Sushruta Samhita, volume 4: Cikitsasthana

by Kaviraj Kunja Lal Bhishagratna | 1911 | 123,229 words

This current book, the Chikitsa-sthana (english translation), deals with therapeutics, surgical emergencies, geriatrics, aphrodisiacs and various other subjects. The Sushruta Samhita is the most representative work of the Hindu system of medicine. It embraces all that can possibly appertain to the science of medicine. Susruta-samhita is recognized...

Chapter XXVII - Elixirs (rasayana) for invulnerability to disease

Now we shall discourse on the recipes and modes of using elixirs and rejuvinators of the human organism which will make it invulnerable to the inroads of any disease or of decay (Sarvopaghata-Shamaniya-Rasayana). 1.

Metrical Texts:—

A wise physician should (invariably) prescribe some sort of tonic (Rasayana) for his patients in their youth and middle age after having their systems (properly) cleansed by the applications of a Sneha and purifying remedies (emetics and purgatives). A person whose system has not been (previously) cleansed (Sodhana) with the proper purifying remedies (emetics and purgatives) should not, in any case, have recourse to such tonics inasmuch as they would fail to produce the wished-for result, just as the application of a dye to a piece of dirty cloth will prove non-effective. 2.

Now we shall describe the remedial measures and agents for the maladies due to the aggravated Doshas[1], both mental and physical, which have already been described (in several places). Old age and senile decay would be arrested (lit. perpetual or life-long youth would be secured) by drinking milk, cold water, honey and clarified butter, either severally or jointly (i.e., in any combination[2] taken one, two, three or four at a time), in early life (just on or just before the completion of the process of organic development) 3-4.


The powdered seeds of the Vidanga (Tandula) and pulverised Yashti-madhu should be mixed together and taken in cold water in an adequate dose (according to the strength of the patient), and a potion of cold water should then be taken. This medicine should be regularly continued for a month. The same pulverised Vidanga seeds should be similarly taken for a month through the vehicle of the decoction of Bhallataka mixed with honey; or of the decoction of grapes mixed with honey; or with the expressed juice of Amalaka sweetened with honey; or through the vehicle of the decoction of Guduci. Thus there are these five ways (of taking pulverised Vidanga seeds (Tandula) as an e’ixir. A meal of boiled rice with a copious quantity of clarified butter should be taken with the soup of Amalaka and Mudga pulse unseasoned with salt and cooked with only a small quantity of Sneha (clarified butter) after the medicine has been well digested. These (Rasayana) remedies prove curative in cases of hemorrhoids and in complaints of worms. They improve memory and the power of comprehension and their use for every month increases the life-time of the user by one hundred years. 5.


One Drona measure of Vidanga (seeds) should be boiled in the way of preparing cakes in an Indian cake-pan. When the watery portion (of the cakes) have been removed (evaporated) and the Vidanga- grains well boiled, they should be taken down and well pasted on a stone-slab. They should then be kept in a strong iron pitcher after having been mixed with a copious quantity of the decoction[3] of Yashti-madhu. The pitcher should be buried in a heap of ashes inside a closed room during the rainy season and preserved there during the four months of rain; after that period the pitcher should be taken out (of the ashes). Its contents should then be consecrated with (appropriate) Mantras by uttering them a thousand times and should be taken every morning in suitable quantities after the system has been thoroughly cleansed (by appropriate emetics and purgatives, etc.). The diet should consist of cooked rice and clarified butter mixed with a copious quantity of the soup of Mudga pulse and Amalaka cooked with a small quantity of Sneha and salt; and should be taken after the digestion of the medicine. The patient should lie on the ground (and not on a bedding). Worms would be found to have been issuing out of the body after the regular and continuous use of the medicine for a month, which should be extracted with the aid of a pair of bamboo tongs or forceps after the body had been anointed with the Anu-taila (described before). Ants would be coming out of the body during the second, and vermins (Yuka) in the third month of the use of the medicine which should also be removed as in the preceding manner. The hair, nails and teeth begin to fall off and become dilapidated in the fourth month of its use. In the fifth month the body beams with a divine glow, becomes resplendent as the midday sun, and exhibits features which specifically belong to the etherial being. The ears become capable of hearing the faintest and remotest sound (under its use), and the vision extends far into space and beholds objects at a great range (which is not usually given to mortal eyes to descry). The mind, shorn of the qualities of Rajas (action) and Tamas (nescience), becomes possessed of Sattva (illuminating principles or true knowledge). Things are permanently and indelibly impressed upon his (user’s) memory at a single hearing and the faculty of invention wonderfully expands. Old age and decay permanently vanish and youth returns to stay in him for good, bringing with it an elephantine strength and a horse-like speed, and he is enabled to live for eight hundred springs. The medicated oil known as Anu- taila should be used in anointing (the body at this stage of treatment); a decoction of Aja-karna for Utsadana.washing) purposes, well-water saturated with Ushira for bathing purposes, sandal paste in anointing (Anulepana) the body, and the regimen of diet and conduct as described in connection with the Bhallataka treatment (Vidhana)should be observed. 6.

Kasmarya Kalpa:—

The use of huskless Kashmaryaja seeds for rejuvinating purposes, is similar to the preceding one, except that it requires a separate kind of diet and does not require the use to lie on the ground, Under this treatment, the diet should consist of (boiled) rice and well-boiled milk and the beneficial effects that would result from its use, are identical with those of the foregoing one. These remedies should be employed in diseases originating through the vitiated blood and Pitta of the system. 7.


A Pala or half a Pala weight of the (powdered) roots of the Vala should be well-stirred in cow’s milk and taken (every day), and the patient or the user should not be allowed to stir out of his room as prescribed before (during the entire course of taking the medicine). He should be advised to take a meal consisting of boiled rice, milk and clarified butter after the medicine had been fully digested. Premature old age and senile decay would be arrested for a period of twelve years by taking this elixir continuously for twelve days in the foregoing manner, whereas an extension of its course to a hundred days would add a hundred summers to the duration of his youthful age. Ati-vala, Naga-vala, Vidari, Satavari may be similarly taken for the same purposes, with this distinction that the (powders of] the Ati-vala should be taken with water, those of the Naga-vala, with honey, whereas Vidari and the Shatavari powders should be taken with milk. The regimen of diet and conduct as well as the beneficial results produced therefrom should be the same (as from the use of Vala). The present remedies are recommended to persons seeking strength or suffering from an attack of Hematemesis or Hematochezia.[4] 8.

Varahi Kalpa:—

A Tula measure of the powders of Varahi -bulbs should be taken in an adequate dose (everyday) by mixing it with honey and stirring it with milk. A meal of boiled rice with clarified butter and milk should be taken after it had been digested and the patient should be advised to observe a regimen of diet and conduct (Pratishedha) as laid down before (in connection with the foregoing elixirs). By using it a man is enabled to witness a hundred summers and does not feel any fatigue after sexual excesses. A quantity of this powder should be mixed with milk and boiled (according to the rules of Kshira- paka). When sufficiently cooled, the milk should be churned and the clarified butter produced therefrom should betaken after the medicine had been digested. A continuous use of the medicine for a month enables a man to live up to a good hundred years. 9.

A decoction should be made by boiling together the pith of the Vijaka[5] (Pita Shala) and the roots of the Agni-mantha with which a Prastha measure of Masha-pulse should be duly cooked. When the Masha-pulse is sufficiently boiled, an Aksha measure of powdered Citraka roots and the expressed juice of the Amalaka weighing a fourth part of the Masha-pulse should be added to it, and the whole compound should be removed (from the oven) at the close of the cooking. When cooled down this compound should be taken in adequate doses with honey and clarified butter after consecrating it a thousand times with appropriate Mantras. Persons seeking longevity and a stronger or improved range of vision should take this and they should be advised to take their meals without any salt. The meal, after the digestion of the medicine, should consist of boiled rice and a copious quantity of clarified butter and should be taken with unsalted Mudga, and Amalaka soup or with milk alone. A continuous use of either of these two medicines for three consecutive months would make a man’s eye-sight as keen and foresighted as that of a Suparna[6] and enable him to witness a hundred summers in the full vigour of health, strength and manhood[7] 10.

Memorable Verse:—

The use of Shana (seeds) boiled with milk and taken also with milk guards against the loss of flesh and prevents the body from suffering any decay. 11.


Thus ends the Twenty-seventh Chapter of the Chikitsita Sthana in the Sushruta Samhita which deals with elixirs and rejuvenators.

Footnotes and references:


The mental Doshas are Rajas and Tamas, whereas the physical Doshas are Vayu, Pitta and Kapha.


There would be four combinations of one each, six of two each, four of three each and one of four jointly; thus there would be fifteen combinations in all.


Dallana explains the term Madhukodakottara to mean a large quantity of Madhuka and water, (and by water he means the decoction of Vidanga).


Suffering from consumption and hemoptysis.—D. R.


Dallana recommends one Pala weight of Vijaka Sara and Agni-mantha to be boiled in an Adhaka measure of water which should be reduced to one half for the preparation of the decoction.


Suparna is the king of birds and is said to be the most keen- sighted.


Dallana says that some commentators do not read this, since they do not consider it to be a part of the original text. Jejjata also has not read this.

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