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Astanga Hridaya Sutra of Vagbhat



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Vāgbhata (वाग्भट) is one of the most influential classical writers of ayurveda. His life duration was 135years. Several works are associated with his name as author, principally the Ashtāṅgasaṅgraha (अष्टाङ्गसंग्रह) and the Ashtāngahridayasaṃhitā (अष्टाङ्गहृदयसंहिता). The best current research, however, argues in detail that these two works cannot be the product of a single author. Indeed, the whole question of the relationship of these two works, and their authorship, is very difficult and still far from solution.[1]:645 Both works make frequent reference to the earlier classical works, the Charaka Samhita and the Sushruta Samhita.[1]:391–593 Vāgbhata is said, in the closing verses of the Ashtānga sangraha, to have lived in Sind (today in Pakistan), and to have been the son of Simhagupta and pupil of Avalokita. He was a vedic, as is shown by his explicit praise for the Shiva by name at the start of the Ashtāngasangraha, and his praise of the Shiva under the title “Unprecedented Teacher” in the opening verse of the Ashtānga hridayasamhitā. His work contains syncretic elements.

A frequently quoted erroneous suggestion is that Vāgbhata was an ethnic Kashmiri,[2] based on a mistaken reading of the following note by the German Indologist Claus Vogel: “..judging by the fact that he expressly defines Andhra and Dravida as the names of two southern peoples or kingdoms and repeatedly mentions Kashmirian terms for particular plants, he is likely to have been a Northerner and a native of Kashmir…”[3]. Vogel is speaking here not of Vāgbhata, but of the commentator Indu.

Vagbhata was a disciple of Charaka. Both of his books were originally written in Sanskrit with 7000 sutra. According to Vagbhata, 85% of diseases can be cured without a doctor; only 15% of diseases require a doctor.

Sushruta, one of the earliest surgeons, Charaka, a medical genius, and Vagbhata are considered to be “The Trinity” of Ayurvedic knowledge, with Vagbhata coming after the other two. According to some scholars, Vagbhata lived in Sindh around the sixth century. Not much is known about him personally, except that he was most likely to have been a vedic, as he makes a reference to Lord Shiva in his writings, and his sons, grandsons, and disciples were all vedic. It is also believed that he was taught Ayurvedic medicine by his father and a veda monk, named Avalokita.

The Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā (Ah, “Heart of Medicine”) is written in poetic language. The Aṣṭāṅgasaṅgraha (As, “Compendium of Medicine”) is a longer and less concise work, containing many parallel passages and extensive passages in prose. The Ah is written in 7120 easily understood Sanskrit verses that present a coherent account of Ayurvedic knowledge. Ashtanga in Sanskrit means ‘eight components’ and refers to the eight sections of Ayurveda: internal medicine, surgery, gynaecology and paediatrics, rejuvenation therapy, aphrodisiac therapy, toxicology, and psychiatry or spiritual healing, and ENT (ear, nose and throat). There are sections on longevity, personal hygiene, the causes of illness, the influence of season and time on the human organism, types and classifications of medicine, the significance of the sense of taste, pregnancy and possible complications during birth, Prakriti, individual constitutions and various aids for establishing a prognosis. There is also detailed information on Five-actions therapies (Skt. pañcakarma) including therapeutically induced vomiting, the use of laxatives, enemas, complications that might occur during such therapies and the necessary medications. The Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā is perhaps Ayurveda’s greatest classic, and copies of the work in manuscript libraries across India and the world outnumber any other medical work. The Ah is the central work of authority for ayurvedic practitioners in Kerala. The Aṣṭāṅgasaṅgraha, by contrast, is poorly represented in the manuscript record, with only a few, fragmentary manuscripts having survived to the twenty-first century. Evidently it was not widely read in pre-modern times. However, the As has come to new prominence since the twentieth century through being made part of the curriculum for ayurvedic college education in India.

Numerous other medical works are attributed to Vāgbhaṭa, but it is almost certain that none of them are by the author of the Ah[citation needed].

  • the Rasaratnasamuccaya, an iatrochemical work, is credited to Vāgbhaṭa, though this must be a much later author with the same name[citation needed].
  • an auto-commentary on the Ah, called Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayavaiḍūryakabhāṣya
  • two more commentaries, called Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayadīpikā and
  • Hṛdayaṭippaṇa
  • the Aṣṭāṅganighaṇṭu
  • the Aṣṭāṅgasāra
  • the Aṣṭāṅgāvatāra
  • a Bhāvaprakāśa
  • the Dvādaśārthanirūpaṇa
  • A Kālajñāna
  • the Padhārthacandrikā
  • the Śāstradarpaṇa
  • a Śataślokī
  • a Vāgbhaṭa
  • the Vāgbhaṭīya
  • the Vāhaṭanighaṇṭu
  • a Vamanakalpa
  • A Vāhaṭa is credited with a Rasamūlikānighaṇṭu
  • A Vāhaḍa with a Sannipātanidānacikitsā

Indian Ayurvedic teachers already knew that it takes 90 minutes for food to get out of duodenum so do not drink water 30 minutes before and 90 minutes after. If you eat one type of food and ready to eat another one,could drink just 15 ml water. After food if you are thirsty, then could drink “chach” or mattha. Do not eat breakfast. Just eat two times a day.

Chapter 1: Ayushkameeya आय

कामीयं Adhyaya
“Desire for long life”
1. Salutations
रागाद रोगान सततान ् ु
षतान्शेषकायसतानशेषान ृ औस ् ु
यो अपू
ववैयाय नमो अतु
Salutation to The Unique and Rare Physician, who has destroyed, without any residue all the
diseases like Raga (lust, anger, greed, arrogance, jealousy, selfishness, ego), which are constantly
associated with the body, which is spread all over the body, giving rise to disease, delusion and
This salutation is done to Lord Dhanwantari.
2. Purpose of life: Essential quality to learn Ayurveda
आयु: कामायमानेन धमाथ सु
खसाधनम । आय ् ु
वधेय: परमादर: ॥
āyu: kāmāyamānena dharmārtha sukhasādhanam | āyurvedopadeśeṣu vidheya: paramādara: ||
To achieve the purpose of life, that is
1. Dharma – following the path of righteousness
2. Artha – earning money in a legal way
3. Kama – fulfilling our desire
4. Moksha – achieving Salvation,
To achieve this purpose of life, one should concentrate on having a long life. To learn the science
of Ayurveda, which explains how to achieve this purpose, ‘obedience’ (Vidheya) is the most
important quality.
3. Origin of Ayurveda
मा मवा आय ृ ु
षो वेदं जापतमिजहेसो अिवनौ तौ सहां सो अपु
अिनवेशादकांते टु पथकृ ् ताण तेनरे
Lord Brahma, remembering Ayurveda, taught it to Prajapathi, he in turn taught it to Ashwini
Kumaras (twins), they taught it to Sahasraksa (Lord Indra), he taught it to Atri’s son (Atreya
Punarvasu) and other sages, they taught it to Agnivesa and others and they (Agnivesha and other
disciples ) composed treatises, each one separately.
Astanga Hridaya Sutrasthan
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4 – 4.5. Funda of Ashtanga Hrudayam:
तेयो अतवकययः ायः सारतरोचयःयते अटागदयं नातसंेपवतरम ्
From those Ayurvedic text books, which are too elaborate and hence very difficult to study, only
the essence is collected and presented in Ashtanga Hridaya, which is neither too short nor too
4.5-5.5 – Branches of Ayurveda
कायबालहोवाग शयदंा जरावषानृ ्|| अटावगान तयाहु: चकसा येषु
संता |
kāyabālagrahordhvāṅga śalyadaṃṣṭrā jarāvṛṣān || aṣṭāvaṅgāni tasyāhu: cikitsā yeṣu saṃśritā |
1. Kaya Chikitsa – General medicine
2. Bala Chikitsa – Paediatrics
3. Graha Chikitsa – Psychiatry
4. Urdhvanga Chikitsa – Diseases and treatment of Ear, Nose, Throat, Eyes and Head
(neck and above region)
5. Shalya Chikitsa – Surgery
6. Damshrta Chikitsa – Toxicology
7. Jara Chikitsa – Geriatrics
8. Vrushya Chikitsa – Aphrodisiac therapy
These are the eight branches of Ayurveda.
5.5 – 6.5 Tridosha
वायु: पतं कफचेत यो दोषा: समासत: ॥ वकृताऽवकृता देहं नित ते वतयित च ।
vāyu: pittaṃ kaphaśceti trayo doṣā: samāsata: || vikṛtā’vikṛtā dehaṃ ghnanti te varttayanti ca |
Vayu – Vata, Pitta and kapha are the three Doshas of the body. Perfect balance of three Doshas
leads to health, imbalance in Tridosha leads to diseases.
6.5-7.5 How Thridosha are spread in body and in a day?
ते यापनोऽप नायोरधोमयोव संया: ॥
तानां तेऽतमयादगा: मात ।्
te vyāpino’pi hṛnnābhyoradhomadhyordhva saṃśrayā: ||
vayo’horātribhuktānāṃ te’ntamadhyādigā: kramāt |
The Tridosha are present all over the body, but their presence is especially seen in particular
parts. If you divide the body into three parts, the top part upto chest is dominated by Kapha
Dosha, between chest and umbilicus is dominated by Pitta, below umbilicus part is dominated by
Astanga Hridaya Sutrasthan
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Similarly, in a person’s life, day and in night (separately), the first part is dominated by Kapha,
second part is dominated by Pitta and third part is dominated by Vata. While eating and during
digestion, the first, second and third part are dominated by Kapha, Pitta and Vata respectively.
7.5 Types of digestive fires
तैभवेवषम: तीणो मदचािन: समै: सम: ॥
tairbhavedviṣama: tīkṣṇo mandaścāgni: samai: sama: ||
There are four types of Digestive fires (Agni)
1. Vishama Agni – Influenced by Vata. A person with Vishama Agni will sometimes
have high appetite, and sometimes, low appetite.
2. Teekshna Agni – Influenced by Pitta. A person with Teeksna Agni will have high
digestion power and appetite.
3. Manda Agni – Influenced by Kapha. A person with Manda Agni will have low
digestion power and appetite.
4. Sama Agni – Influenced by perfect balance of Tridosha – Where person will have
proper appetite and digestion power. Digestion occurs at appropriate time.
8.5 Types of digestive tracts / nature of bowels
कोठ: ूरो मदृ मयो मय: यातै: समैरप ।

koṣṭha: krūro mṛdurmadhyo madhya: syāttai: samairapi |
There are three types of digestive tracts (Koshta):
1. Kroora Koshta – wherein the person will take long time for digestion. The bowel
evacuation will be irregular. It is influenced by Vata.
2. Mrudu Koshta – Sensitive stomach, has a very short digestion period. Even
administration of milk will cause bowel evacuation.
3. Madhya Koshta – Proper digestive tract, bowel evacuation at appropriate times. It is
influenced by Tridosha balance.
9-10 Types of Prakruti – Body Types
ातवथै: जमादौ वषेणैव वषकृमे: ॥ तैच त: कृतयो हनमयोतमा: पथकृ ् ।
समधात: समतास ु ु
ेठा नया वदोषजा ॥
śukrārtavasthai: janmādau viṣeṇaiva viṣakṛme: || taiśca tisra: prakṛtayo hīnamadhyottamā: pṛthak |
samadhātu: samastāsu śreṣṭhā nindyā dvidoṣajā ||
Like the poison is natural and inherent to poisonous insects, similarly, the Prakruti (body type) is
inherent to humans. The body type is decided during conception, based on qualities of sperm and
Vata prakruti – Vata body type is considered as low quality
Pitta Prakruti – Pitta body type is considered as moderate quality
Kapha Prakruti – Kapha body type is considered good quality.
Astanga Hridaya Sutrasthan
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Tridosha body type – influenced equally by Vata, Pitta and Kapha is considered the
best quality.
Dual body types, Like Vata-Pitta, Pitta-Kapha, Vata-Kapha body types are
considered as not good.
10.5 Qualities of Vata
त ो लघु: शीत: खर: सू
मचलोऽनल: ॥
tatra rūkṣo laghu: śīta: khara: sūkṣmaścalo’nila: ||
Rooksha – dryness, Laghu – Lightness, Sheeta – coldness, Khara – roughness, Sookshma –
minuteness, Chala – movement These are the qualities of Vata.
11. Qualities of Pitta
पतं सनेह तीणोणं लघु
वं सरं वम ।्
pittaṃ sasneha tīkṣṇoṣṇaṃ laghu visraṃ saraṃ dravam |
Sasneha – slightly oily, unctuous, Teekshna – piercing, entering into deep tissues, Ushna –
hotness, Laghu – lightness, Visram – bad smell, sara – having fluidity, movement, drava –
liquidity are the qualities of Pitta.
12. Qualities of Kapha
िनध: शीतो गमद: लणो म ु न: िथर: कफ: ॥ ृ
snigdha: śīto gururmanda: ślakṣṇo mṛtsna: sthira: kapha: ||
Snigdhna – oily, unctuous, Sheeta – cold, Guru – heavy, Manda – mild, viscous, shlakshna –
smooth, clear, Mrutsna – slimy, jely, sthira – stability, immobility are the qualities of Kapha.
संसगः सिनपातच तवयकोपतः
The increase, decrease of individual Doshas, or imbalance of couple of these Doshas is called as
Samsarga. And imbalance of all the three Doshas together is called as Sannipata.
13. Body tissues and waste products
रस असकृ ् मांस मेदो अिथ मज शु
ाण धातव: ।
सत दया: मला: म ू ू
शकृत वेदादयोऽप च ॥ ्
rasa asṛk māṃsa medo asthi majja śukrāṇi dhātava: |
sapta dūṣyā: malā: mūtra śakṛt svedādayo’pi ca ||
Body tissues and waste products are called as Dushyas. Means, there are influenced, and affected
by Doshas. Body tissues are –
Astanga Hridaya Sutrasthan
Page No. 6 Astanga Hridaya Sutrasthan
1. Rasa – the first product of digestion, Soon after digestion of food, the digested food
turns into Rasa. It is grossly compared to lymph or plasma. But it is not a complete
2. Rakta – Also called as Asruk. – Blood
3. Mamsa – Muscle
4. Meda – Fat tissue
5. Asthi – Bones and cartilages
6. Majja – Bone marrow
7. Shukra – Semen / Ovum or entire male and female genital tract and its secretions are
grossly covered under this heading.
Mala – waste products
Shakrut / Pureesha – (faeces), Sweda (sweat) and Mootra (urine) are the three waste products of
the body.
13.5 Nature of increase and decrease
व: समानै: सवषां वपरतै: वपयय: । ृ
vṛddhi: samānai: sarveṣāṃ viparītai: viparyaya: |
Equal qualities lead to increase, and opposing qualities lead to decrease. For example, dryness is
the quality of Vata. If a Vata body type person exposes himself to dry cold weather, his dryness
and in turn Vata will increase, leading to dry skin. In the same way, oiliness is opposite quality of
dryness. If he applies oil to the skin, then the dryness and related Vata is decreased.
13.5 Six tastes
रसाः वावललवणततोषणकषायकाःष यमाताते च यथापू
व बलावहाः
Svadu – Madhura – sweet, Amla – Sour, Lavana – Salt, Tikta – Bitter, Ushna – Katu – Pungent,
Kashaya – Astringent are the six types of Rasa.
They are successively lower in energy. That means, Sweet taste imparts maximum energy to
body and the astringent, the least.
14. Effect of tastes on Tridosha
ताया मातं नित य: ततादय: कफम ।्
कषाय तत मधु
रा: पतमये त कु ुवते ॥
tatrādyā mārutaṃ ghnanti traya: tiktādaya: kapham |
kaṣāya tikta madhurā: pittamanye tu kurvate ||
In the list of tastes, the first three, i.e. Sweet, sour and salt mitigates Vata and increases Kapha.
The last three, i.e. bitter, pungent and astringent tastes mitigates Kapha and increases Vata
Astringent, bitter and sweet taste mitigates Pitta. Sour, salt and pungent tastes increase Pitta.

More attached astanga hridaya sutrasthan-vagbhat

astanga hridaya sutrasthan-vagbhat

2 comments on “Astanga Hridaya Sutra of Vagbhat

  1. Sanatan Dharm and Hinduism
    January 15, 2019

    Reblogged this on SANSKRIT.


  2. Ravinder Vishen
    January 16, 2019

    Thanks it was a great expose . Obliged for forwarding. Did Not know it.


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