Post No. 10,273

Date uploaded in London – 29 OCTOBER  2021         

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What is here is found elsewhere – What is not here is nowhere”

This is what Veda Vyasa said about Mahabharata. Now after reading all the 10,552 mantras of Rig Veda, the oldest book in the world, I can say the same about Rig Veda.

Physiology lesson is taught in One Hymn! I have never found such a poem in Tamil in Sangam literature, so called secular poems! But many thousand years ago one seer by name VIVIRIHANAN named nearly 27 body parts and tried to keep them healthy.

I see many significant points here:

Western ‘scholars’ called Hippocrates the ‘Father of Medicine’. Now those people themselves corrected their own old encyclopaedias and said neither he wrote all that is attributed to him, nor he is the first one to talk about medicine.  Even Susruta and Charaka never claimed themselves as Father of Medicine. They lived well before Hippocrates of Fourth century BCE. All our people were honest to recall the names of their predecessors as well.

Next point is I still wonder how come they recited all the body parts and kept it intact for thousands of years by word of mouth.

Even the 2000 year old Sangam Tamil poem Kurinjippattau sung by a Brahmin poet by name Kabila, where we find 99 flower names at one go was ‘written’ at least 1500 years ago. But this poem was not written until recently. That too written things are not used by brahmins. They still memorise it from their Gurus. I met one such great man Sri Singara Subrahmanya Sastrigal of Kuthanoor who memorised full Rig Veda and received honours from Kanchi Shankaracharya.

The next point is many of the body parts are used by many language speakers even today including European languages. Heart, Nose are a few examples.

The fourth point is it belongs to Kavacham (armour/shield) genre. It acts as body armour and protect one from all sickness. We see such Kavasams in Tamil, but yet they do not recite all the parts found here.

There are many kavasams available in Sanskrit such as Indrakshi Kavasam, Sivakavasam etc. they are of very late compositions and very long compared to this six mantras of RV10-163

And this has a refrain at the end ‘yakṣmaṃ śīrṣaṇyaṃ mastiṣkājjihvāyā vi vṛhāmi te’ from all thyself, from top to toe, I drive thy malady away. ||

. We see such poems in Rig Veda where the last line is repeated. Now this is followed in popular Bhajans and Carnatic and Hindustani music compositions. That means the Vedic custom is continued.


Placebos work for believers

Latest research shows that placebos do beneficial things for a patient. It helps one psychologically and keeps one’s mental health in good condition. Real medicines may help you physically. Again unless you believe, placebos wont work . These mantras boost the confidence of the patients. And ancient doctors gave the patients actual medicine along with such mantras.

We have enough evidence in Rig Veda and Atharva Veda for the herbal treatment. Moreover Hanuman’s bringing Sanjeevani Parvata shows that they believed in herbal treatment.

Dictionary says


Placebo is a medicine or procedure prescribed for the psychological benefit to the patient rather than for any physiological effect..

placebo effect

a beneficial effect produced by a placebo drug or treatment, which cannot be attributed to the properties of the placebo itself, and must therefore be due to the patient’s belief in that treatment.


Now to the hymn

In this short hymn with 12 lines one comes across 27 ++ body parts; if you delete the repeated last line in every mantra it is only a SIX line mantra!








8.Neck tendons


9.Breast bones











20.Knee caps







27.Top to Toe


Following is Griffith’s translation

1. FROM both thy nostrils, from thine eyes, from both thine ears and from thy chin,

     Forth from thy head and brain and tongue I drive thy malady away.

2. From the neck-tendons and the neck, from the breast-bones and from the spine,

     From shoulders, upper, lower arms, I drive thy malady away.

3. From viscera and all within, forth from the rectum, from the heart,

     From kidneys, liver, and from spleen, I drive thy malady away.

4. From thighs, from knee-caps, and from heels, and from the forepart of the feet,

     From hips from stomach, and from groin I drive thy malady away.

5. From what is voided from within, and from thy hair, and from they nails,

     From all thyself from top to toe, I drive thy malady away.

6. From every member, every hair, disease that comes in every joint,

     From all thyself, from top to toe, I drive thy malady away.

Rig Veda Mandala 10 Hymn 163

अक्षीभ्यां ते नासिकाभ्यां कर्णाभ्यां छुबुकादधि |
यक्ष्मं शीर्षण्यं मस्तिष्काज्जिह्वाया वि वर्हामि ते ||

गरीवाभ्यस्त उष्णिहाभ्यः कीकसाभ्यो अनूक्यात |
यक्ष्मं दोषण्यमंसाभ्यां बाहुभ्यां वि वर्हामि ते ||

आन्त्रेभ्यस्ते गुदाभ्यो वनिष्ठोर्ह्र्दयादधि |
यक्ष्मम्मतस्नाभ्यां यक्नः पलाशिभ्यो वि वर्हामि ते ||
ऊरुभ्यां ते अष्ठीवद्भ्यां पार्ष्णिभ्यां परपदाभ्याम |
यक्ष्मं शरोणिभ्यां भासदाद भंससो वि वर्हामि ते ||

मेहनाद वनंकरणाल लोमभ्यस्ते नखेभ्यः |
यक्ष्मंसर्वस्मादात्मनस्तमिदं वि वर्हामि ते ||

अङगाद-अङगाल लोम्नो-लोम्नो जातं पर्वणि-पर्वणि |
यक्ष्मंसर्वस्मादात्मनस्तमिदं वि वर्हामि ते ||

akṣībhyāṃ te nāsikābhyāṃ karṇābhyāṃ chubukādadhi |
yakṣmaṃ śīrṣaṇyaṃ mastiṣkājjihvāyā vi vṛhāmi te ||

ghrīvābhyasta uṣṇihābhyaḥ kīkasābhyo anūkyāt |
yakṣmaṃ doṣaṇyamaṃsābhyāṃ bāhubhyāṃ vi vṛhāmi te ||

āntrebhyaste ghudābhyo vaniṣṭhorhṛdayādadhi |
yakṣmammatasnābhyāṃ yaknaḥ plāśibhyo vi vṛhāmi te ||

ūrubhyāṃ te aṣṭhīvadbhyāṃ pārṣṇibhyāṃ prapadābhyām |
yakṣmaṃ śroṇibhyāṃ bhāsadād bhaṃsaso vi vṛhāmi te ||

mehanād vanaṃkaraṇāl lomabhyaste nakhebhyaḥ |
yakṣmaṃsarigvedaasmādātmanastamidaṃ vi vṛhāmi te ||

aṅghād-aṅghāl lomno-lomno jātaṃ parigvedaaṇi-parigvedaaṇi |
yakṣmaṃsarigvedaasmādātmanastamidaṃ vi vṛhāmi te ||


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27 Similes in One Vedic Hymn! By London Swaminathan. Rig Veda, the oldest religious book in the world, has beautiful poetry in it. The Vedas are records of ..


tags- body parts, RV 10-163, malady, Yakshmam, Human body, Physiology, Rig Veda

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