Atharvaveda and Charaka Samhita

by Laxmi Maji | 2021 | 143,541 words

This page relates ‘Bhela and Bhela Samhita’ found in the study on diseases and remedies found in the Atharvaveda and Charaka-samhita. These texts deal with Ayurveda—the ancient Indian Science of life—which lays down the principles for keeping a sound health involving the use of herbs, roots and leaves. The Atharvaveda refers to one of the four Vedas (ancient Sanskrit texts encompassing all kinds of knowledge and science) containing many details on Ayurveda, which is here taken up for study.

Bhela and Bhela Saṃhitā

Bhela–Bhela is the disciples of Punarvasu and Ātreya. Agniveśa's friend's name is Bhela. Agniveśa and Bhela were in the same period. They received the knowledge of Āyurveda from Punarvasu and wrote Bhela Saṃhitā. It is the first book of Kāya treatment. Agniveśatantra and Bhela Saṃhitā were it written the same period but there was a different technique for writing.

The manuscript of Bhela Saṃhitā was found at Saraswati Mahal Library. Tanjore in an incomplete form, later it was published by Chaukhamba group of publication. Bhela Saṃhitā consists of 8 Sthāna and one hundred twenty Adhyāyas as follows–Sūtra Sthāna consists of thirty chapters, Nidāna Sthāna consists of eight chapters, Vimāna Sthāna consists of eight chapters, Śarīra Sthāna consists of eight chapters, Indriya Sthāna consists of twelve chapters, Cikitsā Sthāna consists of thirty chapters, Kalpa Sthāna consists twelve chapters, Siddhi Sthāna consists of twelve chapters. Out of one twenty chapters, only one hundred six are available.

The Bhela Saṃhitā gives information regarding the progress of Āyurveda, development of Agada Tantra, the appointment of court physician who was an expert is Aṣṭāṅga. In his text, Bhela mentioned that Candrabhāgā and Ātreya were the same. He used new terms to fevers in Animals and Plants. Ex–Fever in dogs, cows caranna, Matsya–Indrajala etc. He also gave an interesting description of the countries and the peculiar diseases prevailed in them. Bhela described 8 types of SvedaKarma as Saṅkara, Prastara, Seka, etc. In Bhela Saṃhitā new terms like Pṛthvī-Kāya, Ap-Kāya, Teja-Kāya, Vāyu-Kāya etc. are mentioned. He mentioned two types of Alocaka pitta, one in the eyeball and another in the Buddhi. The surgical procedures for Aśmarī Udara, Vātarakta are mentioned. He mentioned the place of Manas as behind the Tālu. A type of Vātalika fever in association with Lasikāgranthi is explained for the first time in Āyurveda.

The book Bhela Saṃhitā was published in 1921 by Calcutta University. The first four chapters of the Bhela Saṃhitā describe leprosy treatment. The fifth chapter is called ‘Atyaśitīya’. Here the quality of food, the fault of overeating etc., have been described. In the sixth chapter called ‘Navegāndhāranīya’, here the defecation, tooth brushing, etc., have been described; In the seventh chapter called Indriyopakramanīya, having intercourse with women; In the eighth chapter called Mātrāśītīya, having described eating, smoking, etc.; In the ninth chapter, called Catuṣpādaviṣagjitīya, the symptoms of the servant, the patient, etc., have described; In the tenth chapter called ‘Āmrapradośīya’, have been described diagnosis of agniduṣṭi; In the eleventh chapter called Samāśnaparīdhānīya, have been described the type of food, digestion, etc.; In the twelfth chapter called ‘Ātreyakhaṇḍakāpyīya’ have been described Madhurādi Rasa etc.; Special description of fever in the thirteenth chapter called ‘Janapadavibhaktīya’; Snehana, vomiting etc. have been described in the fourteenth chapter called ‘Cikitsāprāvṛtīya'; In the fifteenth chapter called ‘Tisraiṣanīya’, has been described various Vātādi faults etc.; In the sixteenth chapter called ‘Vātakalākalīya’, different types of arthritis have been described; The name of the seventeenth chapter is ‘Dahyaprānāyatanoya’; The name of the eighteenth chapter is ‘Annapānarakṣīya’; The name of the Nineteenth chapter is ‘Vidhiśoṇitīya’; The name of the twentieth chapter is ‘Urdhvadaśamūlīya’; Chapters twenty-one and twenty-two are unavailable; The name of the twenty-third chapter is ‘Svedādhyāya’; The name of the twenty-fourth chapter is ‘Gāḍhapurīṣādhyāya’; The name of the twenty-fifth chapter is ‘Ṛtubibhāgīyādhyāya’; The name of the twenty-sixth chapter is ‘Aṣṭodarīyādhyāya’; The name of the twenty-seventh chapter is ‘Annapānavidheya’; The name of the twenty-eighth chapter is ‘Bhojanavidheya’; Chapters twenty-ninth and thirty are unavailable.

The first chapter of the Nidānasthāna is called ‘fever diagnosis’; The second and third chapters are called ‘Kṣaya-Nidāna’; The name of the fourth to Eighth chapters are ‘Kāsa-Nidāna’, ‘Kuṣṭha-Nidāna’, ‘Prameha-Nidāna’, ‘Unmāda-Nidāna’, ‘Apasmāra- Nidāna’. The first chapter of the Vimāna-sthāna is called ‘Rasa-Vimāna’; The second and third chapters are fragmented. The names of the fourth and fifth chapters are ‘Rogaprakṛtiviniścaya’, ‘Vyādhitarūpīya’; Chapters sixth and seventh are unavailable; The name of the eighth chapter is ‘Ṛtuvimāna’.

The early parts of the first and second chapters of the Śarīra sthāna are extinct; The name of the third to eighth chapters are ‘Asamānagotrīya’, Puruṣaniyama, Śarīrabicayādyāya, Khuḍḍikāgarbhābakrānti, Śarīrasaṃkhyā, and Jātisūtrīya.

The first chapter of Indriya Sthāna describes the signs of life, body growth, etc. The name of the second chapter is ‘Svastyayanādhyāya’. The first part of the third chapter is fragmented and the rest of the symptoms of Gatāyu are described. The name of the fourth to twelve chapters are ‘Sadyomaranīyādhāya’, ‘Yasyaśyābīya’, ‘Pūrvarūpīya’, ‘Indriyānīka’, ‘Dūtādhyāya’, ‘Gomayacūrṇīya’, ‘Chāyādhyāya’, ‘Puṣpīyādhyāya’, and ‘Abākśīrṣīyādhyāya’.

The name of the first chapter in the Cikitsāsthāna is ‘Ekādaśaspiṣkādhyāya’. Chapter two describes the treatment of a high fever. The name of the third to thirtieth chapters is ‘Raktapitta-cikitsā-adhyāya’, ‘Yakṣa-cikitsā-adhyāya’, ‘Gulma-cikitsā-adhyāya’, ‘Kuṣṭha-cikitsita’, ‘Prameha-cikitsita’, ‘Unmāda-cikitsita’, ‘Apasmāra-cikitsita’, ‘Atisāra-cikitsita’, ‘Visūco’, ‘Adita’, ‘Grahaṇīdoṣa-cikitsita’, ‘Mūtrakṛcchra’, ‘Udara-cikitsita’, ‘Urustambha’, ‘Bisarpa’, ‘Arśa’, ‘Śodha’, ‘Udāvarta’, ‘Hṛdroga’, ‘Kāsa’, ‘Śiroroga’, ‘Ajīrṇa’, ‘Nidrā-Atinidrā-Nidrānāśa-cikitsita’, ‘Vātavyādhi’, ‘Plīha-Halīmaka’, ‘Apatantraka’, ‘Braṇa-cikitsita’, and ‘Pānātyaya-cikitsita’.

There are six chapters in Kalpasthāna. Namely-Madan, Ikṣvāku, Dhāmārgaba, Kūṭaja, Caturaṅgula, Dantīphala Śaṅkhinī, and Śyāmātribṛta. The name of the first to eighth chapters of Siddhisthāna is 'Vamanavirecana’, ‘Śirovirecanasiddhi’, ‘Daśavyāpadīyavamana-Virecanasiddhi’, ‘Bastimātrīyasiddhi’, ‘Upakalpasiddhi’ ‘Phalamātrāsiddhi’, ‘Daśabyāpaṭikā āsthāpanānuvāsana Siddhi. The rest of the chapters of Kalpa and Siddhi places are fragmented[1].

Footnotes and references:


Kaviraj Vagishwar Shukla, History of Ayurveda, Varanasi, Chaukhamba Amarabharati Prakashan, 2016, pp. 59-66.

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