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Ayushkamiya-Chapter 1-Sutrasthana-Ashtang Hridyam-BAMS

Subject: Ashtang Hridyam
Chapter: Ayushkamiya-Chapter 1
Section: Sutrasthana

Welcome to Sanskrit Gurukul. In this chapter, we will start, the first chapter of Ashtanga Hridyam-Sutrasthana which is Ayushkamiya (quest for long life) written by Acharya Vagbhata. In this chapter, Acharya Vagbhata explain the various principle of Ayurveda in summarized and systematic form which is easy to read and understand.

Ashtnaga Hridayam Ayushkamiya
ashtnaga hridyam

Namaskar (Obeisances)

In this sholoka of Ayushkamiya Chapter of Sutrasthana- Ashtanga Hridyam, Acharya Vagbhata after praying his favorite God, started writing the text entitled, Astāńga Hṛdayam.

रागादिरोगान् सततानुषक्तानशेषकायप्रसृतानशेषान् ।
औत्सुक्यमोहारतिदाञ्जघान योऽपूर्ववैद्याय नमोऽस्तु तस्मै ॥

I salute the wonderful physician, Prarabrahma Paramatma, who destroys all the mental Physicaldiseases like attachment, hatred, greed, etc. Physical diseases like vata, pitta, and kapha, arise from birth and death, which are present all the time and spread in everybody and give rise to curiosity (craving for objects), attachment (craziness towards things), attachment, arati, which satiate the mind and body., etc.

अथात आयुष्कामीयमध्यायं व्याख्यास्यामः।
इति ह स्माहुरात्रेयादयो महर्षयः ।

Now let us explain the chapter ‘Ayushkamiya’ further, as said by the great sages like Bhagwan Atreya.
Statement: There are two aims of Ayurveda Shastra. One is to free the people suffering from diseases. And the other is to protect the healthy people. The main basis of these two aims is ‘Aayu’. The characteristics of age are given in Charak-

शरीरेन्द्रियसश्वात्म-संयोगो धारि जीवित छ । नित्यगश्चानुबन्धश्च पर्यायैरायुरुच्यते ॥

(चरक. सू. अ. 1/42)

That is, the union of body, senses, mind and soul is called life; That is, life is life that comes and goes, and because it continues to move, it is called life. This is called by the synonyms dhari (does not allow the body to rot) jivit, nityag, and anubandha. The first chapter is about wishing of this Ayu. To read more about Ayu pls click this link.

Whatever will be said in this Tantra is the statement of previous Acharyas. There is not even a single syllable or a sequence in it from my intellect one anyone briefly it side. Even though it is the statement of three sages, there is only one reason for saying it again that it is in great detail. I have only briefly said it in a different form, considering the time, age and intellect. For example, Bastiprakaran, Nasyavidhi are in Siddhisthan in Charak, Chikitsa in Sushruta. I have kept it in Sutrasthan. All the methods are the same. Only the order has changed in Duta Sandeshnyaya.

आयुः कामयमानेन धर्मार्थसुखसाधनम् ।
आयुर्वेदोपदेशेषु विधेयः परमादरः ॥ २ ॥

Ayu is the means of religion, wealth and happiness. Any man of this age who wants it, he should pay utmost respect to the teachings (statements) of Ayurveda.

Origin of Ayurveda

In this sholoka of Ayushkamiya Chapter of Sutrasthana- Ashtanga Hridyam, Acharya Vagbhata explains the origins of Ayurveda.

ब्रह्मा स्मृत्वाऽऽयुषो वेदं प्रजापतिमजिग्रहत् ।
सोऽश्विनी ती सहस्राक्षं सोऽत्रिपुत्रादिकान्मुनीन् ॥३॥
तेऽग्निवेशादिकांस्ते तु पृथक् तन्त्राणि तेनिरे ।

After remembering, Brahma gave and taught Ayurveda to Prajapati. Prajapati gave it to the Ashvinikumara: they gave it to Indra and Indra gave it to the sages like Atreya. Among these sages, Agnivesh and others made separate tantras.
Notes:–The above is a brief narration of origin of Ayurveda according to Caraka samhita, a full account of it is furnished herein :”Lord Brahman, recalling to his mind the science of life, taught it to Dakşa (Prajāpati) he taught it to Asvin twins, who in their turn taught to Indra-the king of the gods. When diseases began to trouble the human beings, the great sages of the world, assembled in the slopes of the Himalaya mountains, and resolved to learn the science of Ayurveda from Indra and bring it to the world for the benefit of living beings. But who would undertake this difficult task of going to heaven and learn the science from Indra.
Sage Bharadvāja, one of the participants of the assembly, volunteered for the task which was very gladly accepted. Bharadvāja went to Indraś abode, learnt the science from him, came back to earth and propounded it to the assembly. Krsņa Atreya also known as Punarvasu Atreya, son of sage Arti, taught this science to six of his disciples, Agniveśa, Bhela, Jatū- karņa, Parāśara, Hārīta and Kşārapāņi Each one of them wrote a treatise and placed them before their teacher Krşņātreya and the assembly of the sages. The treatise of Agniveśa was adjudged as the best and was praised even by the gods. It became popular in the world.” (Caraka samhitā, Sūtrasthāna. Chapter-1.)

तेभ्योऽतिविप्रकीर्णभ्यः प्रायः सारतरोच्चयः ॥ ४ ॥
क्रियतेऽष्टाङ्गहृदयं नातिसंक्षेपविस्तरम् ।

Reason for making Ashtanga Hridaya: Since the scriptures written by Agnivesh etc. are very detailed, I have created this Ashtanga Hridaya by taking the best essence from those scriptures and gathering all the meanings together. This Ashtangahridaya is neither very brief nor very detailed.

Ashtanga Ayurveda (Eight Branches of Ayurveda)

In this sholoka of Ayushkamiya Chapter of Sutrasthana- Ashtanga Hridyam, Acharya Vagbhata explains the eight branches of Ayurveda.

कायबालग्रहोर्ध्वाङ्गशल्यदंष्ट्राजरावृषान् ।।5।।
अष्टावङ्गानि तस्याहुश्चिकित्सा येषु संश्रिता ।

  • Kaya Chikitsa – General medicine
  • Bala Chikitsa – Paediatrics
  • Graha Chikitsa – Psychiatry
  • Urdhvanga Chikitsa – Diseases and treatment of Ear, Nose, Throat, Eyes and Head (neck and above region)
  • Shalya Chikitsa – Surgery
  • Damshrta Chikitsa – Toxicology
  • Jara Chikitsa – Geriatrics
  • Vrushya Chikitsa – Aphrodisiac therapy.
    These are the eight branches of Ayurveda.


In this sholoka of Ayushkamiya Chapter of Sutrasthana- Ashtanga Hridyam, Acharya Vagbhata mentions about tridosha in brief.

वायुः पित्तं कफश्चेति त्रयो दोषाः समासतः ॥ ६ ॥
विकृताविकृता देहं घ्नन्ति ते वर्तयन्ति च ।

In short there are three doshas – Vayu, Pitta and Kapha.If these Vaata-Pitta-Kapha get distorted then they cause harm to the body, and if they remain unchanged then they keep the body stable.

  • Whatever movement is found in sharir is called Vayu.
  • Whatever heat is in the body is pitta.
  • The word kapha is synonymous with mucus which keeps one atom glued to another in the body.

The doshas are material substances present in the body always, they have their own definite pramāņa (quantity), guna (quality) and karma (functions). When they are normal (avikṛta) they attend to different functions of the body and so maintain it. But they have the tendency to become abnormal (vikṛta) undergoing increase (vrddhi) or decrease (kshaya) in their quantity, one or more of their qualities and fun- ctions. When they become abnormal, they vitiate their places of dwelling the dhatus (tissues); because of this tendency of vitiation, they are  called as dosha or vitiators. These three-Vata, pitta and kapha-are more intimately concerned with the body, hence cal’ed as śārīraka dosha in distinction to two manasa dosha-the rajas and tamas-which are concerned with the mind. The specific mention of three, as their number is to deny any fourth doșa as some consider rakta (blood) as the fourth one.

ते व्यापिनोऽपि हृन्नाभ्योरधोमध्योर्ध्वसंश्रयाः ।। ७ ॥|
वयोहोरात्रिभुक्तानां तेऽन्तमध्यादिगाः क्रमात् ।

Although these three are prevalent in the entire body, yet the preferred place of Vayu is in the lower part of the heart and navel, of Pitta in the middle part of the heart and navel and of Kapha in the upper part of the heart and navel. Similarly, in a person’s life, day and in night (separately), the first part (childhood) is dominated by Kapha, second part (adulthood) is dominated by Pitta and third part (old age) is dominated by Vata. While eating and during digestion, the first (begin), second (middle) and third part (end) are dominated by Kapha, Pitta and Vata respectively.

With this we have covered the first part of Ayushkamiya Chapter of Sutrasthana- Ashtanga Hridyam, by Acharya Vagbhata. In the next post we will cover few more shaloks. Dont forget to like and share the post. You can also follow us on Facebook, and Instagram.

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