Sharangadhara Samhita (शार्ङ्गधरसंहिता)

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Sharangadhara Samhita (शार्ङ्गधरसंहिता) is a classical Ayurveda Samhita (treatise or compendium) authored by Acharya Sharangadhara. This Samhita primarily focuses on pharmacology and pharmaceutical methods in Ayurveda. It is one of the 3 members of Laghutrayee. One can not understand the pharmaceutical preparations in Ayurveda without going through the work of Acharya Sharangadhara.

परिचयः॥Introduction

Among various classical treatises on Ayurveda, Sharangadhara Samhita is popular as the textbook of Bhaishajyakalpana. Bhaishajyakalpana refers to the specialty arm of Ayurveda dealing with pharmacology and pharmaceutics in Ayurveda. Since many thousand years, Ayurveda scholars are using herbs, minerals and animal products as medicines in various dosage forms. These dosage forms are designed considering the nature of raw material, its intended use, action and property. Ayurveda acharyas have meticulously designed various preparations and formulations of medicinal and dietary substances while keeping in mind status of multiple factors like Doshas, Agni and Prakrti of the individual etc. The logic behind developments of various formulations, details of preparation methods, their appropriate application etc. can be found in Sharangadhara Samhita for the first time in detail. Thus, Sharangadhara Samhita is widely referred treatise of Ayurveda in Ayurveda fraternity.

भाषा॥ Language

This classic has been written in Samskrit language. Being the most popular and widely referred treatise on Bhaishajyakalpana (Ayurvedic Pharmacology and Pharmaceutics), various Ayurveda scholars have translated it in multiple Indian as well as foreign languages for easy understanding of the text.

ग्रन्थकर्ता॥ About the Author

This text has been named after its author. Acharya Sharangadhara was a good physician, author and a poet. He has clearly mentioned his name as well as his family background in this treatise. Sharangadhara has also stated the purpose of his work in the beginning of the treatise. He has mentioned that Sharangadhara Samhita is created with the concept of simplification of Ayurveda treatises and clarification on certain aspects like pharmaceutics. The author, Acharya Sharangadhara has also written a treatise on Neeti Shastra known as ‘Sharangadhara Paddhati’

विषयः॥ Subject

Sharangadhara Samhita lays special emphasis on Kayachikitsa (Internal medicine) branch of Ayurveda by offering details of various formulations, combinations and their preparation methods. This treatise also throws light on some special topics in the field of Bhaishajyakalpana (pharmaceutics) and Shaariram (Anatomy and physiology in Ayurveda)

आधारभूत् ग्रन्थाः॥ Foundation/ source of knowledge

Sharangadhara Samhita was developed on the foundations of knowledge resourced from Brhatrayee. Charaka samhita, Sushruta samhita, Ashtanga sangraha, Ashtanga hrdaya and many other classical texts passed on from generations to generations were referred by Acharya Sharangadhara and a new treatise was developed by him by adding more details of some aspects.

रचना॥ Structure

Sharangadhara Samhita has total of 32 chapters having 2600 verses divided in 3 parts.

  1. 1st part - Poorvakhanda
  2. 2nd part - Madhyakhanda
  3. 3rd part - Uttarakhanda

वैशिष्ट्यम्॥ Unique features

  • In ancient India, two systems of measurements viz. Magadha Maana & Kalinga Maana, were widely used for measuring various types of liquids, solids and areas. These systems were well developed and similar to great extent. However, slight differences made Magadha Mana system of measurement more popular. Weights and measurement of raw materials is the integral part of any procedure that involves preparing any formulation. Thus, Acharya Sharangadhara has described these systems of measurements in detail. All the measures used in formulations described in Ayurveda can be thus understood only after studying these systems of measurements.
  • Ayurveda medicines are designed on the basis of 5 basic formulation methods. All other formulations are derived from these 5 basic methods known as Panchavida Kashaya Kalpanas. Details on these methods are found in Sharangadhara Samhita.
  • For the first time in the classical treatises of Ayurveda, popular Nadipariksha (Pulse examination) is described in this compendium under the 8-fold assessment method of a diseased.
  • First time in Ayurveda classics, methods of Shodhana (Purification) & Marana of metals/minerals (procedure of making their ash for use in orally administered formulations) have been described by Acharya Sharangadhara.

टीकाः॥ Commentaries on Sharangadhara Samhita

The Shastra Rachana Paddhati (presentation, content and chronology) of written material in Sharangadhara Samhita was different from those of other Samhita till that time. Thus, many scholars wrote commentaries on this work. The known commentaries are

  • Dipika by Adhamalla
  • Gudartha Dipika by Kashiram Vaidya
  • Ayurveda Dipika by Rudra Bhat
  • A Commentary by Bopdev