To learn Ayurveda, know about the avatarana of Ayurveda is a must. Here in this post Ayuraushadha going to share about the avatarana of Ayurveda with reference to the Asṭaṅga Hṛdaya, Caraka Samhita and Susṛuta Samhita.
The origin of Ayurveda is mentioned in first chapter of Asṭaṅga Hṛdaya, Caraka Samhita and Susṛuta Samhita respectively. Here are one by one the avatarana of Ayurveda as per the Acarya Caraka, Suśruta and Vagbhaṭa.
Ayurveda Avatarana According to Asṭaṅga Hṛdaya
Vagbhaṭa in Asṭaṅga Hṛdaya mentioned about Ayurveda Avatarana in the first chapter verse 3-4. Here is the verse:
brahmā smṛtvā ayuṣo vedam prajāpatim ajigrahat.
so’aśvinau tau sahasrakṣam so’atriputrādikānmunīm.
te’agniveśādikāmste tu pṛthak tantrāni tenire.
The meaning is “Brahma, remembering Ayurveda (the science of life), taught it to Prajāpati, he (Prajāpati) in turn taught it to Aśvin twins, they taught it to Sahasrākṣa (Iñdra), he taught it to Atri’s son (Ātreya Punarvasu or Kṛṣṇa Ātreya) and other sages, they taught it to Agniveśa and others and they (Agniveśa and other disciples) composed treatises, each one separately. A.H.Su. 2-3.
Ayurveda Avatarana According to Caraka Samhita
The complete story of the origin of Ayurveda according to Caraka Samhita as below:
“Lord Brahman, recalling to his mind the science of life, taught it to Dakṣa (Prajāpati), he taught it to Aśvin twins, who in their turn taught to Indra-the king of gods. When diseases began to trouble the human beings, the great sages of the world, assembled in the slopes of Himālaya mountains, and resolved to learn the science of Ayurveda from Indra and bring it to the world for the benefit of living beings. But who would undertake this difficult task of going to heaven and learn the science from Indra? Sage Bharadvāja, one of the participants of the assembly, volunteered for the task which was very gladly accepted. Bharadvāja went to Indras abode, learnt the science from him came back to earth and propounded it to the assembly. Kṛṣṇa Ātreya which is known as Punarvasu Ātreya, son of sage Arti, taught this science to six of his disciples, Agniveśa, Bhela, Jatūkarṇa, Parāśara, Hārita and Kṣārapāṇi. Each one of them wrote a treatise and placed them before their teacher Kṛṣṇa Ātreya and the assembly of the sages. The treatises of Agniveśa adjudged as the best and was praised even by the gods. It becomes popular in the world.”
In the commentary of Aṣṭaṅga Hṛdaya also mentioned that the teaching of Kṛṣṇa Ātreya mainly deals with Kāyacikitsā (inner medicine) which is one among the eight branches of Ayurveda. This teaching is called as Atreya sampradaya.
As mentioned in Charaka Samhita, the sages present in the assembly were Aṅgiras, Jamadagni, Vasiṣṭha, Kaśyapa, Bhṛgu, Ātreya, Gautama, Sāṅkhya, Pulastya, Nārada, Asita, Agastya, Vāmadeva, Mārkaṇḍeya, Aśvalāyana, Pārikṣi, Bhikṣu Ātreya, Bharadvāja, Kapiñjala, Viśvāmitra, Āśmarathya, Bhārgava, Cyavana, Abhijit, Gārgya, Śāṇḍilya, Kauṇḍilya, Vārkṣi, Devala, Gālava, Sāṅkṛtya, Baijavāpi, Kuśika, Bādarāyaṇa, Baḍiśa, Śaraloman, Kāpya, Kātyāyana, Kāṅkāyana, Kaikaśeya, Dhaumya, Mārīca, Kāśyapa, Śarkarākṣa, Hiraṇyākṣa, Lokākṣa, Paiṅgi, Śaunaka, Śākuneya, Maitreya, Maimatāyani, Vaikhānasas and Vālakhilyas.
In the commentary of Caraka Samhita mentioned that the selection of Himalaya as the venue of discussion because the success of discussion depends upon the selection of an auspicious venue.
Ayurveda Avatarana According to Susruta Samhita
The origin of Ayurveda also mentioned in the first chapter of Susruta Samhita. In the third verse of 1st chapter mentioned that Aupadhenava, Vaitaraṇa, Aurabhra, Pauṣkalāvata, Karavīrya Gopurarakṣita, Suśruta and others approached the venerable Divodaśa Dhañvañtari, the king of Kāśi. Also mentioned that Divodaśa Dhañvañtari resided in a hermitage and surrounded by groups of sages.
In the notes of the verse mentioned that Divodaśa was the personal name of the king and Dhañvañtari was an epithet, since he was known as the incarnation of Dhañvañtari, the god of medicine.
He was living in a hermitage suggest that he had handed over the reins of his kingship to someone else and in his later age reside in a hut leading a saintly life and imparting his Ayurveda knowledge to others.
By the request of Aupadhevana and others, Divodaśa Dhañvañtari started his teaching of Ayurveda. By that he started from the origin of Ayurveda. In the next verse, 6-7 mentioned that Lord Brahma propounded the science, by name Ayurveda, a branch of Atharvaveda, even before creating living beings and composed it in one hundred thousand verses, divided into one thousand chapters. Later noticing that men are short lived and poor of intelligence, he (Brahma) divided Ayurveda into eight branches such as Śalya tañtra (surgery), Śalakya tañtra (ophthalmology .etc), Kāya cikitsa (inner medicine), Bhūta vidyā (demonology), Kaumārabhṛtya tañtra (pediatrics), Agada tañtra (toxicology), Rasāyana tañtra (rejuvenation) and Vājīkaraṇa tañtra (virilification).
In other verses in the same chapter Divodaśa Dhañvañtari again narrated about the propagation of Ayurveda. In the verse 20th mentioned that:
Brahmā provāca, tataḥ prajāpatiradhijage, tasmādaśvinau, aśvibhyāmindraḥ, indrādaham, mayā itvaha, pradeyamarthibyaḥ prajāhitahetoḥ. 20
Lord Brahma revealed this science first, next Prajāpati learnt it, from him the Aśvini twins, from Aśvinis, Indra learnt it, I learnt it from Indra, now I am giving it to those who desire it, for doing good to living beings of this world.
In the next verse (21), Divodaśa Dhañvañtari said that he is the Adhideva (first god) of Ayurveda.
aham hi dhañvañtarirādidevo jarārujā mṛtyuharo’amarāṇām.
śalyāṅgam aṅgairaparairupetam prāpto’asmi gām bhūya ihopadeṣṭum. 21
“I am Dhañvañtari, the Adhideva (first god), who cured the immortals (god) from old age, diseases and death, now I have come to this earth (as reincarnation) to teach Śalya tañtra and other branches of Ayurveda.