Post No. 8765

Date uploaded in London – –2 OCTOBER 2020   

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Panini , author of the world’s first grammar book Ashtadhyayi, gives lot of interesting information through his 4000 aphorisms (sutras) and the additional woks such as Ganapatha and Dhatupatha. It helps us the understand the life in India 2700 years ago

Tlkappian is the author of 2000 year old Tamil grammar Tolkappiam. Like Panini’s work is called Paniniyam, Tamils called Tolkappian’s work Tolkappiam.

In all cultures we see long names are shortened for day today conversation and it would be almost uniform in that area. For instance, my name is Swaminathan. All Swaminathans in Thanjavur Region are abbreviated as SAMA ( SAAMAA) English names such as Juliette and Samantha will be July , Sam etc.

Throughout Sanskrit grammar books they used Devadatta’s  name for all examples. Devadatta may be used in 11 different ways according to Panini and his commentator Patanjali.

Deva Datta’s name may be shortened in 11  different ways. It should be a Guinness book entry .

Panini says ,

Devadattaka ,Devika, Deviya , Devila, can be used. Patanjali who wrote the greatest and biggest commentary on Panini’s book adds,

Devaka , Dattika, Dattila , Dattiya , Dattaka , Deva , Datta . In total 11 forms are grammatically available.

So it is very interesting. Even if you commit some typographical errors you will be excused!!

(Devika is not feminine; in Sanskrit ‘a’ ending name is masculine. If it ends with ‘aa’ (long sound) then it is feminine. Krishna is one of the Avatars. But Krishnaa is Draupadi.)


Plan of a treatise

A book should have a plan. It is not a collection of articles written at different times on different unconnected topics. Like planning, presentation is also important. This plan is called tantra yukti.

The work of Kautilya / Chanakya has 32 tantra yuktis .

Charaka and Susruta also mentioned them, but Charaka added three more to the list .

The ancient Tamil grammar Tolkappiam , based on the tradition of the Aindra school , enumerates in its Porulatikaram section 32 principles of which 22 agree  with those of Kautilya.

The Mimamsakas with their flare for analysis have indicated the principles of a literary composition. Of these they have singled out ‘samgati’ inherent consistency or internal order and ‘mangala’ benedictory opening. These tantra yuktis were known to Panini. The first of these , ADHIKARA  is in three important Tamil works. It is Sanskrit word that is found in

Tirukkural, Silappadikaram and Tolkappiam .

Adhikara means domain heading – treatment of the matter within the purview of a work is referred to in Panini 4-3-87.i.e. A work that is composed in accordance with the principle od ‘adhikara’, or sense of the relevant. Tamil Veda Tirukkural has 133 adhikaras .  Silappadikaram has three major divisions. Tolkappiam has three adhikaras.

Panini’s own work is  model of  Vidhana or the treatment of topics in their inherent order.



Another interesting detail about Charaka . We know one Charaka associated with the great book Charaka Samhita. Charaka means one who always wander; they are wandering professors going to different places for teaching. Now almost all universities have Charakas i.e. Visiting Professors . There are followers of Vedic Charaka in three different areas. We don’t know whether the medicine man Charaka and Vedic Charaka are one and the same.


tags – Panini, Tolkappian, Charaka 


Compiled by  London Swaminathan

Date: 29 OCTOBER 2019

Time  in London – 19-24

Post No. 7155

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 and simultaneously. Average hits per day for both the blogs 12,000.

CHARAKA and SUSHRUTA  lived at least 2300 years ago. Kautilya, author of Athasastra also lived 2300 years before our time. It is amazing that they described various types of fermented drinks.

Charaka lists nine sources of spirituous liquor or fermented drinks.  These are- cereals, fruits, roots, wood, flowers, stems/stalks, leaves, barks of plants and sugar -yielding canes. From these, the preparation of 84 different kinds of ‘asava’(wine) has been described.

The nine main classes of liquors from the nine sources, mentioned above, are named respectively as-

Dhania asava










In Arthasastra

In a chapter defining the duties of the Superintendent of Liquor, Kautilya writes,

By employing such men as are acquainted with the manufacture of liquor and ferments 9kinva), the superintendent of liquor shall carry on liquor traffic not only in forts and county part (shops), but also in camps…………….

Illicit liquor destroyed

Various kinds of liquors described are-







Medaka is prepared from the fermentation of rice;

Prasanna from the fermentation of flour with addition of spices and the fruits of Putraka (a species of tree in the country of Kamarup/Assam).

Asava is the liquor derived from the fermentation of sugar mixed with honey.

Jaggery mixed with powder of long and black pepper or with the powder of triphala (mixture of Terminalia chebula, Terminalia balerica, and Phyllanthus emblica), when fermented , forms Maireya.

Fermented grape juice is Madhu. The preparation of different kinds of arista for different diseases can be learnt from the physicians.

Kinva or ferment is prepared from boiled or unboiled paste of ‘masha’ (Phaseolus radiatus), rice and Morata (Alanium salvifolium) and the like.

The liquor that is manufactured from mango fruits may contain a greater proportion of mango essence or of spices. It is called maha sura when it contains sambhara (spices).

It is interesting to note that Kautilya writes that all  varieties of liquor other than that used for the king are taxable with 5 percent as toll. These include acid drinks prepared from fruits (phalamla) and spirit distilled from molasses (amla sidhu). But on the occasion of festivals, fairs (samaja) and pilgrimage it is permissible to manufacture liquor for four days (chaturahassaurikah) – liberty to drink liquor without limit


Knowledge of Medicine and Method of Treatment in Tamil and Sanskrit Books (Post No.3535)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 11 January 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 21-17


Post No.3535



Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.






Tiruvalluvar, author of Tirukkural, has dealt with a lot of subjects including medicine. He says that one can live for long without disease if one controls his eating habits. he says 1.Eat when you are hungry 2.Eat when the food already eaten is digested. Very simple!

In two of the couplets he agrees with Charaka and Susruta, the great authors of Medical treatise in Sanskrit. Tiruvalluvar says:


Let a skilful doctor who knows medicine, the patient

2.the nature of disease

3.the season and then treat him (Kural 949)


He also adds, Medical treatment implies fourfold elements:




and the Nurse/ compounder (Kural 950)

Parimel azakar, the most  famous commentator of Tirukkural, explains the attributes thus of the four elements:

“The attributes of the patient are ability to disclose the symptoms, strength to endure pain, ability to pay and strict obedience to the directions of the physician;

those of the physican are intelligence and study, courage to handle every kind of disease, purity of thought, word and deeed, good luck;

those of medicine are efficacy to cure any disease, superior virtue on account of taste, power, strength and easy facility of being procured, and capacity to combine with other ingredients as well as food;

and those of the apothecary are kindness and consideration to the anxiety of the patient, purity of thought, word and deed, ability to compound drugs and common sense.


The above passage shows how much advanced we were in understanding the patient and the treatment.


It shows that the doctors of ancient India had a nurse or compounder for assistance. Westerners copied it from Indians.

The same concept of treatment is found in Sanskrit texts as well:

1.Knowledge of the Best Physician

Hetu — cause
Linga– Diagnosis
Rogaanaam apunarbhava — non recurrence of disease
Prasamana — cure
—Charaka Samhita 9-19

Hetau linge prasamanerogaanaam punarbhave
Njaanam chaturvidham yasya sa rajaarho bhisaktamah
Charaka 9-19


2.Sastra Vaidya Gunah/Qualities of a surgeon

Sauryam– fearless ness
Aasukriyaa Lighthandedness
Sastraaiksnyam Well sharpened instruments
Asvedavepathu Absence of perspiration and trembling
Asammohah Absence of confusion

Sauryamaasukriyaa sastrataiksnyamasvedavepathu
Asammohasca vaidyasya sastrakarmani sasyate
–Susruta 5-10



Following quotes are from my October 2015 post:-


3.Vaidya Gunah – Qualities of a Physician

Srute paryavadaatatvam Bahuso drstakarmataa

Daakshyam Saucam iti jneya vaidye Guna chatustayam

–Charaka (sutra) 9-6

Srute paryavadaatatvam =Excellence in Medical Knowledge

Bahuso drstakarmataa = Extensive Practical Experience

Daakshyam = Skill

Saucam = Cleanliness

4.Physician’s Approach to Patients

Vaidya Vrtti

Maitri kaarunyamaarteshu sakye pritirupekshanam

Prakrutistheshu butesu vaidyavrttischaturvidhaa

–Charaka (sutra) 9-26

Maitri = Friendship

Kaarunya = compassion

Priti = Pleasure

Upekshanam = Sympathy




5.Fake Doctors (not to be honoured)

Apuujya Vaidyaah

Kucela: karkasa: stabhdho graamani svayamaagata:

Pancha vaidyaa na puujyante Dhanvantrisamaa api

Even if he is equal to Dhnavantri, the God of Medicine, don’t honour the following five physicians:

Kucela =Untidily dressed

Karkasa = Rough

Stabdha = Stubborn

Graamani = Pervert

Svayamaagata = One who visits on his own (uninvited)



Walking Stick in Charaka Samhita!

stick2  stick3

Written by London swaminathan

Post No.2267

Date: 23 October 2015

Time uploaded in London:19-46

Thanks for the pictures.

Don’t use pictures. Don’t reblog for at least a week.

It is amazing that Charaka in his medical treatise deals with even Walking Sticks. If he has composed a sloka (couplet) on such matters, the Old Aged people must have been looked after very well 2000 years ago. Manu deals with ‘looking after’ old people in another sloka.

The ancients believed that an assembly (Sabha) is considered an assembly only when there are elderly people seated in it. We may compare it to the Rajya Sabha of India and House of Lords of Great Britain.

Here is the sloka on walking sticks:

Skalatah sampratishtanam satrunam cha nishudanam

Avashtambanamayushtam bayagnam dandadaranam

–Charaka Samhita 5-102

One who has the walking sticksgets the following five benefits:–

Skhalatah sampratisthaanam = Prevention from slipping

Satruunaam nisuudanam =  Attacking the enemy

Avastam-banam = Support

Aayusyam = Longevity

Bhayagnam = Averts fear.

Most of the old age people die after slipping and falling in the bath room. Probably the shock triggers fear, depression and several other things in addition to fracture. Knowing this Charaka has emphasised the use of walking sticks.


Benefits of Serving Elders

Abhivadana silasya nityam vruddopasevinah

Chatvari thasya vardhante ayurvidya yaso balam

–Manu Smrti 2-121

One who serves the elderly people will get the following four benefits:

Ayuh = Longevity

Vidyaa = Knowledge

Yasas = Fame

Bala = Strength


Golden sayings in Ayurveda Books

india medical

Article No.1986

Compiled by London swaminathan

Date 10th July 2015

Time uploaded in London: 20-54

Charaka and Susruta were great Ayurvedic experts. Their books serve as the foundations of Ayurveda, the popular  Indian Medical System. Both of them wrote in Sanskrit and they lived at least 2300 years ago; but they have only written what is passed to them by their predecessors. Because of constant updating of Indian literature we take the latest date. Yet they stand unique in the world of medicine.

Both of them cover a lot of things in the field of medicine. It is amazing to see that even the burns are classified like we classify today as first degree, second degree and third degree burns. They talk about psychic treatments. Studying was stopped on New moon and Full moon days due to the bad effect of moon. They discuss pre-operative and post-operative care like modern day hospitals.

Let us look at some of the golden verses:

21  Pirmoji širdies operacija

1.Sastra  karma =Surgical Operation

Purva karma = Pre operative; Pradhaana = Operation; Pascaat = Post  operative

Trividhyam karma – Puurva karma, Pradhaanakarma, Paschaatkarmaeti tadvayaadhim pratyupadekshyaamah

–Susruta Sutara 5-3

2.Agnidagdham – Fiery Burns

Plustam = scorched; Durdagdham =Blistered; Samyakdagdham = Superficially burnt; Atidagdham = Deeply burnt

Plushtam durdagdham – Samyakdagdham   Atidagdham cheti chaturvidham Agnidagdham  -Susruta Sutra  12-16


3.Bad Effect of Moon- Cessation from Study= Anadhyayana Dina

Astami – eigth day of the fortnight; Amaavaasyaa –New Moon day; Caturdasai- Fourteenth day of the lunar fortnight; Purnima ardhadina – Half day on full moon day

No Veda Class or any study on the above days.

Ashtamii cha hyamaavaasyaa varjaniiyaa chaturdasii

Puurnimaardhadhinam yaavannishidhdham sarvakarmasu

–Vasisthadanurvedasamhita 30-11


4.Symptoms of Mild Poisoning =Alpavisa Chihnaani

Lohita (rajju)- reddish streak; Nila(rajju) – Bluish streak; Piita (rajju) – yellow streak; Sita (rajju) – whitish streak

Raajya salohitaa yatra niilaah piitaah sitaastatahaa

Vnjeyam raditam tattu njeyamalpavisham cha tat

–Susruta (kalp) 4-17

5.Branches of Ayurveda

Hetu; Laksana; Ausadha

Hetulingaushadhanjanam svastahsturaparayanam

Trisutram sasvatam punyam babudhe yam pitamahah

-charaka sutra 1-24

6.Esana= desire

Desire are of three types: Prana=life, Dhana= wealth; Paraloka = heavens

Trisa esanaah paryastavyaa bhavanti

Tadyathaa praanaisanaa dhanaisanaan paralokaisaneti

-charaka sutra 11-3

7.Ausadham – Therapy

Daiva vyapaasrayam = spiritual therapy

Yukti vyapaasrayam= therapy based on reasoning (physical properties)

Satvaavajaya = Psychic therapy

Trividhamausshadhamiti – daivavyapaasrayam

Yuktivyapaasrayam satvaavajayascha

-charaka sutra 11-54

8.Types of pysique/deha

Sthula = obese; Krsa= lean; Madhya= medium

Dehah sthula krso Madhya iti praagupadhishtah

9.Drugs according to Ayurveda

Dosprasamanam = alleviation of diseases

Dhatupraduusanam = vitiation of kapha, pitta and vaayu

Svasthavrttam = maintenance of positive health

Kinchitdhoshaprasamanam Kinchitdhoshapraduusanam

Svastavruttau matham kinchit trividham dravyamuchyate

Charka sutra 1-67

herb 2Medicinal-Plants-of-India---Amla-Emblica-officinalis

10.Source of Drugs

Jangama = From animals; Audbhida = From vegetables; Parthiva = From the earth

Tat punastrividham proktam jangamaudbhidapaarthivam

-Charaka Sutra 1-68

11.Balam = Strength

Sahajam = constitutional; Kaalajam = temporal;Yuktikrtam =acquired

Trividham baklamiti – sahajam kaalajam yuktikrtancha

Charaka sutra 11-36

12.Types of Diseases= Roga

Nija = Endogenos

Aagantu = Exogenous

Maanasa = Psychic

Trayo rogaa iti – nijaagantumaanasaah –Charaka sutra 11-45

13.Roga Ayatanaani = Causes for disease

Atiyoga = excessive utilisation; Ayoga = non utilisation; Mithyaayoga = wrong utilisation (of artha, karma, Kaala)

Arthaanaam karmanah kaalasya cha atiyoga – ayoga – mithyaayogaah

—Charaka sutra 11-37


14.Rogamaarga – Path of Disease

Saakhaa – Peripheral system; marmaasthisandhi – vital orgas, bones and joints; Kostha – Central system

Trayo rogamargaa iti – sakhaamamaarsthisandhayah koshtascha –Charaka sutra 11-48

15.Sariiradosasangraha = Pathogenic factors in the body

Vaayu =air/wind; Pitta = Fire/Bile; Kapha = water/Phlegm

Vaayuh pitam kapaschoktah saariirodosasangraha: —Charaka sutra 1-57


How Did a Pandya King Get a Golden Hand?

By S Swaminathan

It is a well known fact that the Ancient Indians made tremendous advancements in the field of medical sciences. The Ayurveda and Siddha medical systems were widely practised for the benefit of the general public. Charaka and Susrutha wrote great treatises. A lot of surgical instruments, surgeries like rhinoplasty (plastic surgery for nose), hundreds of medicinal plants and thousands of medicines were listed by them. They were not only appreciated in India but reached western world through Arabic translations nearly one thousand years ago. The old medical books in Sanskrit and Tamil run in to several thousand pages.

Though Charaka, Susrutha,Vagbhata and Agastya are known to many even in the western world, one important surgery went unnoticed by many scholars. There is a very interesting story about a Pandya king in ancient Tamil literature. The king lived two thousand years ago is known from the Tamil epic Silappathikaram (Ref.Mathurai Kandam-Katturai Kaathai) dated around second century AD. A Pandya king was fitted with an artificial hand made of gold; he was known only as the Golden Handed Pandya. Nobody knows his real name even today. One more old Tamil book refer to this story (Ref. Pazamozi Naanuru).

The Story:

The story according to the epic runs like this: a Pandya king was going through the streets of Madurai (the second largest city of Tamil Nadu in South India) in disguise during the night. In the olden days kings used to visit their subjects and observe the general public in disguise to feel the pulse of the populace. Though the ancient Arthashastra of Kautilya speaks of kings employing spies for this purpose, the monarchy always wanted to know what the people feel about them or the country directly.(Every Hindu knew what Rama did to Sita just because a washer man raised some doubts about the purest woman Sitadevi). So much importance was given to the opinion of general public – absolute democracy!

When the Pandya king was passing by a house the lights were on at the dead of night and he heard a conversation. A brahimn by name Keeranthai was consoling his crying wife with these words, ”Darling, don’t worry too much about your safety and security. I am only going to be away for a very short period. Our great king is there to protect all the citizens. Nothing will go wrong in this just place”. As soon as the king heard this conversation he felt some big responsibility fell on his shoulders. So he increased his ward rounds and kept an eye on that house. Months passed. To his surprise he saw light again in the same house at the dead of night. He heard someone talking. In a hurry he mistook that person for a stranger and knocked at the door to scare away the stranger. Alas, it was not a stranger. It was her own husband Keeranthai himself who had just returned from his tour. When Keeranthai shouted back, the king realised his mistake.

One stupid mistake will make you to do more stupid things to hide the first one. It is human nature. So the king knocked at all the houses in the brahmin street and ran away to his palace. Next day a battalion of brahmins went to the palace and complained about what happened the previous night. The king, after patiently listening to their complaints, said to them that the ‘thief’ was already caught. All his ministers were surprised to hear his statement. The king did not stop there. He asked the opinion of the complainants what should be the punishment for that ‘thief’. Everyone shouted in chorus to follow the Hammurabi law: a hand for hand, an eye for an eye. The hand that knocked on the doors must be cut off. Before a second lapsed the king drew his sword and cut off the hand with which he had knocked on the doors the previous night. When he narrated the incident, the whole world praised his justice. The royal physicians rushed for his help and attached a gold hand to his arm. He came to be known as a Gold Hand Pandya in Tamil “Por Kai Pandyan”.

This is a story to elucidate the justice that was followed in ancient Tamil Nadu. No medical information was given about fixing the artificial limb but it didn’t surprised any Indian (please read my article Why do British Judges follow a TamilKing?) because they practised either the Ayurveda or the Siddha medical system.

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