Wednesday September 26, 2018

Acharya Charaka: Indian father Of Medicine, Author of Charaka Samhita “scince of Ayurveda”

0
//
4976
Acharya Charaka
Acharya Charaka: Indian father of medicine
Republish
Reprint

By Gaurav Sharma

Who is Acharya Charaka:

Acharya Charaka, contributors to Ayurveda, a system of medicine and lifestyle developed in Ancient India. Most people regard Hippocrates (460-377 BC) as the father of medicine, but only a few are aware of the novel contributions made by a man named Charaka “Indian father of Medicine” in the way the human anatomy and physiology is perceived to function.

Long before the birth of Hippocrates in the early centuries of the common era, Charaka authored a medical treatise called Charaka Samhita or the compendium of Charaka.

The ancient medical manual “charaka samhita”, regarded by many in the West as an ‘Alternative Medicine’ manuscript, is a guide on how to live a healthy life. Simply put, the Charaka Samhita is a guidebook of preventive medicine.

The compilation of medical treatise enshrined in the Samhita, also forms a foundational text for the ancient science of Ayurveda or the ‘knowledge of long life.’

Widely respected and translated in the traditional medical field (particularly during the Arab and the Roman empire), Ayurveda is the best known among the three medical traditions of the Indian sub-continent, the other being the Unani and Siddha schools.

The Ayurveda lays down a well-structured and well-defined view of medicine by segregating it into a series of eight disciplines, namely:

  • Surgery (Shailya Chikitsa)
  • Head, eye and throat medicine (Shaakalya Chikitsa)
  • Mental health (Kaaya Chikitsa)
  • Pediatrics (Kaumarbhrtya Chikitsa)
  • Toxicology (Aganda Tantra)
  • Pharmacology (Raasayana Tantra)
  • Reproductive Medicine (Vaajikarana Tantra).

Such is the immense wealth of health information expounded in the Ayurveda, that it is sometimes compared to the works of Galileo, Archimedes, and Euclid in their respective  fields.

Ayurveda is one of the invisible pillars, which balances the dysfunctional public health system of India. It has become an important part of the government policy, with an independent ministry known as AYUSH, dedicated to the research and education of Ayurvedic healthcare.

Apart from modern western healthcare centers, a revolution of tele-ayurvedic-health centers has taken India by storm.

Comprising of hired tele-operators, these traditional health centers essentially come in the shape of a village house with divisions of mud walls and bamboo sticks.

Those inflicted with diseases call up the center, the staff listens to their problems, and after consulting the Charaka Samhita, they prescribe ayurvedic medications to the patients.

The emphasis on listening to the patients rather than sending them off for pathological tests is based on Charaka’s philosophy of medical examination, that of finding the root cause of disorder through a series of questions and answers, reminiscent of a dialogue between the teacher and a disciple.

These traditional health-centers exemplify the efficient use of modern technology and communication networks to popularize the ancient knowledge of Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is still, however,  poles apart from how modern medicine visualizes the human body and the way it functions.

The operating principles of Ayurveda utilise the concept of the body’s basic doshas or humors. These include the element of movement through Vita or bile, transformation in the form of Pitta or phlegm and stability and lubrication via Kapha or wind.

Disturbing these elements from their proper location means inviting an illness to follow suit. To prevent such a calamity from happening, Charaka prescribes some practical yet deeply meaningful metaphysical strictures.

The practice of mindfulness, exercising good judgment, calming the senses, being aware of time, place and the self apart from inculcating a good lifestyle are some of the tips that Charaka postulates for imbibing good health.

The notion of Deha-Prakriti, which means ‘the nature of the body,’ distinguishes Charaka’s Ayurveda as a highly personalised medical discipline.

Each person at the time of conception is thought to be endowed with a particular nature (Prakriti), which determines his predisposition to diseases. This justifies the immense emphasis paid on the history of a person while prescribing medication.

The nature of wisdom and its exercise is another factor that is central to Charaka’s concept of good health. For this reason, as much for the practical aspects of his encyclopedic work, Charaka become quite popular during the early 19th Century.

Charaka mania fueled the circle of doctors in New York to establish a Charaka Club. This inexplicably filtered to the educated nationalist Indian elite who were searching and yearning to discover their historical roots.

Lately, however, Charaka’s popularity has declined to a great extent.

Irrespective of the such drifting upheavals, what sets Charaka’s monumental work uniquely apart from modern medical science and indeed from the medical profession itself, is its farsightedness to visualize the body as a part of a vast, natural and cosmic system of causality.

Urban India, with its concomitant stress and competition, can find solace by embracing Charaka’s teachings on healthy living, and thereby avoid the sight of a medical complex for good.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

Samsung Brings its First Smartphone With Triple Camera in India

Samsung is offering cash back worth Rs 2,000 on the smartphone when buyers make payment through HDFC bank credit and debit cards

0
Samsung
Samsung's first triple camera smartphone in India. Flickr

Samsung India on Tuesday launched Galaxy A7 with triple rear cameras for Rs 23,990 in blue, black and gold colours.

The smartphone is slated to be available in over 180,000 outlets by September-end. It will be available on September 27 and 28 during a special preview sale on Flipkart, Samsung e-shop and at Samsung Opera House in Bengaluru.

“We are expecting to disrupt the market and gain significant share specifically in our ‘A Series’. So this is the first triple camera phone that we are bringing to the market which we have not even launched in our flagship segment but the whole idea is to really expand this series,” Mohandeep Singh, Senior Vice President, Mobile Business, Samsung India told IANS.

The Galaxy A7 sports 24MP main + 5MP live focus + 8MP ultra-wide sensors at the rear and a 24 MP selfie shooter.

The device features a 6.0-inch FHD+ super AMOLED Infinity Display and also supports Dolby Atmos immersive sound technology that brings HD content to life.

It has a 2.5D glass back design, 7.5-mm body and a side fingerprint sensor which has been integrated into the power button itself.

Samsung
The device will be available in 6GB RAM+128GB storage and 4GB RAM+64GB storage configurations.

“The new colours and a side fingerprint sensor deliver a refreshed design. We are confident that with this device, we will capture the imagination of the Indian millennial and be able to add to the celebrations during the festive season,” said Sumit Walia, Director, Mobile Business, Samsung India.

Galaxy A7 is powered by a Samsung’s proprietary Exynos 7885 2.2GHz octa-core processor.

The device will be available in 6GB RAM+128GB storage and 4GB RAM+64GB storage configurations.

You May Also Like to Read About- Google Rolls Out A Major Update Revamping its ‘Feed’ Feature

The smartphone is powered by a 3300mAh battery and runs Android Oreo operating system (OS).

Samsung is offering cash back worth Rs 2,000 on the smartphone when buyers make payment through HDFC bank credit and debit cards. (IANS)