Atharvaveda and Charaka Samhita

by Laxmi Maji | 2021 | 143,541 words

This page relates ‘Treatment of Piles (durnama)’ 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.

Atharvaveda discusses the disease piles. In Caraka-Saṃhitā and Aṣṭāṅga Hṛdaya. If the anus is obstructed with fleshly growth then it is called Arśa. Piles are of two types–dry or there is no blood and Srāvī meaning where there is blood flow. The reason for piles is being Agnimanda by the doṣas, if solid waste collects in the intestine to an abnormal degree, too much sex, obstructing the flow of excretion, Atisāra and Grahaṇī etc. The word synonymous to piles are durṇāmā, durṇāmnī and durvāca[1]. The two types of treatment mentioned in Atharvaveda regarding piles are–Medicine and surgery. In Medicine Pṛśniparṇī and Apāmārga are mentioned. In Atharvaveda, in one hymn the surgical cure for headache and piles is mentioned[2]. The following medicines are said to be beneficial for the treatment of piles. Namely, Arka, Upavāka, Karīra, Pippalī, Bibhīdaka, Māṣa, Muñja, Vetasa, Śamī, Sahadevī, Nīlī, Śatavāra and Madugha or Madhūlaka etc.

Footnotes and references:


sahamāneyaṃ prathamā pṛśniparṇyajāyata |
tayāhaṃ durṇāmnā śiro vṛścāmi śakuneriva ||
dauṣvapnyaṃ daurjīvityaṃ rakṣo abhvamarāyyaḥ |
durṇāmnīḥ sarvā durvācastā asmannāśayāmasi ||
(AV. –II/25/2; IV/17/5); Veda Atharvaveda Saṃhitā, trans. Dilip Mukhopadhyaya, Kolkata, Aksaya Library, 2017, pp. 250; 334.


sahamāneyaṃ prathamā pṛśniparṇyajāyata |
tayāhaṃ durṇāmnā śiro vṛścāmi śakuneriva ||
(AV. –II/25/2); Acarya Vedanta Tirtha (ed.), Atharvaveda–Vol. 1, Delhi, Manoj Publication, 2012, p. 90.

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