Books about Ayurveda
They recommend prevention measures and provide medical advice to help people live without physical and mental illness.
Types of Ayurvedic books
History of Ayurvedic books
There are four Vedas:
Life, or ayu, according to Ayurveda is a combination of samyoga, which means balance of mind, body and soul.
This science is subject to constant rethinking and refinement, which is why it continues to develop and improve today.
Over time, several achars (scholars) such as Charaka, Sushruta and Vagbhata documented the knowledge gained by creating Sanskrit manuscripts.
From the verse to the manuscript
This style helps to preserve the oral Vedic tradition of preserving knowledge.
Over time, there is a growing need for the accumulated vast knowledge to be recorded so that it is not lost.
That is why the ancient sages, or vaidi, began to create grants in the form of manuscripts on palm leaves.
Structure of the Ayurvedic text
- The main book in Ayurveda is called the grant.
- It includes various stahani (subheadings).
- Stakhans, in turn, are divided into adhai (heads)
- Adhais include a number of slokas (verses in rhymes).
That is why it is important that each book (grant) is considered in its entirety, and not by chapters or stahani.
This is the only way to create a unified idea of the knowledge contained in it.
Ashtanga Hridaya as an example of a classical Ayurvedic text
His eight states (main topics) include:
Kalpa and Sidhi sthana
6 adhais related to pharmacy, preparation of recipes, conducting Panchakarma and managing the complications of the procedures.
Medical branches in Ayurvedic texts
- Kaya – general medicine
- Bala – pediatrics
- Graha – psychiatry
- Shalya – surgery
- Shalakya – ENT
- Visa – toxicology
- Jara / Rasayana – geriatrics and tips for a long and healthy life
- Vajikarana – aphrodisiacs, strengthening the health of offspring.
Basic old texts in Ayurveda
Charak Samhita of Charaka (Agnivesh)
It contains knowledge about leading a healthy and long life and is largely related to medicine.
- It follows the Aterian Medical School, which deals mainly with external and internal medicine and treatment.
- Indicates the appropriate time and method for collecting different types of plants.
- Contains 8 sthanas and 120 adhais (chapters), which mention over 600 medicines of plant, mineral and animal origin.
Sushruta Samhita from Sushruta
- Describes how different surgical incisions are made.
- Indicates 120 types of surgical instruments.
- Contains explanations for cosmetic and prosthetic surgery, as well as major surgeries, such as the brain.
- Explains the main points of life, or marmas.
The book also covers the topics of anatomy and embryology.
Ashtanga Hridaya from Vagbhata
- All 8 branches of Ayurvedic medicine with their specialties are explained.
- Practices such as yoga, meditation, gemology, astrology and linguistics are described.
The author conveys in an understandable and concise way the overall knowledge contained in older books, avoiding the repetition of the same content.
Lagurtai (3 short Ayurveda treatises)
- Madhava Nidana from Madhava-kara
- Extensive work examining the pathogenesis of the disease.
- Contains descriptions of the causes, symptoms and etiology of diseases.
- Predicts complications and treatment of various diseases.
- Explains the 8 diagnostic points known as Ashtavidha Pariksha.
- Bhavaprakasa from Bhav Mishra
- Describes the properties and uses of all the herbs mentioned in Ayurveda
- Divides herbal medicines according to taste, quality, strength, post-digestive effect, specific effects and benefits for disease control.
- Sharangdhar samhita from Sharandhara
- Provides information on various medicinal formulas, including measuring instruments, units of measurement and methods of preparation of medicines.
- Contains topics related to food preparation, medical uses of various metals and treatment of specific diseases.
- Includes many terms, heart rate research methods, metalworking techniques and more.
- Contains 3 sections, 32 chapters and 2,600 verses.
Rasa Shastra (Indian Alchemy)
- The texts describe the use of various metals and minerals for the treatment of diseases.
- Contain details for their processing and purification to digestible substances for the human body.
- Some texts are: Rasa Ratnasamukchaya, Rasendra Chudamani, Rasa Hydria Tantra, etc.
They are related to the use of herbal products as part of medicinal formulas.
Some famous texts in this group are:
- Jog ratnakar
- Bhavishya ratnavali
- Sahasra yogam
- Bharat bhagya ratnakar
- Kashyap samhita
- Bhel samhita
- Harita Samhita and etc.
Modern Ayurvedic textbooks
Ayurveda in the modern world
Its ultimate goal is to help people achieve longevity in health and harmony – both internally and with the world around them.
Fortunately, there are enough new generation books that present the complex knowledge of Ayurveda in a simple and understandable way.
Thus, they make it accessible to a wider range of people without specialized knowledge and training.