Practical Sanskrit

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Be happy. be healthy. see the good. - सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः, 7 comments:.

Wonderful comment, Mahendra, Munich, Germany

essay on doctor in sanskrit

please write here sources of the mantras. because without sources his low weighting is directed. so please write source of all mantras.

essay on doctor in sanskrit

Thanks for sharing your wisdom. Namaste from Argentina

Can we have this mantra in audio format..?

very use full in present style of teaching where no teacher is available with proper knowledge of Sanskrit, & Sanskrit is the base of all languages which should be taught from the early age & properly to make the base of kids or vidharthi strong for any language.

Sorrows are caused by our own Karma. Karma are 3 types sanchita (arrow which has been shot already and hot a target), prarabdha (arrow on it way, will hit) and agami (arrow still in quiver). Thus for sorrow to dissipate, peace should land on all 3 types of Karma. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti!

Please do add your name and place, after the comment.

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Oxford Handbook of Science and Medicine in the Classical World

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Oxford Handbook of Science and Medicine in the Classical World

A3B Sanskrit Medical Literature

Tsutomu Yamashita, Department of Business Administration, Kyoto Gakuen University, Kyoto, Japan

  • Published: 10 July 2018
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The chapter studies the medicine of ancient India, from the Vedic (Indo-European) period, ca 1500–500 bce , and later. The orthodox Vedic texts record scattered medical lore. Some of the medical ideas within the Vedas are as follows: The causes of diseases are mostly due to external supernatural forces. Therapy primarily involves magical procedures in which the chanting of mantras is essential. Several kinds of breath ( prāṇa ) circulate in the human body to maintain it.

on the Indian subcontinent, the oldest evidence of medicine is found in the Indus Valley civilization dating roughly 2600–1900 bce . However, based on archeological evidence, a direct connection between the medicine of this era and that of the later historical era still remains indistinct in a strict sense.

In the written records of the later historical era in India, evidence of medicine can be broadly broken into two categories. The first category: the medically related lore and activities found in fragments of religious texts and other literary works. The second category: the systematic medicine known as Āyurveda presented in specific medical texts written in Sanskrit.

1. Medicine in the Veda

The earliest textual evidence of medicine in India is found in the Veda (Vedic literature) dating roughly 1500–500 bce , which is included in the above mentioned first category. The Veda is a collective term for the texts of revelation, or śruti , which literally means “hearing” or “what is heard” from the gods. The word veda is a general noun that means “knowledge” in Sanskrit. The main body of the Veda consists of four kinds of corpora ( saṃhitā ) written in Vedic Sanskrit: the Ṛgvedasaṃhitā ; the Yajurvedasaṃhitā s, which contain the Kṛṣṇa Yajurveda and the Śukla Yajurveda ; the Sāmavedasaṃhitā ; and the Atharvavedasaṃhitā .

Of the four kinds of Vedic corpora, medically related lore is randomly recorded mainly in the Atharvavedasaṃhitā , and partly in the Ṛgvedasaṃhitā . Auxiliary Vedic texts from later periods also contain medical accounts in the descriptions of ritual practices and mythological stories ( Zysk 1985 ; Meulenbeld 2003–2004).

The medical knowledge found in the Veda, which are primarily religious texts, inevitably lacks unity, and it is difficult to recognize it as a systematic and rational medicine. Some of the medical ideas within the Veda can be roughly summarized as follows: The causal factors of diseases are mostly attributed to supernatural forces that come from outside the human body. Therapeutics is primarily associated with magical procedures in which chanting mantras plays an essential role. A wide range of anatomical vocabulary, likely gained through observation of ritual animal sacrifice, is found in places of the texts. Several kinds of breath ( prāṇa ) are believed to circulate in the human body in order to maintain it ( Filliozat 1975 ). The physiological and pathological theories of later systematic medicine are clearly not found in the Veda.

2. Āyurveda as a Systematic Medicine

After a long temporal gap from the era of the Veda, treatises and corpora specialized in medicine began to appear in India beginning centuries following the Christian era. These medical texts written in mainly Sanskrit are generically known as Āyurveda [a׃juruve׃də] (the knowledge of life). It must be noted that Āyurveda developed far later than the Veda, and that the texts of Āyurveda , despite the similarity in name Āyur- “ veda, ” are not formally included in the orthodox Veda.

The extant texts of Āyurveda , even those from the early stage, illustrate an almost completed knowledge of systematic medicine that likely developed through medical experiences and speculations garnered over the course of centuries. However, because few textual sources exist showing the gradual development of medicine from its rudimentary stages in the period between the Veda and the Āyurveda texts, it is difficult to trace the historical development of Āyurveda in the texts. It is nevertheless clear that the intricate structures contained within each voluminous corpus of Āyurveda suggest a complicated process of textual development in which not one but several authors revised the texts over a long time. This may reflect the complexity of historical development of Āyurveda as a systematic medicine. (For the medical treatises of an early date found in the Bower manuscript, see Hoernle [1893‒1912] 2011 and Wujastyk 2001 , 198‒209. For the relationship between the Buddhist canons and the Āyurveda texts, see Mitra 1985 and Zysk 1991.)

3. Relationships between Vedic Medicine and Āyurveda

Specialized medical texts written in Sanskrit reveal that Āyurveda had been developing as a systematic medicine within particular theoretical frameworks of which an essential part was diverted from philosophical concepts ( Dasgupta 1975 , 2:273‒436). In this regard, there is a distinct difference between medicine described in the Veda and that in the Āyurveda texts.

However, besides religious faith and the basic worldview, some vestiges of medical notions and terms from the Veda remain in the Āyurveda texts. For instance, physiological speculation regarding circulation of the several kinds of breaths ( prāṇa s) and other specific physiological terms (for example, rasa and ojas ) are commonly found in the Āyurveda texts. Some anatomical vocabulary found in the Vedic literature was also adopted in Āyurveda often with slight changes in meanings. The causal factors of several intractable diseases are attributed to supernatural forces. Religious rituals, especially the chanting of mantras that are limited to particular treatments, are also recommended in some Āyurveda texts ( Filliozat 1975 , 117‒160; Zysk 1985 , 10‒11).

In addition to these vestiges, we can find other remnants of the Veda, which might have been intentionally left, in the Āyurveda texts. For example, the word Āyur- “ veda ” was modeled after the orthodox Veda, and the word saṃhitā (corpus), which appears in the titles of the corpora of Āyurveda , as we see later, were apparently named after the Vedic saṃhitā s. In some medical texts (for example, the Suśrutasaṃhitā, Sūtrasthāna 1.6), Āyurveda itself is defined as an auxiliary division ( upāṅga ) of the Atharvaveda . The origin of Āyurveda is related to the Vedic gods in the mythical story found in some Āyurveda texts.

The likely explanation of these textual situations of Āyurveda at an early stage is that Āyurveda has been developed by contemporary physicians ( bhiṣaj ) as an empirical and systematic new medicine in Hindu society. During the long term of historical development of Āyurveda , specialized medical texts were being prepared within newly invented theoretical frameworks. However, to establish a position as a reliable medical system in Hindu society, it would need to develop under the authority of the Veda. Therefore, physicians would have had to intentionally write the texts of Āyurveda in a similar format to the Veda ( Chattopadhyaya 1979 ).

The corpora of Āyurveda from the early period consists of the Carakasaṃhitā [tʃæraka-sanhita:] (the corpus of Caraka), the Suśrutasaṃhitā [suʃruta-sanhita:] (the corpus of Suśruta), and the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā [aʃta:ŋga-fridaya-sanhita:] (the corpus of the eight branches’ essences). These corpora are known as the three major works ( Bṛhattrayī ) of Āyurveda .

The three minor works ( Laghutrayī ) of Āyurveda , which belong to the later period, consist of the Mādhavanidāna or Rogaviniścaya (the pathological treatise of Mādhavakara) ( Meulenbeld 1974 ), the Śārṅgadharasaṃhitā (the corpus of Śārṅgadhara), and the Bhāvaprakāśa (the treatise of Bhāvamiśra).

4. The Two Schools of Āyurveda and the Textual Formations

A mythical story of the origin of Āyurveda can be found in the beginning part of the Carakasaṃhitā ( Sūtrasthāna 1.3‒40). This story states that knowledge of Āyurveda , which had originally been created by the Lord Brahmā, was handed down by the gods Prajāpati and Aśvin and from them to the god Indra. Sage Bharadvāja, on behalf of humans, visited the god Indra to learn about Āyurveda and brought Āyurveda to the human world. Sage Bharadvāja then introduced Āyurveda to another sage, Punarvas Ātreya. Sage Ātreya in turn taught Āyurveda to his six disciples: Agniveśa, Bheḍa, Jatūkarṇa, Parāśara, Hārīta, and Kṣārapāṇi. It was the six disciples of Punarvas Ātreya who recorded their master’s teachings and compiled each corpus of Āyurveda .

Within the six disciples’ corpora, Agniveśa’s work, the Agniveśatantra is supposed to be the original form of the Carakasaṃhitā . The original Agniveśatantra no longer exists, but, after the original text was altered and compiled by revisers in different periods, it came down to us as the Carakasaṃhitā . Two revisers of the Carakasaṃhitā are known: Caraka and Dṛḍhabala. The Carakasaṃhitā ( Cikitsāsthāna 30.289‒290) reveals that Caraka could not complete his revision of the whole text. Another reviser, Dṛḍhabala, completed the work instead, adding the 17 chapters of the sixth section, and the last two sections. The medical corpus, the Carakasaṃhitā , was thus named for one of its revisers. The school of Āyurveda , as represented by the Carakasaṃhitā , is known as the Ātreya school. In addition to the Carakasaṃhitā , of the six disciples’ corpora of this school, Bheḍa’s corpus, the Bheḍasaṃhitā (or Bhelasaṃhitā ) still exists, though it is incomplete.

Another school of Āyurveda is represented by the Suśrutasaṃhitā . Like the Carakasaṃhitā , the Suśrutasaṃhitā ( Sūtrasthāna 1.3‒21) contains a mythical story on the origin of Āyurveda . In this story, Dhanvantari, king of Kāṣī, who is an avatar of Lord Brahmā, imparts Āyurveda to his seven disciples. One of these disciples, Suśruta records this knowledge as a corpus called the Suśrutasaṃhitā . In the Suśrutasaṃhitā , the position of Ātreya in the Ātreya school is changed to Dhanvantari. The school is thus known as the Dhanvantari school of Āyurveda . This school specializes mainly in surgical treatments ( Śalya ).

The extant text of the Suśrutasaṃhitā also seems to have been created by authors and revisers from different historical periods. Ḍalhaṇa, who is one of the commentators on the Suśrutasaṃhitā , mentions one reviser’s name as Nāgārjuna (the Nibandhasaṃgraha on the Suśrutasaṃhitā, Sūtrasthāna 1.1‒2), but Ḍalhaṇa does not provide other details about this reviser.

5. The Carakasaṃhitā

The eight branches ( aṅga s) of Āyurveda are enumerated in the Carakasaṃhitā ( Sūtrasthāna 30.28), namely, (1) Kāyacikitsā : internal medicine; (2) Śālākya : treatments of diseases in the region from the neck up; (3) Śalyāpahartṛka : surgical treatments; (4) Viṣagaravairodhikapraśamana : treatments for toxins by animal and vegetative poisons; (5) Bhūtavidyā : demonology and mental disorders; (6) Kaumārabhṛtya : obstetrics, gynecology, and pediatrics; (7) Rasāyana : methods of longevity; (8) Vājīkaraṇa : methods concerned with aphrodisiacs. Of the eight branches, the Carakasaṃhitā primarily deals with (1) Kāyacikitsā : internal medicine, which is at the top of the list.

The textual structure of the Carakasaṃhitā does not follow the order of the eight branches. The eight sections ( sthāna s) are not branches but are ordered in this corpus from the perspective of educational effect. That is, if a student of Āyurveda learns it in order from the first to the final section, that student can reasonably gain an understanding of the whole picture of Āyurveda of the Ātreya school.

The eight sections of the Carakasaṃhitā are made up of 120 chapters. The outlines of the eight sections are as follows: The first section, Sūtrasthāna (30 chapters): general information and theories of the Ātreya school; foods, drinks, and drugs. The second section, Nidānasthāna (8 chapters): etiology and pathology of intractable diseases and mental disorders. The third section, Vimānasthāna (8 chapters): theories of diets; life circumstances; pathology; physiology; the study method and logics of Āyurveda . The fourth section, Śārīrasthāna (8 chapters): philosophical, anatomical, and embryological expositions on the human beings; obstetrics. The fifth section, Indriyasthāna (12 chapters): death of the human beings; signs of foretelling death. The sixth section, Cikitsāsthāna (30 chapters): methods of longevity ( Rasāyana ); methods concerned with aphrodisiacs ( Vājīkaraṇa ); pathologies and treatments of each disease. The seventh section, Kalpasthāna (12 chapters): preparations of emetic and purgative drugs; the systems of weights and measures. The eighth section, Siddhisthāna (12 chapters): applications of the various therapeutic measures.

Internal medicine ( Kāyacikitsā ) and its related subjects are dealt with throughout all the sections, and other branches are also partly illustrated. Approximately 1,100 medicinal plants’ names, including their synonyms, are found in the Carakasaṃhitā ( Singh and Chunekar 1999 , ix). These medicinal plants are mainly used as compound drugs.

The authors and revisers of the Carakasaṃhitā did not explicitly mention the dates of the text. According to G. Jan Meulenbeld, judging from the anteroposterior relationships of the related texts and facts found within these texts, Dṛḍhabala, who seems to have compiled the extant text of the Carakasaṃhitā , might belong to the period ca 300 to 500 ce (Meulenbeld 1999‒2002, IA:9‒200).

6. The Suśrutasaṃhitā

The eight branches ( aṅga s) of Āyurveda are also enumerated in the Suśrutasaṃhitā ( Sūtrasthāna 1.7). The contents of the eight branches are almost identical to those of the Carakasaṃhitā ’s, but the order is different. The branch of Śalya (surgical treatments) is at the top in the Suśrutasaṃhitā ’s list and is dealt with primarily in this corpus.

The Suśrutasaṃhitā consists of five main sections ( sthāna s) (120 chapters) and one supplemental section ( Uttaratantra ) (66 chapters). The five main sections cover the major subjects of the Dhanvantari school relating to surgery, and the supplemental section deals with other subjects. The outlines of the main and supplemental sections are as follows: The first section, Sūtrasthāna (46 chapters): general information and theories of the Dhanvantari school; foods, drinks, and drugs. The second section, Nidānasthāna (16 chapters): etiology and pathology of intractable diseases, and bone fractures. The third section, Śārīrasthāna (10 chapters): philosophical, anatomical, and embryological expositions on the human beings; obstetrics. The fourth section, Cikitsāsthāna (40 chapters): pathologies, treatments, and drugs related to diseases and wounds; methods of longevity ( Rasāyana ); methods concerned with aphrodisiacs ( Vājīkaraṇa ). The fifth section, Kalpasthāna (8 chapters): hygiene of foods and drinks; detoxification treatments ( Agadatantra ). The supplemental section, Uttaratantra (66 chapters): treatments of diseases of the region from the neck up ( Śālākya ); pediatrics ( Kaumārabhṛtya ); internal medicine ( Kāyacikitsā ); demonology and mental disorders ( Bhūtavidyā ); theory of tastes; the maintenance of health; the logic for academic work ( tantrayukti ); medical theories.

The third section ( Śārīrasthāna 5.47‒49) contains a noteworthy description of the methods of human dissection, written in a manner suggesting it was intended to educate surgeons (Zysk 1986). This description is quoted in a later medical text, the Aṣṭāṅgasaṃgraha ( Sūtrasthāna 34.38).

Although the date the Suśrutasaṃhitā was completed is unknown, judging from its contents, writing style, and relation to other texts, it is likely it was completed slightly later than the Carakasaṃhitā revised by Dṛḍhabala (Meulenbeld 1999‒2002, IA:203‒389).

7. The Aṣṭāṅgahṛ̣dayasaṃhitā

The Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā consists of six sections ( sthāna s) (120 chapters in total). The outlines of the sections are as follows: The first section, Sūtrasthāna (30 chapters): introductory topics to Āyurveda ; regimens for a healthy life; foods, drinks, and drugs; the basic theories of Āyurveda regarding tastes; physiology; various therapies and surgical treatments. The second section, Śārīrasthāna (6 chapters): embryology, anatomy, and prognosis. The third section, Nidānasthāna (16 chapters): diagnosis, etiology, and pathology of intractable diseases. The fourth section, Cikitsāsthāna (22 chapters): treatments and drugs of diseases. The fifth section, Kalpasthāna (6 chapters): preparation of emetic and purgative drugs; pharmaceutics. The sixth section, Uttarasthāna (40 chapters): pediatrics ( Bāla ); demonology and mental disorders ( Graha or Bhūtavidyā ); treatments of diseases in the region from the neck up ( Ūrdhvabhāga ); surgical treatments ( Śalyā ); detoxification treatments ( Daṃṣṭrā ); methods of longevity ( Ajara ); methods concerned with aphrodisiacs ( Vṛṣan ).

The five main sections of the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā , like the Suśrutasaṃhitā , cover the major subjects; the last section deals with other minor subjects. While direct and indirect quotations from the Carakasaṃhitā and the Suśrutasaṃhitā often appear in the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā , the originalities and new position of this work are also distinguished in places. Although the Carakasaṃhitā and the Suśrutasaṃhitā are written in a combination of prose and verse, the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā is written solely in concise verses. The text seems to have been compiled, with some interpolations, to combine the teachings of the Ātreya and Dhanvantari schools of Āyurveda with the new knowledge of medicine. Thus, the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā is recognized as one of the three great works ( Bṛhattrayī ) of Āyurveda along with the Carakasaṃhitā and the Suśrutasaṃhitā .

Judging from the anteroposterior relationships of the texts, the extant version of the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā attributed to Vāgbhaṭa was likely completed after the Dṛḍhabala’s revision of the Carakasaṃhitā , and also slightly after the Suśrutasaṃhitā (Meulenbeld 1999‒2002, IA 393‒473).

In addition to the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā , a similar medical compendium known as the Aṣṭāṅgasaṃgraha [aʃta:ŋga-sangraha] (the compendium of the eight branches) is also attributed to Vāgbhaṭa. Whether the author of these two texts is the same Vāgbhaṭa or two persons with the same name is a matter of controversy among scholars, as is the textual relationship between the two medical works (Meulenbeld 1999‒2002, IA 477‒685).

8. The Physiological and Pathological Theories of Āyurveda

A notable characteristic of traditional Indian thought is its affinity for enumeration and hierarchical classification of various objects and phenomena in the universe. This tendency is commonly found in religious and secular texts as well, including the medical texts of India.

In the Sanskrit texts of Āyurveda , the physical constitutions and temperaments of human beings; diseases and their causal factors; foods, drinks, and drugs; life environments; and almost all things relating to human life are arranged topically, enumerated item by item, and classified according to hierarchy. The numbers and orders of these items have important implications when applying the results of classifications.

The three doṣa s (morbific entities or morbific agents considered to have analogical functions of wind, fire, and water in the human body) and the six rasa s (tastes and qualities of foods, drinks, and drugs; rasa literally means “essence”) are mainly applied as the primary criteria of these classifications in Āyurveda . The features and mutual reactions of each item and factor therefore become visible and are simplified in the analogical correlations of the doṣa s and the rasa s.

In the therapeutics of Āyurveda , the physician makes a diagnosis and decides the treatment method based on an analysis of the mutual reactions of each factor through classification of the patient’s original constitution, causal factors of disease, remedial measures, and drugs. The principle of treatment behind the Āyurveda is not unlike the Hippocratic formula: contraria contrariis curantur (the opposite is cured with the opposite).

The word doṣa literally means “defect” in Sanskrit, but in Āyurveda, doṣa becomes one of the bodily entities. The doṣa s are classified into three categories ( tridoṣa ): vāta, pitta , and kapha (or śleṣman ) often misleadingly translated as “wind,” “bile,” and “phlegm.” The three doṣa s have their own functions and original places associated with the elemental images of wind, fire, and water in the human body. They might be, more realistically, identified as the gaseous matter, digestive fluid, and viscid fluid respectively in the human body. In the contexts of traditional medicine, doṣa is often translated as “humor” by a careless association of the humoral theory of Greek medicine. However, in Āyurveda , at least, one of the doṣa s, vāta denotes a gaseous matter in the body, not a bodily fluid like a humor in Greek medicine.

When doṣa s maintain equilibrium in their quantities and qualities, the human body is considered healthy in the physiology of Āyurveda . Any disruption of balance in the doṣa s leads to disorders or diseases of the body and mind. The types and conditions associated with these disorders or diseases are mainly determined by which doṣa or doṣa s are involved, and how the doṣa or doṣa s are involved. In this regard, the three doṣa s act not only as fictional criteria of classification but also as actual entities or morbific agents in the body (Meulenbeld 2009; 2011).

Other bodily elements, besides the doṣa s, also play important parts in the physiology of Āyurveda . There are the seven bodily elements ( dhātu ) and waste products ( mala or kiṭṭa ). The seven bodily elements are nutrient fluid or essence of food and drink ( rasa ), blood ( rakta ), muscular tissue ( māṃsa ), fatty tissue ( medas ), bone ( asthi ), bone marrow ( majjā ), and generative element or semen ( śukra ). These seven bodily elements have their own functions and are linked together in this order. At first, digested foods and drinks are transformed into nutrient fluid ( rasa ) in the body. Then, a part of the nutrient fluid changes into the next element, blood ( rakta ). Thus, through linkage, a part of each dhātu continuously transforms into the next element. The serial order of the seven elements is significant in this process. When this transformative process runs in its normal order and state, the human body is in good condition. Waste products ( mala or kiṭṭa ) are produced during this process. When the seven bodily elements and the waste products maintain their normal quantities and qualities, they are assumed to contribute to keeping the human body in good condition.

In the physiology of Āyurveda , the concept of several channels (mainly, srotas, dhamanī, sirā , and nāḍī ) in the human body is also significant when it concerns the transfer and circulation of entities and breaths ( prāṇa s) in the human body. These channels are not directly envisaged as anatomical structures, but their existence running in every direction throughout the human body is envisaged. These channels are supposed to provide passages to the doṣa s, dhātu s, mala s, and prāṇa s. Thus, their interactions proceed dynamically through the network of channels in the human body. Furthermore, agni (fire) of the human body is considered to play a central role in the process of digestion and other bodily functions ( Jolly 1901 ; Kutumbiah 1969 ).

In this manner, the predominant theory of the physiology of Āyurveda can be construed as a kind of dynamic theory of fluids, gaseous matters, and fire in the human body depending on their mutual interactions.

9. Sanskrit Texts and Translations

Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā: Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayam composed by Vāgbhaṭa . . . collated by Aṇṇā Moreśwara Kuṇṭe and Kṛṣṇa Rāmchandra Śāstrī Navare. Bhiṣagāchārya Hariśāstrī Parāḍakara Vaidya ed. 1939. 7th ed. Varanasi and Delhi: Chaukhambha Orientalia, 1982. English Translation: Vāgbhaṭa’s Aṣṭāñga Hṛdayam . Trans. K. R. Srikantha Murthy. 3 vols. Varanasi: Krishnadas Academy, 1991‒1995.

Aṣṭāṅgasaṃgraha: Śrīmad Vṛddhavāgbhaṭaviracitaḥ, Aṣṭāṅgasaṅgrahaḥ Induvyākhyāsahitaḥ . Anaṃta Dāmodara Āṭhavale ed. Puṇe: Maheśa Anaṃta Āṭhavale, 1980. English Translation: Aṣṭāñga Samgraha of Vāgbhaṭa . Trans. K. R. Srikantha Murthy. 3 vols. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Orientalia, 1995‒1997.

Bhelasaṃhitā: Bhela Saṁhitā . V. S. Venkatasubramania Sastri and C. Rajeswara Sarma eds. New Delhi: Central Council for Research in Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy, 1977. English Translation: Bhela-Saṃhitā . . . Trans. K. H. Krishnamurthy. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Visvabharati, 2000.

Carakasaṃhitā: The Charakasaṃhitā of Agniveśa revised by Charaka and Dṛiḍhabala . . . Vaidya Jādavaji Trikamji Āchārya ed. 1941. 4th ed. New Dehli: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1981. English Translation: Caraka-Saṃhitā, Agniveśa’s treatise refined and annotated by Caraka and redacted by Dṛḍhabala. Trans. Priyavrat Sharma. 4 vols. Varanasi and Delhi: Chaukhambha Orientalia, 1981‒1994.

Suśrutasaṃhitā: Suśrutasaṃhitā of Suśruta . . . Vaidya Jādavji Trikamji Āchārya and Nārāyaṇ Rām Āchārya, eds. 1938. 5th ed. Varanasi, Delhi: Chaukhambha Orientalia, 1992. English Translation: Suśruta-Saṃhitā . . . Trans. Priya Vrat Sharma. 3 vols. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Visvabharati, 1999‒2001.

Chattopadhyaya, Debiprasad.   Science and Society in Ancient India . Calcutta: Research India Publication, 1979 .

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Hoernle, A. F. Rudolf , ed. The Bower Manuscript, Facsimile Leaves, Nagari Transcript, Romanised Transliteration and English Translation with Notes . 1893‒1912. Reprint, New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan, 2011 .

Jolly, Julius.   Medicin. Grundriss der Indo-Arischen Philologie und Altertumskunde. III.10. Strassburg: Verlag von Karl J. Trübner, 1901 .

Kutumbiah, P.   Ancient Indian Medicine. Rev. ed. Bombay: Orient Longmans, 1969 .

Meulenbeld, G. Jan.   The Mādhavanidāna and Its Chief Commentary Chapters 1‒10 . Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1974 .

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———. “ Āyurveda and Atharvaveda : Their Interrelationship in the Commentaries on the Kauśikasūtra .” Studia Asiatica, International Journal for Asian Studies 4 ‒ 5 (2003‒ 2004 ): 289‒312.

———. “Some Neglected Aspects of Ayurveda or the Illusion of a Consistent Theory.” In Mathematics and Medicine in Sanskrit , ed. Dominik Wujastyk , 105–117. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2009 .

———. “The Relationships between Doṣa s and Dūṣya s: A Study on the Meaning(s) of the Root murch-/mūrch*.” Electronic Journal of Indian Medicine 4 ( 2011 ): 35–135.

Mitra, Jyotir.   1985 . A Critical Appraisal of Āyurvedic Material in Buddhist Literature, with Special Reference to Tripiṭaka . Varanasi: Jyotiralok Prakashan, 1985.

Singh, Thakur Balwant , and K. C. Chunekar . Glossary of Vegetable Drugs in Brhattrayī. 2nd ed. Varanasi: Chaukhamba Amarabharati Prakashan, 1999 .

Wujastyk, Dominik.   The Roots of Āyurveda, Selections from Sanskrit Medical Writings. Rev. ed. New Delhi: Penguin, 2001 .

Zysk, Kenneth G.   Religious Healing in the Veda, with Translations and Annotations of Medical Hymns from the Ṛgveda and the Atharvaveda and Renderings from the Corresponding Ritual Texts . Transactions of the American Philosophical Society Held at Philadelphia for Promoting Useful Knowledge. Vol. 75, Part 7. Philadelphia: the American Philosophical Society, 1985 .

———. “ The Evolution of Anatomical Knowledge in Ancient India, with Special Reference to Cross-cultural Influences. ” Journal of the American Oriental Society 106.4 ( 1986 ): 687‒705.

———. Asceticism and Healing in Ancient India, Medicine in the Buddhist Monastery. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991 .

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Short Sanskrit Essays संस्कृतभाषायां लघुनिबन्धाः

Learn short Sanskrit essays with translation in Hindi and English. हिंदी और अंग्रेजी में अनुवाद के साथ कई अलग-अलग संस्कृत लघु निबंधों के बारे में जानें। Essays in Sanskrit are called as “संस्कृतभाषायां लघुनिबन्धाः”. 

An short essay is a piece of content which is written from the perspective of the writer. Essays can be of different types, long or short, formal or informal, biography or autobiography etc. 

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essay on doctor in sanskrit

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Essay on Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam in Sanskrit, English, and Hindi with transliteration. | डाॅ. ए. पी. जे. अब्दुल कलाम पर संस्कृत निबंध | डाॅ. ए. पी. जे. अब्दुलकलाममहोदयः इति विषये संस्कृते निबन्धः।

Sanskrit Essay on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Sanskrit Essay on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel - 10 Lines | सरदार वल्लभभाई पटेल पर संस्कृत में निबंध - १० पंक्तियाँ | सरदारवल्लभभाईपटेलमहोदयः इति विषये संस्कृतभाषायां निबन्धः।

Sanskrit Essay on Children's Day

Children’s Day

Sanskrit Essay on Children's Day - 10 Lines | बाल दिवस पर संस्कृत में निबंध - १० पंक्तियाँ | बालदिवसः इति विषये संस्कृतभाषायां निबन्धः।

Sanskrit Essay on My Best Friend

My Best Friend

Sanskrit Essay on My Best Friend - 10 Lines | मेरा प्रिय मित्र पर संस्कृत में निबंध - १० पंक्तियाँ | मम प्रियं मित्रम् इति विषये संस्कृतभाषायां निबन्धः।

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Apart from the short Sanskrit essays listed in this section, you can also read Sanskrit Axioms, Sanskrit Proverbs, Sanskrit Vocabulary etc. from the links below:

essay on doctor in sanskrit


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डॉक्टर पर निबंध | Essay on Doctor in Hindi

डॉक्टर पर निबंध : एक डॉक्टर वह व्यक्ति होता है जो बीमार लोगों का इलाज करता है। विश्व में ऐसे बहुत कम लोग हैं जो दूसरों की पीड़ा से मुक्त करते हैं। वह डॉक्टर ही होता है जो बीमार लोगों की देखभाल और उन्हें रोगों से मुक्त करता है। इसीलिए डॉक्टर को हमारे समाज में बहुत सम्मानजनक नजरों से देखा जाता है।

डॉक्टर पर निबंध। Essay on Doctor in Hindi

डॉक्टर पर निबंध | Essay on Doctor in Hindi

very nice essays


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The Importance of Sanskrit in Indian Education

This is Part I of two-part series on Sanskrit in Indian Education. To read part II, please click here .


If you are an Indian reading this essay in English, then it is likely that you are (a) not representative of the average Indian, and (b) alienated from your Indic mother-tongue. The 2011 Census shows that only 10.67% of Indians speak English as either their first, second, or third language. As English-speaking Oxford students and academics discussing Indic languages, we must remember that we do not represent the average Indian. This is because a majority of Indians attend non English medium schools i.e. schools in which non-language subjects such as physics, mathematics, and geography are taught in the student’s mother-tongue (“Household Social Consumption on Education in India”, p. 100). A good test of whether you are alienated from your Indic mother-tongue is to try to formulate your knowledge of Newton’s laws of motion, quadratic equations, and the physical characteristic of plateaus in your mother-tongue (without cheating by whole-scale borrowing of English words!). While the average Indian student educated in his mother-tongue can do this quite easily, English-educated Indians alienated from their mother-tongues (such as you and I) cannot.

Confronted with the growing status of English as an international lingua franca, however, more and more Indian parents are sending their children to English-medium schools. Furthermore, despite their statistical prominence, all Indian languages seem to be in a state of decline. This is shown by their dearth of innovative and impactful scholarly writing as well as by the influx of numerous English words in daily conversation.

Why study Sanskrit?

Having briefly described our current linguistic reality, especially the existential crisis facing all Indian languages, I will now discuss the reasons for learning Sanskrit.

Sanskrit was the lingua-franca of sciences such as mathematics, astronomy, and medicine in pre-modern India. To quote Field’s Medallist David Mumford’s review of Kim Plofker’s excellent book Mathematics in India:

“Did you know that Vedic priests were using the so-called Pythagorean theorem to construct their fire altars in 800 BCE?; that the differential equation for the sine function, in finite difference form, was described by Indian mathematician-astronomers in the fifth century CE?; and that “Gregory’s” series π/4 = 1−1/3 +1/5 − … was proven using the power series for arctangent and, with ingenious summation methods, used to accurately compute π _in southwest India in the fourteenth century?” (Mumford 385)

It is an indictment of our education system that most of these remarkable achievements are never mentioned in our textbooks, both in English and in Indian languages. If we want to gain an accurate understanding of the scientific and technological achievements of Indian civilisation, a knowledge of Sanskrit is essential since virtually all pre-modern Indian scientists such as Caraka, Suśruta, Āryabhaṭa, Varāhamihira, Bhāskara II, and Mādhava composed their scientific treatises in Sanskrit. Unfortunately, instead of celebrating these real scientists and their real scientific achievements, certain sections of Indian society continuously concoct fake achievements such as aeroplanes in the Rāmāyana and nuclear fusion in the Vedas. It is obvious that such nonsense is motivated by a deep insecurity about the past. However, as a response to these false claims, many English-educated Indians refuse to believe that there was anything resembling science in ancient India. Like Englishmen, many Indians have been ‘educated’ to view ancient India as a dark period of primitive superstition. If we reflect on this polarisation of opinion, we realise that a lack of knowledge of Sanskrit is the common denominator uniting people on both sides. A sound knowledge of Sanskrit would provide a student with the tools necessary to critically examine claims about Indian intellectual history and arrive at his/her own conclusions. This conclusion would inevitably follow the Buddhist middle-path (Pāli majjhimā paṭipadā): ancient Indians made numerous scientific advancements but were neither omniscient nor utterly ignorant. Teaching Sanskrit is the best way to expose students to the richness of the scientific, philosophical, and practical knowledge-systems of Indian civilisation.

b) Literature

Many of the foundational stories of Indian civilisation which still delight us today have their roots in Sanskrit literature: the story of Rāma and Sīta in the Rāmāyana , the fratricidal tragedy of the Mahābhārata , or Kṛṣṇa’s childhood and his love-affairs with  gopīs in the Bhāgavatapurāṇa . If religion and science isn’t your cup of tea, despair not! Most of Sanskrit literature is actually descriptions of beautiful sunrises, terrifying wars, and sweet love-making. Consider, for example, the lament of a yakṣa separated from his beloved:

tvām ālikhya praṇayakupitāṃ dhāturāgaiḥ śilāyām ātmānaṃ te caraṇapatitaṃ yāvad icchāmi kartum | asrais tāvan muhur upacitair dṛṣṭir ālipyate me krūras tasminn api na sahate saṃgamaṃ nau kṛtāntaḥ || (Kālidāsa’s Meghadūta verse 2.45)   I paint you, angry with affection, on this stone using minerals as colours. As soon as I seek to add myself, fallen at your feet, to the picture, My eyes become smudged with incessant tears. O, how cruel is fate, Since it does not allow the two of us to unite Even in a painting!

Sanskrit literature is filled with millions of such verses: verses which capture the deepest and most secret feelings of the human heart. Besides these tender verses, Sanskrit literature possesses rare examples of literary genius. For example, the 12th century poet Kavirāja’s Rāghavapāṇḍavīya simultaneously narrates the stories of the  Rāmāyana and Mahābhārata using Sanskrit’s seemingly infinite possibility for punning! If students wish to make this rich world of feeling, beauty, and literary genius a part of their life, then they must learn Sanskrit.

c) Language

Sanskrit is a grammatically perfect language with ten verbal-classes, eight cases, three numbers, and three genders (Jones 28). Sanskrit is one of the most well-structured and concise languages in the world. Consider the following English sentence: "I went to the shop to buy sugar".

The prolixity of this eight-word English sentence is evident in the use of filler words such as ‘to’ and ‘the’. Expressing the same thought in a modern Indian language such as Hindi, one would say: " मैं चीनी खरीदने के िलए दुकान गया ।"

Though this Hindi sentence is one word shorter than its English counterpart, it is equally prolix. Suppose one were to express the same thought in Sanskrit: śarkarāyāḥ krayāya vipaṇim agaccham.

We need only four words! In addition to its intrinsic grammatical beauty, a knowledge of Sanskrit will help a student learn other Indian languages more easily since most Indian languages, including Tamil, borrow a large number of loanwords from Sanskrit. I am reminded of my north-Indian friend’s hilarious attempt to order hot water at a restaurant in Karnataka. When he asked for ‘ garam pānī ’ in Hindi, everyone was baffled. However, as soon as he asked for the Sanskritic ‘ uṣṇa jala ’, he got what he wanted! Besides aiding in the comprehension of Indian languages, Sanskrit constitutes ideal preparation for those interested in learning Greek and Latin. This is because these Western classical languages share not only grammatical structure but also numerous cognate words with Sanskrit. Thus, Sanskrit is not only grammatically beautiful but also an ideal gateway to learning other Indian and Indo-European languages.

Sanskrit Pedagogy

Having (hopefully) persuaded you of the beauty and relevance of Sanskrit, I must now turn to three intractable practical questions: (i) How should Sanskrit be incorporated into our school curriculum? (ii) How should Sanskrit teaching deal with the controversies surrounding Sanskrit? (iii) How can teachers make Sanskrit learning easier and more enjoyable?

As far as the first question is concerned, National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 hits the nail on the head:

“Sanskrit will thus be offered at all levels of school and higher education as an important, enriching option for students, including as an option in the three-language formula.” (NEP 2020: 14)

It is significant that NEP 2020 does not argue that Sanskrit should be made compulsory. Any attempt to impose Sanskrit on students is doomed to fail since many students prefer learning another Indian language instead of Sanskrit. However, as NEP 2020 states, Sanskrit should be made available as an option that can be chosen as one’s second or third language. In this respect, NEP 2020 significantly improves on NEP 1986 which, unfortunately, said virtually nothing about the role of Sanskrit in Indian education (NEP 1986. Furthermore, NEP 2020’s explicit mention of the importance of other classical languages such as Tamil and Kannada shows its commitment to preserving and re-invigorating the classical in these dreary post-modern times (NEP 2020 14-15). However, good intentions do not change the world unless accompanied by concrete action. Sanskrit is currently not offered as a language option in most private and government schools, including in the school of this essay’s author. Indeed, most of my Sanskrit-speaking friends actually learnt Sanskrit from traditional paṇḍitas outside the formal academic system. Though Sanskrit should not be made compulsory as a language, all students should be exposed to Sanskrit literature and knowledge-systems in translation. This will expand the student’s horizon beyond the confines of modern languages.

Given the divisiveness of our times, the teaching of Sanskrit will undoubtedly involve numerous controversies. The two most obvious points of contention are the content of the syllabus and the socio-political history of Sanskrit. One can mitigate the first difficulty by insisting on a curriculum grounded in the reading of original Sanskrit texts rather than secondary scholarship. Instead of presenting students with a particular narrative of Indian history, students should be allowed to develop their own understanding of the past through a careful reading of Sanskrit texts. With regard to the alleged discriminatory and elitist nature of Sanskrit, NEP 2020 constitutes a wonderful anti-dote. If successfully implemented, NEP 2020 will open up the study of Sanskrit to interested students from all religions, castes, races, and cultures. It is imperative that students from diverse social backgrounds are made to feel welcome in the modern Sanskrit classroom.

As far as Sanskrit pedagogy is concerned, the need of the hour is qualified teachers who can make language learning enjoyable. Too often, learning Sanskrit involves drowning in a sea of meaningless paradigms to be memorised. This approach ends up detracting students who would have otherwise enjoyed reading Sanskrit texts. Like other Indian languages, Sanskrit should be taught using a combination of everyday conversation and textual study. Crucially, teachers should treat Sanskrit as a language of daily life rather than as a dead language of ancient manuscripts. Such an approach will make students internalise and cherish Sanskrit instead of merely treating it as a scoring subject to achieve better grades. And, hopefully, this study of Sanskrit will create modern Indians who feel proud of their heritage and strive to live up to its demanding ethical ideals:

manasi vacasi kāye puṇyapīyūṣapūrṇās tribhuvanam upakāraśreṇibhiḥ prīṇayantaḥ| paraguṇaparamāṇūn parvatīkṛtya nityaṃ nijahṛdi vikasantaḥ santi santaḥ kiyantaḥ|| (Bhartṛharı̍'s Śatakatraya verse 1.79)   Filled with pure nectar in mind, speech, and body, Pleasing creatures in all three worlds by continuously helping them, Transforming another’s atom-like good quality into a mountain, Always blossoming in their own hearts, How many such good people are there?


“Bhartṛharı̍'s Śatakatraya.” Göttingen Register of Electronic Texts in Indian Languages (GRETIL), .

“Household Social Consumption on Education in India.” National Statistical Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, July 2017-June 2018. http:// Report_585_75th_round_Education_final_1507_0.pdf.

Jones, Sir William. Discourses delivered before the Asiatic Society: and miscellaneous papers, on the religion, poetry, literature, etc., of the nations of India. Printed for C. S. Arnold: 1824. “Kālidāsa’s Meghadūta.” Göttingen Register of Electronic Texts in Indian Languages (GRETIL), .

Plofker, Kim. Mathematics in India. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009. Page of 4 5 Mumford, David. “Mathematics in India: Reviewed by David Mumford,” Notices of the American Mathematical Society vol. 57, no. 3 (2010): 385-390.

“National Education Policy 1986.” Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. .

“National Education Policy 2020.” Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. .

“2011 Census.” Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, 2011. .

Suggested Citation:  Shree Nahata. 2021. 'The Importance of Sanskrit in Indian Education', Think Pieces Series No. 16. Education.SouthAsia ( ). no longer supports Internet Explorer.

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Samskrta-Sadhuta ‘Goodness of Sanskrit:’ Essays in Honour of Professor Ashok Aklujkar.

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Language of the Snakes is a biography of Prakrit, one of premodern India’s most important and most neglected literary languages. Prakrit was the language of a literary tradition that flourished roughly from the 1st to the 12th century. During this period, it served as a counterpart to Sanskrit, the preeminent language of literature and learning in India. Together, Sanskrit and Prakrit were the foundation for an enduring “language order” that governed the way that people thought of and used language. Language of the Snakes traces the history of this language order through the historical articulations of Prakrit, which are set out here for the first time: its invention and cultivation among the royal courts of central India around the 1st century, its representation in classical Sanskrit and Prakrit texts, the ways it is made into an object of systematic knowledge, and ultimately its displacement from the language practices of literature. Prakrit is shown to have played a critical role in the establishment of the cultural-political formation now called the “Sanskrit cosmopolis,” as shown through a genealogy of its two key practices, courtly literature (kāvya-) and royal eulogy (praśasti-). It played a similarly critical role in the emergence of vernacular textuality, as it provided a model for language practices that diverged from Sanskrit but nevertheless possessed an identity and regularity of their own. Language of the Snakes thus offers a cultural history of Prakrit in contrast to the natural-history framework of previous studies of the language. It uses Prakrit to formulate a theory of literary language as embedded in an ordered set of cultural practices rather than by contrast to spoken language.

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This book is the catalogue of Indian manuscripts which had been collected by the Italian Indologist Luigi Pio Tessitori during his stay in Rajasthan between 1914 and 1919. It includes a majority of Jain manuscripts but also manuscripts relating to Hindu texts and Rajasthani narrative tradition.

Bibliographical Reference: How to sleep ? What to dream ? Sleep and dream dos and do’nts in the Jain tradition : The Indian Night. Sleep and Dreams in Indian Culture. Ed. by Claudine BAUTZE-PICRON. Delhi : Rupa, 2009 : 103-158.

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Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “If I Were a Doctor” Complete English Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

If I Were a Doctor

A doctor is perhaps the most useful member of the society. He is an angel for his patients as he draws them out of the jaws of death. He works with a missionary zeal and sacrifices his comforts to the service of mankind. Even at odd hours he is prepared to attend to the patients. His mission is to restore his patients’ health. He reinvokes in his patients a desire to live and live healthy and purposefully. Such doctors are few and far between.

If I become a doctor, I will never ignore or forget the oath I undertook to serve ailing human beings to the best of my ability selflessly and without any ulterior purpose. To be so will minimize my wants. This will prevent me from making my profession a money-minting machine. My fees will be moderate and the poor will be treated free of charge. When I have no lure for money I will be able to imbibe the qualities of sympathy, kindness and love and make them an integral part of my personality. For home visits I will not charge more.

I will try to make every season healthy. My stress will be on prevention. I will teach people hygiene and sanitation and use of certain medicines as first aid. I will remain true to my profession and will not recommend medicines that guarantee a good commission for me. I will respect the tests done by the established laboratories and will not ask my patients to undergo tests again and that too from the particular labs.

I will keep my desire to learn and amass new knowledge alive and will remain a student all my life. I will have update knowledge.

I will not issue false medical certificate to people. Moreover, I will not keep the relatives of the sick in darkness and tell them the real condition of the sick.

I pray to God to give me strength enough to follow the ideals set by myself.

About evirtualguru_ajaygour

essay on doctor in sanskrit


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It was a good essay but there’s a problem there. Why you have taken ‘he’ as a pronoun for doctors? I mean there are so much successful female doctors present out there. Maybe you’ve done it by mistake. Hope it’s the only matter.

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The essay is fantastic 😍. But I wouldn’t say I like it because you only used male pronouns to complete the essay. You should use both like he/she is an angel to their patients.

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This is to good at all and I wouldn’t ask you that the female also have power to become a doctor Thank you

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The essay is best.

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Essay on sanskrit language (1022 words).

essay on doctor in sanskrit


Essay on Sanskrit Language!

Sanskrit has been instrumental in lending continuity to Indian civilisation. In its heyday it was spoken and used in all regions of India including the Dravidian south. While Tamil has maintained a more or less independent literary tradition, all other languages in India have taken freely from Sanskrit vocabulary and their literature is permeated with the Sanskrit heritage.

Sanskrit is perhaps the oldest language in the world to be recorded. Classical Sansktrit, which developed from the Vedic times, held sway from about 500 BC to about AD 1000. In independent India it is listed among the languages of the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution though it is not the official language of any state.

The hymns of the Rig-Veda bear the seeds of Sanskrit literature. Orally handed down for long, these hymns not only served the purpose of religion but also were a common literary standard for the Aryan groups in India. After 1000 BC, there developed an extensive prose literature devoted to ritual matters—the Brahttmnas; but in these too there are examples of story-telling, terse and abrupt in style.

The next milestone in the history of Sanskrit is the Grammar of Panini— the Ashtadhyayi. The form of the Sanskrit language as described by him became accepted universally and was fixed for all time. Probably, around the time Panini was codifying the Sanskrit language, the practice of writing had begun.

In the field of secular literature Sanskrit epic poetry (mahakavya) was the next most important development. The story of the Mahabharata was handed down orally for at least a thousand years after the battle it celebrates before becoming relatively fixed in writing. Dvaipayana or Vyasa is seen as the first to have sung of this fearsome struggle of his own time.

Vaisampayana later elaborated the epic; Lomaharsana and Ugrasravas are supposed to have recited the complete Mahabharata which scholars call itihasa. The story of the battle of eighteen days between the Kauravas and the Pandavas on the battlefield of Kurukshetra and the victory of the righteous was probably composed in the epic form not earlier than about 100 BC.

The Ramayana, traditionally ascribed to Valmiki whom Bhavabhuti and others call the ‘first kavi’, is considered to have been composed around the first century BC. On the face of it, it is the story of the adventures of Rama, but involved in this story are unforgettable conflicts of human passions.

Asvaghosa’s epics (first century AD) are the earliest epics now available to show the full-fledged kavya technique. His Buddhacharita and Saundarananda present the Buddhist philosophy of the shallowness of the world through the delights of poetry—the ornament of language and meaning. Later, in the fifth century AD, came Kalidasa with his Kumarasambhava which gives the story of the origin of Kartikeya, son of Shiva, and Raghuvamsa, a portrait gallery of the kings of Rama’s line, illustrating the four ends, virtue, wealth, pleasure and release, pursued by different rulers.

To the sixth century belongs Bharavi whose epic Kiratarjuniya presents a short episode from the Mahabharata as a complete whole. Rich description and brilliant characterisation are matched by a heroic narrative style.

Sanskrit literature shows a wide variety of forms and types. The katha tradition is exemplified in the Panchatantra, apparently written in the fourth century AD by Vishnusharman whose country was the Vakataka Empire (in the Deccan).

Bana’s Kadambari (7th century AD) is a novel about the timidities and missed opportunities of youth leading to tragedy. In the eleventh century we have Goddhala’s Udayasundari, a romantic novel. The critic King Bhoja’s Sringaramanjari is an entertaining ‘illustrating novel’ on the various types of love.

Somadeva’s Kathasaritsagara is a huge collection of stories skilfully narrated. Kshemendra’s illustrating novels are bitter satires on corrupt bureaucracies and deceit and vice. Some of his works are Kalavilasa, Darpadalana and Desopadesa.

The use of Sanskrit prose for scientific, technical and philosophical purposes is first exemplified by Patanjali’s Mahabhashya, a commentary on Katyayana’s Vartikas on Painin’s grammar. After this time, and during the early centuries of the Christian era, much technical and scientific literature came into being, Aryabhata and Bhaskara wrote on mathematics and astronomy, Charaka and Susruta on medicine, and Kautilya on politics and administration.

Literary criticism is another field in which Sanskrit literature is rich. The oldest work of Indian literary criticism is Bharata’s Natya Shastra. Bhamaha (5th century AD) is the earliest individual critic whose work is available; he sets out the genres as drama, epic, lyric, prose biography and (usually prose) novel besides discussing literary expression and what makes it beautiful. Dandin (7th century AD) adds to the genre campu or narration in mixed prose and verse, which became quite popular later.

Vemana, Rudrata, Anandavardhana, Kuntaka, Udbhata, Lollata and Dhananjaya are just some well- known critics who have analysed and enriched the world of literary concepts. Bhoja (11th century) is one of the greats among Indian critics, giving us the largest number of references and quotations and showing a fine taste in selection and comment.

The pre-eminence of Sanskrit was first seriously threatened by the Muslim invasions around AD 1200. However, the tradition of Sanskrit literature continued strongly and the number of Sanskrit works composed and preserved during this period is considerable. Rajasthan, Odisha as well as the south continued the Sanskrit literary tradition.

Some writers of note are Amarachandra, Someswara, Balachandra, Vastupala, Princess Ganga, Ahobala, Dindima and Gopala. The Kerala king Manaveda wrote the play Krishnagiti which is the prototype of Kathakali but with songs in Sanskrit. There were also satirical monologues and comedies, some of the famous writers being Nilakantha and Venkatadhvarin.

The period of British rule exercised an unfavourable influence on Sanskrit. In spite of the appearance of English and the increasing use of modern Indian languages, however, literary composition in Sanskrit has continued on a moderate scale down to the present time.

An important use to which the Sanskrit language is put at present is as a source of vocabulary for the modern languages. Sanskrit is able to provide, on a large scale, new technical terms which the modern languages are unable to find in their own resources.

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