Kashyapa-Samhita: A Review

Murlidhar Paliwal

Abstract


Ayurveda is the science of life in general and especially the system of medicine. Ayurvedic approach of treatment includes the prevention and promotion of health as well as cure of the diseases. These two objectives of Ayurveda are fulfilled through the proper knowledge of eight clinical specialties of Ayurveda i.e. Ashtanga-Ayurveda. Kayachikitsa (Medicine), Kaumarbhritya and Balroga (Pediatrics), Grahavidya or Bhutvidya (Science of Demonology), Urdhvanga (ENT & Ophthalmology), Shalya-Tantra (surgery), Damshtra (Toxicology), Jara or Rasayana (Rejuvenation and Geriatric Medicine) and Vrisha or Vajikarana (Aphrodisiacs) these eight specialties are known as Ashtanga-Ayurveda. Different Ayurvedic Samhitas (authentic classical texts) were composed initially comprising of Ashtanga-Ayurveda viz. Charaka-Samhita, Sushruta-Samhita, Bhela-Samhita, Harita-Samhita, Kashyapa-Samhita and Samhitas of Vagbhata. These Samhitas excels in one specialty along with subject matter of other specialties such as Charaka-Samhita excels in the area of Kayachikitsa, Sushruta-Samhita excels in surgical description and Kashyapa-Samhita (KS) excels in the area of Kaumarbhritya and Balroga (Ayurvedic Pediatrics). Kashyapa-Samhita (KS) also known as Vriddha- Jivakiya Tantra is written by Vriddha Jivaka on the base of teachings of his teacher Kashyapa. In due course of time, it went out of tune with the age and was almost lost. Then Vatsya, of the same clan, received it from a Yaksha named ‘Anayasa’ and redacted it. This Samhita follows the pattern of earlier Samhita like Charaka-Samhita as it contains Ashta-sthanas (eight sections) in addition to Khilsthana. The Siddhisthana precedes the Kalpasthana where as in Charaka-Samhita it follows the Kalpasthana. The eight sections of KS contain 120 chapters and Khilsthana which is unique in this Samhita contains 80 chapters. Although this text is not fully available to us as many chapters and subject matter in between the lines is missed. So, what we see today is incomplete and mutilated form of the text yet it contains many useful information and knowledge. Therefore, author has decided to review this Samhita to bring its valuable knowledge in the notice of common populace.


Keywords


Ayurveda, Balroga, Chikitsa, Kashyapa, Samhita

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