The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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As stated earlier, it was originally composed by Agnivesa one of the six students of Atreya, and it embodied the teachings of the latter. Agnivesha's treatise appears to have been available till the eleventh century, as Chakrapanidatta, its commentator, quotes from it.
During the ninth century, Charaka Samhita was again edited and reconstructed by a Kashmiri Pandit named Dridhabala, son of Kapilabala, a resident of Panchanadapura, now known as Panjor situated seven miles north of Srinagar.
He not only added the missing chapters but also edited the whole samhita.
Charaka Samhita deals elaborately with subjects such as foetal generation and development, anatomy of the human body, function and malfunction of the body depending upon the equilibrium or otherwise of the three humours of the body, viz., of vayu, pitta and kapha.
It gives a detailed description of the various diseases including those of the eyes, the female genital organs, normal and abnormal deliveries and diseases of the children. Charaka's materia medica consists chiefly of vegetable products though animal and earthy products are also included in it.
This vast treatise also gives an idea of the various categories of the practitioners of the healing art, specialization in different medical subjects, physicians and their fees, nursing care, centers of medical learning,
schools of philosophy such as Nyaya and Vaiseshika which formed the fundamental basis of medical theories, medical botany and classification of the animal kingdom, particularly in regard to properties of their flesh etc.
It is likewise mentioned by Alberuni.
He discovered in the Chinese translation of the Buddhist Tripitaka, a person named Charaka who was a court physician to the Indo-Scythian king Kanishka, who in all probability reigned in the second century A.D.
Till such time as further and more conclusive evidence is available, to narrow down this period would not be justifiable.