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GENERAL PROFILE OF AYURVEDIC SPECIALISTS

Drudhabala

Drudhabala, son of Kapilabala and resident of Pancanadapura reconstructed the Charaka Sanhita, which was deficient in its one-third part e.g. 17 chapters in Chikisitaasthana and entire sections of Kalpa and Siddhi. He completed the Sanhita in these respects by taking relevant materials from several treatises (then available). There is difference of opinion as to which Drudhabala reconstructed 17 chapters of Chikitsitasthana. Bengal and Bombay editions of the text represent two prominent views. Cakrapani says that the eight chapters upto yaksma, arsa, atisara, visarpa, dwivnaniya and madatyaya were of Charaka and the remaining seventeen chapters were completed by Drudhabala.

Kapilabala, Drudhabala’s father is quoted in Vagbhata’s Ashtanga Sangraha (6th Cent A.D.). Drudhabala is quoted by Jejjata (9th Cent A. D.). Chakrapani has quoted both Kapilabala and Drudhabala in one context. Chakrapani also says Vagbhata as following the views of Kapilabala. This shows that Kapilabala preceded Vagbhata and was renowned at the latter’s time. Hence Kapilabala and his son Drudhabala may be placed in 4th Cent. A. D. during the Gupta period.

Agnivesh

Agnivesh was the foremost among the disciples of Atreya and the author of the Agnivesh – tantra. Agnivesha is mentioned in Sarngaravadi, Aswadi, Gargadi and Tikakitavadi Ganas of Panini’s Astadhyayi. Gold stucker has fixed 7th cent B.C. as the date of Panini. As Agnivesh is mentioned in more than one ganas it is evident that he existed long back and became a historical figure by the time of Panini.

Aatreya

He was the son of Devarshi Atri, Devine son of Bramha. The word Atreya can have different meanings like son of Atri or successor of Atri or Shishya (student) of Atri etc. But as in Charaksanhita at different places it is clearly understood that the relation is father- son only. Atri Rishi was himself the Acharya of Ayurveda as stated in, KashyapSanhita. He was Guru (teacher) of Agnivesha, who created CharakSanhita’s original Novel ‘Agniveshatantra’, and Bhed etc. He was also recognised by names Punarvasu (may be he was born at Punarvasu Makshatra) and Chandrabhag (some says as his mother’s name was Chandrabhaga, some say that he was born near river Chandrabhaga / Chandrabhag Shikhar old Himalaya). The other two names mentioned in CharakSanhita- Bhikshu Atreya and Krishnatreya. As Atreya and Bhikshu Atreya are mentioned in one instance (together), these two are definitely two separate identities. But names Krishnatreya and Atreya are not mentioned together at any place so it may be said that these two are names of one person. In this concern Shree Gurupad Haldar Mahadoy’s opinion given in 4th ch of Shree Madbhagwat.

Meaning which can be taken from this:
· Soma: – Chandra, Chandrbhag in Punarvasu Atreya
· Krishnatreya: – Durvasa
· Dattatreya: – Bhikshu Atreya
But from paragraph of CharakSanhita Sootrasthan, it seems that being a krishnayajurved: Punarvasu can be called as Krishnatreya. He was a teacher (Acharya) of three Ayurvedas.

Bharadwaj

He was the first person who learnt Ayurveda from Indra and educated the mankind. Shakatayam has described him in this sense as:-

The divine son of Bhama, Devarshi Angina had two sons: Utathya and Brihaspati. At the end of KrutaYuga or at beginning of TretaYug, Utathya’s wide Mamta and Bruhaspati gave birth to Bharadwaj. The details can be found out in Matsya, Agni Bhahma or Hariwarsha Puranas as well as in Shree Madbhagwat. It has been described in Charaksanitha that in the midst of Tretayaga the disease like temperature came into existence. After the development of disease only it was in the conference of Rishis send Bharadwaj to study Ayurveda from Indra.

His Ashrama was in Prayag. (Even today this place is quite popular in the priests). Saints had long life due to Tapobala (Power got from Taga) and Rasayana (Divyaushadhi i.e. divine medicine).

Bharadwaj had longest life in all these, as pointed in Autareya Aoranyaki. He was good friend of the king Prushat of Panchal Desh and the father of Dronacharya, (Guru of Kaurav, Pandav). When Drupad, the son of Prushat became king after death of Prushat, Bharadwaj also passed away. Dronacharya and Drupad were friends, but they had differences afterwards. Draupad, the daughter of king Drupad, was wife of Pandavs. In Mahabharat war, Drupad and Drova both died. All these instances are described in Mahabharata. In this way it is sure that Bharadwaj was alive form KrutaYuga till some time before the end of Dwagar Yuga. Maharshi Atreya, the Guru of Agnivesha learnt Ayurveda from Bharadwaj. Many of his sucessors also had knowledge of Ayurveda Charak. So there is no doubt that this Bharadwaj was totally different from Guru Bharadwaj of Atreya.

Charaka

Charaka was the court physician to Kanishka. He had a marked influence on Arabic medical writers like Avicenna whose works in Latin translations were the standard authorities in medieval Europe. Charaka carried out extensive work on the respiratory system, the vascular system, diseases – their diagnosis and treatment, all of which have been included in the Charaka Samhita. Charaka was a highly respected member of society in the 1st and 2nd century A.D. He also laid down rules of professional behaviour for physicians to follow. These rules are found to be applicable to modern doctors as well.

According to Charaka, a noted practitioner of Ayurveda in ancient India: “A physician who fails to enter the body of a patient with the lamp of knowledge and understanding can never treat diseases. He should first study all the factors, including environment, which influence a patient’s disease, and then prescribe treatment. It is more important to prevent the occurrence of disease than to seek a cure”.

Charka Samhita or “Handbook of the Physician” (500 BC): Provides a detailed anatomy of the human body, with methods of diagnosis and treatment for hundreds of ailments. Lists plant, mineral and animal substances required for the preparation of medicines.

These remarks may appear rudimentary today, but they were made by Charaka, some 20 centuries ago in his famous Ayurvedic treatise Charaka Samahita. The treatise contains many more such remarks which are held in reverence even today. Some of them are in the fields of physiology, etiologic and embryology. Charaka was the first physician to present the concept of digestion. Metabolism and Immunity.

In Charaka’s words the phenomenon of Yoga is described as follows:-

“The apparatus of sensation is the mind and the body together with sense organs, with the exception of hair of the head and the body, the tips of the nails, the indigested food, faeces, excretory fluids and sense-objects.”
“Both in Yoga and final liberation, there is no existence of sensation; in final liberation there is absolute cessation, while Yoga leads to that liberation.”
“From the contact of the self, the senses, the mind and the sense objects arise pleasure and pain; these two cease to be, as the result of inaction of the mind which is firmly fixed in the Self. Then while embodied, it acquires the psychic powers; and such states, the Rishis who are conversant with Yoga know to be Yoga.”
“The entry into other bodies, telepathy, the doing things according to one’s will, clairvoyance, clairaudience omniscience, effulgence, vanishing from sight at will – these eight are said to be the sovereign powers of the Yogis. All these accrue from the concentration of the pure mind.”

Summing up what has been stated above, it will be seen that apart from the fact that the mind possesses dual properties viz., (i) it functions through the five senses under normal circumstances of life and the scope of such operations being limited by Time and Space factors; and (ii) when freed from the senses in special states cultivated by stern discipline and assiduous practice, it transcends all limitations and is able to perceive the true nature of things which are stated to be ‘revelations’. It may incidentally be noted here that the basic concepts of Ayurveda, the Doctrine of Panchabhutas, are claimed to be the outcome of such revelations.