The Wandering Scholar & his work Charaka Samhita
Acharya Charaka was born in 300 B.C. and is known as the father of Indian Medicine.
The word Charaka is used for those ancient physicians/scholars who used to travel and engage in medicinal or scholarly practices.
#1 Charaka Club in New York
The Charaka Club was started in 1898, founded by four doctors- Charles. L. Dana, Joseph Colleirs, Fedrick Petterson and Barnad Sachs.
It was in the eighth meeting of the club that the name Charaka was adopted for the club when in a paper presented by Barnard Sachs- it was mentioned that Charaka was one of the oldest scholar associated with medicine.
#2 The Void in our Hearts
Acharya Charaka wrongly believed that heart had one cavity. However, metaphorically he might have been correct. According to Acharya Charak, the heart is connected to the entire body with 13 channels.
#3 Charaka Samhita
Charaka Samhita is one of the foundational works in the field of Ayurveda.
The text was first documented by Aginvesa- who was amongst the six disciples of Sage Atreya Punarvasu and then later on, revised by Acharya Charaka .
The Charaka Samhita was so famous that it was translated in Latin and Arabic, amongst many other foreign languages.
#4 Branches of Ayurveda according to Charaka Samhita
- Shailya Chikitsa- Surgery
- Shaakalya Chikitsa- Head, eye and throat medicine
- Kaaya Chikitsa- Mental Health
- Kaumarbhrtya Chikitsa- Pediatrics
- Aganda Tantra- Toxicology
- Raasayana Tantra-Pharmacology
- Vaajikarana Tantra- Reproductive Medicine
#5 Brihat Trayis- Three Great Treatises
Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Sangraha are considered to be three great treatises on the subject of Ayurveda. Amongst the three, Charaka Samhita has gained the highest popularity.
#6 Acharya Charaka`s Origins
According to the Buddhist text Samyukta Ratna Pitahaka Sutra,
Acharya Charaka served as a physician to King Kanishka.
Interestingly, according to Bhavaprakasha Nighantu – an ayurvedic text, Acharya Charaka is described as a reincarnation of Shesha– king of snakes and a follower of lord Vishnu.
#7 Disciple of sage Atreya Punarvasu
Acharya Charaka was a disciple of sage Atreya Punarvasu.
Sage Punarvasu was a well-known scholar of Ayurveda and his teachings led to the development of six schools of Ayurveda.
Also, sage Punarvasu was a high profiled physician as well.
He served as a personal physician to king Nagnajit of Gandhara Kingdom.