Talk:Dridhabala

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DRIDHABALA

 

Drdhabala the redactor of the Caraka Samhita was as he him�self informs in a passage at the end of the last section of the treatise, a native of Pancanadapura. Verses in the Samhita furnish historical data regarding his father's name, his residence and the supplemental redaction which he did. He also explans the significance of the term redaction and says,

 

"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. These Drdhabala, the son of Kapilabala reconsructed, thus bringing faithfully to completion,, the great aim of this treatise'.

 

"The redactor enlarges what is concise and abbreviates what is very �� prolix and in this manner brings an ancient work up-to date. Thus, this best of all treatises, which is replete with truth and wisdom and which has been redacted by the extremely enlightened scholar Caraka is now available only in three quarters of the original extent. Accordingly, in order to make the treatise com�plete,��������� Drdhabala, born in the town of Paucanada restored the lost portion, having propitiated God Siva, the Lord of creatures. He��������� added seventeen chapters in the section on Therapeutics and also the two sections on Pharmaceutics and Success in Treat�ment in entirety, by culling his data from various treatises on the science. Thus, this treatise is not deficient either in respect of diction or in respect of content, and is free from any blemishes besetting a scientific treatise and is embellished with the thirty-six canons of exposition.

 

Thus we are on more definite grounds in the case of Drdhabala but in identifying his native place the ancient practice of calling any sacred place where five streams conjoin by the name of Pancanada, presents great difficulties.

 

In India any confluence of streams is as a sacred place of pilgrimage and as a consequence we find several such places which go by the name of Pancanada.

(1) According to Hoernle one such place seems to have existed in Kashmir near the confluence of the rivers Jhelum (Vilasta) and Sindhu. This place Is now indicated by the modern village of Pantzinor or five channels, which lies close to what was the original site of that confluence before its change to the present site, in the latter half of the 9th century in the reign of King Avantivarman, Pandit Jayalalji Vaidya of Kashmir says �

 

�Pancanadapura, now known as Panjnor is situated about 7 miles to the north of Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir not far away from the confluence of the five streams, known as, the Trigama, Vitasta(the Jhelum), the Sindhu (Indus), the Ksirabhavani and Ancara.

 

There is also a reference to the Kashmirian Pancanada in Raajatarangini ( 4th canto 246-250 )

 

�By him was invited the womb-brother of Kankanavarsa nam�ed Cankuna skilled in alchemy from the Bhuhkhara country who was exalted by virtue. He by his alchemy having brought much gold into the treasury, proved a benefactor of the king like the lotus-pool of the lotus. Obstructed in the Pancanada, on one occasion by the confluence of rivers which were difficult to cross, the king whose army was held up on the bank, fell into anxiety for a while.

 

It is this Kashmirian Pancanada which probably was the home of Drdhabala. This theory is supported by the fact that the early commentators Cakrapinidatta ard Vijayarakshta often refer to the Kashmirian recession (Kashmira Pnatha) when commenting, on

 

passages of the earlier portion of the treatise. The probability is that in all these cases the reference is to Drdhabala's redaction of the Caraka Samhita, for in reference to the concluding portion of the treatise. Drdhabala is, as a rule, quoted by name as its author. It seems clear from their method of quotation that the medical writers of that period were fully aware of the exact share which Drdhabala had in Caraka's redaction of Agnivesa�s original text. The refer�ences are clear indications of Kashmir being Drdbabala's home. The Punjab (lit. Panca Ap, or land of five waters) is often erron�eously taken to be Pancanada, but this according to Hoernle is untenable on Drdhabala�s own authority, as he clearly indicates a town and not a country as his home. Benares is also sometimes indentified with Pancanada Gangadhara in his commentary on Caraka says: �Drdhabala lived in Kasi, Pancanadapura Tirtha is often applied to this city, it being the sacred place of pilgrimage where five rivers the Kirana, the Dhutapaapa, the Saraswati, the Ganges and the Jumna meet. But as we have seen, the references to the Kashmirian recensions by earlier commentators reduce the claims of Benares as the home of Drdhabala to nullity.

 

We need not consider the claims of Pajoir or hill of five Pits an isolated ridge m the Yusufzai plains NNW of Attock. The claim can be summarily dismissed as it is a mohammedan place of pilgrimage and the claim is the result of a superficial similarity of sounds and the natural inability of some western scholars to disting�uish the essential difference. Thus the theory of Pantz'nor being the home of Drdhabala is fairly well established.

 

We are thankful to Didhabala for giving us the historical data of his lineage and residence, but regarding the period in which he flourished, he leaves us in the dark In order to arrive at a definite conclusion regarding his period, we have to rely on external evidence, such as reference to him in works of the authors of known date and thus establish his priority to those and the negative evidence on the absence of references to him in works which may be placed anterior to his period. In this way

 

On scrutinizing the text of the Carak Samhita and Vagbhata's Astangahrdaya� and Astangasangraha, we find that Vagbhata is indebted to the Caraka Samhita to an appreciable degree while Drdhabala has not taken anything from Vagbhata. Vagbhata has summarized important portions of both Caraka and Susruta and the descriptions of Pandu and Udara and other chapters have been largely drawn from Caraka and Susruta. In other chapters, the prose portion of Caraka redacted by Drdhabala is versified ad ver�batim. These facts go to show that Drdhabala flourished before Vagbhata.

 

Although the whole of the commentary on Caraka by Jejjata is not available, some of the available portions definitely relate to Drdhabala�s redaction. Now Jejjata was a pupil, and hence a contem�porary of Vagbhata. This establishes that Drdhabala was anterior to Vagbhata.

 

Although very little data is available regarding Drdhabala�s period we are on surer ground regarding Vagbhata�s period. It sing the Chinese traveller, visited India between 675 and 685 A. D. and in his memoirs, we find references to Vagbhata. This places Vagbbhata somewhere before the 7th century and this is supported by the fact that Madhava, the author of Madhavandana quotes Vagbhata. This work was translated into Arabic by the orders of Haroun-al- Raschid in the 8th century (750-850 A. D ). Hence if we put the period of the composition of Madhavandana in the 7th century, Vagbhatas period recedes by about a century i.e to the 6th century. We find quotations from Vagbhata in the Kandarpika a chapter of Varahamihira who lived in the 5th century and so Vagbhata will have to be placed before this period. Another medical author Bhattara Haricandra was a contemporary of Vagbhata. As Bhattara Haricandra flourished during the reign of king Sahasanka (375-413 A D), Vagbhata cannot be later than the 4th century. The negative evidence of any reference to Drdhabala or his work in Navanitaka which was composed in the first part of the 4th century, provides the upper limit to

Drdhabala�s period and hence we can put Drdbabala fairly somewhere between the end of the 3rd century and beginning of the 4th century. Now the question is regarding what part Drdhabala played in the redaction whether he redacted the whole work or only 41 chapters.

We are informed by the text that all the 12 chapters of Kalpa-sthana, all the 12 chapters of Siddhi-sthana and 17 Chapters of Cikitsa-sthana of the Agnivesa-tantra as redacted by Caraka were not available at Drdhabala�s time.

 

�The seventeen chapters and the Sections on pharmaceutics and Success in Treatment in the treatise compiled by Agnivesa and revised by Caraka have not been found. These Drdhbala, the son of Kapilabala has reconstructed, thus bringing faithfully to completion, the great aim of this treatise �

 

As there are 30 chapters in Cikitsasthana, it would be inter�esting to try to find out which are the 17 chapters that were missing but were reconstructed by Drdhabala.

 

We find that there are two orders of the Chapters of Cikitsa-sthana available One is the order which is given in this text. In the other order, chapters nos 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 are substitu�ted by nos. 14, 19, 21, 24, and 25 respectively while the Chapters 9 to 30 are re-numbered as 14 to 39, the chapters 14, 19, 21, 24 and 25 being promoted.

The first 8 chapters preserve their order in both the tradi�tional arrangements and hence their order or authorship is not under dispute or doubt. They also conform to the order given in the Nidana sthana. They are indisputably Carabaos. Similarly, the last five chaplers are the same in both the traditional orders.

 

Vijayaraksita, the commentator on Madhava-nidana quotes Nos 26, 27, 2S in the name of Drdhabala and hence they are definitely of Drdhabala�s authorship. So it is the intermediate chapters that require careful scrutiny and investigation.

 

Now, out of these 17 chapters under investigation, we can definitely ascribe five chapters viz. loth, IGth, 17th, 22nd and 23rd of the A� order or 19th, 20th, 21st. 24th and 25th of the B order to Drdhabala as they are cited by later medical authors as emanating from Drdhabala's pen.

 

Arunadatta, the commentator on Astangahrdaya, quotes Drdhabala ascribing the 15th chapter (19th of the 'B� order) to Drdhabala.

 

The other four viz, 16th, 17th, 22nd and 23rd of the A order (20, 21, 24. 25. of the B order) are quoted by the commentator Vijayaraksita and have been ascribed to Drdhabala.

 

Now we have only 12 chapters whose authorship remains to be ascertained. Out of these 12, three chapters viz. 14th, 19th and 21st respectively of the A order (9th, 10th, 11th of the B order) are quoted in Navanitaka whose date has been established as being anterior in time to Drdhabala and hence these three can unhesitatingly be ascribed to Caraka.

 

The chapters 24th, 25th of the A order (12th and 13th of the B order), are ascribed to Caraka by the commenta�tor Jejjata in his commentary Nirantarapadavyakhyaa.

 

The only plausible reason for making the above statements by the commentator seems to be to distinguish these chapters from others, marking them to be the redactions of the venerable Caraka.

 

So these five chapters belong to Caraka. A glance at the B order will show that Someone has taken out these five chapters scattered at random in the A order and has promoted them to the top of these 17 chapters in order to re-align them with the first 8 chap�ters, thus bringing together the work of Caraka in 13 consecutive chapters.

 

This leaves us with bare 7 chapters the authorship of which is doubtful and which remain a subject of research. It seems the order was preserved upto Cakrapani�s time, and later on, someone changed the order, probably to group together the 13 chapters redacted by Caraka and separate them from the 17 chapters redacted by Drdhabala. Caraka must have redacted all the 30 chapters of Cikitsa-sthana and the last 17 chapters must have been lost and thus Drdhabala must have supplied the redaction.