The present volume is a part of the introduction. I intended to write to an English translation of Charaka Samhita, which I have undertaken. As the translation might take several years to complete, it was thought proper to publish this part of the introduction as a separate volume, with slight modifications.
Ayurveda is a rich heritage. It is a vast scientific system. But its very vastness and the language in which it is treasured make it a sealed book not only to the foreigner, but even to the present day intelligentsia of our own country, There is hardly any book on Ayurveda in English, which apart from serving as an apologia, actually describes the whole system of Ayurveda in a brief compass.
The Indian renaissance has brought in its train a growing interest in this most ancient system of medicine and it is hoped that the book would supply a much needed demand.
Further, this growing interest in Ayurveda has caused a flutter in the dovecotes of the professors of the Western system of medicine who; have stared a campaign of belittling, even of positive vilification of Ayurveda, which ignorance and self-interest alone can breed. It is a sinister propaganda and it is time that our cultured countrymen for whom it is primarily meant (for the vast majority of the country still have faith in our old system) should know the value of what they are asked to sacrifice.
The authorities on which the quotations of the text are based are Charaka, Sushruta, Vagbhata, and my father Vaidya Ratna Pandit Ram Prasad's Sanskrit treatise-Ayurveda Sutra.
I have acknowledged my debt to the authors, from whom I have quoted in the course of the book. I should specially mention my indebtedness to the works of Mr. Sharda, Messrs. K. L. Bhishagratna and A.C. Kaviratna, the translators of Sushruta and Charaka, and Dr. B. N. Seal, without whose work. The Positive Sciences of the Ancient Hindus, it would have been difficult for me to deal with the evolution theory of the Ayurvedists. I should not also forget to mention the name of Pandit Hari Sharma Shastri B.A., whose gift of Oriental scholarship along with his continued company with me helped me a great deal in the completion of the work.
I cannot thank too much my learned teacher, Professor K. C. Bose, M.A., B.L., for having very kindly gone through the MS. but for whose advice the work would have lost much of its value.
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