Charaka is a name with which every Ayurvedic student, physician and teacher is familiar. It is said that the knowledge of Ayurveda was available even before the origin of universe. It was for the first time that Brahma the creator of universe transferred this knowledge to Ashwini kumar the physicians of Gods, and then to Daksh Prajapati and after to Lord Indra. It was the Bhardwaj rishi who became the student of Lord Indra and then the knowledge of Ayurveda was transferred to Punarvasu atrey a rishi at that time who in turn taught six students viz: Agnivesh, Bhel, Jatukaran, Parashar, Ksharpani and Harit . All these pupils compiled their own texts and it was Agnivesh whose subject matter was so beautifully managed that his text was redacted by Charka and that text came to be known as Charaka Samhita.
Division in Charaka Samhita
Charka Samhita is a text of Ayurvedic medicine. Charaka Samhita deals with various aspects related to health and life. Charaka Samhita has philosophical tinge in it. Charaka Samhita is a text divided into eight sections one hundred and twenty chapters and twelve thousand shalokas . Presently there are about 9500 shalokas available in Charaka Samhita.
Uniqueness of Charaka Samhita
Charaka Samhita discusses at length how a person falls ill. Charaka Samhita has two motives, first is to keep maintained the health of a person and the other is to make a diseased person healthy. Moral values both for the vaidyas and people are described here. What daily routine be should observed for remaining healthy and what diet regimen should be followed in a specific disease is all discussed there. What should be the diet and regimen during pregnancy is explained well in Charaka Samhita. Charaka Samhita has dealt in detail about various aspects of keeping ailment and ways to keep the ill effects of ageing ill effects of at a bay. Charaka Samhita is the first text to use the word Panchkarma. It says every human being is born with three basic instincts desire for life, wealth and the third is called parlok eshna i.e. to period after death too should be good. The diseases which were labeled in Charaka Samhita as not curable are not curable even today. Charaka Samhita holds that a smooth coordination among vaidyas, drugs, attendant and patients is necessary to make a patient healthy. Charaka Samhita has described code of conduct both for teacher and students. Charaka Samhita has described the importance and methods of preparation for using a single drug in various ways of formulation. Charaka Samhita is unique in discussing some important signs and symptoms that confirm that death of the person is imminent. While describing treatment of various diseases it has given principles of line of treatment and then the formulations concerning those diseases. Charka Samhita says that many formulations discussed here are symbolic in nature. it is for a vaidya to use his wit and wisdom to create the new formulations on the said parameters. But in practice there are told about two thousands formulations in it and it is a pretty good number for a physician to manage the whole affair of treatment with it.