Now beings the enquiry into (the nature and scope of) Dravyaguna (a division of Ayurveda). Dravyaguna deals with the study of properties, actions and uses of dravyas (dietary substances as well as drugs).
The word 'guna' in 'Dravyaguna' denotes characters in general and as such (is not restricted technically to qualities only but) incorporates action etc. as well.
Here 'Rasadi' denotes rasa, vipaka, virya and prabhava while 'Karmadi' denotes samyoga, prayoga and karma. Namarupajnana is understood by 'Dravya' itself. Thus 'Dravyaguna' represents all the topics related to dravya in concise form.
Ayurveda has eight divisions-thus said the earlier great sages. At present, however, it has sixteen divisions.
The sages of the ancient age like Caraka, Susruta, Vagbhata etc described Ayurveda as 'astanga' (having eight divisions). According to this, the eight divisions are-kayacikitsa, salya, salakya, kaumarabhrtya, agadatantra, bhutavidya, rasayana and vajikarana. Out of them one particular speciality was declared as the chief one in different schools such as kayacikitsa, salya, salakya, kaumarabhrtya in the schools of Caraka, Susruta, Nimi and Kasyapa respectively. There also developed a huge literature on every anga (speciality of Ayurveda in those days most of them being not available today. Having developed, in course of time, into many new branches now Ayurveda has become sodasanga (having sixteen divisions).
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