wide understanding.


  1. Available from cited on 28/05/2020
  2. Pandey Deep Narayan, Pandey Neha Prakash. Universal significance of the principle of Samanya and Vishesha beyond Ayurveda.Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine.2018;9(4),308-311. available online from