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Ashtanga Hridaya Sutrasthana
Heart or Essence of all the Eight Branches of Ayurveda
Though there are a number of treatises available in the Ayurvedic literature, the popular texts are known as Caraka Sarhhitä.
Sušruta Samhita and Astänga Hrdaya/Astanga Sangraha and these texts are much more familiar in the name of Brhattray i.e. greater trio.
Madhavanidana, Sarngadhara Sarhhita and Bhavaprakasa became popular as Laghurrayfi.e. lesser trio. The texts mentioned in greater trio i.e. Caraka Samhith and Susruta Samhita are called as Akara granthas.
That means they are self-authentic where as Astanga Hrdaya can be called as Prakarana granthai. e… which has been written by quoting the references from other texts.
Out of all eight branches of Ayurveda, Maharsi Caraka has been given top priority to Kayacikita Le general medicine, where as Maharsi Suśruta discussed the surgical aspects in detail in his text Susruta Samhitä.
Keeping this in view Acarya Vaghlata has given equal importance to all the eight branches and written this present text entitled Astanga Hrdaya.
Though various authors have written many a number of commentaries at different periods on Astanga Hrdaya Surbhits.
Arunaduta’s “Sarvangasundars” and Hermadri’s Ayurveda Rasayana are the popular and available commentaries as on today.
फायप्रसृतानशेषणन् । औत्सुक्यमोहारतिदायान योऽपूर्ववैधाय नमोस्तु तस्यै ।।। ।।
In Indian tradition there is a strong belief that for successful completion of any work taken up by them should be preceded by offering prayers to their beloved deity.
Similarly Vägbhala also after praying his favorite God only, started writing the text entitled, Astanga Hrdaya.
Achrya Vagbhata believed that God is the unique physician who is potential in eliminating all sorts of psychosomatic disorders such as passion,
greed, lust, jealousy, anxiety, delusion, dissatisfaction, fever, diarrhoea etc. from this universe and bows his head to that supreme power and prayed that the ongoing work should not get any obstacles.
Reasons for Writing the Text: Astanga Hrdaya
Due to the short span of life in the present era, it is not possible for the human beings to study the various texts of Ayurvedic literature in detail.
So, Vägbhara thought that the acuteness of necessity of the summarized text book which caters the medical needs of the humanity.
That may be the reason to compile all the eight branches of Ayurveda from the Ayurvedic texts like Caraka Samhita,
Sukruta Samhita etc and arranged the subject matter in a systematic way and presented the comprised, full-fledged Ayurvedic text named Astanga Hrdaya to the universe.
All the available texts of Ayurveda have been taken into consideration by Acarya Mägbhaja and compiled the essence of eight branches of Ayurveda and presented in the form of Astanga Hrdaya, which is neither too abridged nor too elaborated.
Qualities of an ideal attendant:
Anurakta (Affection): Attendant should have utmost affection and s ervice motto towards the patient.
Suei (Purity): Purity or sanctity in all aspects means physical as well as psychological. Attendant should have the devotion and dedication rds the profession and should not consider any evil thoughts.
Dak s ata (Skill): The attendant must be perfectly trained and should have skill and the knowledge of nursing.
Buddhiman: And also must have intelligence. Qualities of an ideal patient:
Ad hya (Wealthy): The patient must be wealthy. Then only he is able to purchase the equipment and drugs required for the treatment.
Bhis agvasya (Obedient to the physician): Patient must be obedient and should follow the instructions of the physician.
Jnapaka (Memory): Patient should have a memory to narrate the Nequence of historical events pertaining to his ailments, which i s essential for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Sattvawan (Strong will): Sattva means manas or mind. Sattvawan means having strong willpower. Patients who are having strong willpower can tolerate miserable situations also.
Though the remaining limbs are equipped with all qualities, it is useless, if the physician is inefficient.
But if the physician is efficient, he can manage the treatment even though the other limbs are not equipped with their full qualities.
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