Author: K R Srikantamurthy
Translator(s): K R Srikantamurthy
Publisher: Chaukhambha Orientalia
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
Susruta samhita is the first authoritative book on Ayurveda. It has the distinction of being the only authentic text on ancient Indian surgery and contains the description of many wonderful surgical feats conducted by ancient Indian surgeons.
Susruta samhita is the earliest known authoritive treatise on Ayurveda. Its importance is all the more great, since it is the only text now available on Salya Tantra (surgery)- an important branch of Ayurveda. It is the most ancient document on this branch of medical science not merely of India but also of the whole world. Its author Susruta is acknowledged as the Father of Surgery. It is being studied since long by all Ayurvedists. Scholars of medicine of western countries also have undertaken it study in the last two centuries and have admired the achievements of surgeons of ancient India. It has maintained its popularity as an indisputable testimony of ancient Indian scientific achievements.
Susruta, the author of the book is the pioneer in performing repair and reconstruction of mutilated organs of the human body, known now a days as plastic surgery. His method of repairing the mutilated nose-Rhinoplasty has been adopted by European surgeons under the name The Indian method. He was the first medical man to have conducted dissection of the human dead body and described the anatomy of the human being.
He was the first surgeon in the world to insist on training the students in surgical techniques using fruits, vegetables and artificially prepared parts of the human body. He describes all aspects of surgery-pre-operative measures, method of operation in detail and post-operative care. His methods of battle field surgery were the most scientific methods appropriate to those days. He has describes many surgical instruments which has been fabricated ideally.
His surgical operations included removal of foreign bodies, treatment of bones and joints (orthopedics) wounds, obstructed labor (obstetrics) abdominal surgery, diseases of the eyes (ophthalmology) ear, nose, throat and head, urinary calculus and many more. With all these merits Susruta samhita is considered a book par excellence on ancient Indian surgery.
In addition to surgery, it also deals with all other branches of Ayurveda such as Kaya cikitsa (inner medicine) Agada Tantra (toxicology), Balaroga (pediatrics) and doctrines of physiology, pharmacology, hygiene, maintenance of health, foods and drugs etc. Thus Susruta samhita is a classical text of Ayurveda, studies assiduously since very early times to the present day not merely by Indians but even by medical men of many western countries.
The present translation is by Prof. K R Srikantha Murthy who has rich experience of teaching and writing spread over a span of fifty years. It is mainly aimed to help the graduate and post-graduate students of Ayurveda. It covers the entire treatise, in three volumes of translation. Each volume contains the original text in Sanskrit, translation in English, explanatory notes and picture at many places, appendices and indices. It will thus be of great help not only to students of Ayurveda but also to all those interested in knowing ancient Indian wisdom and achievements.
Susruta, son of sage Visvamitra, is said to be the author of this treatise. It embodies the teaching of his preceptor, Divodasa Dhanvantari, the king of Kasi. At the commencement of the text, there is an interesting narration on this subject which runs as follows:
Once Aupadhenava, Vaitarana, Aurabhra, Pauskalavata, Karavirya Gopuraraksita, Susruta and others, all sons of sages, approached Divodasa, who was residing in his hermitage and requested him to teach Ayurveda to them with special emphasis on Salya Tantra (surgery).
Divodasa consented to this and revealed that he is Dhanvantari-the first god of medicine, that he learnt Ayurveda from Indra, and has come again now to this world of men to propogate Salyatantra branch of Ayurveda.
Susruta and other pupils learnt Salyatantra from Divodasa Dhanvantari and each of them wrote treatises containing the teachings of their master, which formed the basis of future texts on this subject.
NATURE AND CONTENTS
In its present from, Susruta samhita is a voluminous text, containing 186 chapters, divided into 6 sthana (sections). It is composed in archaic syle containing both prose and poetry, almost of equal proportion; some prose passages being very long. Verses are composed in many metres, the total number of prose passages and verses together is 8500 approxmately.
Arrangement of chapters is as follows-
Contents in brief is as here-under:
Sutra sthana- The first section deals with origin of Ayurveda, basic doctrines, surgical techniques, instruments and appliances, practical training, duties of the surgeon, battle field surgery, causes and classification of diseases, properties of diet articles and drugs etc.
Nidana sthana- Describes the cause, pathogenesis, symptoms, and prognosis of major diseases.
Sarita sthana-Describes the cause, pathogenesis, symptoms, and prognosis of major diseases.
Sarira sthana-Deals with cosmology, human embryology, detailed anatomy, constitutions of human beings etc.
Cikitsa sthana-Is devoted to description of treatment of diseases of both surgical and medicinal; purificatory therapies (panca karma etc), resayana (rejuvination) and vajikarana (virilification).
Kalpa sthana-Has only eight chapters specially meant for Visa (poisons), food poisoning. Vegetable, mineral, animal and artificial poisons are described along with their treatment.
Uttara sthna – The last section is biggest with 66 chapters, allotted to other branches of Ayurveda.
Susruta samhita has attracted the attention of scholars of other countries also from early days and has been translated into many other languages. Some such important ones are-
1. Ibn-Abila sibal (9th cent AD) translated it into Arabic under the name Kitab Sashool-e-Hind or Kitab-e-Susrud. This has been referred to by AL-Rhazi (Rhazes) the famous physician, as an authority of Surgery.
2. F Hesslar has translated it into Latin in 1844 and into German in 1846 by J A Vullars.
3. Some sections of the text have been translated to English by U C Dutta in 1883, A Chattopadhyaya in 1891 and A F R Hoernle in 1897. English translation of the full text has been done by Kunjalal Bhishagratna (1907) and G D Singhal et.al-1981-84, PV. Sharma along with commentary of Dalhana 1999, and K R Srikanthamurthy (2000) are being published.
VOLUME 2 (bound with volume 1)
This volume comprises of Sarira sthana-the third section of Susruta samhita.
In ten chapters, Sarira sthana deals with many topics such as cosmology, and human anatomy in detail. The description is elaborate and comprehensive and has been adjudged as the best as echoed in the popular verse-
Sarira sthana of Susruta samhita is the best.
Susruta was a surgeon of great merit and his treatise Susruta samhita is considered as an excellent treatise on ancient Indian surgery. He has greatly emphasized the need of a good knowledge of anatomy to become a successful surgeon. He was the first medical man in the world to undertake dissection of the human cadaver, observe all its parts minutely and describe them vividly. Though his descriptions of some anatomical structures are not very accurate and adequate, yet there is close similarity between his observations and modern findings on many topics. By the study of Susruta samhita, the surgeon gets a good knowledge of human anatomy to serve as a background knowledge for his surgical work.
Similar to the earlier volume, this also contains the original text, its faithful English translation, appendices and Index. Supplementary notes has been furnished at many places which includes the views of Dalhana, -the commentator. Since this section is prescribed as a text book for graduate and post-graduate coarses of Ayurveda in India, interpretation of ancient technical terms and concepts in the light of modern knowledge has also been furnished for their clear understanding by students and teachers.
This volume comprises of Cikitsa sthana and Kalpa sthana (section 4 and 5) of Susruta samhita.
Cikitsa sthana (section of therapeuties) has forty chapters, allotted to different topics as follows-
Salya cikitsa-Surgical diseases
Pancakarma- Purificatory therapy
Kalpa sthana (section on toxicology) has eight chapters allotted as follows-
Annapana raksa-Protection from poisoned foods and drinks
Sthavara visa- Vegetable and mineral poisons
Jangama visa-Animal poisons
Like the earlier volumes, this also is a faithful translation of the original text with explanatory notes here and there.
This last volume comprises of Uttara sthana-the last section of Susruta samhita. It has the largest number of (66) chapters and forms one-third of the entire treatise chapterwise. It deals with four important branches of Ayurveda. Allotment of chapters for each branch is as follows-
URDHVANGA CIKITSA / SALAKYA TANTRA
Nasa roga –Rhinology
Siro roga-Diseases of the head
KAYA CIKITSA-INNER MEDICINE
With the inclusion of this section only, Susruta samhita can be described as having all the eight branches of Ayurveda.
Like the earlier volumes this also is a faithful translation of the text. Important points from the commentary of Dalhana and modern information etc are furnished in the form of notes. I feel my labour amply rewarded, if these volumes of translations are read by a large number of persons desirous of knowing the great contribution of the eminent surgeon of ancient India.
CHAPTER OF THE TEXT
Sarvabhuta cinta sariram
(enquiry of all substances of the universe)
Sukrasonita suddhi sariram
(purity of semen and menstrual blood)
(formation of the foetus, etc.)
(details of the foetus)
(enumeration of the body parts)
Pratyeka Marma nirdesa
(description of fatal spots)
Sira varna vibhakti
(description of veins)
Sira vyadha vidhi
(procedure of venepuncture)
(description of arteries etc.)
(regimen of pregnant woman)
Counting of bones, joints etc.
Comprehensive description of Marmas
Sariravata vis-à-vis Nervous system.
Concept of Srotas-a review
Chapters of the text
Dvivraniya Cikitsa- Treatment of two kinds of wounds
Sadyovrana Cikitsa - Treatment of Accidental wounds
Bhagna Cikitsa - Treatment of Fractures
Vatavyadhi Cikitsa- Treatment of Nervous diseases
Mahavata vyadhi Cikitsa- Treatment of Special nervous diseases
Arsas Cikitsa- Treatment of Piles
Asmari Cikitsa- Treatment of Urinary calculii
Bhagandara Cikitsa- Treatment of Fistula-in-ano
Kustha Cikitsa- Treatment of Leprosy
Mahakustha Cikitsa- Treatment of Major Leprosies
Prameha Cikitsa- Treatment of Diabetes
Pramehapidaka Cikitsa- Treatment of Diabetes ulcer
Madhumeha Cikitsa- Treatment of Diabetes mellitus
Udara Cikitsa-Treatment of Enlargement of the abdomen
Mudhagarbha Cikitsa-Treatment of Dystocia
Vidradhi Cikitsa- Treatment of Abcesses
Visarpa-nadi stana roga Cikitsa-Treatment of Erysipelas, sinus ulcer and diseases of the breast
Granthi-apaci-arbuda-galaganda Cikitsa-Treatment of Benign tumor-Goitre, Malignant tumor and Cervical lymphadenitis
Vrddhi-upadamsa slipada Cikitsa- Treatment of Scrotal enlargement-Venereal disease and Filariasis
Ksudra roga Cikitsa-Treatment of Minor diseases
Sukadosa Cikitsa- Treatment of Diseases of penis
Mukharoga Cikitsa- Treatment of Diseases of mouth
Sopha Cikitsa- Treatment of Dropsy
Anagatabadha Cikitsa- Treatment of Prevention of Diseases
Misraka Cikitsa- Treatment of Miscellaneous diseases
Ksinabaliya vajikarana Cikitsa- Treatment of Aphrodisiac therapy
Sarvopaghata samaniya Rasayana - Treatment of Rejuvinatory therapy
Madhayuskamiya Rasayana Cikitsa-Treatment of Rejuvinatory therapy
Svabhava vyadhi Rasayana pratisedhaniya Rasayana -Treatment of Preventing natural diseases
Nivrtta santapiya Rasayana -Rejuvinatory therapy
Snehopayogika cikitsita -Lubrication therapy
Svedavacaraniya Cikitsa-Sudation therapy
Vamana virecana Cikitsa and sadhyopadrava cikitsa - Treatment by emesis and purgation therapies
Vamana virecana Cikitsa vyapat Cikitsa - Complications of emesis & purgation therapies
Netrabasti pramana pravibhaga cikitsita -Description of enema therapy
Netrabasti vyapat Cikitsa- Complications of enema therapy
Anuvasanottara basti Cikitsa- Lubricative enema and urethral enema therapy
Niruha karma Cikitsa- Decoction enema therapy
Aturopadrava Cikitsa -Treatment of complications of purificatory therapies
Dhuma-nasya-kavala graham -Smoke inhalation, nasal medication and gargling therapies
Annapana raksa kalpa -Protection from poisoned foods and drinks
Sthavara visa vijnaniya - Knowledge of vegetable and mineral poisons
Jangama visa vijnaniya - Knowledge of animal poisons
Sarpadasta visa vijnanity -Knowledge of snake bite
Dundubhi svaniya kalpa - Sounding the drums
Musika kalpa -Treatment of rat bite etc.
Kita Kalpa -Treatment of insect bite
APPENDIX 1. Methods of treatments
APPENDIX 2. Toxicological information
Chapter of the text
UTTARA STHANA -SECTION-VI
Aupadravika adhyana (netra vivarana) Description of the eye
Sandhigata roga vijnaniya (Knowledge of diseases of fornices)
Vartmagata rog vijnaniya (Knowledge of diseases of eyelids)
Suklagata roga vijnaniya (Knowledge of diseases of sclera)
Krsnagata roga vijnaniya (Knowledge of diseases of cornea)
Sarvagata roga vijnaniya (Knowledge of diseases of whole eye)
Drstigata roga vijnaniya (Knowledge of diseases of pupil)
Cikitsita pravibhagiya (Kinds of treatments)
Vatabhisyanda pratisedha (Treatment of conjunctivitis)
Pittabhisyanda pratisedha (Treatment of conjunctivitis)
Slesmabhisyanda pratisedha (Treatment of conjunctivitis)
Raktabhisyanda pratisedha (Treatment of conjunctivitis)
Lekhya rog pratisedha (Treatment by scraping)
Bhedya roga pratisedha (Treatment by puncturing)
Chedya roga pratisedha (Treatment by excision)
Paksma kopa pratisedha (Treatment of Inflammation of eyelashes)
Drstigata roga pratisedha (Treatment of Diseases of pupil)
Kriyakalpa adhyaya (Eye therapies)
Nayanabhighata pratisedha (Injury to eyes)
Karna roga vijnaniya (Knowledge of ear diseases)
Karna roga pratisedha (Treatment of ear diseases)
Nasa roga vijnaniya (Knowledge of diseases of nose)
Nasa roga pratisedha (Treatment of diseases of nose)
Pratisyaya pratisedha (Nasal catarrh)
Siroroga vijnaniya (Knowledge of diseases of head)
Siroroga pratisedha (Treatment of diseases of head)
Navagrahakrti vijnaniya (Knowledge of Navagrahas-Balagrahas)
Skanda graha pratisedha (Treatment for skandagraha)
Skandapasmara pratisedha (Treatment for skandapasmara graham)
Sakuni graham pratisedha (Treatment for Sakuni graha)
Revatigraha pratisedha (Treatment for Revati graha)
Putana graha pratisedha (Treatment for Putana graha)
Andhaputana graha pratisedha (Treatment for Andhaputana graha)
Sitaputanagraha pratisedha (Treatment for Sitaputana graha)
Mukhamandiaka graha pratisedha (Treatment for Mukhamandika graha)
Naigamesa graham pratisedha (Treatment for Naigamesa graha)
Grahotpatti adhyaya(Genesis of grahas-Demons)
Yoni vyapat pratisedha (Treatment of diseases of vagina)
Jvara pratisedha (Treatment of fevers)
Atisara pratisedha (Treatment of diarrhoeas)
Sosa Pratisedha (Treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis)
Gulma pratisedha (Treatment of abdominal tumors)
Hrdoga pratisedha (Treatment of heart diseases)
Panduroga pratisedha (Treatment of anaemia)
Raktapitta pratisedha (Treatment of bleeding diseases)
Murcha pratisedha (Treatment of thirst)
Chardi pratisedha (Treatment of vomiting)
Hikka pratisedha (Treatment of hiccup)
Svasa pratisedha (Treatment of dyspnoea)
Kasa Pratisedha (Treatment of cough)
Svarabheda pratisedha (Treatment of hoarseness)
Krimi roga pratisedha (Treatment of helmenthiasis)
Udavarta pratisedha (Treatment of upward movement)
Visucika pratisedha (Treatment of gastroenteritis)
Arocaka pratisedha (Treatment of anorexia)
Mutraghata pratisedha (Treatment of retention of urine)
Mutra krchra pratisedha (Treatment of dysuria)
Amanusopasarga (Treatment of seizure by demons)
Apasmara pratisedha (Treatment of epilepsy)
Unmada pratisedha (Treatment of insanity)
Rasabhed vikalpa (Categories of tastes)
Svasthavrtta adhyaya (Regimen of health)
Tantryaukti adhyaya (Literary techniques)
Dosabheda vikalpa (Categories of dosas)
Appendix 1. Names of Authorities
Appendix 2. Religious information
Appendix 3. Geographical information
Appendix 4 (a). Names of Anatomical structures
Appendix 4 (b). Names of Marma (fatal spots)
Appendix 5. Surgical instruments
Appendix 6. Surgical operations
Appendix 7. Articles of food
Appendix 8 (a). List of Vegetable drugs
Appendix 8 (b). List of Animal products
Appendix 8 ©. List of Mineral drugs
Appendix 9. List of Diseases
Appendix 10. Toxicological information
Appendix 11. Methods of treatment
Appendix 12. Ausadha yogas - medicinal formulae
Appendix 13. Ancient weights & measures
Translations of Susruta samhita