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Ancient Indian Surgery- Based on Susruta Samhita (Volume- 6)

Item Code: NAV412
Publisher: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan
Author: G. D. Singhal
Language: Sanskrit Text with English Translation
Edition: 2007
ISBN: 8170841547
Pages: 396
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 600 gm
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Book Description
About the Book

Susruta, the Father of Surgery, wrote his samhita (treatise) about 2500 yrears ago in Sanskrit at Varanasi, India and classified it into six cantos. All its 186 chapters are being brought out as "A.I.S." series in 10 Vols. in a very authoritative, scientific, literal, research oriented, syntax interpretation using modern medical terminology along with original Sanskrit Text by a team of dedicated workers from the Institute of Medical Sciences, B.H.U.

The present volume deals with Cikitsasthana, chapters 24-40, of Susruta Samhita. It deals with pancakarma therapies, rejuvenation procedures, aphrodisiacs and prevention of diseases. Some of these are of great practical utility, specially from the research point view.

About the Author

Dr. G. D. Singhal M.B.B.S., M.S., F.R.C.S., VAIDYA KIRTI (Hon Causa, Sri Lanka), was born at Allahabad in 1932, and had medical education at Lucknow, Edinburgh and Toronto. He was Ex-Professor of Surgery & Head of the Dept. Banaras Hindu University, a Paediatric Surgeon and Historian of Medicine, was a recognised writer of research-oriented authentic books on Ayurveda in English, using modern medical terminology.


When, at the end of his studies, a young M. D. graduate leaves the Medical School, he knows nearly nothing about the History of Medicine. This is a constant phenomenon which, with very few exceptions, arises all over the world. There are of course Chairs in the History of Medicine but courses are generally not compulsory, and the student has so many things to learn and to put in his memory... This situation is very poor and regrettable, since the French. philosopher and thinker, Auguste COMTE (1798-1857) wrote with full reason in my opinion:

‘One knows really a Science only when one knows its History’. This is quite true, as I can see every day.

When a young doctor is faced with practice, either directly or after specialization, he will have little time to study or to get acquainted. With the History of his art, So, amongst many other ancient aspects of Medicine, he is aware of probably only one fact concerning the Hindu Surgery : the Hindu flap for rhinoplasty which he will situate near the Italian procedure developed by Tagliacozzi. But, his knowledge of Hindu Medicine or Surgery does not go beyond this fact.

A few years later, he will be vaguely aware that the contribution of Hindu Medicine and Surgery is in fact very old and significant. Perhaps he will have read a few books and/or articles many of which start fortunately with a more or less developed chapter dedicated to History. In this way, he will eventually become familiar with the words: Veda, Susruta Samhita, Ayurveda, Rgveda, etc., and partly their meaning.

Those who go further know the exact place that must be given to the ancient Hindu Medicine, and ‘then, I am tempted to say as Issac Newton "If I have seen further, it was because I stood on the Shoulders of Giants’.

We are fortunate, as we owe to Dr. G.D. SINGHAL and his co-workers another tool which made available a new fragment of this vast medical knowledge to the English speaking medical world. The fact that he and his co-workers have given similar and prior books is a guarantee of the prominent value of this book. Moreover, it is worth mentioning, and of even underlining, that his exceptional book has an equally exceptional basis, the Banaras: Hindu University Library. This has India’s richest collections, and the privileged who have visited it—I am happy to be one of them -— were dazzled by the extraordinary intellectual reserves stored in this Library. Finally, Varanasi is also the place where the highest authorities in the Sanskrit language are gathered.

For myself, I was astounded by this section dealing with rest and non-operative procedures, although being a Surgeon myself. One needs but to think about the iatrogenic diseases that our time has generated. On the other hand, as an expert of the Courts? I am often struck by the poor quality gained by some surgical procedures ( and this can be said in many countries, alas)! A surgeon is the man-who operates, this is well known. If the only result of this book was to convince surgeons to be conservative, it would be an additional merit.

In conclusion, I can say, and I am happy to have the opportunity to do so. warmly recommend this book to every doctor, whatever be his practice. He surely will be a better doctor and a better surgeon.


Ayurveda is the Science of life. Ayurveda considers life as a combination of sativa (mind), aatma (soul) and sariva (body). Thus life is an integrated psychosomatic-spiritual entity. Ayurveda has two- fold objectives, firstly to preserve the health of the healthy persons and secondly to eradicate the disease from the ailing. Through these objects Ayurveda longs for the ideal of arogya, which is considered to be the basis of the four-fold values of life, i.e. dharma, artha, kama and moksa.

Thus Ayurveda is not only a system of Medicine, but is an unique discipline which deals very comprehensively with the human science and philosophy. Therefore while studying the Ayurvedic texts specially the classics, one must keep in view this basic approach and should refrain from only gross physical understanding.

Susruta Sarnhita is one of the three major classical texts on Ayurveda, popularly known as Vrihatrayts. Susruta Sarhhita is considered a surgical text on Indian Medicine, Susruta was a surgeon and he compiled his Sarmnhita as a text book on Surgery. Susruta is therefore rightly being called by Dr. G. D. Singhal and his colleagues from Varanasi as the Father of Surgery. It is true that to a large extent Susruta Samhita is a surgically oriented classic; however, it must be emphasized that Susruta Samhita is not only a text on ancient Indian Surgery but is a ‘Samhita in the true sense of the word. It actually deals, in addition, with all other disciplines of Ayurvedic Science and Philosophy. It provides equally rich material on Medicine as on Surgery. Considering it a surgical treatise only will be to undermine its significance and scope. As a matter of fact Susruta Samhita is a classical text on Ayurveda as a whole with additional emphasis on anatomy and surgical and gynaecological practice.

The present volume would greatly support the above contention. This volume deals with such basic non-surgical problems which are very fundamental to the practice of Ayurveda, i.e. the disciplines of Svasthavrita, Rasiyana, Bajtkarana, Paticas Karma and allied Samsodhana measures, These considerations are of equal significance to a surgeon as well as to a physician.

Thus this volume deals with the Ayurvedic concepts of social and preventive medicine, personal hygiene, restorative and rejuvenative measures and purificatory therapy. In general this volume describes the fundamentals of preventive medicine, In this context a number of such unique ideals are presented which may prove entirely new in today's perspective, Susruta’s ideas of internal purification of the body as a preventive measure and as a preparatory procedure before specific medical or surgical intervention, the extent of complete mental and physical transformation through rvasdyana therapy, etc. are some unique ideas which need scientific enquiry. The authors of this book suggest numerous problems on such ideas on which research should be carried out in the modern medical institutions for the benefit of the humanity.

It is a pleasure to note that Dr. Singhal and his colleagues are working on Susruta Samhita and are trying to bring out the entire text in English in 12 volumes. An authentic English presentation of Susruta Samhita has been a real need. The earlier English translation presented by Shri Kunja Lal has many falacies and it has been really criticised by many scholars. At this juncture this new series will be most welcome. The authors have done a very good job in presenting an authentic, easy reading, English translation, comments, summaries for each chapter and a list of probable research problems along with cross references.

This volume in particular is a highlight of the entire series, due to the fact that it deals with subjects of some interesting specialities of Ayurveda which are original to Ayurveda and whose significance and scope is increased in present times, namely Svasthavrita, Rasayana, Bajtkarana and PancaKarma. These subjects are prescribed in under- graduate and postgraduate curricula of all Ayurvedic faculties and as such this particular volume should find a place as a text book for this purpose.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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