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Charaka SamhitaCharakasamhita Sutrasthana Chapter 8 - Indriyopakramaniya Adhyaya - Description of Sense Organs

Charakasamhita Sutrasthana Chapter 8 – Indriyopakramaniya Adhyaya – Description of Sense Organs

अथात इन्द्रियोपक्रमणीयमध्यायं व्याख्यास्यामः ॥ १ ॥ इति ह स्माह भगवानात्रेयः ॥ २ ॥

Now we shall expound on the chapter on “The Description of Sense Organs”. Thus said Lord Atreya. [ 1-2 ]

In the chapters dealing with the preventive medicine, it has been stated that one should try his best to maintain moderation with regard to diet, conduct and regimen. Accordingly a few examples of normal diets, and regimens have been described in the preceding three chapters. But it still remains to describe about normal conduct. Moreover, instructions regarding the avoidance of excessive utilisation, non-utilisation and wrong utilisation of sense organs and mind remains to be given. The present chapter is aimed to these objectives. Before coming to the main topic of discussion, the sense organs itself are being described in the beginning of this chapter.

Pancha Panchaka: Sensory system

इह खलु पञ्चेन्द्रियाणि, पञ्चेन्द्रियद्रव्याणि, पञ्चेन्द्रियाधिष्ठानानि, पञ्चेन्द्रियार्थाः, पञ्चेन्द्रिय बुद्धयो भवन्ति, इत्युक्तमिन्द्रियाधिकारे ॥ ३ ॥

There are five sense faculties, five material constituents corresponding to the sense faculties, five sense organs, five sense objects and five sense perceptions. These have been explained in relation to sense faculties. [3]

This description, about five sense faculties and their accessories is relevant only in the present context. Thus, there is no contradiction with the forthcoming description of eleven sensory and motor organs which is analogous to other philosophical systems. The system of medicine, related as it is to all scriptures, takes into account even the mutually divergent views expressed in the various philosophical systems in so far as they are not opposed to the ayurvedic concepts. Thus, there is really speaking no contradiction, whatsoever.

In the present context, mind is not included under sense faculties. It is not because the author is opposed to admit it as one of the sense faculties, (in fact, the mind is mentioned as one of the sense faculties in Sutra 26: 43, on the analogy of the Vaisesika system ), because it possesses many qualities in addition of those attributed to other sense faculties. Details about the sense faculties will be given by the author himself later.

Qualities of mind :

अतीन्द्रियं पुनर्मनः सत्त्वसंज्ञकं, ‘चेतः’ इत्याहुरेके, तदर्थात्मसंपदायत्तचेष्टं चेष्टाप्रत्ययभूतमिन्द्रियाणाम् ॥ ४ ॥

Mind, on the other hand, transcends all sense perception. It is known as ‘sattva’; some call it ‘cetas’. Its action is determined by its contact with its objects (like happiness, misery etc;) and the soul; this acts as a driving force for all the sense faculties. [4]

Mind transcends all the sense faculties which are responsible for the perception of external objects. Even though, mind is also to be regarded as a sense faculty in as much as it is responsible for experiencing happiness etc; still it is above the other sense faculties. Rather, mind acts as a controller of all the other sense faculties. So far as its transcendental qualities are concerned, they are even attributed to other sense faculties; but they are more so in relation to the mind which is much more subtle than the other sense faculties.

For the sake of convenience, the other synonyms of mind as ‘sattva’ and ‘cetas’ have been stated. The various functions of the mind are determined by its objects like happiness etc. The objcets motivate the mind by their proximity. This motivation further depends upon the existence of the sensient soul. It is the soul which is in fact responsible for the experience of happiness etc., and psychic behaviour. To sum up, it is only when the objects like happiness etc; present and the soul is active, the mind conceives its objects and motivates the sense faculties, and then the sense faculties are active in relation to their respective objects.

Mind is one not many:

स्वार्थेन्द्रियार्थसङ्कल्पव्यभिचरणाच्चानेकमेकस्मिन् पुरुषे सत्त्वं, रजस्तमःसत्त्वगुणयोगाच्च; न चानेकत्वं, नह्येकं ह्येककालमनेकेषु प्रवर्तते; तस्मान्नैककाला सर्वेन्द्रियप्रवृत्तिः ॥ ५ ॥

In the one and the same individual, the mind appears to be multiple in character due to variations relating to the experience of its objects, perception of the objects of the sense faculties, its disposition and also its contact with rajas, tamas and sattva qualities. But really speaking, there is no multiplicity of mind. So it does not motivate more than one is one and only one. sense faculty at a time; and that is why all the sense organs are not active simultaneously. [5]

The mind acts in various ways. Sometimes, it experiences happiness, sometimes unhappiness. It also motivates sense facultie Ilkes olfactory, gustatory, auditory, tactile and visual ones in relation to their objects in various ways. Its disposition is also multiple in character. Similarly it takes various forms due to its contact with rajas, sattva and tamas qualities. For example, if the mind is dominated by rajas, it has the feeling of anger, if by tamas of ignorance, fear etc; if by sattva, it imbibes truthfulness, cleanliness etc; All this supports the apparent multiplicity of the mind. But really speaking, mind is one and only one and it is atomic in size. As it has been said, oneness and atomicity-these are, -c. f. Sarira 1:19. Had the mind been multi the two qualities of mind in nature, one could have all perceptions like olfactory, visual, gustatory, auditory and tactile ones at a time even as different individuals possessing different minds have such perceptions at a time. But this does not happen. This proves that one individual possess only one mind.

One might argue that very often sense faculties-more than oneare seen to be active simultaneouly. How could this be explained? The reply is that even in such cases where more than one sense faculties appear to be active at a time, it is just apparently so. In reality the various sense faculties are active in a consecutive order. This order is of course too subtle to observe. This is like the puncturing of one huudred lotus leaves placed one over the other where even though there is a consecutive order, it is not apparent due to passage of the needle with quick succession. The simultaneous perception of smell, vision, sound etc; of a saskuli type of a pastry can also be explained identically. For this reason also, mind cannot be treated as a gross element; if it would have been gross, it could have motivated all the five sense faculties. But this never happens. So the mind is atomic in size.

Quality determination of mind :

यहुणं चाभीक्ष्णं पुरुषमनुवर्तते सत्त्वं तत्सत्त्वमेवोपदिशन्ति मुनयो बाहुल्यानुशयात् ॥ ६ ॥

According to Acaryas the mind of a person is qualified on the basis of the type of his repeated action; It is so because that quality must be predominating in him.

How it is that an individual is known as sattvika, rujasa or tamasa in nature? The mental condition of every individual is flexible; sometimes, it is rajasa, sometimes sattvika and sometimes tamasa. But inspite of the everchanging state of mind, there is one and only one quality which predominates an individual. This predominence is judged by the frequency of a given quality in an individual. So, if somebody frequently displays the quality of sattva (even though occasionally he might be displaying rajasa and tamasa qualities), will be known as the man of sattvika nature. That is to say, the quality of sattva would be the general rule for him, rajas and tamas would be treated as exceptions.

The role of mind in perception :

मनःपुरःसराणीन्द्रियाण्यर्थग्रहणसमर्थानि भवन्ति ॥ ७ ॥

The sense faculties are capable of perceiving their respective objects only when they are motivated by the mind. [7]

Five sense faculties:

तत्र चक्षुः श्रोत्रं घ्राणं रसनं स्पर्शन मिति पञ्चेन्द्रियाणि ॥ ८ ॥

The sense faculties are visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory and tactile. [8]

The sense faculties are not to be taken in their gross sense. For example, although eyes assuch are two, the visual sense faculty is only one. So also about others.

Material constituents of sense organs :

पञ्चेन्द्रियद्रव्याणि – खं वायुर्ज्योतिरापो भूरिति ॥ ९ ॥

There are five material constituents of senses viz; akasa, vayu, agni, ap and Prithvi. [9]

The material constituent which is predominantly responsible for the creation of the respective sense faculties is known as indriya dravyas. Such indriya dravyas are five according to the number of sense faculties.

While describing sense faculties, the visual sense faculty has been stated first because of its importance. As it has been said in the Salakya tantra (the text on the diseases of Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat), even if one is equipped with tactile, olfactory, gustatory faculties par excellence and is possessed of strength and lusture, he is no better than a wall, if he does not possess visual faculty.

While enumerating the material constituents, on the other hand, akasa has been stated first because akasa always comes first in the list of material constituents-c. f. Sarira 1 : 27.

Five sense organs:

पञ्चेन्द्रियाधिष्टानानि–अक्षिणी कर्णौ नासिके जिह्वा त्वक् चेति ॥ १० ॥

The five sense organs are eyes, ears, nostrils, tongue and skin. [10]

Even though, the eyes, ears, and nostrils are two and not one, still they are sense organs each pertaining to one sense faculty. So there are five sense organs corresponding to five sense faculties.

Five objects of sense faculties:

पञ्चेन्द्रियार्थाः- शब्दस्पर्शरूपरसगन्धाः ॥ ११ ॥

There are five objects of sense faculties viz; audition, touch, vision, taste and smell. [11]

Here touch includes the quantum etc., of the touch itself; of its material constituents and of such other materials which are associated with it. This is so with regard to vision, taste and smell as well.

Five sense perceptions :

पञ्चेन्द्रियबुद्धयः चक्षुर्बुद्धयादिकाः; ताः पुनरिन्द्रियेन्द्रियार्थसस्वात्मसन्निकर्षजाः, क्षणिका, निश्चयात्मिकाश्च, इत्येतत् पञ्चपञ्चकम् ।। १२ ।।

There are five kinds of perception viz; visual, tactile, auditory, gustatory and olfactory. These are again the products of the combination of sense faculties, their objects, the mind and the soul; they are momentary and determinative. This is all about the five pentads. [12]

Sense perceptions are caused by the distinctive factors like visual faculty. Of all the sense perceptions, visual perception, being of the widest distribution, occupies the first position.

How are the sense perceptions produced? They are produced as a result of the combination of the sense faculties, their objects, the mind and the soul. This combination may be of two types viz., mere contact and inseparable concomittance. For example, in visual perception, the soul establishes its contact with the mind, the mind with the sense faculty and sense faculties in its turn with the objects. In the auditory perceptions, on the other hand, the auditory faculty and sound constitute a combination of inseparable concomittance.

These perceptions are momentary in the sense that they fade away soon; not that they exist only for a moment as has been propounded in the doctrine of momentariness by Buddhists.

Even though, sense perception fades away soon, they are determinate in relation to the size, shape etc., of the objects just as a momentary light of a lamp illuminates its surroundings.

Spiritual elements and their actions:

मनो मनोर्थो बुद्धिरात्मा चेत्यध्यात्मद्रव्यगुणसंग्रहः शुभाशुभप्रवृत्तिनिवृत्तिहेतुश्च; द्रव्याश्रितं च कर्म; यदुच्यते क्रियेति ॥ १३ ॥

The mind, the object of the mind, intellect and soul constitnte spiritual elements and qualities; they serve as factors for prompting an individual to indulge in and or refrain from virtuous and sinful acts. Performance of an action, that is therapeutic action, depends upon the material.object. [ 13 ]

The object of the mind is thinking as will be explained later. In this context, the intellect means the mental perception as distinct from the other perceptions. There are two spiritual elements viz; the soul and the mind. The rest are spiritual qualities which include visual and other sense perceptions (experienced just on psychological level ?). These spiritual elements and qualities may be helpful or harmful to the soul according to their combination. If they are combined well, they will prompt the individual to perform virtuous acts and to refrain from sinful ones. The non-utilisation, excessive utilisation or misutilisation of spiritual elements may result in prompting an individual to perform sinful acts and refrain from virtuous acts. Metaphysically speaking, a good knowledge of these spiritual elements and qualities helps in eliminating the bondage relating to the cycle of birth and death and so causes salvation; otherwise, it may also strengthen the bondage and as such cause miseries.

In the present context, ‘karman’ means the action of drugs. It does not ofcourse include therapies like ‘panchakarma’ nor virtuous nor sinful acts.

Correlation of Panchabhautika elements with five sense faculties:

तत्रानुमानगम्यानां पञ्चमहाभूतविकारसमुदायात्मकानामपि सतामिन्द्रियाणां तेजश्चक्षुषि, खं श्रोत्रे, घ्राणे क्षितिः, आपो रसने, स्पर्शनेऽनिलो विशेषेणोपपद्यते । तत्र यद्यदात्मकमिन्द्रियं विशेषात्तत्तदात्मकमेवार्थमनुगृह्णाति, तत्स्वभावाद्विभुत्वाच्च ॥ १४ ॥

The sense faculties are to be inferred (rather than directly perceived). They consist of all the five mahabhutas. However, the visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, and tactile faculties are specially dominated by tejas, akasa. Prithvi, ap and vayu mahabhutas respectively. The sense faculties perceive only such of the objects as are dominated by the mahabhutas specially constituting these respective faculties. This is so, because, the very nature of sense faculties is determined by the particular mahabhuta it is specially made of. Moreover the sense faculties are capable of perceiving only the objects having the same qualities. They are omnipresent. [14]

The sense faculties are to be inferred rather than directly perceived. The syllogism would be as follows:

I. All actions are caused by an instrument;

II. Visual and other perceptions are also actions;

III. So visual perceptions are caused by instruments known as sense faculties.

All the sense faculties are made of all the five mahubhutas which when grouped together and transformed into a definite form constitute the concomittant cause of the former. But inspite of the fact that all five mahabhutas are present in all the sense faculties, each sense faculty is dominated by one mahabhuta. For example, the visual sense faculty is dominated by tejas and as such, it is known as taijasa. Such is the case with all the other sense faculties as well.

The sense faculties can perceive only such of the objects as have the same natural qualities. For example, visual sense faculty, dominated by tejas can perceive only an object which is also dominated by tejas.

To sum up, visual sense faculty is taijasa because, like a lamp, it illuminates only visual objects. So the gustatory faculty is apya, as, like saliva, it perceives only a taste. Such is the case with all the other sense faculties.

Principle of Psychopathogenesis :

तदर्थातियोगायोगमिथ्यायोगात् समनस्कमिन्द्रियं विकृतिमापद्यमानं यथास्वं बुद्धथुपघाताय संपद्यते; सामर्थ्ययोगात् पुनः प्रकृतिमापद्यमानं यथास्वं बुद्धिमाप्याययति ॥ १५ ॥

The sense faculties, together with the mind get vitiated by excessive utilisation, non-utilisation and wrong utilisation of the objects cencerned. This causes an impediment to the respective sense perceptions. If, again, due to correct utilisation, they come to normalcy, they bring about the respective sense perceptions properly. [15]

The sense faculties get vitiated due to the excessive utilisation, nonutilisation, wrong utilisation of their respective. objects. The vitiated sense faculties, in their turn, also vitiate the mind. However, they come to normalcy if the objects are properly utilised and then the perception of various objects are properly regulated.

मनसस्तु चिन्त्यमर्थः । तत्र मनसो मनोबुद्धेश्च त एव समानातिहीनमिथ्यायोगाः प्रकृतिविकृतिहेतवो भवन्ति ॥ १६ ॥

Thinking constitute the object of the mind. So the proper utilisation or excessive utilisation, non utilisation and wrong utilisation of mind or mental faculty is responsible for normal or abnormal mental conditions. (That is to say, if mind or mental faculties are properly utilised, this is conducive to the maintenance of the normal mental conditions; if not, abnormal conditions prevail. [16]

The object of mind is one which mind conceives without reference to the sense faculties or even if sense faculties are involved, the mind conceives it quite independent of the sense faculties. Thinking includes even such concepts like happiness, misery etc;. The mind gets vitiated by non-Thinking, excessive thinking or even thinking of frightening nature. Thus, even the mental perception gets vitiated.

Principles of preventing “Psychic disturbances”:

तत्रेन्द्रियाणां समनस्कानामनुपतप्तानामनुपतापाय प्रकृतिभावे प्रयतितव्य मेभिर्हेतुभिः; तद्यथा- सात्म्येन्द्रियार्थसंयोगेन बुद्धया सम्यगवेक्ष्यावेक्ष्य कर्मणां सम्यक् प्रतिपादनेन, देशकालात्मगुणविपरीतोपासनेन चेति । तस्मादात्महितं चिकीर्षता सर्वेण सर्व सर्वदा स्मृतिमास्थाय सद्वृत्तमनुष्ठेयम् ॥ १७ ॥

Normally, mind, including sense faculties remains undisturbed. In order that they are not disturbed in any way, one should make all efforts to maintain their normal condition. This can be achieved by the performance of duties after duly considering their pros and cons with the help of the intellect together with the sense faculties applied to their respective wholesome objects and by acting in contradistinction with the qualities of place, season and one’s own constitution including temperament. So one, who is desirous of his own well being should always perform noble acts with proper care. [17]

The normal condition of the sense faculties and mind can be maintained by certain therapeutic devices. Due performance of acts includes avoidance of harmful acts as well as performance of beneficial ones. Such efforts are conducive to the prevention of abnormal conditions of sense faculties and mind. If, on the other hand, the abnormal conditions have already been created, they can be cured by acting, in contradistinction with the place, time and one’s own constitution including temperament. So the positive health can be maintained by due performance of acts as prescribed in scriptures. So the one desirous of his own well being should perform noble acts with proper care.

Practises Preventing Psychosomatic disturbances :

तद्ध्यनुतिष्ठन् युगपत् संपादयत्यर्थद्वयमारोग्यमिन्द्रियविजयं चेति; तत् सद्वृत्तमखिलेनोपदेक्ष्यामोऽग्निवेश ! तद्यथा- देवगोब्राह्मणगुरुवृद्धसिद्धाचार्यानर्चयेत्, अग्निमुपचरेत्, ओषधीः प्रशस्ता धारयेत्, द्वौ कालावुपस्पृशेत्, मलायनेष्वभीक्ष्णं पादयोश्च वैमल्यमाद्ध्यात्, त्रिः पक्षस्य केशश्मनुलोमनखान् संहारयेत्, नित्यमनुपहतवासाः सुमनाः सुगन्धिः स्यात्, साधुवेशः, प्रसिद्ध केशः, मूर्धश्रोत्रघ्राणपादतैलनित्यः, धूमपः, पूर्वाभिभाषी, सुमुखः, दुर्गेष्वभ्युपपत्ता, होता, यष्टा, दाता, चतुष्पथानां नमस्कर्ता, बलीनामुपहर्ता, अतिथीनां पूजकः, पितृभ्यः पिण्डदः, काले हितमितमधुरार्थवादी, वश्यात्मा, धर्मात्मा, हेतावीर्युः, फले नेयुः, निश्चिन्तः, निर्भीकः, हीमान्, धीमान्, महोत्साहः, दक्षः, क्षमावान्, धार्मिकः, आस्तिकः, विनयवुद्धिविद्याभिजनवयोवृद्धसिद्धाचार्याणामुपासिता, छत्री दण्डी मौली सोपानत्को युगमात्रहग्विचरेत् मङ्गलाचारशीलः, कुचेलास्थिकण्टकामेध्यकेशतुषोत्करभस्मकपालस्नानबलिभूमीनां परिहर्ता, प्राक् श्रमाद् व्यायामवर्जी स्यात्, सर्वप्राणिषु बन्धुभूतः स्यात्, क्रुद्धानामनुनेता, भीतानामाश्वासयिता, दीनानामभ्युपपत्ता, सत्यसंधः, सामप्रधानः, परपरुषवचनसहिष्णुः, अमर्षघ्नः, प्रशमगुणदर्शी, रागद्वेषहेतूनां हन्ता च ॥ १८ ॥

So, one, who observes these principles simultaneously fulfils both the objectives viz; maintenance of positive health and control of sense faculties. I shall now describe all the noble acts, Oh! Agnivesa.

One should pay_respects to the Gods, cows, brahmins, preceptors, elderly people, those who have accomplished spiritual perfection and teachers; one should offer oblation to the fire, one should wear good herbs; one should perform sandhya (a vedic ritual to be performed during dawn and dusk ) twice a day; one should clean excretory passages and feet frequently; one should have a hair cut, shave and nail cut-thrice every fortnight; one should wear good apparel; be happy, apply scent, wear good dress, comb the hair, always apply oil to the head, ears, nostrils and feet, smoke, take initiative in wishing, have a delightful face, protect people in affliction, offer oblation, perform religious ceremonies, donate, pay respect to cross roads, offer balis (a reiigious oblation), honour the guests, offer pindas (a ball or lump of rice offered to the manes at obsequial ceremonies or sraddhas) to departed ancestors, speak timely beneficial, measured sweet words, be self controlled and virtuous, envy in action but not in the results thereof, be careful and fearless, be bashful and wise, have enormous enthusiasm, be clever, forbearing, virtuous, having faith in God, devoted to teachers who have attained spiritual perfection and are advanced in modesy, intellect, learning, heredity and age; one should use an umbrella, a stick, a turban, shoes and see only six feet forward while walking; one should always acquit himself in an auspicious way and display good manners; one should avoid places with dirty apparel, bones, thorns, impure hair, chaff, garbase. ash, fragments of earthen vessels, and the places of bath and worship, stop exercise before exertion, be friendly to all creatures, reconcile the angry, console the frightened, be merciful to the poor, be truthful and be predominantly of compromising nature and tolerant towards unpalatable words uttered by others, be controller of intolerance, be of peaceful disposition and conquor the very roots of attachment and hatred. [ 18 ]

Shaving, haircut and nail cut are to be done thrice a fortnight. This is when the word ‘paksa’ is interpreted as a fortnight. But according to Ksarapani, the word ‘paksa’ may as well mean one month. In that case all this is to be done thrice a montn, that is a once in every ten days.

A noble person should envy or have competitive spirit in so far as actions leading to prosperity or acquisition of knowledge is concerned. But one should never envy others lot. That is to say, one should never wish others being deprived of prosperity, knowledge etc.

The fact, that one should be fearless, applies only to unavoidable causes of fear. If it is within one’s capacity to overcome some fears, one should always be cautious so as to avoid facing the resultant situation.

The act of being friendly to all creatures is to be taken in an universal sense. Even though, a physician may not be permitted to treat such of the patients as are charged with treason or are fallen otherwise, he should have inner sympathetic attitude towards them.

Practise regarding code of general ethics :

नानृतं ब्रूयात्, नान्यस्व माददीत, नान्यस्त्रियमभिलषेन्नान्यश्रियं, न वैरं रोचयेत्, न कुर्यात् पापं, न पापेऽपि पापी स्यात् नान्यदोषान् ब्रूयात्, नान्यरहस्यमागमयेन्, नाधार्मिकैर्न नरेन्द्रद्विषैः सहासीत नोन्मत्तैर्न पतितैर्न भ्रूणहन्तृभिर्न क्षुद्रैर्न दुष्टैः, न दुष्टयानान्यारोहेत, न जानुसमं कठिनमासनमध्यासीत, नानास्तीर्णमनुपहितमविशालमसमं वा शयनं प्रपद्येत, न गिरिविषममस्तकेष्वनुचरेत्, न द्रुममारोहेत्, न जलो वेगमवगाहेत, न कूलच्छायामुपासीत, नान्युत्पातमभितश्चरेत्, नोच्चैहंसेत्, न शब्दवन्तं मारुतं मुञ्चेत्, नानावृतमुखो जृम्भां क्षवथुं हास्यं वा प्रवर्तयेत्, न नासिकां कुष्णीयात्, न दन्तान् विघट्टयेत्, न नखान् वादयेत्, नास्थीन्यभिहन्यात्, न भूमिं विलिखेत्, न छिन्द्यात्तृणं, न र्लोटं मृद्गीयात्, न विगुणमङ्गैश्चेष्टेत, ज्योतींष्यनिष्टम मेध्यमशस्तं च नाभिवीक्षेत न हुंकुर्याच्छवं, न चैत्यध्वजगुरुपूज्या शस्तच्छायामाक्रामेत्, न क्षपास्वमरसदनचैत्यचत्वरचतुष्पथोपवनश्मशानाघातनान्यासेवेत, नैकः शून्यगृहं न चाटवीमनुप्रविशेत्, न पापवृत्तान् स्त्रीमित्रभृत्यान् भजेत, नोत्तमैर्विरुध्येत, नावरानुपासीत, न जिह्यं रोचयेत्, नानार्यमाश्रयेत्, न भयमुत्पादयेत्, न साहसातिस्वप्नप्रजागरस्नानपानाशनान्यासेवेत, नोर्ध्वजानुश्चिरं तिष्ठेत्, न व्यालानुपसर्पेन्न दंष्ट्रिणो न विषाणिनः, पुरोवातात पावश्यायातिप्रवाताअह्यात्, कलिं नारभेत, नासुनिभृतोऽग्निमुपासीत नोच्छिष्टः, नाधः कृत्वा प्रतापयेत्, नाविगतकुमो नानाप्लुतवदनो न नग्न उपस्पृशेत्, न स्नानशाट्या स्पृशेदुत्तमाङ्गं, न केशाग्राण्यभिहन्यात्, नोपस्पृश्य ते एव वाससी बिभृयात्, नास्पृष्ट्वा रत्नाज्यपूज्य मङ्गलसुमनसोऽभिनिष्कामेत्, न पूज्यमङ्गलान्यपसव्यं गच्छेन्नेतराण्यनुदक्षि१९ ॥

णम् ॥

One should not tell a lie nor should take over others properties nor should long for others wives or property, should not indulge in hatred or sinful activities; one should never be vice even to the vicious; one should not disclose others defects; one should not disclose other’s secrets; one should shun the company of the unvirtuous, traitors, lunatics, fallen persons, abortionists, mean and crooked persons.

One should not, ride dangerous conveyances, sit on a hard seat of knee height, sleep on a bed not well covered or without a pillow, small or uneven; one should not walk on the uneven slopes of the mountain, climb a tree, take bath in a river having turbulent flow; one should not trode on the shadow of kins or those born of noble families; one should not move around place of fire, laugh loudly, release wind with sound; one should not indulge in yawning, sneezing or laughter without covering his mouth, itch the nostrils, grind the teeth. sound the nails, strike the bones, scrape the earth, cut the straw, grind the clod of mud, maintain improper position of different parts of the body; one should not see the planets or an undesirable, impure or condemned object, produce ‘hum’ sound before a corpse; one should not trangress the shadow of a sacred tree, a flag, teacher, a respectable person or an undesirable person; during nights, one should not enter the premises of a temple, a sacred tree, public court yard, cross road, garden, cemetery and slaughter house; one should not similarly enter a solitary house or forest alone; one should not have relations with women, friends or servants of bad conduct; there should be no enmity with good men nor friendship with bad ones; one should have no choice for crooked acts; one should not indulge in ignoble or frightening acts nor one should take recourse to undue courage, sleeping, vigil, bath, drink or food in excess quantity; one should not sit for a long time with his knees up; one should not approach snakes or animals with dangerous teeth and horns; one should avoid easterly wind, sun, snow fall and storms; one should not provoke a quarrel; one should not come close to the fire without concentration of mind or without a wash after taking food; one should not heat his body by keeping fire below; one should not take bath unless he is free from exertion or without a gurgle or in a naked condition; one should not touch his head with the apparel worn at the time of bath or strike the tip of the hair. After taking bath one should not wear the same cloth worn before. One should not go out without touching gems, ghee, feet of respectable persons, auspicious objects and flowers; one should not pass through by keeping respectable persons or auspicious objects in left nor keeping others in right side. [19]

Telling a lie is prohibited only when this causes some harm to otherwise, if one can save the life of another living being by telling a lie, this cannot be treated as a sinful act. For example, it has been prescribed in the treatment of rajayaksma or tuberculosis-c. f. Chikitsa 8 : 150-154 – that one should pursuade the patient to take even the meat of crow which is beneficial for his recovery. The only hindrance in this pursuation could be that the patient might not relish the very idea of taking the meat of a crow. The hindrance can be removed by telling a lie to the patient that the meat is of a partridge. Thus even though, this is a false statement, this is the only way by which the patient could be pursuaded to take the food prescribed and as such this cannot be regarded as a sinful act of the physician.

Generally speaking climbing a tree is prohibited. But this prohibition does not apply to prescription relating to the climbing of a tree for using amalaki (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) as an elixir and the like ( vide— Chikitsa 1: 3:11 ).

The scriptures say that if one does “hum” sound before a corpse, the ‘soma’ element comes out of the body.

Certain prohibitions like exercising undue courage, taking curd at night appear to be just a repetition of what has been stated in another context in this work. But inspite of that, such repetitions need not be taken as scriptural blemish in as much as they go a long way towards strengthening the view point of the author. As has been said, repetition is not to be regarded as a repetition if it is done with due regard to the contextual propriety for strengthening the view point of the author, for expanding the merits and demerits of an object, for clarification of the meaning, for extolling the qualities of an object with a view to pursuade ing a doubtful mind towards it and for enhancing the understanding of the disciples.

Practise regarding taking diet:

नारत्नपाणिर्नास्नातो नोपहतवासा नाजपित्वा नाहुत्वा देवताभ्यो नानिरूप्य पितृभ्यो नादत्त्वा गुरुभ्यो नातिथिभ्यो नोपाश्रितेभ्यो नापुण्यगन्धो नामाली नाप्रक्षालित पाणिपादवदनो नाशुद्धमुखो नोदङ्मुखो न विमना नाभक्ताशिष्टाशुचिक्षुधितपरिचरो न पात्रीष्वमेध्यासु नादेशे नाकाले नाकीर्णे नादत्त्वाऽग्रमग्नये नाप्रोक्षितं प्रोक्षणोदकैर्न मन्त्रैरनभिमन्त्रितं न कुत्सयन्न कुत्सितं न प्रतिकूलोपहितमन्नमाददीत, न पर्युषितमन्यत्र मांसहरितकशुष्कशकिफलभक्ष्येभ्यः, नाशेषभुक् स्यादन्यत्र दधिमधुलवणसक्तुसर्पिर्म्यः, न नक्तं दधि भुञ्जीत, न सक्तूनेकाननीयान्न निशि न भुक्त्वा न बहून्न द्विर्नोदकान्तरितान्, न छित्त्वा द्विजैर्भक्षयेत् ॥ २० ॥

One should not take food without wearing precious stones in hand or without taking bath or with torn apparel or without reciting mantras or without offering oblations to the Gods or without making offerings to the departed ancestors, teachers, guests and dependants or without applying sacred scents or without garlands or without washing hands, feet and face or without cleaning the mouth or with face turned towards the north or with disturbed mind or surrounded by the insincere uncultured, dirty or hungry persons or in uncleaned dishes, or at improper place and time or in a place surrounded by many persons or without first offering the fire or without sprinking with sacred waters or without sanctifying it with sacred mantras or with contemptuous disposition towards food. One should not take food which is dirty or which has been served by the opponents.

Except in the case of meat, rhizomes, dry vegetables, fruits and sweets, one should not take staled food. Again, one should not consume the entire food except in the cases of curd, honey, salt and roasted grain flour and ghee. One should not take curd at night. One should not take roasted-grain-flour without mixing it up with ghee and sugar or in the night or after meals or in large quantity or twice daily or interrupted with water intake, nor one should eat by tearing with teeth. [ 20 ]

Regarding the prohibition of taking curd in the night, the scriptures say, “Misfortune which is responsible for qurrels and which usually dwell in kovidara (Bauhinia variegata Linn.) tree, comes to stay in kapittha in the day and in the curd and roasted grain flour at night.” Practise regarding natural urges :

नानृजुः क्षुयान्नाद्यान्न शयीत, न वेगितोऽन्यकार्यः स्यात्, न वाय्वग्निसलिल – • सोमार्कद्विजगुरुप्रतिमुखं निष्ठीविका (वात) वर्चोमूत्राण्युत्सृजेत्, न पन्थानमवमूत्रयेन्न जनवति नान्नकाले, न जपहोमाध्ययनबलिमङ्गलक्रियासु श्लेष्मसिङ्घाणकं मुञ्चेत् ॥ २१ ॥

One should not sneeze or eat or sleep in prone position; one should not attend to any other work while under the pressure of natural urge; one should not let out sputum, excreta or urine in front of the wind, fire, water, the moon, the sun, the brahmanas and the teachers nor one should make water on the roadside or in a public place or at the time of taking food, nor one should let out oral or nasal excreta during the course of recitation, religious rites, studies, religious offerings and auspicious acts. [21]

Practices regarding relation with ladies :

न स्त्रियमवजानीत, नातिविश्रम्भयेत्, न गुह्यमनुश्रावयेत्, नाधिकुर्यात् । न रजस्वलां नातुरां नामेध्यां नाशस्तां नानिष्टरूपाचारोपचारां नादक्षां नादक्षिणां नाकामां नान्यकामां नान्यस्त्रियं नान्ययोनिं नायोनौ न चैत्यचत्वरचतुष्पथोपवनइमशानाघातनसलिलौषधिद्विजगुरुसुरालयेषु न सन्ध्योर्नातिथिषु नाशुचिर्नाजग्धभेषजो नाप्रणीतसङ्कल्पो नानुपस्थितप्रहर्षो नाभुक्तवान्नात्यशितो न विषमस्थो न सूत्रोच्चारपीडितो न श्रमव्यायामोपवासकुमाभिहतो नारहसि

व्यवायं गच्छेत् ||२२||

One should not insult women folk nor one should have too much reliance upon them; one should not confide secrets to them nor one should authorise them indiscriminately. One should not indulge in sexual intercourse with a woman during her menses or a woman who is suffering from a disease or is impure or is having infection, or a woman with an ugly appearance, or with bad conducts or manners, or with the one devoid of skill. One should not indulge in sexual intercourse with a woman who is not friendly or has not passionate desire or is passionately attached to somebody else or is married to somebody else or a woman of another caste. Sexual activity in any organ other than the genital organ is prohibited. Sexual activities are also prohibited under religious trees, in a public courtyard, on a cross-road, in a garden, at cemetery, at slaughter house, in water, in medical clinics or in the houses of brahmanas or teachers or in temples. Such activities are again to be avoided during the dawn and dusk and on inauspicious days ( that is, on full moon day, pratipat, etc. ). Nor one should indulge in such activities while impure or without having taken aphrodisiacs or without intense desire or without erection or without having taken food or with excessive intake of food or in an uneven place or while under the pressure of the urge for micturition, after exertion, after physical exercise, in fasts, having exhaustion or in a place having no privacy. [22]

नसतो न गुरुन् परिवदेत्, नाशुचिरभिचारकर्मचैत्य पूज्यपूजाध्ययनमभिनि वर्तयेत् ॥ २३ ॥

One should not speak ill of noble persons and teachers nor one should perform spells, worship of sacred trees and superiors, and studies while impure. [ 23 ]

Practices regarding study.

न विद्युत्स्वनार्तवीषु नाभ्युदितासु दिक्षु नाग्निसंप्लवे न भूमिकम्पेन महोत्सवे नोल्कापाते न महाग्रहोपगमने न नष्टचन्द्रायां तिथौ न सन्ध्ययोर्नामुखाद्गुरोर्नावप तितं नातिमात्रं न तान्तं न विस्वरं नानवस्थितपदं नातिद्रुतं न विलम्बितं नातिक्लीवं नात्युच्चैर्नातिनीचैः स्वरैरध्ययनमभ्यस्येत् ॥ २४ ॥

One should not study if there is unseasonal lightning, nor while the quarters appear as if being burnt, during an outbreak of fire, nor during the earthquake, nor during important festivals, nor during the fall of meteors, nor during the solar or lunar eclipse, nor on a new moon date and nor during the dawn or dusk. One should not study without being initiated by a teacher. While studying, one should not recite words incomplete in sounds nor in high voice nor in coarse voice, nor without proper accents nor without proper morphological symmetry, neither too fast, nor slowly, nor with excessive delay, nor with too high nor too low pitch. [ 24 ]

General Principles :

नातिसमयं जह्यात्, न नियमं भिन्द्यात्, न नक्तं नादेशे चरेत्, न सन्ध्यास्वभ्यवहाराध्ययनस्त्रीस्वप्नसेवी स्यात्, न बालवृद्धलुब्धमूर्खलिटक्की वैः सह सख्यं कुर्यात्, न मद्यद्यूतवेश्याप्रसङ्गरुचिः स्यात्, न गुह्यं विवृणुयात्, न कञ्चिदवजानीयात्, नाहंमानी स्यान्नादक्षो नादक्षिणो नासूयकः, न ब्राह्मणान् परिवदेत्, न गवां दण्डमुद्यच्छेत्, न वृद्धान्न गुरून्न गणान्न नृपान चाऽधिक्षिपेत्, न चातिब्रूयात्, न बान्धवानुरक्तकृच्छ्रद्वितीयगुह्यज्ञान् बहिष्कुर्यात् ।। २५ ।।

One should not deviate from generelly approved principles nor one should break any code of conduct; one should not walk during the night nor in an inappropriate place. One should not indulge in taking food, studies, sexual relation or sleep during the dawn or dusk. One should not make friends, with children, the old, the greedy, the fools, persons under affliction or the eunuchs. One should not have any inclination towards wine, gambling or prostitutes. One should not expose secret parts of the body. One should not insult anybody. One should not be conceited, undextrous, unfriendly nor one should back-bite. One should not insult the brahmanas nor one should beat the One should not use harsh words towards the old persons, teachers, persons grouped together or kings. One should not speak too much nor one should oust kins folk, persons attached, persons who had helped during the time of misery and those who know ( personal or family ) secrets. [ 25 ] cows.

• माधीरो नात्युच्छ्रितसत्त्वः स्यात्, नाभृतभृत्यः, नाविश्रब्धस्वजनः, नैकः सुखी, न दुःखशीलाचारोपचारः, न सर्वविथम्भी, न सर्वाभिशङ्की, न सर्वकालविचारी ||

One should not be impatient or over-bold; one should not neglect the maintenance of servants; one should not have nonreliance on his own kins man; one should not enjoy alone; one should not have uncomfortable character, conduct, manners and diseases. One should neither rely on everybody nor suspect everybody. One should not be too meticulous at all times. [ 26 ] Practices regarding self-control :

न कार्यकालमतिपातयेत्, नापरीक्षितमभिनिविशेत्, नेन्द्रियवशगः स्यात्, न चञ्चलं मनोऽनुभ्रामयेत्, न बुद्धीन्द्रियाणामतिभारमादध्यात्, न चातिदीर्घसूत्री स्यात्, न क्रोधहर्षावनुविध्यात्, न शोकमनुवसेत्, न सिद्धाबुत्सेकं यच्छेन्नासिद्धौ दैन्यं, प्रकृतिमभीक्ष्णं स्मरेत् हेतुप्रभावनिश्चितः स्याद्धेत्वारम्भनित्यश्च, न कृत्यमित्याश्वसेत्, न वीर्य जह्यात्, नापवाद मनुस्मरेत् ॥ २७ ॥ “

One should not be in the habit of postponing things nor should one indulge in any activity without proper examination. One should not be a slave to senses nor one should let loose his fickle mind. One should not inflict too much burden over the intellect or the senses. One should avoid over-dilatory practices. One should not do things in a fit of anger or rejoicing. One should not be under continued grief. One should not be conceited over achievements nor be desparate in loss. One should always remember his own nature. One should have faith in the correlation of the cause and effect ( that is, good and bad actions and their corresponding results) and should always act on it. One should not be complacent about his own action. One should not lose sprit nor one should remember his insults. [ 27 ]

Practices regarding fire worship:

नाशुचिरुत्तमाज्याक्षततिलकुशसर्षपैरग्नि जुहुयादात्मानमाशीर्भिराशासानः, अग्निमें नापगच्छेच्छरीराद्वायुर्मे प्राणानादधातु विष्णुर्मे बलमाधातु इन्द्रो मे वीर्य शिवा मां प्रविशन्त्वाप आपोहिष्टेत्यपः स्पृशेत्, द्विः परिमृज्योष्टौ पादौ चाभ्युक्ष्य मूर्धनि खानि चोपस्पृशेदद्भिरात्मानं हृदयं शिरश्च ॥ २८ ॥

One desirous of his own well-being, should not offer oblations to the fire with cow ghee, intact rice grains, tila ( Sesamu indicum Linn.), kusa grass ( Deomostachya bipianata Staff.) and mustard seeds while himself in impure condition. One should touch water, reciting-apo hi stha (Rgveda X. 9. 1) with the invocation : following “Let not fire get away from my body”; “May the Wind-god bring about life”; “May Lord Visnu give me strength”; “May Indra give me energy”; “May the benevolent waters enter (my body)”. After cleaning his lips and feet twice, one should touch with water all the orifices of the head (viz., two nasal, one buccal, two auditory and two occular orifices), his soul (mentally), heart (precardial region) and head. [28]

Practices regarding social relations:

ब्रह्मचर्यज्ञानदानमैत्रीकारुण्यहर्षोपेक्षाप्रशमपरश्च स्यादिति ॥ २९ ॥

One should assiduously follow the path of brahmacarya, knowledge, charity, friendship, compassion, happiness, detachment and peace. [29]

Friendship means a compassionate behaviour towards all creatures as in one’s own self. Now the question arises whether this approach is acceptable to the science of medicine at all. There are quite a few prescriptions available in the science of medicine which apparently go against the principle of compassionate attitude towards living beings. For example, Charaka himself has prescribed the fresh meat of antelope, etc. that are young and healthy while prohibiting the intake of meat of such of the animals as are dead on their own or have been killed by Will this not amount to violence? How can thus poisonous arrows. the universal compassionate attitude be maintained ?

It may, however, be stated that so far as the intake of meat concerned, human beings are already instinctively inclined towards it. The purpose behind the relevant prescriptions of the science of medicine is not to encourage violence for non-vegetarian habits but to bring to light the usefulness or otherwise of various types of meat in relation to the cure of the diseases, the patient might be suffering from. Similarly, the fact that the science of medicine has prescribed a particular type of wine for the maintenance of positive health may not be taken as an inducement by the science of medicine for unrestricted drinking. So if the text describes the intake of meat in the chapter on the treatment of consumptions (Chikitsa 8) or has described the values of the meat of java ( common quail ), kapinjala ( grey partridge ) and ena ( antelope ) as the prescribed regimen for the autumn, this is only by way of describing their usefulness for the cure of diseases or the maintenance of positive health. By no means, this can be construed as an inducement for violence. Thus, the patients or the healthy ones who follow such prescriptions might regain or maintain their health thereby, but they will not be absolved of the sinful effect of having committed the violent act. For example, in one of the vedic charms, syena ( falcon ) is required to be offered in sacrifice. So far as charms are concerned, human beings are instinctively inclined towards them. The purpose of the vedic prescription regarding the use of syena ( falcon) is one of the approved means to be adopted for it but this does not obliterate the sinful effects of the violence involved in killing the falcon.

To sum up if one cannot survive without the intake of meat of an animal killed by an act of violence and so indulges in it, that violence cannot be treated as a sinful act. This is so because the Vedas have prescribed, “one must always protect himself by all means.” Of course, when other means of survival are available and even then one follows the path of violence, just for improvement in his health that violence will certainly amount to a sinful behaviour,

In fact, the prescriptions of the science of medicine are intended for the cure of diseases or the maintenance of positive health (c. f. Sutra 1:53 ) and they do not concern themselves much with a virtuous way of life. So, even, if certain amount of violence is acceptable to the science of medicine, the violence committed will not be without its sinful effects.

तत्र श्लोकाः – पञ्चपञ्चकमुद्दिष्टं मनो हेतुचतुष्टयम् । इन्द्रियोपक्रमेऽध्याये सद्वृत्तमखिलेन च ॥ ३० ॥ स्वस्थवृत्तं यथोद्दिष्टं यः सम्यगनुतिष्ठति । स समाः शतमव्याधिरायुषा न वियुज्यते ॥ ३१ ॥ साधुसंमतः । बन्धुतामुपगच्छति ॥ ३२ ॥ पुण्यकर्मा प्रपद्यते । सर्वेण यशसा लोकमा धर्मार्थात भूतानां परान् सुकृतिनो लोकान् तस्माद्वृत्तमनुष्ठेयमिदं सर्वदा ॥ ३३ ॥

Summing up the contents :

In this chapter on “the Description of Sense Organs”, five pentads, mind, four etiological factors and good conduct in entirety have been described. One who assiduously follows these prescriptions for the maintenace of positive health, devoid of all diseases, lives for hundred years and does not meet with an untimely death. He, praised by the good, earns fame all over the world, attains virtue and wealth and becomes a friend of all creatures. The one with virtuous acts attains (after death the excellent abode of good souls. So, this code of conduct should always be followed by everybody. [ 30-33 ]

Even if one leads the virtuous path of life, one can be a victim of premature death or disease due to adversity. But the prescriptions of the science of medicine relate only to human efforts and as such the results of fate are beyond the former’s jurisdiction. As it will be stated, “one who carefully avoids what is avoidable is free from debts of the noble preceptors” (Sutra 28:43 ) that is, he is immuned to the outcome of sinful acts which are required to be avoided according to the prescribed code of conduct and he is indeed a wise person.

यच्चान्यदपि किंचित् स्यादनुक्तमिह पूजितम् । वृत्तं तदपि चात्रेयः सदैवाभ्यनुमन्यते ॥

Even if something is not stated here but that is prescribed elsewhere as a virtuous act, that also is always acceptable to Lord Atreya. [35]

The science of medicine is silent about many details of the code of conduct which have been prescribed by other sastras, For example, it has been stated in the Dharmasastras, “One should not all of a sudden loosen his hair nor one should report about a cow grazing in the field of somebody else. Such course of conduct even though not mentioned in the science of medicine is acceptable to the author of the text. They are not stated here because they do not directly come under the purview of the science of medicine and they will be too lengthy to be included here.

इत्यग्निवेशकृते तन्त्रे चरकप्रतिसंस्कृते श्लोकस्थाने इन्द्रियोपक्रमणीयो नामाष्टमोऽध्यायः ॥७॥

इति स्वस्थचतुष्को द्वितीयः ॥ २ ॥

Thus ends the eighth chapter on “The Description of Sense Organs” of the Sutra section of Agnivesa’s work as redacted by Charaka.

Here ends the second Quadrate on the Maintenance of Positive Health.


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