History of Ayurveda: The Ancient Wisdom Of Healing



History, when explored is always a key to unlock even the most unsolvable mystery. Let us spend some of our dear time in taking a trek through one such historic voyage, where each of our paces will provide us with a stack of treasure pacifying our soul. Let me tell you the name of such an estimable treasure island where I’m going to take you through!!! Yes, AYURVEDA is that one spectacular vicinity of more than 5000 years old, where we are going to fix our vision for the next few minutes. Let’s get started for this notable remark of our journey of life!!!!

Ayurveda – Name & Fame: Ayurveda‘ is composed of two Sanskrit words, Ayus meaning life and Veda meaning knowledge. According to Hinduism, there are 4 major Vedas or the holy books namely Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda and Ayurveda is considered as a subdivision of Atharva Veda. As the name implies, Ayurveda is a true knowledge of life that helps in leading a cultured and civilized life.

This age old spiritual science of holistic healing, which dates back to about 5000 years is still fresh in the world as a newborn pride, the main reason being its efficiency and effectiveness over all sorts of ailing illness. Few reliable sources state that Ayurveda’s basic principles got standardized around 1500 BC but there is no real evidence for the exact beginning of Ayurveda and no one exactly knows when this miraculous science had its birth as it is ageless like Mother Earth.

Ayurveda & Mother India : With its roots being deeply set in ancient India, Ayurveda is still considered to be the only existing form of holistic traditional medicinal treatment of body, mind and soul, which when blended together forms an ideal human system. India is a land of holistic traditional cultures and values, where you can find its eminence in each one of its remnants and Ayurveda, the established epic is not an exception at all.

Ayurveda – Spiritual Methodology of the Eternal Master:  A wise and a knowledgeable Master is often the reason behind any successful system in this world. Ayurveda, the miraculous medicinal approach is believed to have the Master of All Masters as its Mother. Yes, as per the Hindu mythology, Ayurveda is believed to be a boon granted by Brahma – The Lord of Creation to Dhanvantari who was crowned as the God of Medicine.

Ayurveda – Sources & Resources: The main sources of Ayurveda rest in three invaluable texts contributed by the most renowned Ayurvedic practitioners of ancient India- Charaka, Sushruta and Vaghbata. Their contributions include Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and a compilation of a set of major texts called Ashtanga Hridaya & Ashtanga Sangraha.

  • Charaka – The Esteemed Curator: Charaka is a man of mystical and legendary values. He is believed to have been in the court of Kanishka, an age old ruler of the Kushana Dynasty in India. Perfect preaching & practice of medicine together with ‘Privacy of Patient’s Confidentiality‘, one of the golden tenets of a tactful curator meant a lot to this man of values. Charaka’s literary exertion has Kaya-Chikitsa (Internal Medicine) – ‘The diagnosis and treatment of ailments through internal and external application of medicine’ as its core content.
  • Sushruta – The Skilled Surgeon: Sushruta is said to have served in the court of Gupta Dynasty as a surgeon. He is the man who took a giant pace in the field of surgery namely plastic, cosmetic and prosthetic surgery along with cesarean section and handling of compound fractures. Sushruta Samhita dealt with Shalya Tantra (Surgery) to a great extent.
  • Vaghbata – The Versatile Compiler: Vaghbata is believed to have existed in the 5th century AD, who took strenuous efforts in perfectly expressing the essence of Ayurveda in rhythmic verse which is found to be very essential by all the students of Ayurveda who commit to memorize these verses, which is the basis of Ayurvedic study of healing.

Hope this brief journey through Ayurveda proved to be inspiring and informative for you, which will certainly clad your thoughts & actions in an Ayurvedic way!!! Happy Health to You!!!

Thought for the day:

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. By Marcus Garvey

Suggested Reading:

  1. Textbook of Ayurveda, Volume One: Fundamental Principles by Vasant Lad
  2. An English translation of the Sushruta Samhita, based on original Sanskrit text, volume 1: Sutrasthanam by Susruta Susruta
  3. The Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention, & Longevity by Swami Sadashiva Tirtha

Reference Links:

  1. Ayurveda by Wikipedia
  2. Brief History of Ayurveda by Healing Sphere
  3. History of Ayurveda by Professor Dr. P.H. Kulkarni

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

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