About the Book
Cakradatta or Cikitsasangraha saringraha of Sri Cakrapanidatta (11th Cent. A.D.) is an authoritative work on Ayurvedic Medicine dealing. exhaustively and lucidly with principles and practices. It has been remained, for the last about 2000 years, a popular handbook for the physicians of Ayurveda and a source book for the later compilations on Medicine.
Though Cakradatta followed Vrnda he excelled the latter by adding many single drugs and compound formulations particularly the mercurial compounds which are absent in Vrnda’s work. This clearly draws a line between the ancient and the medieval periods the Cakradatta being the first representative work of the latter. Thus the Cakradatta is not valuable only for its contributions in medicine but also as an important historical landmark.
In past years a number of sanskrit works in Ayurveda have been translated into English but so far no works was available on Ayurvedic Medicine. This edition serves this purpose and has been intended for those who are interested in Ayurvedic Medicine, its principles and practices, and are curious to know more in this subject.
In 79 chapters this book covers almost the entire field of Ayurvedic Medicine including Pancakarma and its preparatory methods. Besides, venesection, surgical operations and meducaments in diseases of eye, ear, nose, throat, mouth and teeth are also described. Thus the book will serve not only as a faithful guide for Ayurvedic practitioners but also as important material for Research for modern physicians and surgeons.
About the Author
Prof. P.V. Sharma is well known for his valuable contributions in the field of Ayurveda. During the last five decades he has written on various aspects of Ayurveda-literary as well as scientific, conceptual as well as historical.
Born on 1st November 1920 in a small village near patna, in the family of traditional vaidyas. He gradually acquired highest degrees in Ayurveda, Sanskrit and Hindi and held highest Posts in academic and administrative fields. In Bihar, he was for many years, Principal of the Govt. Ayurvedic College and Dy. Director of Health Services (LM.). Finally, he was appointed as Professor of Dravyaguna, also as Head, and later Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Indian Medicine in the Banaras Hindu University. He retired in 1980.
Prof. Sharma has been participating in international Conferences abroad and has been associated with several committees on Ayurveda on national level. He has authored 40 books and has about 450 published papers to his credit.
First of all, we record thanks to the Indian National Commission for History of Science for academic guidance and financial support for completing the monograph.
The text on medicine composed by Cakrapanidatta, the illustrious commentator on the Caraka-Samhita, is entitled as ‘Cikitsasangraha’ commonly known as ‘Cakradatta’ presumably on the author’s name as the ‘Ruqviniscaya’ of Madhavakara became popular as the ‘Madhavanidana’. This work set a historical landmark in development of medical principles and practices in India. It inaugurated the medieval period and played a significant role in shaping the Indian medicine in later centuries and had impact even up to the modern times.
Niscala Kara (13th cent. A.D.) wrote an exhaustive and scholarly commentary on the Cakradatta entitled as ‘Ratnaprabha’. Unfortunately its-exhaustiveness proved to be a demerit and perhaps due to this it lost its popularity gr~iduallyl and as such Sivadasa Sena (15th cent. A.D.) wrote another commentary based on the above but quite abridged which practically replaced it and continued as the only commentary on such an important work.
Date of Cakrapanidatta-Fortunatelly, we have informations direct from the author himself as furnished by him at the end of the Cakradatta and Ayurvedadipika. As interpreted by Sivadasa, according to this, Cakrapani belonged to the Lodhrabali (Datta) family. His father Narayana was kitchen-superintendent and minister of the king of Gauda (Nayapala) and his elder brother, Bhanu, was attached as antaranga (court-physician) to the king. The date of Nayapala is 1038-1055 AD. Therefore, the date of Cakrapanidatta is generally accepted as 1060 AD. D.e. Bhattacharya, twisting the above stanza containing the informations, says that Cakrapantdatta himself and not his father was minister to the king and as such his date should be fixed as 1040-60 AD. But this argument is not convincing and thus Meulenbeld is right in pushing it forward. In my view, Cakrapani himself seems to be attached to king Ramapala rather than Niscala Kara his commentator as proposed by Bhattacharya. The argument for this is the formulation ‘Ramamandura’ (27.42-45), which is most probably named after Ramapala. There was a practice of authors to name some of the formulations after his patron. For instance, there is one ‘Simhana Curna’ in Sodhala’s Gadanigraha which is evidently named after king Simhana of Yadava dynasty of Devagiri. Commenting on the name ‘Ramamandura’ both ‘Niscala and Sivadasa say that it is named so because it is formulated by Rama.
The word ‘Bhanoranu’ suggests more than what is interpreted. It does not mean only that Cakrapani was younger than Bhanu but also that he succeeded him as antaranga of Gaudadhinatha which might be Ramapala. The date of Ramapala is 1077-1120 A.D. therefore, there is enough scope for pushing the date of Cakrapanidatta further to 1 100 A.D.
The reference of king Ramapala visiting the Bhisanmahasatramandapa (O.P.D.) of the Arogyasala (Royal Hospital) after giving audience to the king of Kamarupa, to my view, relates to Cakrapani himself and this anecdote passed through tradition to Niscala Kara who recorded it in his commentary.
At one place, Raviqupta is said to be ‘adurantara’ (not very far) from Cakrapani but it is only in contrast to Susruta who is very far.
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