Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 7  NOVEMBER 2019

Time  in London – 16-36

Post No. 7189

Pictures are taken from various sources; beware of copyright rules; don’t use them without permission; this is a non- commercial, educational blog; posted in swamiindology.blogspot.com and tamilandvedas.com simultaneously. Average hits per day for both the blogs 12,000

CHARAKA AND SUSRUTA were great Ayurvedic physicians who lived in India at least 2300 years ago. Hindus are very great editors and redactors and ‘up to date’ people. They kept on updating all their scriptures except the Vedas. No one dared to touch the Vedas. As a matter of fact they were not written until Muslims started destroying all Hindu institutions. Since Hindus updated everything in their hands, Marxists and White skinned half- baked scholars gave the latest date for al the books. For instance, if I add a   news item from London Times today, then they will dub the work as 7th November 2019. But Hindu scholars believe in the Kali Yuga calculation, Saka year calculation etc. I have given umpteen points to place Manu Smrti before Hammurabi.

Coming back to today’s topic Charaka and Susruta, scholars believe Charka Samhita is older than Susruta Samhita. These treatises passed through repeated recensions by later and more advanced workers.

According to the Chinese version of Tripitaka, a physician named Charaka was attached to the court of King Kanishka who reigned in the second century CE. But scholars point out that the appellation of Charaka occurs in Vedic literature as a patronymic name.


Charaka’s book is not as systematic as Susruta’s. He indulges in random and irrelevant discourses.

In the Charaka Samhita we find the author is fond of metaphysical disquisitions in preference to experiments and observations. The Susruta Samhita in this respect is far more scientific than the Charaka.

This shows that Charaka is more ancient, older than Susruta.

Again we find only Vedic gods and mantras in the Charaka treatise/ Samhita. He follows closely the authority of the Vedas. Between the Atharva Veda and that of the Charaka  there must have been several medical treatises , each reflecting the spirit and progress of the age.

Charaka himself records that he simply based his work on that of Agnivesha. At the time of Charaka  there existed at least six standard works by







Thus Charaka Samhita is not the first medical work. It represents rather a fairly developed state of the subject.

Replicas of Susruta’s Surgical Instruments (in London)

Medical conferences

There are chapters in the Charaka Samhita which suggests that it is a record of deliberations of a congress of medical experts. We already knew that Janaka organised big philosophical conferences where women scholars like Gargi attended. Emperor Asoka also organised very big Buddhist conferences. Hindus were the first to organise big conferences in the world.

Conference hints are in ‘Discourse on the Tastes’ in Charaka Samhita.

Charaka was a compiler like Vyasa of Mahabharata; we see lot of overlapping and repetitions and contradictions. Vyasa knew the danger of losing scriptures and Vedas . So he didn’t bother about repetitious but did compile the world’s largest literature. If one takes into account the puranas, Mahabharata and Vedas he compiled, one would understand the greatest work done by Vyasa.

In Charaka also we find overlap in their content. It appears to have gathered, sifted and brought into a definite form the information handed down from the preceding ages.

University Professor Agnivesha

Agnivesha, disciple of Atreya, was a university professor who lived 2600 years ago. During Buddha’s time he was teaching medicine at the University of Taxila (Thakshaseelam). It is written in the Buddhist Jataka story.

So we may safely conclude that Charaka belongs to the early Buddhist era or pre Buddhist period.  The information he provides regarding metals and metallic preparations, are of less advanced than those in the Arthasastra of Kautilya which was composed around 300 BCE.

Age of Susruta

Susruta’s terminology and technique in general do not differ much from those of the Charaka. Its style is dry, laconic and matter of the fact in contrast to the discursive and diffusive character of the Charaka Samhita.

Susruta aims at systematic classification; avoids unnecessary details. This indicates somewhat a later date of its composition. Modern recension is thoroughly redacted, recast and remodelled. Numerous passages agree verbatim with those found in the Charaka Samhita.

The Susruta is par excellence a treatise on surgery as the Charaka is on medicine proper.

In modern terms,

Charaka has M.D. qualification and Susruta has M.S qualification.

Susruta was disciple of Dhanvantri according to Buddhist Jataka and he was a teacher in the University of Kasi during Buddha’s time. He was a younger contemporary of Atreya so there cannot be a great interval between Charaka and Susruta.

They are repositories of accumulated knowledge of earlier periods dating back to the Vedic age.


What makes Madurai Unique in the World: Oswald J.Couldrey

temple big



Research Article: Written by London swaminathan

Date: 21 September 2015

Post No: 2178

Time uploaded in London :– 20-15

(Thanks  for the pictures) 

Please read my post “The Wonder that is Madurai Meenakshi Temple” posted by me here on 14th October 2011.

Following is excerpt from South Indian Hours by Oswald J.Couldrey, Year 1924

“Madura is a city in the far south, and very old. You will find her name recorded in Ptolemy’s Greek, MODOURA, which better represents the Tamil pronunciation than does the English form. Her ancient Pandya kings, who grew early rich upon the local pearl fisheries, and are mentioned in Asoka’s Edicts, were connected by the Greeks with King Pandion, by themselves and neighbours with the five legendary Pandavas, the heroes of the Mahabharata. Of that remote civilization there are now probably few material remains. The monuments of Madura chiefly refer to the seventeenth century Naiks, those powerful viceroys of the great Southern Hindu Empire of Vijayanagar, who rivalled and outlasted the splendour of their suzerain.

But what makes Madura almost unique among the cities of the world, wherein the past can be studied, is the fact that her antiquity generally, though having its roots far back in an almost Babylonish past, is also of the twentieth century. I speaks of no stagnation. Art and religion here were alive and growing with a vigour and direction imparted long ago. The life seen here today is sister to the life of ancient Shinar, a younger sister, and grown up in time.

The glory and potential crown of Madura is the great double temple (but they stand within the same enclosure) of Siva and Minakshi. You hear more of the goddess, the Fish-Eyed, though her husband’s lodging is larger; and I suspect that she represents an older local cult, espoused later by the religion of the Brahmins. There are in India many temples far older, many holier than this, some more cunningly designed and adorned; few larger, grander and more intricate, none more crowded, busy, eloquent of the living past. For size, you could put all the temples of Benares within the Madura precinct, and have room to spare, in extent, variety, and occupation, it resembles a city rather than a temple, and a city where you will not quickly learn your way about.

The good people of Madura, which is large and flourishing town, spend much of their time in temple, like Anglo-Indians at a club, or Greeks in their agora, and so fill the place themselves, without the help of pilgrims and sight seers, f whom, however, there is no lack. I have been to the Madura temple several times, and know well the lie of its courts and edifices; but to explain it is another matter, and I shall attempt only a general description.

The temple is, four square, like the heavenly Jerusalem, and girt with a high wall.in the middle of each side is the pylon or gopuram, but far taller than usual, and all crusted with idols; four towers that crown the city like the tiaras upon the fourfold brows of Brahma.


The great pile of the gate head is plastered thick with images, which stand se before its innumerable storied, lessening cells, like an enormous and splendid swarms of bees; all the mystic and many weaponed persons of the Siva pantheon, infinitely multiplied and repeated and reduced, and carried in rising ranks, and receding tiers, up to the horns and scrolls of the topmost roof.

There, and yonder, he appears as Nataraja, the dancer, his polyp arms spread round him like an aureole, as he weaves the mystic dance of the worlds, the universal and eternal dance of life, which is the pastime of god. Near him, with arms as many, and a whole brigade of heads, Skanda, the War God, Siva’s first born, rides upon his peacock, a fine image of the pomp and circumstance of Asian war. Nor is the figure of his brother Ganapati, round bellied, elephant faced, the people’s darling fetish, less conspicuous and frequent along the ranks of his pyramid of idols, and plastic pandemonium.

Immediately within, and all about the eastern gates of the god and goddess, there is a gloomy labyrinth of arcades and corridors, solemn indeed and lofty, but choked with shops and stalls of food and fruit and sweets, garlands, toys and various glittering knacks whose nature and use I have forgotten, save that they seemed to have little to do with the temple worship. But sculptured saints stood with joined hands among the confectionery, hoar dragons guarded the trash of the toy shops, and cheap cutlery from Birmingham.

From this imposing den of thieves we pass into the outer court, which is here confined and crowded with various porches of similar architecture, but elsewhere spreads, uneventful and empty, between the sanctuaries and outer wall. We are now directly before the temple of god; we find ourselves within the cloister of the Golden Lily Pool, which lies opposite her ancient shrine.

The pool and its colonnade, and especially the chain of porticos before Minakshi’s shrine, are always the most crowded and lively portions of the temple. The steps and water are constantly thronged with bathers and visited of housewives bearing brazen pitchers; the cloisters full of naked, sleek and shaven Brahmins, lounging, chatting, meditating, waiting to minister, for a fee, to the spiritual needs of the pilgrims. One chants a spell for a pair of rustics, which seems chiefly concerned with the business of informing God, not only of the name, parentage and present address (in a geography no longer recognisable) of the persons on whose behalf it is recited, but also of the particular point and minute of eternity, the hour and year, and aeon (he species the Kaliyuga, as we perhaps might say, the iron age) in which the service is performed and reward expected; a formula crude perhaps in some respects, but calculated to a degree not often found, I cannot help thinking, in our own liturgies, to make a simple fellow realise his own littleness, and the metaphysical mystery of the universe.

-images-city-134-Meenakshi temple

(His description continues for a few more pages; he describes Thousand Pillar Hall, Tirumalai Nayak Palace etc. and concludes with the following paragraph)

I am constrained to close upon a note of apprehension. You may buy little gods in the Madura bazaars, akin apparently to the temple sculpture, and steeped in odour of old sanctity. Too often nowadays they prove to be forgeries, new ware made rough, buried a while, dug up and kept for sale as old brass to the Americans. For these have discovered Madura before ourselves, who have lived there for a hundred years. Consequently, though there is still no city in South India, where you can to more advantage study the real religion of antiquity, there is none where you can more easily buy false god, or as some would say, gods doubly false (unless two wrongs should make a right) than in Madura, the city of Minakshi may it be long ere the dissolvent curiosity, or blasting disapproval of the West goes deeper”.

Year of Publication in London — 1924.