This treatise-Roga Viniscaya-is more popularly known as Madhava Nidana after the name of its author. It is counted as the first among the Laghu Trayi (the lesser triad) of Ayurvedic literature. It is considered as the ideals book dealing with Nosology (knowledge of diseases) and has earned a praise for its author as "Madhava is best for Nidana". It has retained its importance as a text-book on the subject since the last thirteen centuries. It enjoyed great reputation as an authoritative text not only in India but even in other countries as can be judged by its translation into other languages and many commentaries.
Date of the Treatise
Scholars entitled for authoritative opinion have fixed 700 A. D., or near about as the date of Madhava Nidana based on the following points.
1. Madhava Nidana contains a large number of verses borrowed from Astanga Hrdaya of Vagbhata, which was complete by 600 A. D. So Madhava Nidana is later than 600 A. D.
2. Vrnda, the author of Siddhayoga whose date is 800 A. D., or near about is the first person to have adopted the order of sequence of diseases as found in Madhava Nidana. Hence, Madhava Nidana should be earlier to 800 A. D.
3. Harun-al-Rashid, the Abbasid caliph of Persia (768-809 A. D.) got many Indian Medical works translated into Arabic language by the scholars of his court. Ali-bin-Sahl-Rabban-al-Tabari, a Persian physician in his book 'firdaus-al-Hikma (Paradise of Wisdom) written in 849-850 A. D., mentions some such Indian Medical works Viz, Jrk, Ssrd, Ndan, Astanqhrdy which stand for Caraka, Susruta, Nidana and Astanga Hrdaya respectively. Tabari had made use of these books. Al-Razi (who died in 925 A. D.) in his, Kitab-al-Hawi mentions as Indian book by name Badan.
Ibn-abi Usaybia (who died in 1270 A. D.) in his book 'Uyun-al-anba. Fi-tabaqat-al-attibba (History of Physicians) mentions the book Badan and states that it describes 404 diseases.
Al-Yaqubi, "Bdan or Badan" has been taken as equivalent to the Sanskrit term 'Nidan'.
Based on the above, majority of the scholars agree that Ndan known to Arabs is none other than Madhava Nidana. Considering the time needed for an Indian work to get translated into Arabic in Persia and to be taken as a chief source by an eminent author in 849/850 A. D., it is very well justified to fix the date of Madhava Nidana as 700 A. D., or near about.
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