Let’s look at shastra the various sharp surgical instruments used in Ayurveda. The 26th Chapter in Ashtanga Hrudaya Sutrasthana was written by Acharya Vagbhata, his son Vaidyapathi Simhagupta. The chapter’s name is Shastra Vidhi Adhyaya. Shastra is a reference to a sharp surgical instrument.
Shastra is a sharp instrument for surgical use.
Features of Shastra – Sharp Instruments
Features of Shastra / Sharp Instruments
Shastras Sharp instruments are 26 in total.
Shastras are to be made by experienced metal smiths, following the traditional method for creating surgical instruments.
They should typically be about six inches Angula (fingers length) long and capable of splitting hair/shaving and are attractive to look at with sharp edges. Suitable to hold securely;
The Yantras should not be of poor quality or appearance. They must be made well-blown, clear of impurities, and solid steel such as iron.
Front of the mouths. i.e., the edges of their shape are hammered well to create sharp edges with the color like the blue lotus and a shape by their names Always ready to use, and their blades cutting edges measuring 1/4th half, 1/8th or 1/2th of their length (total length).
Each instrument, with several, two, or three, must be utilized according to the location of the operation. 1-4
Names of Shastras
Mandalagra, Vriddhiptra, Uttpala Patra, Adhyardha Dhara, Sarpa Mukha, Eshani, Vetasa Patra, Sarari Mukha, Trikurchaka, Kushapatra, Atavadana Atimukhi Antrarvaktra, Ardha chandraka, Vrihimukha, Kuthari, Shalaka, Anguli Shastra, Badisa, Karapatra, Kartari, Nakha Shastra, Danta lekhanaka, Suchi, Koorcha, Khaja The four types of Ara and Karna vedhanakaThese are the names of 26 well-crafted instruments. Types of shastras
1. Mandalagra Shastra– knife with a sharp point that’s round is shaped in the shape of the nail that is the finger’s index to be used to scrape and cut-excision in conditions such as Pothakicysts within the eyelids, Shundika- Tonsils, etc. 5
2. Vridhipatra, Scalpel is shaped like an edge of a boarders knife-Razor which is used for cutting, excision, or splitting, as well as for incisions and tearing or separating the sharp edge is designed for use in bulging or elevated swelling. The same is true for its bent tip, which is bent backward. The short or long edge is to be used for deep-seated swelling. 6
Three Utpalapatra, as well as 4 Ardha dharaLancets, serve for cutting and splitting.
5 Sarpyasya, Sarpyasya Sarpamukha- a serpent-bladed scalpel was designed to cut and remove nasal polyps and ear and features an edge half Angula.
6. Eshani Sharp probe designed to explore sinuses. It’s smooth and has the shape of it’s the mouth shape of an earthworm. 8
Another type of Eshani probe is designed to split the blade; it is shaped like needles and has an opening for slits at the base.
7. Vetasapatra is used to puncture;
8. Shararimukhi. Shararimukhi is like a heron’s beak of scissors, and
9. Trikuracaka Trikuracaka – three spiked brushes similar to a tool are designed to remove liquids. 9
10. Kushapatra– Razor that resembles Blade of Kusha grass and
11. Atimukha razor resembling the hawk’s beak, is intended to drain water; its edges are two angula in length. Antarmukha shastra
12. Antramukha, Antramukha used for drainage its edges 1.5 Angula in length. Designed to resemble a half-moon. Antramukha shastra
13 Vrihimukha Vrihimukha – with a blade that resembles a grain of rice. Its edge is one-and-a-half Angula in length. It is intended for puncturing veins and the abdomen. 11
14. Kuthari. Kothari Axe is a thick Stout, resembling a cow’s tooth, having edges of half Angula in length and with a wooden handle from it; the bone’s vein must be cut while extending into the grip of the Axe in a vertical direction over it. 12
15 Shalaka Rod made from copper having two ends on each side that are shaped in the shape of the buds of Kurabaka designed to penetrate the lens Linganasaor Cataract couching. 13
16. Anguli Shastra finger knife is made to be able to open up.
Its edges are razor-sharp, and the half Angula in size, which resembles the shape of Vriddhipatra or Mandalagra form, can allow entry into the initial Phallange of the index finger and is secured to the finger by threads and intended for removal or splitting off of the disease area in the throat. 14-15Badisha shastra
17. Badisha Sharp hook with a bent blade is designed to hold larger Uvula, Arma- Pterygium, etc. Karapatra shastra
18. Karapatra saw is designed to cut bone. It must have a sturdy edge of 10 Angula in length and two Angula and with fine small, sharp teeth and a handle that can be secured with the fist. Kartari- scissors Shastra
19 Kartari- – scissors meant for cutting tendons, hairs, threads, and so on, is a type of scissors the layman uses. Makhasa shastra
20 Makhasa Makhasa straight, straight edge with two blades forming an Edge on two sides 9 Angula long, which can be used for removing tiny foreign bodies, cutting, splitting, and scraping.Danta lekhanaka shastra
21 Danta Lekhanaka dental lancet features one edge with four Angulas. It is shaped as knots on one end, intended to scrape the tartar off the teeth. Soochi – needles for suturing/ swing shastra
22 Soochi needles to suture or swing are available in three varieties that are round, strong, and stout, entering through a hole within the body close to their root. Used in areas with flesh made of three edges, the length will be three angular to be used in places that are not as flashy boney joints and for wounds on joints, and an Angula length of two. 20Vrihimukha Soochi shastra- curved needle
Vrihimukha Soochi- a curving needle is bent as a bow, designed for sewing or suturing the stomach and vital spots, and two and a half Angula length. 21Koorcha shastra – brush with sharp spikes with round spikes
23 Koorcha Brush with strong points and rounded spikes attached to the other end to make seven or eight numbers and well secured and used to scrape in Nilikablue patches VyanggaDark spots on blades, hair loss, etc.22Khaja- churner has a blade
24 Khaja Churner blade that is the size of half Angula in length. It’s round. It has eight spikes fixed into it to remove the blood vitiated from the nose through Churning using the hands. 23Karnapali Vyadhna Sshastra- instrument for puncturing the ear lobe
26. Karnapali Vyadhna – instrument for puncturing the earlobe should be able to have its blade in the shape of a bud of Yuthikathe Jasmine. 24Ara shastraAra- Awl, saw cutting plate
25 Ara Awl Saw cutting plate has a circular blade that is the half Angula underneath and four blades with edges above. It is utilized to puncture swellings when there is doubt about whether they are either urine or ripe, which is very thick in the earlobe. If the earlobe is thick, using a hollow needle within three sections with a length of three Angula is ideal for puncturing. 25-26
Anu Shatra – Accessory instruments:-
Anu Shatra – Accessory instruments
Anushastras are –
Jalauka – Leeches,
Kshara – caustic alkalies,
Dahana – fire,
Kacha – glass
upala -cow dung cake
nakha – nail
nail, stone, etc. that aren’t metallic.
Other instruments could be designed to be suitable for particular purposes and on specific sites. 27
Shastra Karya – functions of sharp instruments
Shastra Karya – functions of sharp instruments
Patana- splitting or tearing,
Pracehhana- Scratching and incising small puncturing
Kuttana- beating, hitting, pounding
Chedana – exciting, cutting,
GrahanaHolding gripping, holding and
Dahana-burning and cauterizing are some of the uses for sharp instruments.28
Shastra Dosha – imperfections of sharp instruments:
Shastra Dosha – defects of sharp instruments
Kuntha – Bluntness,
Khanda – brokenness,
Sthula – stoutness,
Hrsava – smallness,
Vakrata – curvedness, irregular shape
Kharadaratva’s rough edges are a defect of sharp instruments.29
Shastragahana Vidhi: Method to hold sharp instruments Shastragahana Vidhi:
Shastragahana Vidhi:- Method of holding sharp instruments
To perform Chedana(cutting), Bhedana (breaking), and Lekhana (scraping) For cutting, Bhedana (breaking) and Lekhana (scraping tool must be held Vrunta the phalantara between the handles of round woods and the edge with the aid of middle and index fingers as well as the thumbs;
to facilitate Visravana (draining) for Visravana (draining), the handle should be held by the end of the handle by using fingers on the index side and thumb;
To perform Pracchanna (scorching or scratching), The tip of the handle must be held in the palm of your hand. Vrihimukha Shastra must be held near the mouth’s end.
for extraction, the instruments must be held close to their root;
Others can be detained in a comfortable way that is appropriate to the procedure. 30-32
Shastra Kosha – Instrument wallet
Shastra Kosha- instrument wallet
The instrument wallet must be 9 Angula wide, 12 Angula long.
It can be made of leaves, jute silk, tree bark, and soft leather.
It should be equipped with threads that are well stitched and have an instrument compartment, and is to be wrapped in wool.
Its mouth is closed and secured with rods that act as an anchor and are pleasant to see. 33-34
Jalauka – leeches in Ayurveda
Leeches are an excellent choice to let out the blood.
Leeches develop in water that is contaminated with corpses of fish, frogs, and snakes or by their excrement;
Indrayudha kind of leeches –
White, red, or black; Chapala is very active
Thin and slimy
Poisonous Jalauka –
They are those who are
Chitra – a range of lines on their backs, and
Urdhvaraji, which are highly hairy, are Savishapoisonous and must be avoided.
When used, they can cause the symptoms of itching, ulceration, and giddiness. These conditions are treated with medications that reduce Pitta, poison, and blood. 35-36 1/2
Nirvisha Jalauka – Non Poisonous leeches
Nirvisha Jalauka – Non Poisonous leeches
The ones born in clean water are blue and round shapes. They have blue lines running down their backs, rough or hardback, and a thin, slim body with a yellowish belly called Nirvisha. They are not poisonous, so they are suitable for use. 37-38
Even those, even if they fail to vomit out the blood they have sucked out completely, even if they’re regularly applied and do not show any activity after they have been in the water, are to be regarded as intoxicated by blood and be dismissed. 39
Jalaukavacharana – method of applying leech therapy
Jalaukavacharana- the procedure of using leech Therapy
Leech kept for a brief period in water containing the paste of turmeric or grain rinsed with water (Avantisoma) or buttermilk ought to be soothed by putting back into pure water.
The leeches attract the desired area of the body. This is done by applying pressure to the body using Ghee, mud, breast milk/blood, or making a puncture using a sharp instrument.
If it begins to drink blood, by lifting the shoulders of its back, it must be covered with a soft cloth.
In this way, the Leech will take only the blood that is vitiated first from the mix of un-vitiated and vitiated, similar to how the swan siphons milk from a combination of water and milk. 40-42
Using leeches helps treat illnesses such as Gulma-Tumors of the abdomen.
Arsha – Haemorrhoids,
Vidradhi – Abscess, Kushta – skin diseases
Galamaya, Netraruk – conditions of the neck and the eyes Visha – poison
Visarpa– herpes. Etc
When to remove jalauka
If Leech is removed, itching or pain occurs where the bite occurred; they will then be forced to vomit blood sucked by rubbing their mouths with oil and salt or gently rubbing towards their mouths after spreading fine rice flour on their mouths. 43
After vomiting, they must be protected against blood poisoning and shouldn’t be repeated for seven days.
After proper vomiting, the Leech returns to its original strength and activity and strong. If it gets too much vomiting, it becomes very weak or even die;
If vomiting isn’t done correctly, it can become unresponsive, inactive, and intoxicated. 44
They must be moved between pots the next and then filled with water and good mud to eliminate the putrefaction caused by saliva and excreta from sponges because Leeches can be poisonous if they come into contact. 45
Jalauka site care
In the event of doubt about any impurity, the location of the bite must become swollen, apply a paste consisting of Haridra (Turmeric), Guda (jaggery), and honey.
A second piece of cloth soaked with Shata Dhauta Ghrita or excellent pastes made of cold-potency medications is recommended to be sprayed on the area.
After the removal of affected blood, the pain and redness disappear immediately. 47
The blood vitiated, which has been displaced from the site and then growing in the interior of the wound, becomes extremely acidic after it has sat overnight. Hence, it is best to eliminate it once more. 48
A pot or a gourd (cupping method) is not recommended to get rid of the blood vitiated if blood is pitta-infected since they are linked to fire. It could also aggravate Pitta. These remedies should be utilized during vitiation due to Kapha and Vata imbalance. 49
The blood that Kapha vitiates should not be removed through a sucking horn (Shrunga) because of the thickness of the blood. In contrast, vitiated blood due to Vata and Pitta must be extracted using this sucking horn. 50
Shrunga is beneficial in addressing Vata and Pitta imbalance but is not recommended in Kapha.
Ghata is excellent in Vata or Kapha, but it is not suitable for Pitta.
Pracchana – incising the skin to cause bleeding
The body part over the site that has been chosen to be swollen should be tied securely using a rope made from scraps of leather.
Joints, tendon bones, and vital spots are ruled out, and Prachanna Karma (scratching and cutting) uses a sharp scalpel from below to upwards.
It shouldn’t be done horizontally.
The accumulation of blood in any location- small or not-can be removed with Pracchana (scratching or making incisions);
The blood accumulated in abscesses or tumors may be eliminated using leeches.
The blood that has caused the loss of sensation at the point of accumulation uses the sucking Horn (shrunga) and gourds as well as the pot (Ghata)
Which is spread throughout the body via venesection. 55
The removal of blood through incisions occurs if the blood is in a solid state; with Leeches when it’s deep in the body; with gourd, pot, or Horn when it is located in the skin, and venesection when it’s pervasive across the entire body using Leeches, horns, gourd, or pot for the places of Vata and other Doshas respectively.54 1/2pracchana karma wound care.
The bleeding area must be covered with a cooling paste following the procedure. This will lessen the itching, pain, and edema in the area.
The area needs to be sprayed with warm Ghee. 55
The chapter is now complete—Shastra Vidhi – the 26th of Sutrathana within Astangahridaya.