Sushruta Samhita



The field of medicine is undeniably the field of scientific and ethical values that serves humanity since the Stone Age. Ayurveda, the science of life absolutely shares a major part in etching the medicinal world with its efficient and profound knowledge & principles of holistic healing. As any form of science attains completion with the compilation of texts by its scholars, Ayurveda remains still intact with the exertion of three major ancient masterminds who lay behind the creation of magnificent Ayurvedic encyclopedias namely Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hridaya and Ashtanga Sangraha.

Surgery, for sure is a challenging medical remedy both for the practitioner who performs it and for the patient who undergoes it. By the time you reach the end of this post, you will speechless in awe – inspiring astonishment, as your mind will revolve around the history of a great personality, who mastered the field of surgery even before people could think of it!!!

Sushruta – The father of surgery: Sushruta is believed to be one of the initial surgeons, the world was blessed with. According to few reliable sources, Sushruta is said to have survived in the 6th century B.C. He is the notable disciple of Divodasa, who developed a school for surgery in the 6th to 9th century B.C. He came up with an endless Ayurvedic encyclopedia known as Sushruta Samhita, which is highly focused on stupendous medical thesis with its core content dealing with surgery. His excellence in the field of surgery crowned him as ‘The Father of Surgery’.

Sushruta’s Contributions to the Medical World: It will truly be a breathtaking fact to know about Sushruta’s contributions to the field of medicine that has the finest information in some of the most untouched topics of ancient world. I’m sure the forthcoming piece of information will definitely make your eyes wide open with a surprised wave of wonder!

  • ‘Father of Plastic Surgery’ – Sushruta’s contribution to the field of plastic surgery is enormous with his footsteps craved in numerous areas, few of which are Rhinoplasty (reconstruction of nose), Otoplasty (correction of the deformities & defects of earlobe), repair of lip injuries and congenital cleft lip.
  • Being a perfect pioneer of anesthesia, Sushruta advocated the use of wine to block the sensation of the patient undergoing surgery.
  • He was the perfect demonstrator of various medical techniques like making incisions illustrated with the help of vegetables like watermelon, extraction of foreign bodies etc.
  • Sushruta is the unique contributor to the field of obstetrics, orthopedics and ophthalmology and is celebrated as the first cataract surgeon.
  • He was the first to give an in-depth explanation of human anatomy, embryology and the development of fetus.
  • He practiced certain innovative techniques like using leeches to free the wounds from blood clots, ant – heads as stitching materials to stitch the intestines etc.

Sushruta Samhita – A detailed demonstration of holistic healing: Sushruta Samhita talks about every single work of Sushruta in Ayurvedic healing therapy. This book is full of tactful facts that spread the knowledge of medicine applicable to people of all ages. This Ayurvedic encyclopedia illustrates not only the detailed description of surgery & surgical equipments but also about all the related branches of medicine ranging from common illness to complicated cesarean (C-section), thus making it a complete form of medical discipline.

Sushruta Samhita was translated into many languages namely Arabic, Latin, German & English thus spreading the essence of serving mankind in treating various ailments with excellence.

To this Sage of Surgery, health was a composition of mental & physical well-being that can be incorporated by following an Ayurvedic lifestyle, the major part of which encompasses following a healthy Ayurvedic routine, effective usage of Ayurvedic essential oils in day to day life, practicing healthy physical exercises along with yoga and meditation to nurture a healthy mind.

What are you still waiting for?!?!? With the fresh memories of Ayurveda and the Ayurvedic scholar – Sushruta in your minds, grab a sheet of paper to pen down your day to day Ayurvedic activities for your future that will make your lifestyle Unique & Ayurvedic!!!

Thought for the day:

The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.                                                               -Voltaire

Suggested Reading:

  1. An English translation of the Sushruta samhita, based on original Sanskrit text, volume 1: Sutrasthanam By Susruta Susruta
  2. Susruta Samhita: Text in Sanskrit with English Translation By Kaviraj Bhishagratna
  3. Synopsis of Ayurveda: Based on a translation of the Su’sruta Samhit=a (The Treatise of Su’sruta) By G. D. Singhal, T. J. S. Patterson

Reference Links:

  1. Sushruta by Wikipedia
  2. Sushruta Samhita by Wikipedia
  3. The Internal Journal Of Plastic Surgery by Dr.Sanjay Saraf & Dr.Ravi S.Parihar

Five Vital Elements of Ayurveda



The universe by itself is interrelated in some or the other way. Everything in this world is bound by five unique elements of life and has gradually become the five vital elements of Ayurveda, rightly known as the science of life. I often think that my 2 eyes are just not enough to admire the magnificence of nature and enjoy its excellence in each of its significant existence. One such immeasurable quantum of nature’s solace is the presence of the five essential elements namely Water, Earth, Space, Fire and Air in every survival of this globe. With such importance, the heavenly science of Ayurveda calls these elements as the building blocks of life, comprising human beings as the major part.

Every single thing in this world, be it a living being or a non-living object is exclusive and unique in its own because of a differing ratio of the five elements of life.  Even the Ayurvedic remedies like herbs, Ayurvedic essential oils, yoga, meditation and other natural remedies aim at nurturing the values of these five elements. Ayurveda identifies human body as a combination of the five vital elements in varying proportions, making an individual unique from his fellow being. Every object in nature follows an orderly mechanism that would make us speechless in awe. We rise on Earth and finally rest on Earth only. In between, all the five elements play a significant role in our daily lives, determining our physical, biological, psychological, social and environmental attributes. They are indivisible and together they are known as Panchamahabhutas in Sanskrit.

The theory of five vital elements and human system: Let’s now have a look at the way that these five elements lead, rule and influence the personality traits and attributes of mankind.

1. Water (Jala, Apa, and Neer): Most of us know that the Earth comprises of 70% of water and just 30% of land, similarly the human body is also made up of about 70% water, but for which the human system would stop functioning. The presence of water in our body is witnessed through trouble-free movement of various parts of the body and governs various fluids like blood, saliva, plasma, mucus etc.

In short, our body is supplied with the necessary energy only with the presence of this predominant element that regulates our body temperature as well. All the liquid items that we drink are all various forms of water and intake of water enhances suppleness, coolness, softness and the moisture of the skin. On an emotional perspective, water can be compared to a loving, gentle and compassionate personality with kindness and consideration.

2. Earth (Dhara and Prithvi): Anything that is stable and solid can be represented as a form of earth. The nourishing solid food items that we ingest are from earth. Earth represents strength, durability, firmness and might.  The muscles, tissues, bones, hair, fat, skin, cells, nails and teeth of the human body are governed by this dominant element. Mentally, earth stands for braveness, steadiness, vigor, constancy and the attributes of a warrior at heart, essential for a healthy and hearty life filled with challenges.

3. Space (Akash): The ever-present dominant force encircling the Globe is the space also known as ether. What comes to your mind when you just look at the clear sky in the early hours of the day? This sight brings utmost joy, humbleness, openness, liberty and an immaculate ray of hope and light to me. Space is everywhere and it is this space in the human heart that accepts and gives love without boundaries and in the body, it is considered as the container that accepts all kinds of impressions. This element is said to be present in the human system, wherever cavity and emptiness is present like stomach, intestines, nostrils, lungs, bladder, ears, throat, blood vessels and mouth. Light and hollow food items like wafers, corn flakes etc, are examples of foods with the presence of ether element.

4. Air (Vayu): This vital energy is forceful and itinerant. Without air the entire world would stop breathing and would look lifeless. The oxygen that helps us survive is just a part of air and acts as the foundation for all the positive reactions in the human body. The functioning of the major parts of the body like intestines, heart, lungs, joints and stomach are supported by air. The intake of air enhances circulation, coolness and movement. Physically, air is attributed to light, weightless, dry and movable characteristics and mentally, it is related to an active, vibrant, full-of-life and energetic personality that can influence and stay optimistic.

5. Fire (Agni): Fire grants the essential power that the body needs to digest and react to all metabolic, nervous, perspiring and challenging activities. It is only the fire in you that can help you withstand difficulties and win over the most critical situations in your life. This energy element converts food to fat and transfers the necessary energy to bones and muscles. The presence of fire determines your intelligence and the body temperature. It augments digestion, color and glow of the skin and metabolism. Hot, rough, sharp and clever traits are associated with fire.

Just like the five fingers in our palms, these five elements are highly important and form an integral part of every human being according to Ayurveda. Each of these building blocks play an imperative role in different phases of our life like Earth and Water elements are predominant during the childhood, when the body attains growth physically, whereas the element of Fire rules during adulthood when the body undergoes a drastic change. When we attain old age, the body tends to lose its flexibility and there is the predominance of Air and Space elements. I trust that this fundamental knowledge about the five vital elements of Ayurveda helps us realize that our body that is blended with nature, naturally.

Thought for the day:

“Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind and intellect and also ego-sense; these are the eight-fold division of my nature. This is inferior. Know my mother nature, the higher, Oh Mighty-Armed, the life-element by which the universe is upheld”. (7:4-5)                                                        – Bhagavad Gita

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention, & Longevity By Swami Sadashiva Tirtha
  2. The Subtle Energy Body: The Complete Guide By Maureen Lockhart Ph.D.
  3. Textbook of Ayurveda, Volume One: Fundamental Principles By Vasant Lad

Reference Links:

  1. The Five Elements Part I: Ether by California College of Ayurveda
  2. Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Comparative Overview by NCBI
  3. Ayurved, the science of life by Richfield

Charaka Samhita: The Strongest Root of Ayurveda



Ayurveda is a spiritual science with scintillating sources and is the ancient holistic healing methodology. It focuses on prevention and cure of all illnesses and is considered as the most realistic gifts of undying values to mankind. This spiritual science is believed to be of more than 5000 years of age with its attributes described in three major sources namely Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hridaya & Ashtanga Sangraha. Good books are forever the best friends of mankind. For sure, encyclopedias are like eternal teachers to humanity with a great source of immense values. Charaka Samhita is one such Ayurvedic encyclopedia of age old holistic importance.

Charaka – The renowned physician: Charaka (also spelled Caraka) is a renowned physician of the court of Kanishka, a Kushana ruler. He is believed to have born in c. 300 BC. He himself was a living encyclopedia, who in addition to serving the human beings as a great medical preacher & practitioner also gave equal importance to human ethical values in treating the patients. Charaka is often referred to as the ‘Father of Medicine’.

Dawn of a divine Index: Although there is no much proof about the history of Charaka, according to legends he is believed to be a versatile student of Aatreya, who was the disciple of Bharadwaja who in turn was one of the students of Lord Indra. Aatreya’s request to pen down his teachings to his disciples led to the rise of 8 divine works of which Charaka’s Charaka Samhita was found to be the best & has survived for ages! His work was later revised by Dridhbala.

Contributions of Charaka to the world of Medicine: Charaka is the author of Charaka Samhita, the oldest of the existing three Ayurvedic encyclopedias. Being a man of mystical values, Charaka had numerous feathers added to his cap some of which are listed below.

  • First physician to present the concept of digestion, metabolism & immunity
  • Knowledge of Genetics – You’ll be truly amazed to know that a man who lived before 2000 years had the knowledge of genetics and its factors, which is one of the top stories of the modern medical world. Charaka had a thorough understanding about the factors determining the sex of the fetus. He was able to study that the reason behind the genetic defect in a child is possibly due to the defect in the sperm or ovum of the parents rather than the parents themselves.
  • Study of Anatomy of the human body and its organs was done by Charaka, which served as a leading light of interest in this field for most of the medical scholars of the later decades.

Charaka Samhita – The truth of Ayurveda: Samhita is a Sanskrit word which means collection of rules. Charaka Samhita talks about the various aspects of Ayurvedic contexts in treating diseases and in preventing them. This ocean of medical principles constitutes of 8 parts with a total number of 120 chapters mainly focusing on ‘Kaya Chikitsa‘ – The diagnosis and healing of illnesses through internal and external use of medicine. This branch of Ayurveda aims at healing the mind & the body, thus striking a balance between the two great pillars of the human soul. Ethical conducts of a physician in treating the patients, which is now lacking in most parts of the world was given high importance by Charaka. One can even find the details regarding the attributes of various aspects of how a good physician, nurse, healing drugs, hospital and a patient should be.

Source of Medical aid in treating the whole world: Charaka Samhita was translated into many foreign languages, including Arabic and Latin. It remains as a valuable medicinal source that inspired countless medical practitioners in coming up with the most modern medical concepts to treat humanity.

I can now realize the strong reason behind the survival of Ayurveda, the science of life. Mere words are not just enough to appreciate the strenuous efforts put forth by some of the ancient legends in serving mankind in the form of texts of undying values like Charaka Samhita. Let each one of us take into the world, the efforts of such great people by inculcating a healthy life style, which would strengthen their values and our vows.

Thought for the day:

True heroism consists in being superior to the ills of life, in whatever shape they may challenge us to combat.  By Napoleon Bonaparte

Suggested Reading:

  1. Caraka Samhita (1949 Edition, 6 Volume Set) Hindu, Gujarati, English Translation (Caraka Samhita, 6 Volume Set) by Atreva Punarbasu, Great Sage Agnivesa
  2. The Roots of Ayurveda (Penguin Classics) by Various
  3. Textbook of Ayurveda, Volume One: Fundamental Principles by Vasant Lad

Reference Links:

  1. Charaka by Wikipedia
  2. Charaka Samhita by Wikipedia
  3. History of Ayurveda by Professor Dr. P.H. Kulkarni