Difference between revisions of "Talk:Agnivesa"

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==Introduction==
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Atreya is considered to be the first systematic propounder of the science of healing. Caraka is illustrious as the redactor of the original tantra of Agnivesa.
The great heritage of the healing art left to us by Krsna Atreya would have been lost to us, but for the herculean task of his chief pupil Agnivesa, who made a detailed record of the exposition which flowed from the benevolent lips of his preceptor Atreya. Agnivesa codified the knowledge and arranged it in the form of a Treatise which forms the basis of "The Caraka Samhita". Krsna Atreya expounded the science of Kāyā-Cikitsā to his six pupils among whom Agnivesa was one of the outstanding intelligence. His intellect was superior to his co students and his treatise was applauded by the sages as the most authoritative. Thereafter Punarvasu, the most benevolent and moved by compassion for all the creatures, bestowed the science of life on his six disciples:
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Krsna Atreya's (also known as Punarvasu) teachings on the art of healing was recorded by Agnivesa. Agnivesa codified the knowledge and arranged it in the form of a Treatise which forms the basis of "The Caraka Samhita". Krsna Atreya expounded the science of Kāyā-Cikitsā to his six pupils among whom Agnivesa stands out. His intellect was superior to his co-students and his treatise was applauded by the sages as the most authoritative. His six disciples were:
 
# Agnivesa
 
# Agnivesa
 
# Bhela
 
# Bhela
 
# Jatukarna
 
# Jatukarna
 
# Parāśara
 
# Parāśara
# Harita  
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# Harita
 
# Ksara-pani
 
# Ksara-pani
 +
 +
Agnivesa was equally adept in the science of war as with that of medicine. He studied archery under Bharadwaja and Agastya and that Bharadwaja gave him the Agneyastra which Agnivesa gave to his pupil Diona. This Astra was called Brahmasirah.
  
 
==Significant role of the Sage Agnivesa==
 
==Significant role of the Sage Agnivesa==
All this has been declared to the foremost disciple by 'Punarvasu', the Knower of Truth, who was free from the faults of passion and ignorance, in this discourse on the treatment of Pectoral Lesions and Cachexia. Addressing himself to the six choicest of his disciples headed by Agnivesa, who were dedicated to study and meditation, the master, Atreya, declared as follows, with a view to stimulate inquiry.
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Agnivesa became the foremost compiler of the science due to his deeper understanding of the materials vs his peers. Not only was he considered to be the most brilliant among the disciples but his compilation received the approval of the committee of experts which declared it to be the best of all and since then it has become the authoritative text-book on the science of healing.
 
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It was the excellence of his own understanding and not any difference in instruction by the sage, whereby Agnivesa became the foremost compiler of the science. Not only was he the most brilliant among the disciples but his compilation received the approval of the committee of experts which declared it to be the best of all and since then it has become the authoritative text-book on the science.
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==Usage of Name Synonyms==
 
==Usage of Name Synonyms==
This brilliant author of perhaps the oldest written medical work was known as Hutasa or Hutasavesa and Vahnivesa Hutasa and Vahni which are the synonyms of Agni and the later authors substituted the synonyms for the purpose of variation. The Commentator Cakrapani while beginning the benedictory verse refers to Agnivesa by his synonym. Agnivesa is referred to by his synonyms in Caraka Samhita. In Siddhisthan 12th chap, verse 53 Agnivesa is referred to as Vahnivesa.
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Agnivesa was also known as Hutasa, Hutasavesa, Vahnivesa Hutasa and Vahni which are the synonyms of Agni and the later authors substituted the synonyms for the purpose of variation. The commentator Cakrapani while beginning the benedictory verse refers to Agnivesa by one of these other names. Even in Charaka Samhita, multiple names of Agnivesa are used i.e., Vahnivesa <ref>In Siddhisthan 12th chap, verse 53 Agnivesa is referred to as Vahnivesa</ref>
  
 
==Agnivesa Tantra==
 
==Agnivesa Tantra==
The Agnivesa-tantra originally consisted of 12000 verses. Unfortunately Agnivesa-tantra in the original form is not available at present. That logically leads us to the question, as to the period till which the book was available. Indukara the commentator of Astanga Sangraha writes that this statement has led many to believe that Caraka's life came to an end before he could complete the redaction of Agnivesa-tantra. But this theory is untenable because throughout the Caraka Samhita we find at the end of each chapter this means that Caraka redacted the whole of Agnivesa-tantra.  
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The Agnivesa-tantra originally consisted of 12,000 verses. Unfortunately, Agnivesa-tantra in the original form is not available at present. Despite some contraversy to the contrary<ref>for exmaple, by Indukara, commentator of Astanga Sangraha</ref>, it is likely that he finished the treatise as there are references to it throughout the Caraka Samhita.  Further, there are a few contradictory statements throughout the text that have furthered this confusion.  For example, in the Siddhi-sthana <ref>4th chapter of the Caraka Samita</ref>, Drdhabala describes the meeting of the learned sages under the presidentship of Atreya implying that the Agnivesa-tantra was available in Drdhabala's time. However, a few statements of Drdhabala has led some people to think that Agnivesa-tantra was not available in his time.  
  
===Period of Agnivesa Tantra===
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===Redaction of the Agnivesa Tantra===
In the Siddhi-sthana 4th chapter, Drdhabala describes the meeting of the learned sages under the presidentship of Atreya. Unless we take this to be a mere conventional way of writing in those days, we must conclude that Agnivesa-tantra was available in Drdhabala's time. A few statements of Drdhabala has led some people to think that Agnivesa-tantra was not available in his time.  
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The original seventeen chapters and the sections on Pharmaceutics and Success in Treatment in the treatise composed by Agnivesa and revised by Caraka have not been found. However, Drdhbala added seventeen chapters in the section on therapeutics and also the two sections of Pharmaceutics and Success in Treatment in Caraka Samhita by culling his data from various treatises on the science.  
  
===Redaction of The Tantra===
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Drdhbala was a redactor, not a commentator and as such, he consulted all the available treatises in order to revise and up-date the text. It is common practise not to name basic text which was being redacted as it is taken as the basis for the redaction.
Drdhbala added seventeen chapters in the section on therapeutics and also the two sections of Pharmaceutics and Success in Treatment in entirety, by culling his data from various treatises on the science. The seventeen chapters and the sections on Pharmaceutics and Success in Treatment in the treatise composed by Agnivesa and revised by Caraka have not been found. But such an assumption can be easily set aside. The argument put forward is that he mentions having taken from many other books and Agnivesa-tantra is not specifically mentioned. But we must not forget that Drdhabala is a redactor. As we have seen, redaction is the progressive revision of the original text. Additions or omissions can be made according to the progress in the science made during that period. Naturally, the author has to consult all new books for such redaction. He has to move with the times and be in constant touch with the changing procedures. He was not a mere commentator who had just to make the text lucid. He was a redactor and he even consulted all the available treatises in order to revise and make the text up-to-date. The basic text which was to be redacted need not be mentioned as if it is to be taken for granted as the basic text on which the super-structure was constructed.
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Again, the redacted portion of Caraka is not available and it is only by a stretch of unwarranted assumption that we can construe it as the meaning that Agnivesa tantra was not available. A slight linguistic ambiguity in the verse has however, caused this confusion. If the reading were done properly, the ambiguity would not have occurred.
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As a result, there is some ambiguity as to whether these seventeen chapters are based on Agnivesa Tantra.
  
===Disputation regarding Redacted Chapters===
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Critical examinations of the redacted text and detailed review of all available internal and external evidence indicates that the original text of Agnivesa existed as the basic text for Drdhabala and that a certain portion of the ''redacted'' text of Caraka was not available.
There is difference of opinion as regards the portion of section on therapeutics, that have been restored by Drdhabala. This creates a problem as to which 17 chapters were restored by Drdhabala. A critical examination of this question by thrashing out all the available internal and external evidence indicates that the original text of Agnivesa existed as the basic text for Drdhabala and that a certain portion of the ''redacted'' text of Caraka was not available.
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The style and language of the original texts of Agnivesa, Caraka and Drdhabala can be distinguished on minute examination of the text. Now, we find that there is a mixture of the styles and diction in nearly all the chapters and hence one is led to the natural conclusion that Agnivesa-tantra did exist in the time of Drdhabala.
 
The style and language of the original texts of Agnivesa, Caraka and Drdhabala can be distinguished on minute examination of the text. Now, we find that there is a mixture of the styles and diction in nearly all the chapters and hence one is led to the natural conclusion that Agnivesa-tantra did exist in the time of Drdhabala.
  
The Index of all the 120 chapters is given in the 30th chapter of Sutra-sthana. Drdhabalas arrangement is quite in accord with that. Though this is not a strong argument in itself, as one can Say that the headings of the chapters might have been taken by Drdhabala from the index in Sutra-sthana or that the whole index in the 30th chapter may be altogether a later insertion.
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Agnivesa tantra existed upto and well after Vagbhata is amply supported by various facts. Jejjata, a pupil of Vagbhata quotes some verses from Agnivesa tantra. These verses are not found in the Caraka Samhita and hence he must have quoted from the original Agnivesa tantra. Tisata, son of Vighbala in his Cikitsa mentions Agnivesa as a distinct authority which implies that the Agnivesa-tantra existed in his time. Below mentioned are the few evidences that support this belief:
  
===Evidences for the time of Existence of Tantra===
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* Cakrapani, the commentator of Caraka Samhita who flourished in the 11th century CE cites pharmaceutical preparations which are not found in the Caraka Samhita but are in the Agnivesa-tantra  
That the Agnivesa tantra did exist upto and well after Vagbhata is amply supported by various facts. There are few quotations that disperse any suspicion that Agnivesa-tantra was lost in the time of Vagbhata. Jejjata, a pupil of Vagbhata quotes from Agnivesa tantra some verses. These verses are not found in the Caraka Samhita and hence he must have quoted these from the original Agnivesa tantra which must have been available in his days. Tisata, sop of Vighbala in his Cikitsa mentions Agnivesa as a distinct authority showing at Agnivesa-tantra existed in his text. Below mentioned are the few evidences that support this belief:
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* Cakrapani, the commentator of Caraka Samhita who flourished in the 11th century A D cites pharmaceutical preparations which are not found in the Caraka Samhita. This leads us to the conclusion that the original Agnivesa-tantra was available in the times of the Cakrapani.
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* There are few recipes of Vandya from Agnivesa-tantra are quoted by Sodhala. Sodhala lived in the 12th Century CE
 
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* There are few recipes of Vandya which are quoted by Sodhala from Agnivesa-tantra. Sodhala flourished in the 12th Century A. D. and this shows that Agnivesa-tantra was available even then.
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* Kanthadatta, the commentator on Vrnda's Siddhayoga who flourished in the 13th century A. D. has stated few verses which are also not found in the Caraka Samhita and hence it can be presumed that they have been taken directly from the Agnivesa-tantra itself.
 
* Kanthadatta, the commentator on Vrnda's Siddhayoga who flourished in the 13th century A. D. has stated few verses which are also not found in the Caraka Samhita and hence it can be presumed that they have been taken directly from the Agnivesa-tantra itself.
  
* Sivadasa Sen who flourished in the I5th century A. D. has a verse in his Tattva Chandrika which is not found in the Caraka Samhita, the only possible source of it must be Agnivesa-tantra which must have been available in the fifteenth century. After that period no more citations from the Agnivesa-tantra are available except one suggestive reference by Gangadhar Sastri in the 19 th century.
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* Sivadasa Sen who lived in the I5th century CE quotes Agnivesa-tantra  (verse is not found in Caraka Samhita)
  
More references will be unearthed by scholars in the course of research.  
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* After that period no more citations from the Agnivesa-tantra are available except one suggestive reference by Gangadhar Sastri in the 19th century CE.
  
 
==Other Works==  
 
==Other Works==  
 
Besides this premier work on Ayurveda, several other works are ascribed to Agnivesa. They are:
 
Besides this premier work on Ayurveda, several other works are ascribed to Agnivesa. They are:
* AnjanaNidana, a treatise on diseases of the eye is one such book. He is also quoted by Vagbhata, Bhavamisra, Tisata and Rudra-bhalla and other authors. There are two or three commentaries written on this book.
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* Anjana Nidana, a treatise on diseases of the eye. He is also quoted by Vagbhata, Bhavamisra, Tisata and Rudra-bhalla and other authors. There are two or three commentaries written on this book.
* A third work Nidanasthana<ref>It means pathology laboratory.</ref> also stands in the name of Agnivesa.
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* Nidanasthana, a treatise on pathology also stands in the name of Agnivesa.  
 
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==Other Historical Significance of Agnivesa==
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Dowson speaks of Agnivesa as a sage and son of Agni and an early writer on medicine. We learn that Bharadwaja and Agastya were his preceptors in archery<ref>It means Dhanurvidya.</ref> and that Bharadwaja gave him the Agneyastra which Agnivesa gave to his pupil Diona. This Astra was called Brahmasirah. Thus we find that Agnivesa was equally adept in the science of war as with that of medicine.  
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==Agnivesa, Son of Satyaka==
 
==Agnivesa, Son of Satyaka==
One Agnivesa, the son of Satyaka, is mentioned in Majjham Nikaaya to have taken part in the philosophical debate with Gautama Buddha. There is no need to go into elaborate argument over the question of period in which he flourished. He was the pupil of Atreya and hence he flourished during the period of Atreya i.e during the Satapatha<ref>It means stupor.</ref> period. We may briefly enumerate the point that support our placing him in the Satapatha period, apart from the argument of his contemporaneity with Aterya.
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One Agnivesa, the son of Satyaka, is mentioned in Majjham Nikaaya to have taken part in the philosophical debate with Gautama Buddha. He was the pupil of Atreya and hence he flourished during the period of Atreya i.e during the Satapatha<ref>It means stupor.</ref> period. We may briefly enumerate the point that support our placing him in the Satapatha period, apart from the argument of his contemporaneity with Atreya.
 
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# He must have flourished before Panini as we find references to Taxilla in Panini, while reference of Taxilla is absent in Agnivesa Samhita. No author of the versatility of Agnivesa could afford to neglect mentioning Taxilla if it were a flourishing center of medical learning in his time.
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# In the Paanini Sutra, Jatkarna, Parasara and Agnivesa all names of physicians occur together and this indicates that Agnivesa lived before Panini's period. We know that Jataakarna and Parisara were co-students of Agnivesa.
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# Hemaadulaksana quotes from Silhotra, a last of Ayurvedic authors. In it Agnivesa, Harita, Ksarapani and Jatu karna are mentioned. We know all there were co-students.
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# In Satapatha Brahmana, we find the mention of the descendant of Agnivesa which is referred to.
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==Conclusion==
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To Bharadwaja we pay our homage as the first mortal who undertook the hard task of travelling to the abode of Indra and bringing to the mortal world the science of Ayurveda. We regard Atreya with reverence as the first systematic propounder of the science of healing. Caraka is illustrious as the redactor of the original tantra of Agnivesa. But amidst these we must not forget the one who gave the science it's permanent impress, by reducing it to the system from which it possess to have and when was heartily applauded as the best by his contemporary sages and scholars.  
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It was Agnivesa, the most brilliant pupil of Atreya who took down the truths of this science from the sacred lips of his master. Other pupils followed the same course, but it was Agnivesa who like Bhagiratha, brought the heavenly Ganges of the healing art within the reach of suffering mankind. He is the golden book between the preachings of Atreya and the expositions of later medicines and the permanent fountain source of medical science from which all the later scholars have drawn nourishment and support.
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# He lived before Panini as we find references to Taxilla in Panini, while reference of Taxilla is absent in Agnivesa Samhita. No author of the versatility of Agnivesa could afford to neglect mentioning Taxilla if it were a flourishing center of medical learning in his time
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# In the Paanini Sutra, Jatkarna, Parasara and Agnivesa are all names of physicians that occur together indicating that Agnivesa lived before Panini's period. Jataakarna and Parisara were co-students of Agnivesa
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# Hemaadulaksana quotes from Silhotra, a last of Ayurvedic authors. In it Agnivesa, Harita, Ksarapani and Jatu karna are mentioned and were co-students
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# Satapatha Brahmana refers to the descendants of Agnivesa
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
 
{{reflist}}
 
{{reflist}}
* The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram [[Krishna]] Math, Bangalore
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* The Caraka Samhita published by Shree Gulabkunverba Ayurvedic Society, Jamnagar, India
  
[[Category:Ayurveda]][[Category:Charak Samhita]]
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[[Category:Ayurveda]][[Category:Carak Samhita]]

Revision as of 17:43, 1 February 2018

Atreya is considered to be the first systematic propounder of the science of healing. Caraka is illustrious as the redactor of the original tantra of Agnivesa.

Krsna Atreya's (also known as Punarvasu) teachings on the art of healing was recorded by Agnivesa. Agnivesa codified the knowledge and arranged it in the form of a Treatise which forms the basis of "The Caraka Samhita". Krsna Atreya expounded the science of Kāyā-Cikitsā to his six pupils among whom Agnivesa stands out. His intellect was superior to his co-students and his treatise was applauded by the sages as the most authoritative. His six disciples were:

  1. Agnivesa
  2. Bhela
  3. Jatukarna
  4. Parāśara
  5. Harita
  6. Ksara-pani

Agnivesa was equally adept in the science of war as with that of medicine. He studied archery under Bharadwaja and Agastya and that Bharadwaja gave him the Agneyastra which Agnivesa gave to his pupil Diona. This Astra was called Brahmasirah.

Significant role of the Sage Agnivesa

Agnivesa became the foremost compiler of the science due to his deeper understanding of the materials vs his peers. Not only was he considered to be the most brilliant among the disciples but his compilation received the approval of the committee of experts which declared it to be the best of all and since then it has become the authoritative text-book on the science of healing.

Usage of Name Synonyms

Agnivesa was also known as Hutasa, Hutasavesa, Vahnivesa Hutasa and Vahni which are the synonyms of Agni and the later authors substituted the synonyms for the purpose of variation. The commentator Cakrapani while beginning the benedictory verse refers to Agnivesa by one of these other names. Even in Charaka Samhita, multiple names of Agnivesa are used i.e., Vahnivesa [1]

Agnivesa Tantra

The Agnivesa-tantra originally consisted of 12,000 verses. Unfortunately, Agnivesa-tantra in the original form is not available at present. Despite some contraversy to the contrary[2], it is likely that he finished the treatise as there are references to it throughout the Caraka Samhita. Further, there are a few contradictory statements throughout the text that have furthered this confusion. For example, in the Siddhi-sthana [3], Drdhabala describes the meeting of the learned sages under the presidentship of Atreya implying that the Agnivesa-tantra was available in Drdhabala's time. However, a few statements of Drdhabala has led some people to think that Agnivesa-tantra was not available in his time.

Redaction of the Agnivesa Tantra

The original seventeen chapters and the sections on Pharmaceutics and Success in Treatment in the treatise composed by Agnivesa and revised by Caraka have not been found. However, Drdhbala added seventeen chapters in the section on therapeutics and also the two sections of Pharmaceutics and Success in Treatment in Caraka Samhita by culling his data from various treatises on the science.

Drdhbala was a redactor, not a commentator and as such, he consulted all the available treatises in order to revise and up-date the text. It is common practise not to name basic text which was being redacted as it is taken as the basis for the redaction.

As a result, there is some ambiguity as to whether these seventeen chapters are based on Agnivesa Tantra.

Critical examinations of the redacted text and detailed review of all available internal and external evidence indicates that the original text of Agnivesa existed as the basic text for Drdhabala and that a certain portion of the redacted text of Caraka was not available.

The style and language of the original texts of Agnivesa, Caraka and Drdhabala can be distinguished on minute examination of the text. Now, we find that there is a mixture of the styles and diction in nearly all the chapters and hence one is led to the natural conclusion that Agnivesa-tantra did exist in the time of Drdhabala.

Agnivesa tantra existed upto and well after Vagbhata is amply supported by various facts. Jejjata, a pupil of Vagbhata quotes some verses from Agnivesa tantra. These verses are not found in the Caraka Samhita and hence he must have quoted from the original Agnivesa tantra. Tisata, son of Vighbala in his Cikitsa mentions Agnivesa as a distinct authority which implies that the Agnivesa-tantra existed in his time. Below mentioned are the few evidences that support this belief:

  • Cakrapani, the commentator of Caraka Samhita who flourished in the 11th century CE cites pharmaceutical preparations which are not found in the Caraka Samhita but are in the Agnivesa-tantra
  • There are few recipes of Vandya from Agnivesa-tantra are quoted by Sodhala. Sodhala lived in the 12th Century CE
  • Kanthadatta, the commentator on Vrnda's Siddhayoga who flourished in the 13th century A. D. has stated few verses which are also not found in the Caraka Samhita and hence it can be presumed that they have been taken directly from the Agnivesa-tantra itself.
  • Sivadasa Sen who lived in the I5th century CE quotes Agnivesa-tantra (verse is not found in Caraka Samhita)
  • After that period no more citations from the Agnivesa-tantra are available except one suggestive reference by Gangadhar Sastri in the 19th century CE.

Other Works

Besides this premier work on Ayurveda, several other works are ascribed to Agnivesa. They are:

  • Anjana Nidana, a treatise on diseases of the eye. He is also quoted by Vagbhata, Bhavamisra, Tisata and Rudra-bhalla and other authors. There are two or three commentaries written on this book.
  • Nidanasthana, a treatise on pathology also stands in the name of Agnivesa.

Agnivesa, Son of Satyaka

One Agnivesa, the son of Satyaka, is mentioned in Majjham Nikaaya to have taken part in the philosophical debate with Gautama Buddha. He was the pupil of Atreya and hence he flourished during the period of Atreya i.e during the Satapatha[4] period. We may briefly enumerate the point that support our placing him in the Satapatha period, apart from the argument of his contemporaneity with Atreya.

  1. He lived before Panini as we find references to Taxilla in Panini, while reference of Taxilla is absent in Agnivesa Samhita. No author of the versatility of Agnivesa could afford to neglect mentioning Taxilla if it were a flourishing center of medical learning in his time
  2. In the Paanini Sutra, Jatkarna, Parasara and Agnivesa are all names of physicians that occur together indicating that Agnivesa lived before Panini's period. Jataakarna and Parisara were co-students of Agnivesa
  3. Hemaadulaksana quotes from Silhotra, a last of Ayurvedic authors. In it Agnivesa, Harita, Ksarapani and Jatu karna are mentioned and were co-students
  4. Satapatha Brahmana refers to the descendants of Agnivesa

References

  1. In Siddhisthan 12th chap, verse 53 Agnivesa is referred to as Vahnivesa
  2. for exmaple, by Indukara, commentator of Astanga Sangraha
  3. 4th chapter of the Caraka Samita
  4. It means stupor.
  • The Caraka Samhita published by Shree Gulabkunverba Ayurvedic Society, Jamnagar, India