The Garuda Purana

by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1908 | 245,256 words | ISBN-13: 9788183150736

The English translation of the Garuda Purana: contents include a creation theory, description of vratas (religious observances), sacred holidays, sacred places dedicated to the sun, but also prayers from the Tantrika ritual, addressed to the sun, to Shiva, and to Vishnu. The Garuda Purana also contains treatises on astrology, palmistry, and preci...

Chapter CLXXI - The Nidanam of diseases of the eyes

Now hear me, O Sushruta, discourse on the Nidanam of the diseases of the eyes. Plunging into water when the body is extremely heated, straining of the eyes to observe objects which are extremely small, or remote, excessive sleep or wakefulness, injudicious emesis, suppression of urgings towards vomiting, particles of dust or beads of perspiration dropping into the eyes, or exposure of the eyes to dust and glare, ingestion of large quantities of liquid food in the night, voluntary suppression of urgings towards urination Or defecation, continuous weeping, indulgence in grief, or in anger, irascibility, injury to the head, excessive use of wine, contrary Seasons, Over-fatiguing physical labour, sexual excesses, and looking through mists or vapours are the factors which tend to derange the local Vayu, Pittam and Kaphah which bring on a host of occular affections. The Vayu, Pittam, Kaphah and blood serve as the exciting factors of the four several types of Opthalmia (Abhishyanda) which may be described as the parent of all kinds of eye-diseases. An aching, pricking pain in the eyes, horripilation, dryness and a sense of irritation in the eyes, heat in the head and flowing of cold tears are the symptoms which mark the Vataja type of Abhishyanda. Burning and inflammation of the eyes, relief after cold contact, feeling as if hot fumes escaping out of the eyes, yellowness of the conjunctiva and flow of hot tears are the symptoms which mark the Pittaja type of Abhishyanda. Relief after warm contact, he (a) viness (?) and swelling of the eyes, profuse deposit of sticky mucous in the corners of, and an itching sensation in, the eyes, and constant lachrymation are the symptoms which mark the Kaphaja type of Abhishyanda. Flow of copper-coloured tears from the eyes, redness of the conjunctiva, appearance of red Veins upon sclerotic, as well as symptoms which mark the Pittaja type of Abhishyanda manifest themselves in the type due to the action of the enraged and vitiated blood of the locality.

Cases of Abhishyanda, aggravated by the aforesaid causes, and not properly cared for and remedied, soon run into those of Adhimantha (conjunctivitis) of which an excruciating pain in the eyes forms the chief characteristic. The eyes seem as if they are being thrashed and plucked out; and half of the head seems as if being hammered. These are the specific features of Adhimantha. A case of Kaphaja Adhimantha destroys the eye-sight within seven days. In a case of Raktaja Adhimantha the sight is destroyed within five nights. In a case of Vataja Adhimantha the sight is destroyed within six nights, while in a case of Pittaja Adhimantha the eye-sight may be destroyed on the very day of the attack, if the regimen of diet and conduct is not properly observed. During the immature (acute) stage of Adhimantha the redness, swelling, and aching pain in the eves continue unabated. The pricking sensation as well as irritation in the eyes remain undiminished and lachrymation is markedly profuse. During the mature (Pakka) stage, the inflammation, pain, and itching sensation in the eyes are diminished, lachrymation is arrested and the eyes are found to resume their natural colour. The disease in which the eyes are inflammated and assume the colour of ripe Audumvara fruits, attended with heat, lachrymation, and an itching sensation in their inside is called Netrapakah, which is due to Kaphah. The disease in which the enraged Vayu, by taking recourse to the vessels of the weak or impaired eyes, withers them up like withered lotus-flowers, and destroys the eye-sight, is called Hatadhimantha, which should be regarded as incurable. The disease in which the enraged and aggravated Vayu alternately gives rise to diverse kinds of intolerable pain in the eyes and about the eye-brows is called Vataparyaya. The disease in which the eye-lids remain closed and a burning sensation is felt in the eyes and the vision becomes cloudy, and in which the patient feels an excruciating pain in opening the eye-lids is called shushkakshi-paka. The disease in which the enraged and aggravated Vayu, lying incarcerated about the Manya (muscles of the neck) and Avatu, gives rise to extreme pain in the eyes and about the eyebrows is called Anyatovata by experts in eye-diseases. In the disease known as Amladhyushita, the middle of the eyes assume a bluish hue and the corners become red-coloured, attended with swelling, lachrymation, and a burning sensation in their bodies. This disease is due to the enragement of the deranged Pittam through the ingestion of large quantities of boiled rice. In the disease known as shirotpata the vessels (veins) of the eyes are marked either by the presence or absence of pain and become either copper-coloured or discoloured. Neglected at the outset this disease may run into one, known as shirapraharsha, in which thick copper-coloured tears are found to be discharged from the eyes and the patient becomes incapable of seeing anything.

A depressed white spot like the puncture of a needle, occurring on the iris, attended with pain and warm discharge, is called Savrana Sukta. Such Savrana Suktas, not occurring too close to the pupils, nor in couples, and unattended with pain and discharge, are curable, otherwise they are incurable. Non-ulcerative opaque spots are likewise found to appear on the iris. They are coloured either like conch-shells, or Kunda flowers and resemble thin shreds of white clouds in shape. They are easily curable. Non-ulcerative opaque spots, affecting two or three successive layers of sclerotic, should be regarded as incurable, But such opaque spots, which are perforated in the middle owing to the bursting of their centres, or which are deep or indented, or are covered with fleshy over-growths, or are covered with shreds of red-coloured veins which are found to pulsate, or affect the two coats of the sclerotic, or threaten to destroy the eye-sight should be regarded as incurable. Opaque spots in the eyes, attended with hot lachrymation and crops of pustular eruptions resembling Mudga pulse in shape, should be regarded as incurable. The disease in which the entire surface of the iris is covered over with such opaque spots is called Pakshapakatyayam. This disease should be attributed to the concerted action of the three Doshas and regarded as incurable. Reddish, fatty growths covering the entire surface of the iris, like dry excrements of goats, and attended with extreme pain, and a thick, shiny, copper-coloured discharge, is called Ajakajatam. This disease has its seat in the third coat of the sclerotic. Objects appear dim when the morbific principles lie incarcerated about the pupils. Optical illusions result from the incarceration of the morbific principles in the second coat of the sclerotic. Moats in the sun-beam, halo round the sun, and insects’ images are seen to fly before the eyes when the second coat of the sclerotic is thus affected. Things remote appear near, and things near appear remote, and it becomes impossible for a person, thus afflicted, to thread a needle. The patient loses, the faculty of seeing downward although having the capacity of observing anything situated higher up, when the Doshas lie incarcerated in the third coat of the sclerotic. Even large objects appear indistinct as if enshrouded in a sheet, and features of persons around seem distorted (lit. nose-less ear-less etc.). Each of these morbific principles, thus incarcerated in the third coat of sclerotic imparts its characteristic tint to the object of vision. The patient fails to catch the vision of a near object when the morbific principle is lodged in the lower parts of the pupils, while the remote objects remain invisible when the morbific principle is lodged in the upper part of the eyes. The patient cannot see objects that are at his sides when the Doshas are lodged in the sides of the pupil, while he can not catch the vision of any object at all when the morbific principles extend over the whole of the pupil. Bifurcated images are seen when the Doshas in the pupils lie cleft in twain, while multiple images are perceived when the Doshas lie multifariously divided in the pupil. The morbific principles lodged in the fourth coat of the sclerotic get the denomination of Timira, when they tend to obliterate the vision of the eyes, which ultimately destroy the faculty of sight. At this stage the disease is designated as Linganasha. Effulgence of the sun, moon and lightning, and lustres of gems become visible to the patient so long as the morbific principles do no reach down into the deeper tissues of the eyes. This disease is also known by the name of Nalika or Kacha.

In the Vataja form of Linganasha, reddish, cloudy and distorted images are seen by the patient. In the Pittaja form of Linganasha, sparks of fire flies, flashes of lightning, effulgence of the sun, and images of rain-bows and dancing peacocks are seen to flash about before the vision. In the Kaphaja form of Linganasha, small objects appear thick and large, things in general appear white and glossy, cloudless skies appear overcast with clouds, and the earth seems as if laid under a sheet of water. In the Raktaja form of Linganasha, objects appear red to the vision and spots of darkness float about in its range, inverted images of objects are seen, and things appear white, black, or yellow-coloured to the eyes. In the Sannipatika form of Linganasha, bifurcated, double or triplicate images of objects are seen. Persons appear deformed, or possessed of additional limbs or bodily members to the eyes, and sparks of light are seen to float about all round. The Pittam, deranged in conjunction with the blood which is the purified essence of the former, brings on a disease of vision, which is called Parimlayi. The quarters of the heaven, sparks of fireflies, and rays of the sun appear yellow to the vision, and leaves of trees appear studded with particles of sparkling diamonds. The six forms of Linganasha described above impart the characteristic colour of their exciting factors (Doshas) to the objects of vision. In the Vataja Linganasha the pupils appear like thick, rosy lenses of glass. In the disease known as Parimlayi the pupils appear blue and lustre-less. The faculty of sight is sometimes found to be restored on the subsidence of the deranged morbific principles ushering in the disease. The pupils appear dry, quick and rose-coloured through the action of the deranged and aggravated Vayu; bluish or yellowish like that of bell metal, through the action of the deranged and aggravated Pittam; and thick, glossy, and white, like conch-shells, or Kunda flowers, or shifting water drops on lotus petals, through the action of the deranged and aggravated Kaphah. In the type due to the action of the enraged blood, the pupils seem to move about when the eyes are rubbed with the hands.

Objects appear yellow to the vision, when the vision is affected by the deranged Pittam. The patient loses the faculty of sight during the day and regains it in the night, when the morbific principles lie incarcerated in the third coat of the eyes. This regaining of the eye-sight is brought about through the subsidence of the action of the deranged Pittam during the night. To a person, whose sight has been affected by the deranged Kaphah, every thing appears white. A little of the morbific principles, lying in all the three coats of the eyes, produces night-blindness. The patient regains his faculty of sight in the day on the subsidence of the action of the deranged Kaphah through the heat of the solar rays. He, who, through grief, or through the effects of a long fever, or of an injury to the head, sees every thing dusky, is said to be a Dhumra-darshi. In the disease known as Hrasva-Jadyam the patient sees with difficulty during the day and large objects appear diminutive to the vision. The disease in which the sight glows like that of an ichneumon during the day in consequence whereof the patient beholds things as multi-coloured and which is due to the spreading of the morbific principles all over the pupils, is called Nakulandhyam. The pupils, affected by the enraged Vayu, become contracted and extremely painful in their inside and bring on distortion of vision. This disease is called Gambhirika. The loss of eye-sight (Linganasha) may be brought about through two causes, viz., Sanimitta and Animitta. Derangement of the local morbific principles through their respective aggravating factors or the effects of a badly-handed conjunctivitis may be included within the first named (Sanimitta) cause, while the sight of celestial Rishis, serpents, etc., are included within the Animitta causes of the loss of eye-sight. The pupils look blue and sparkling in cases brought about through the last named causes.

A thin, extensive, brown or reddish, screen-like fleshy growth on the sclerotic is called Prastaryarma. Soft, whitish, expanding, screen-like excrescences of slow growth appearing on the sclerotic are called Suklarmas. Soft fleshy growths, coloured like the rosy lotus-petals and appearing on the sclerotic are called Raktarmas. Thick, soft, extensive, fleshy excrescences, either black or liver-coloured, and appearing on the sclerotic, are called Adhimansarmas. Hard, extensive, non-secreting, fleshy screenlike growths appearing on the sclerotic are called Snayavarmas. Brown or flesh-coloured spots, or spots coloured like oyester-shells, appearing on the sclerotic are called shuktikas. A single spot, coloured like a drop of hare’s blood, and occurring on the sclerotic, is called Arjuna. A white circular, raised, fleshy swelling resembling a patch of rice-paste and appearing on the sclerotic is called Pishtaka. A Pishtaka looks like a faded mirror. ‘Nets of hard, red-coloured veins appearing on the sclerotic, are called Sirajalas. White pustules, appearing on the part of the sclerotic, adjacent to the iris and covered over with nets of veins are called Siraja Pidakas. Hard, white spots, slightly elevated, and looking like drops of water and having the colour of bell-metal are called Valasas. Swellings appearing about the unions of the pupils, marked by an aching pain and suppuration and discharge of pus, are called Puyalasas. A large nodular swelling appearing about the union of the pupil and iris, attended with a slight pain and an itching sensation, and which is found but to partially suppurate, is called Upanaha. The morbific principles by taking recourse to the lachrymial sacs of the eyes, affects the four places of unions in that organ. This desease is called Srava-Roga, or Netranadi, according to others. A swelling, which occurs about any of these places of union, and which suppurates and secretes pus, is called Puyasrava. This desease is due to the concerted action of the deranged Vayu, Pittam, and Kaphah. A similar swelling, which suppurates and discharges thick, slimy and white-coloured pus, is called Sleshma-Srava. A similar swelling that discharges blood is called Raktasrava, which is due to the action of the enraged blood. A similar discharge of hot, thin, watery, yellow-coloured fluid is called Pitta-Srava. A thin, circular, copper-coloured swelling attended with an aching pain and burning sensation and appearing about five meeting of the iris and sclerotic is called Parvani. Alajis appear about the same places of union, and their symptoms have been described before (Vide, chapter on Meha). Parasites germinating in the folds of the eyelids and about the blending of the eyelids and sclerotic gradully tend to affect the entire organ of vision.

Now I shall discourse on the Nidanam of diseases that affect the eye-lids. Thick, copper-coloured Pustules appearing on the lower lids attended with an itching sensation, and with their heads pointed inward and full of pus, are called Utsanga Pidakas. These pustules are attributed to the concerted action of the deranged Vayu, Pittam, and Kaphah. Pustules appearing at the ends of the eyelids, and resembling. Kumbhika fruit in shape, which burst and are again filled with pus, are called Kumbhikas. Pustules to the size of red mustard seeds, which appear on the eye-lids, attended with pain, heaviness, discharge and an itching sensation, are Called Pothakis. Thick and rough pustules appearing oh the eye-lids, surrounded by a crop of small pustules, are called Vartma-Sharkaras, which vitiate the eye-lids. Pustules, to the size of Ervaruka seeds, and with pointed heads, and which are glossy and attended with a slight pain, are called Arsho-Vartmas. Hard, long, pappilous growths, devoid of discharge and occurring within the eye lids, are called Sushkarshas. Soft and copper-coloured pustules occurring within the eyelids, attended with a burning sensation and an aching pain; are called Anjana-namikas. In the disease known as Vahula Vartma, the eye-lids become studded over with hard pustules, of the same colour with the surrounding skin. The disease in which the eye-lids cannot be opened in consequence of the appearance of a slightly painful and itching swelling therein, is called Vartma-Vandhaka. The disease in which the eye-lids suddenly become soft, and red or copper-coloured, attended with a little pain and discharge, is called Klishta-Vartmaka. If a discharge is set up in the eye-lids in consequence of the aggravation of the deranged blood and Pittam, the disease is called Vartma-Kardama. The disease in which the both sides of the eye-lids assume a twany brown colour and are attended with an aching pain is called shyava-Vartma. The disease in which the exteriors of the eye-lids become marked by a slight pain and swelling, and the interiors are characterised by a discharge is called Praklinna-Vartma. The disease in which the eye-lids, whether washed or unwashed, become agglutinated, is called Aklinna Vartma. In the disease known as Vatahata Vartma the eyes are found to squint owing to the looseness of the unions of the eye-lids and sclerotic. A slightly painful, rose-coloured tumour (cyst), irregular in shape and rapid in its growth, is called Vartmarvuda. In the disease known as Nimesha (squinting) the morbific principles, by taking recourse to the nerves controlling the closing of the eye-lids, make them shut in quick succession.

A hard, thick, slightly painful, itching, slimy tumour, occurring on the eye-lid, is called Lagana. The disease in which the deranged Vayu, Pittam and Kaphah produce swellings on tire exterior sides of the eye-lids, and a series of perforated sores in their inside is called Visa-Vartma. The disease in which the morbific principles, by taking re-course to the eye-lids, make them contracted, is called Kunchana. The disease in which the eye-lashes, affected by the morbific principles of the body, get. into the eye-lids, producing irritation of and swellings on the iris and sclerotic is called Pakshakopa. This disease is of a Sannipatika origin, and falling off of the eye-lashes forms one of its specific features. The disease, in which the deranged Pittam, ensconced in the eye-lids and sclerotic, tends to destroy the eye-lashes and produces an itching, burning sensation in the eyes, is called Pakshapata.