Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Anatomy : Parts of the body


Radhekrishna Dear Readers,

We have described about the Anatomy of the human body in the previous post through a shloka from the Sushruta Samahita (a scripture in Hindu culture).

Let us know the meaning in layman terms, of certain words used in that shloka

1. Kalaah = Parts or divisions
= Tissue which is an aggregation of many parts

2. Dhamani = Reed/ tube
= Blood vessel

3. Srotah = That through which (the mind) pours out
= Sense organs

4. Jalam = Web (of muscles, veins, ligaments and bones)
= Plexus

5. Yoga + = Body fluid flows
Vahini + = Vehicle through which blood flows
srotah = Capillary.

Note: With exception of tendons, the numbers indicated here for the various body components are remarkably close to the modern knowledge.

Let us continue with the topic in the next posting.

Section II: Information about Indian herbs:

In this post the herb on which we will throw some light is known as Hirankhori (in Sanskrit) and Corchorus Fasciularis) in Latin.

1. It is a creeper which grows as weed with the winter crop of wheat and Bengal grams
2. It is a wonderful remedy against bubonic plague
3. It is used extensively to deal with sciatica

Till the next post,

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Monday, April 06, 2009

Anatomy : Parts of the body



Radhekrishna to all!

In the previous post we have seen the classification of diseases into three categories. In this post we bring you a shloka from the Sushruta Samahita that describes the Anatomy i.e. the various parts of the human body.

It goes as below:

Tvancah sapta kalaah sapta aasayaah sapta
dhaaavah sapta sapta siraasatani panca
pesisataani nava snayusataani trinyasthisataani
dve dasottare sandhisate saptottaram
marmasatarm chatur-vimshatirdhamanyah trayo
doshaah trayo malaah nava srotaamsi shodhasha
kandaraah shodasha jalani sat khurcaah catasro
rajjavah sapta sevanyah charudasha sanghaataah
chaturdasha simantaah dvaavimsatiryogavahaani
srotaamsi dvikaanyantraani ceti samaasah


The human body is a collection of 7 layers of skin, 7 tissues, 7 receptacles, 7 elements, 700 tubular vessels, 500 muscles, 900 sinews, 300 bones, 210 joints, 107 vital parts, 24 (blood) vessels, 3 humors, 3 impurities, 9 sense organs, 16 tendons*, 16 plexuses#, 6 bunches (of muscles), 4 (muscular) chords, 7 fibrous sutures, 14 bony complexes, 14 terminal formations, 22 capillaries and 2 intestines.

* Tendons: a band of fibrous tissues attaching a muscle to a bone or other structure
# Plexuses: a network.

Source: Sushruta Samahitaa, Sharira-Sthaanam, Adhyaayah 5, Paragraph 6 (6th Century BCE)

Section II: Information about Indian herbs:

In this post let us know about the herb called as Arhar in Hindi, (Pigeon pea) in English and Cajanus Indicus in Latin.

1. It is a lentil eaten in most parts of India

2. It has many medicinal properties

3. It relieves inflammation of internal organs

4. Leaves of the plant act as a specific medicine for all inflammatory conditions

5. Alopecia (bald patches) is relieved if a fine paste of the lentil is applied regularly

6. Orchitis (inflammation of the testicles) is also relieved by this paste

That concludes the post for the forthnight,


Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Friday, April 03, 2009

Types of Diseases


Radhekrishna to all our readers!

Wishing all our readers a very happy and colourful holi! The festival is a remembrance of the bhakti of the Prahlad, a great devotee of Lord Hari and his strong faith in the Lord. In a nutshell history has that Prahlad’s father the demon Hiranyakashyap wanted to kill his own son Prahlad. His sister Holika hatches a plan that she will take Prahlad in her arms and sit in a fire. As she was granted a boon that fire cannot affect her in any way, she feels that Prahlad will get burnt to ashes in the fire. However it so happens that Prahlad remains unaffected by the fire and Holika gets burnt to ashes. It also proves that when Lord Krishna himself decides to destroy a person, then the benedictions given by anyone else cannot save that person; and when He decides to save a person, then no power can destroy that person. Such is the supremacy of Lord Krishna. The festival also marks the conclusion of the winter season and the beginning of the summer. This is the part of the year when maximum number of flowers bloom. Hence people enjoy the festival by spraying colour on one another. The colour earlier used to be the extract of various flowers which when comes in contact with the skin gives a soothing effect to it. But nowadays with the usage of chemicals in preparing the colours, indulging in this act has become a very risky adventure.

Coming back to our topic, till now we have concluded through the shlokas from the Sushruta Samahita that diseases are of seven categories and they are divided into three types broadly as below:

i Endogenic: Pre-conception and post-conception hereditary diseases and those caused by vitiation of the humours (which formed the first three categories of diseases)

ii Exogenic: Contagious and seasonal (which formed the fourth and fifth category of diseases)

iii Cosmic: Of unknown origin and those natural to the body (which formed the sixth and seventh category of diseases).

Vyaadhiviseshaastu praagabhihitah sarva evaite
Trividhah sadhyaah yaapyaah pratyaakhyeyaasea

Meaning: Diseases that have been mentioned are of three types: treatable, to be endured and to be rejected. Thus it can be inferred that some diseases are curable, some are to be sustained and some are to be ignored.

We will look into a new topic in our next post

Section II: Information about Indian herbs:

Hope our readers are finding the new section useful and knowledgeable

In this post let us know about the herb called as Mulethi in Hindi (Liquorices in English) and Glycyrryhiza Glabra in Latin.

1. It’s the root of a creeper which is used as medicine
2. It helps in dealing with cough because of its expectorant quality
3. It relieves burning sensation while passing urine
4. Fine powder of Mulethi applied to eyes removes yellowness in the whites of the eye

Till the next forthnight,

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

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