Netra Prakashika is one of the rarest books on ancient Indian expertise in the diagnosis and management of 100 eye diseases. It is divided into three major sections.
• The fundamentals
• The diseases of eye
• The management of these diseases
The first section consists of eight chapters to explain the fundamentals, of eye anatomy, its neurological connections and the karmaja causes of eye diseases, the favorable and harmful factors, the external and internal etiological factors of eye diseases.
The second section of four chapters provide in-depth information about the diseases of the lids, corneal opacities, the conjuctival degenerations, systemic causes of blindness and the anomalies of vision.
The last section of two chapters is devoted to prepare eye medicaments like anjana and shiro taila.
Interestingly, the description of diseases in Netra Prakashika is refreshingly different from all the books on eye diseases.
(A) a graduate of SDM College of Ayurveda, Udupi (1987) and post graduate of Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar (1990), is actively involved in clinical practice and teaching at Henaka Ayurveda Centre. Madikeri and KVG Ayurvedic Medical College, Sullia for the last two decades. He has presented research papers and chaired sessions in national level salakya conferences. His talks regularly broadcasted from AIR stations and articles were published in leading periodicals of Kannada. Authored ten books in Kannada and won awards from Govt. of Karnataka and Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences. He has also worked as an examiner and valuator for University examinations.
I am feeling immense pleasure to go through the effort of Dr. Udaya Shankar, M.D. (Ay), Professor, department of Shalakya Tantra, KVG Ayurveda College, Sullia, Karnataka on the rare manuscript of Netra Roga (Eye diseases) “Netra Prakashika”, obtained from the Saraswati Mahal library, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.
Netraprakashika book is fully dedicated to eye diseases and its treatment. As per the ancient tradition, presentation of the subject is in dialogue form mostly between the teachers and taught. In this work, dialogue is based between Goddess Uma and Lord Maheshwara as well as the preceptor Lord Hayagriva Swami and Mahamuni Acharya Shri Pujyapada.
The author of Netraprakashika Shri Nandikeshwara has presented the subject Netra roga deliciously in respect of anatomy of eye, its neurological connections, etiopathology, clinical features, prognosis, congenial and non congenial factors for keeping eye healthy and way of treatment of eye diseases. Apart from the general etiological factors, many karmaja causes are also described and considered as causative factors for the onset of eye diseases. Karmaj causes are needs scientific interpretation for the onset of eye diseases. The contribution is original and unique in its kind.
The whole work is completed in 14 chapters and they are named as Patala. Eye diseases are classified into one hundred diseases based as per the site of lesion such as; eye lids, conjunctival degeneration, corneal damage, visual disorders and ocular complications with etiology and clinical presentation. Acquired diseases of eye like tumour and growth (Atimmsa), ocular trauma, visual loss due to injury, severe forms of uncontrolled discharges of eye (maha srava), allergic eye diseases (vishankura) with their varied symptoms and physico-spiritual causes with their management by karma shanti procedures has been described. Diseases involved with several parts and junctions of eye, loss of vision due to different types of blindness like congenital blindness (janmandhata), fatal blindness, evening-night-day and colour blindness and blindness due to mal absorption and liver damage and some incurable eye discharges are described. The common features with their remedies and medical management of treatable eye diseases are explained.
Last two 13th and 14th chapter of this book is devoted on pharmaceutical aspects of eye treatment. In 13th around 23 gutika and anjanas are described for local treatment named as Netra anjana gutika nirnaya adhyaya and 14th chapter describes various lipid preparations by the name of taila nirnaya adhyaya. In both the chapters’ ingredients, method of preparation and use for the purpose of prevention and cure has been described. Anjana and gutikas are effective locally. Taila and ghritas are used for the purpose of abhyanga (shiro and padabhyanga) and tarpana. Duration of application of tailas according to various season have also mentioned for better relief such as in hemant two, shishira three, vasanta five and in grishma six ghatika have been mentioned. During the application of tailas what are the congenial or non congenial food regimen and acts have described. Around 20 Jipid preparations are mentioned in this chapter.
The valuable appendices are given at the end of the book. In first, comparable modem conditions; in second, list of metals and natural products used in various references; in third, specific anjana useful for different eye diseases; where as in fourth, introductory article on this volume published in August 1989 is reproduced from Arya Vaidyan Journal have been mentioned.
Netraprakashika is a complete classical text on netra roga based on Ayurvedic concept and philosophy. Dr. Udaya Shankar, a learned scholar of Shalakya Tantra has tried his level best to edit, translate and explain the subject and make easy to understand for learners and researchers of Ayurveda. He is very much successful in this task. I congratulate him for this valuable contribution. Certainly it will enrich and make this rare literature available for Ayurveda in general and Shalakya (Netra roga) as particular.
I wish to Dr. Udaya Shankar, M.D. (Ay), Professor, department of Shalakya Tantra, KVG Ayurveda collage, Sullia, Karnataka for his success and prosperity in his future life. With best wishes and compliments.
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