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Astanga Hrdaya of Vagbhata

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Item Code: NAW357
Author: B. Rama Rao
Publisher: Chaukhambha Visvabharati , Varanasi
Language: Sanskrit and English
Edition: 2016
ISBN: 9789381301463
Pages: 504
Other Details 9.50 X 7.00 inch
Weight 800 gm
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Book Description
About the Book
Ayurveda is now universal and has spread to every corner of the world necessitating the publication of important Ayurvedic texts with English translation. The big trio and the small trio-brhattrayi and laghutrayi-are important and popular works of Ayurveda . Caraka Samhita. Susruta Samhita and Astanga Hrdaya are called brhattrayi. These classic works deal in detail with the fundamental principles, philosophical background and theoretical aspects of Ayurveda and among the three, Caraka Samhita and Susruta Samhita deal with stress on general medicine-Kayacikitsa and surgery-salya respectively. The third Astanga Hrdaya deals with all the eight branches of Ayurveda with details required for Ayurvedic scholars and practitioners. While Caraka Samhita and Susruta Samhita are in a mixture of prose and verse. Astanga Hrdaya is in verse facilitating memorization. It has been very popular throughout India and also in other countries since its compilation. There are more than fifty commentaries in Sanskrit on Astanga Hrdaya. apart from those in regional languages showing its popularity, theoretical and practical value. The presentation of topics is neither too brief nor too elaborate and is appreciated by all

Astanga Hrdaya is divided into six sections-sthanas. 1. Sutrasthana dealing with principle, 2. Sarirasthana -anatomy, 3. Nidana-diagnosis. 4. Cikitsa-treatment of general diseases, 5. Kalpa-siddhi-preparation of recipes, purificatory procedures etc. 6. Uttarasthana-remaining seven branches. Thus all the subjects of Ayurveda are dealt with in 120 chapters in a lucid manner without complicated arguments and discussions.

About the Author
Dr. Bhagavatam Rama Rao. Born in Medak (Telangana) in 1937 is a graduate in ayurveda and Telugu and a post graduate in Sanskrit from Osmania University Hyderabad. He is a profound scholar in Sanskrit. Telugu and Ayurveda and is also well versed in English and Hindi.

He worked for a long time in Indian Institute of History Medicine, Hyderabad in different capacities and as director for more than two decades. During his tenure in IIHM he contributed immensely for the development of the research activities and also of Museum and others pertaining to the history of Medicine in India in general and history of Ayurveda in particular. He collected information relating to health and medicine from non-medical sources like kavyas, puranas, inscriptions, Archaeological sources and traveller's accounts etc. He also served as the in charge of Dr. A. Lakshmipati Research Centre for Ayurveda and Literary Research Unit in Chennai and retired as the Director of Indian Institute of Panchakarma in Kerala and thus gained experience in different fields of Ayurveda. He later worked as the principal of Dharma Ayurvedic College, Sriperumbudur, Tamilnadu.

Another important contribution of Dr. Rao is the collection of information and study of palmleaf and paper manuscripts particularly of Ayurveda in Sanskrit and Telugu. He brought to light several unknown valuable works on Ayurveda and allied subjects.

He is associated with many institutions like National Research Commission for History of Science, Editorial Boards of Indian Journal of History of Science, Council of Indian National Science Academy and Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences.

Astangahrdaya by Vagbhata is a popular treatise of Ayurveda. It is one of the three big compendia called Brhattrayi, the other two being Charaka-samhita and Susrutasamhita. Though ancient classics of Ayurveda deal with all branches and topics, it is said that Charaka-samhita predominantly deals with medical treatment while Susrutasamhita deals with Salya or surgery. But Astangahrdaya, as the name itself suggests, explains all the eight branches and topics, with more stress on Sutrasthana (theories and fundamentals) in a lucid manner in verses to the extent required for a good practitioner.

In Indian literature, more than ten books are known as composed by Vagbhata. Among them Vahatanighantu, Astangahrdaya, Astangasangraha, Vamanakalpa, Padarthacandrika, Vagbhatakosa and Rasaratnasamuccaya appear to be Ayurveda works. Vagbhata I or Vrddhavagbhata, Vagbhata II or Vagbhata, Madhyavagbhata and Rasavagbhata are the four authors known in Ayurveda literature. Of the above four, Madhyavagbhata is known from the quotations in Ratnaprabha commentary, by Niscalakara of Cakradatta and there are no other evidences to support this. Rasavagbhata is the author of Rasaratnasamuccaya and is definitely different and later than the authors of Astangahrdaya and Astangasangraha, which are much earlier to Rasaratnasamuccaya. The identity of authors of Astangasangraha and Astangahrdaya is controversial.

Both Astangasangraha and Astangahrdaya are popular works. Vagbhata, author of Astangasangraha states that he compiled the work as an essence of all earlier classics. He was the son of Simhagupta of Sindhu region. Father and grandfather of Vagbhata were also great Ayurveda scholars. Vagbhata of Astangahrdaya states that he compiled Astangahrdaya after churning the ocean of Ayurveda called Astangasangraha, indicating indirectly that he is the author of Astangasangraha also. Many similarities and identical passages are found in these two works apart from differences in some views. This led to the controversy about their identity. For detailed views as well as brief survey the following may be consulted :

1. Sarma, P.V.: Vagbhatavivecan-a comprehensive work on Vagbhata in Hindi by Prof. Priyavrat Sarma. It deals with all aspects of Astangasangraha, Astangahrdaya and Vagbhata based on internal and external evidences; 1968, Varanasi.

2. Sarma, P.V. (ed): History of Medicine in India, article on Vagbhata by B. Rama Rao, pp. 205-221, Indian National Science Academy, 1992, New Delhi.

3. Vogel, Claus: Vagbhata Astangahrdaya, English translation of Tibetan version Wiesbaden, 1965, Introduction.

4. Astangasangraha: Vol.-I, English translation by K.R. Srikanthamurthy, Introduction; it briefly discusses all points regarding identity of Vagbhatas, Astangasangraha and Astangahrdaya; Chaukhambha Orientalia, 2002, Varanasi.

5. Sarma, P.V.: Ayurved ka Vaijnanik Itihas in Hindi 1975, Varanasi, pp. 172-193 (relevant passages).

6. Meulenbeld, G.J. : A History of Indian Medical Literature, Vol.-IA & IB, relevant passages, Egbert Forsten, 1999, Groningen.

The following verse of Astangahrdaya states that it is a summarized form of Astangasangraha: A big heap of nectar has been obtained in the form of Astangasangraha after churning the big ocean of Ayurveda with eight branches; from this a separate treatise has been evolved in the present form and it is for the satisfaction and pleasure of those who are capable of undertaking only limited efforts; but gives significant result. By this statement it is inferred that Vagabhata compiled both Astangahrdaya and Astangasangraha. A summary of different important views about the identity of both Vagabhata is thus.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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