Viswanatha Chikitsa is the compilation work of Kaviraja Viswanatha of Bengal, who is believed to be the contemporary of Gananath Sen's father.
This book is believed to be originally published in 1921 in Sanskrit. As there were no translatio.ns and as this work is restricted to one region, it remain dormant for many years.
During 1960s when the AFI (Ayurvedic Formulary of India) and API (Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India) were developed, the APC (Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Committee) did try to include at least one book from each region. Thus Viswanatha Chikitsa is the only Bengali work in the list like Aryabhishak from Gujarat.
This book consists of important formulations which were practiced by Kaviraja Viswanatha in his practice. There are total 7 chapters consisting of about 10 formulations in each chapter.
The author did try to establish the importance of having simple prescriptions and seeking maximum therapeutic benefit.
This work is different from Chikitsarnava which is a Orissa based Ayurvedic text (published by CCRAS). Both Catalogus Catalogorum as well as CCRAS data base suggest that Chikitsarnava and Viswanatha Chikitsa are different though the authors name is Visawanatha.
Dr. C. S. Maheshkumar completed his BAMS from Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Ayurvedic College, Nazrat Pettai, Chennai (TN). He completed his post graduation studies from Dr. BRKR Govt. Ayurvedic College, Hyderabad. Presently he is working as Sr. Medical Officer, NORTH DELHI MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, New Delhi. Author is an specialist in VASTI Panchakarma practice.
Viswanatha chikitsa is one of the 56 official books mentioned under the First Schedule of Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940. The title of the work indicates that this book is written by an author Viswanatha. This compilation work consists of seven chapters viz.,(1) Swarasa Prakarana (Chapter on freshly extracted juices); (2) Kashaya prakarana (Chapter on decoctions); (3) Churna prakarana (Chapter on powders); (4) Asava-Arishta prakarana (Chapter on fermented products); (5) Avaleha prakarana (Chapter on linctus); (6) Ghrita-taila prakarana (Chapter on medicated ghee & oils); (7) & Gutika prakarana (Chapter on tablets & pills).
The chronology of chapters indicates that its author accepted SAPTAVIDHA KASHAYA KALPANA (seven dosage forms) and basis earlier compilation works, the formulations are incorporated. The earlier works consulted for this compilation appears to be Sarngdhara Samhita, Bhava Prakasa, Bhaishajya Ratnavali, Yoga Ratnakara, Rasa Ratna Samucchaya etc. The emphasis is made mainly on the formulations used in his practice and/or recommended by his teacher. The author wanted to be precise and therefore included only 10 formulations in each chapter.
Though the efforts were made by CCRAS to identify whether Viswanatha Sen is author of Chikitsarnava as well as Viswanatha Chikitsa, the question remains unanswered since there are many physicians / individuals with the name of Viswanatha from West Bengal. Only in 1990 Dr. Prem Kishore et al., have reported that Chikitsarnava is available in Orissa (Prem Kishore, M.M. Padhi, G.C. Nanda [Central Research Institute (Ayurved), Unit I, Bhubaneshwar-751 009, India]; AYURVEDIC LITERATURE IN ORISSA-AN OVERVIEW. Ancient Science of Life, Vol No. X No. 2 October 1990, Pages 132-136). In 2008 CCRAS published Chikitsamava in two parts. In the process efforts were made to project Chikitamava as Viswanatha Chikitsa. Though CCRAS made serious efforts, its review does not appear to be critical since many of the actual evidences have been ignored by the amateur researchers. The effort was more to establish an assumption that Chikitsarnava is same as Viswanatha chikitsa than to identify whether there is any other person by the name of Viswanatha or not.
In 2013, the author of the present translation published the original form of Viswanatha Chikitsa on the basis of a photocopy (of 1921 edition). Later, the author did check with various scholars, teachers and researchers of Ayurveda (about the identity of Viswanatha). In the end, it is noticed that the book Chikitsarnava (also written by Viswanatha) published by CCRAS in two parts is being claimed as Viswanatha Chikitsa by very few. Neither industry nor academic institutes have agreed with this view point because, no pharmaceutical company obtained any license quoting Viswanatha Chikitsa as reference book for their formulations. Similarly, no teacher from Ayurveidc Institutes reported that Chikitsarnava and Viswanatha Chikitsa are one and same.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Acupuncture & Acupressure (196)
Gem Therapy (21)
Original Texts (229)
Therapy & Treatment (147)
Tibetan Healing (127)
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