study of Ashtang hridya

Among the various creations of Vaghbhatta , Ashtanga Hridya is more popular than Ashtang sangreh. It is Ashtanga hridya and not the Ashtang Sangreh  that finds its  inclusion in Brihatryi. The knowldege embedded in Ashtanga hridya is practised all over the country. Vaghbhatta the son of Singhgupta first compiled Ashtanga Sangreh to meet the requirement of people at that time. Thereafter he refined it further and Ashthang Hridya was penned down which was welcomed  universally.

Vaghbhatta and Ashtanga hridya

A thing in the soicety is accepted due to its quality and not from the fact that it is ancient or new. The mere old age existence of Ashtanga hridya text is a testimonial to its credibility. Vaghbhatta is supposed to believe live Vedic life but afterwards he adopted Buddhism.Views of bodha dharma have been incorporated in the text. Vaghbhatta has described twelve arms of idols of Avlokitashver. Vaghbhatta has focuused on mantrayaan but not on vajrayaan.Eight types of Siddhis described in Bidh dharma has been dealt by Vaghbhatta in Ashthang sangreh and hridya in context of Rasyana. Vaghbhatta has discuused about Charak Samhita and not of dradhbala. The volume of Ashtanga sangreh is larger than the Ashtanga Hridya.

 Beauty of Ashtanga hridya

                               Eight branches of Ayurveda are divided into six sections , Sutra sthana, Sharira sthana, Nidana sthana, Chikitsa sthana, kalapasiddhi sthana and Uttarsthana. The whole text is in connosance with the rules of Grammar and follows all rules of aptopdesha. Both Ashtang sangreh and Ashtanga hridya have advocated to have deep faith in Ayurveda. Sukhaayu is the only tool helping to attain the dharam, artha and sukha. We get refernces of use of 42 chhandas in Ashtanga hridya.Similarly we get refernces of use of shabad alankar in the  text. Benefits of having a son is described beautifully in the text. Some scholars are of the opinion that two other texts Ashtanga nighantu and Ashtanga avtara have been written by Vaghbhatta.

Unique features of the Text

We get references of 34 commentaries and 23 commentators related to Ashtanga hridya. Among them Sarvang sundra by Arun dutta and Ayurveda Rasayana by Hemadri are quite popular.  According to commentator this text contains six sections,120 chapters and 7471 shalokas.Tantrayukti though an essential tool to understand the texts finds no mention in Ashtanga hridya but in Ashtang sangreh. These texts contains compiled matter from various texts like Charak, Sushruta, Ashtnag sangreh atc. Vaghbhatta has emphasized judicious use of process rakat mokshan, basti, Shilajita etc.

Vaghbhatta emphasized that excessive use of Guggul causes impotency. Kutaj is best in rakataj arsha or bleeding piles. Haridra and amla are best in prameha. Such new discoveries are there in Ashtan hridya.

Prof. Anup Kumar Gakkhar

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