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Sushruta SamhitaShrira SthanaSira Varnana Vibhaktinama Sharira - classification of Sira vascular system - Sushrutasamhita...

Sira Varnana Vibhaktinama Sharira – classification of Sira vascular system – Sushrutasamhita Sharirasthana Chapter 7

सप्तमोऽध्यायः अथात: सिरावर्णनविभक्तिशारीरं व्याख्यास्यामः, यथोवाच भगवान् धन्वन्तरिः ।। १ ।।

Now we shall discourse on the Sharira which treats of the description and classification of Sira vascular system (Sira-VarnanaVibhaktinama Sharira). 1

सप्त सिराशतानि भवन्ति; याभिरिदं शरीरमाराम इव जलहारिणीभिः केदार इव च कुल्याभिरुपस्निह्यतेऽनुगृह्यते चाकुञ्चनप्रसारणादिभिर्विशेषैः द्रुमपत्रसेवनीनामिव च तासां प्रतानाः | तासां नाभिर्मूलं, ततश्च प्रसरन्त्यूर्ध्वमधस्तिर्यक् च ॥ २ ॥

There are seven hundred Siras (vessels) in the human organism (except those which cannot be counted for their extremely attenuated size ). The vessels ( siras ) by their contractibility and expansibility. They sustain and nourish the organism in the same manner as streamlets and canals serve to keep a field or a garden moist and fruitful. From the principal or central trunk hundreds of small and minute vessels branch off and spread all over the body, just as small or minute fibres are found to emanate from the large central vein of the leaf of a plant. They originate from the umbilical region and thence they spread all over the body upwards, downwards and olibquely. 2

1. The Sanskrta term Sira denotes veins, nerves, arteries and lymphatic vessels as well. Some read Sira-Varna (different colours of the Sira) in lieu of Siravarnana (description of Siras).


भवतश्चात्र ।


यावत्यस्तु सिरा: काये सम्भवन्ति शरीरिणाम् । नाभ्यां सर्वा निबद्धास्ताः प्रतन्वन्ति समन्ततः ॥ ३॥ नाभिस्थाः प्राणिनां प्राणाः प्राणान्नाभिर्व्यापाश्रिता । सिराभिरावृता नाभिश्चक्रनाभिरिवारकैः ।। ४ ।।

Memorable Verses : All the siras ( vessels) that are found in the organisms of created beings, originate from the umbilical region (Nabhi) and thence they spread all over their bodies. The life of an organic animal is seated in the vessels surrounding its navel which forms their starting point. The navel in its turn rests on or is attached to the Pranas (the life carrying vessels – nerves attached to it) in the same manner as the nave of a wheel supports the spokes, and the spokes in their turn support the nave. 3-4

– तासां मूलसिराश्चत्वारिंशत्-तासां वात वाहिन्यो दश, पित्तवाहिन्यो दश, कफवाहिन्यो दश, दश रक्तवाहिन्यः । तासान्तु वातवाहिनीनां वातस्थानगतानां पञ्चसप्ततिशतं भवति, तावत्य एव पित्तवाहिन्यः पित्तस्थाने, कफवाहिन्यश्च कफस्थाने, रक्तवाहिन्यश्च यकृत्प्लीह्नोः एवमेतानि सप्त सिराशतानि भवन्ति ॥ ५ ॥

Principal Siras : Of these Siras ( vessels), forty are principal ones, of which ten are Vayu-carrying Siras (nerves ) , ten are Pittacarrying Siras (veins), ten convey Kapha (lymphatic vessels ? ) and ten are blood-carrying Siras (arteries). Of these the Vayu-carrying Siras, situated in the specific receptacle of that bodily principle (Vata), are again found to branch out in one hundred and seventy five smaller branches (ramifications). Similarly, each of the remaining Pittacarrying, Kapha-carrying and blood-carrying vessels (Siras) situated in their specific receptacles (i.e., in the receptacles of Pitta, Kapha and spleen and liver respectively) are found to branch out in as many numbers as one hundred and seventy-five, thus making a total of seven hundred in all. 5

तत्र वातवाहिन्यः सिरा एकस्मिन् सक्थ्नि पञ्चविंशतिः ।

1. Most probably the idea is derived from the appearance of the Siras in their foetal state.



एतेनेतरसक्थि बाहू च व्याख्यातौ । विशेषतस्तु कोष्ठे चतुस्त्रिंशत्-तासां गुदमेढ्राश्रिताः श्रोण्यामष्टौ, द्वे द्वे पार्श्वयोः, षट् पृष्ठे, तावत्य एव चोदरे, दश वक्षसि । एकचत्वारिंशज्जत्रुण ऊर्ध्वं; – तासां चतुर्दश ग्रीवायां, कर्णयोश्चतस्त्रः, नव जिह्वायां, षट् नासिकायाम्, अष्टौ नेत्रयोः । एवमेतत् पञ्चसप्तत्यधिकशतं वातवाहिनीनां सिराणां व्याख्यातम् ।। ६।।

Their Specific Locations : There are twenty-five Vayu-carrying Siras (nerves) in one leg and the same count applies to the other. Similarly there are twenty five Vayu-carrying Siras (vessels) in each of the hands. There are thirty-four Vayu carrying vessels in the Kostha (trunk); of these eight occur in the pelvic regions attached with the anus and the peris; two in each of the sides, six in the back, six in the Udara (cavity of the abdomen), and ten in the region of the chest. There are forty-one Vayu-carrying Siras (vessels) situated in the region above the clavicles. Of these fourteen occur in the neck; four in the two ears; nine in the tongue; six in the nose and eight in the two eyes. Thus we have finished the description of the one hundred and seventy-five Siras that carry Vayu. 6

एष एव विभागः शेषाणामपि । विशेषतस्तु पित्तवाहिन्यो नेत्रयोर्दश, कर्णयो। एवं रक्तवहाः कफवहाश्च । एवमेतानि सप्त सिराशतानि सविभागानि व्याख्यातानि ॥ ७॥

What has been said of these Vayu-carrying vessels (Siras) will also hold good to the rest (in blood-carrying, Pitta-carrying and Kapha-carrying channels in the respective regions of the body), with the exception that in these three cases (Pitta, Kapha and blood) ten occur in the eyes and two in the ears in lieu of eight and four respectively as in the case of Vayu-carrying Siras (vessels). Thus we have described the seven hundred Siras with their branches. 7

भवन्ति चात्र ।

क्रियाणामप्रतीघातममोहं बुद्धिकर्मणाम्। करोत्यन्यान् गुणांश्चापि स्वाः सिराः पवनश्चरन् || ८ || यदा तु कुपितो वायुः स्वाः सिराः प्रतिपद्यते । तदाऽस्य विविधा रोगा जायन्ते वातसम्भवाः ।। ९ ।।




Memorable Verses : The Vayu-carrying Siras: The Vayu… in its normal state coursing through its specific Siras (vessels) helps the unobstructed performance of its specific functions viz., expansion, contraction, speech etc. and produces the clearness and non-illusiveness of Buddhi (intellect) and the sense-organs, where as a coursing of the said Vayu in a degranged condition through the aforesaid Siras (vessels) gives rise to a host of such diseases as are due to the derangement of Vayu. 8-9


संसर्पत् स्वाः सिराः पित्तं कुर्याच्चान्यान् गुणानपि ।। १० ।। यदा प्रकुपितं पित्तं सेवते स्ववहाः सिराः । तदाऽस्य विविधा रोगा जायन्ते पित्तसम्भवाः ।। ११ ।।

The Pitta-carrying Siras : The Pitta in its normal state coursing through its specific Siras (vessels) produces the healthy glow of complexion, relish for food. kindling of the appetite, healthfulness and other good effects characteristic of the Pitta, which however being aggravated and coursing through them gives rise to a host of Pittaja diseases. 10-11

स्नेहमङ्गेषु सन्धीनां स्थैर्यं बलमुदीर्णताम् । करोत्यन्यान् गुणांश्चापि बलासः स्वाः सिराश्चरन् ॥ १२ ॥ यदा तु कुपितः श्लेष्मा स्वा: सिरा: प्रतिपद्यते । तदाऽस्य विविधा रोगा जायन्ते श्लेष्मसम्भवाः ।। १३ ।।

The Kapha-conveying Siras: The Kapha in its normal state coursing through its specific Siras (vessels) smoothes and contributes to the firmness of the limbs and joints, improves the strength and produces all other good effects specially belonging to it, whereas the same Kapha, flowing through them in an aggravated condition, ushers in a large number of the Kaphaja diseases of the body. 12-13

धातूनां पूरणं वर्ण स्पर्शज्ञानमसंशयम् । स्वा: सिराः सञ्चरद्रक्तं कुर्याच्चान्यान् गुणानपि ॥ १४ ॥ यदा तु कुपितं रक्तं सेवते स्ववहाः सिराः । तदाऽस्य विविधा रोगा जायन्ते रक्तसम्भवाः ।। १५ ।।

The Rakta-carrying Siras: The blood in its normal state



flowing through its specific Siras (vessels) strengthens the other fundamental principles (Dhatus) of the body, improves the complexion, aids the organ of touch in the proper performance of its functions and performs other functions characteristic of it in the body. Flowing through them in a vitiated condition, it begets diseases which are due to the derangement of the blood. 14-15

न हि वातं सिराः काश्चिन्न पित्तं केवलं तथा । श्लेष्माणं वा वहन्त्येता अतः सर्ववहाः स्मृताः ।। १६ ।। प्रदुष्टानां हि दोषाणां मूर्च्छितानां प्रधावताम् । ध्रुवमुन्मार्गगमनमतः सर्ववहाः स्मृताः ।। १७ ।।

There is not a single Sira (vessel) in the body which carries either the Vayu, or the Pitta, or the Kapha alone. Hence each of the vessels should be regarded as affording an opportunity for conveying all kinds of the Dosas of the body, for as soon as they are deranged due to aggravated dosas they seem to over flow and certainly get into other channels (than their own ) Hence they are called Sarvavahah. 16-17

तत्रारुणा वातवहाः पूर्यन्ते वायुना सिराः । पित्तदुष्णाश्च नीलाश्च, शीता गौर्यः स्थिराः कफात्। असृग्वहास्तु रोहिण्यः सिरा नात्युष्णशीतलाः ॥ १८ ॥

Specific colours of the Siras: The vessels which carry the bodily Vayu (nerves) have a vermilion (yellowish red) hue and seem to be stuffed with Vayu. The Pitta-carrying vessels (veins) are coloured blue and felt warm to the touch. The Kapha-carrying vessels are hard, cold to the touch and white-coloured. The blood-carrying vessels (arteries) are red and neither too hot, nor too cold. 18

अत ऊर्ध्व प्रवक्ष्यामि न विध्येद्या सिरा भिषक् । वैकल्यं मरणञ्चापि व्यधात् तासां ध्रुवं भवेत् । । १९ ।। सिराशतानि चत्वारि विद्याच्छाखासु बुद्धिमान् । षट्त्रिंशच्च शतं कोष्ठे चतुःषष्टिञ्च मूर्धनि । ॥ २० ॥ शाखासु पोडश सिराः कोष्ठे द्वात्रिंशदेव तु । पञ्चाशज्जत्रुणश्चोर्ध्वमव्यध्याः परिकीर्त्तिताः ।। २१ ।।

1. Common channels carrying all the dosas.




Now we shall describe the Siras (veins) which a surgeon should not pierce or open, inasmuch as it may result in death, or bodily deformity. An intelligent surgeon shall always bear in mind that sixteen out of the four hundred vessels in the extremeties, thirty-two out of the hundred and thirty-six vessels in the trunk and fifty out of the sixty-four vessels in the region above the clavicles, should not be opened or made to bleed on any account. 19-21

तत्र सिराशतमेकस्मिन् सक्थिन भवति । तासां जालधरा त्वेका, तिस्त्रश्चाभ्यन्तराः तत्रोर्वीसंज्ञे द्वे, लोहिताक्षसंज्ञा चैका, एतास्त्वव्यध्याः । एतेनेतरसक्थि बाहू च व्याख्यातौ । एवमशस्त्रकृत्याः षोडश शाखासु । द्वात्रिंशत् श्रोण्याम् । तासामष्टावशस्त्रकृत्याः- द्वे द्वे विटपयोः, कटीकतरुणयोश्च । अष्टावष्टावेकैकस्मिन् पार्श्वे, तासामेकैकामूर्ध्वगां परिहरेत्, पार्श्वसन्धिगते च द्वे । चतस्रो विंशतिश्च पृष्ठे पृष्ठवंशमुभयतः । तासामूर्ध्वगामिन्यौ द्वे द्वे परिहरेत् बृहतीसिरे । तावत्य एवोदरे, तासां मेट्रोपरि रोमराजीमुभयतो द्वे द्वे परिहरेत् । चत्वारिंशद् वक्षसि । तासां चतुर्दशाशस्त्रकृत्याः – हृदये द्वे, द्वे द्वे स्तनमूले, स्तनरोहितापलापस्तम्भेषूभयतोऽष्टौ एवं द्वात्रिंशदशस्त्रकृत्याः पृष्ठोदरोरःसु भवन्ति ।। २२ ।।

Of the one hundred vessels in a single leg, the one Jaladhara (which is attached to the connective tissue of the Kurca-Sirah) as well as the three internal ones, of which two are known as the Urvi-veins and the other as the Lohitaksa, together with the corresponding ones in the other leg and in the two hands, thus making sixteen in all, which are situated in the upper and lower extremeties, should be held unfit for opening. Of the thirty-two veins in the pelvic region (Sroni), eight such, known as the four) Vitapas (two on each side of the testicles) and the four known as the Katika-taruna as (two on each side) should be considered unfit for bleeding or opening. Of the sixteen veins (eight on each side) at the sides, the one which courses upward from each of the two sides and is attached to the Marma known as the ParsvaSandhi, should be considered unfit for similar purposes. Of the twenty-four Siras which are found in either side of the spinal column, an incision should not be made into any of the two Siras (on each side) known as the Brhati and which run upward along either side of it (spinal column). Similarly of the twenty-four-siras in the abdomen,



the two along each of the two sides of symphisis pubis should be held unfit for opening or bleeding. Of the forty veins in the chest, the two in the heart, two in the root of each breast and two in each of the Stanarohita (muscle of the breast) and one in each of the Apastambhas and Apalapas, making fourteen in all, should not be opened. Thus thirtytwo Siras in the regions of the back (i.e., the sides and the pelvic regions), the abdomen and the chest should be regarded as unfit for opening or other surgical purposes. 22

चतुःषष्टिसिराशतं जत्रुण ऊर्ध्वं भवति । तत्र षट्पञ्चाशच्छिरोधरायाम्, तासामष्टौ चतस्त्रश्च मर्मसंज्ञाः परिहरेत्, द्वे कृकाटिकयोः, द्वे विधुरयोः; एवं ग्रीवायां षोडशाव्यध्याः । हन्वोरुभयतोऽष्टावष्टौ; तासान्तु सन्धिधमन्यौ द्वे द्वे परिहरेत् ।। २३ । ।

There are one hundred and sixty-four Siras in the region above the clavicles. Of these the eight and four (making twelve and respectively known as the eight Matrikas, the two Nilas and the two Manyas) out of the fifty-six in the neck and the throat, should be regarded as unfit for opening. Similarly the two veins in the two Krkatikas and two in the two Vidhuras, should be held unfit for similar purposes; thus making sixteen in all in the neck. Of the sixteen vessels (eight on each side) of the Hanus (Jaws), the two Siras about each of the joint of the jaw-bones should never be opened. 23

षट्त्रिंशज्जिह्वायाम्, तासामधः षोडशाशस्त्रकृत्याः रसवहे द्वे, वाग्वहे च द्वे, द्विर्द्वादश नासायाम् तासामौपनासिक्यश्चतस्त्रः परिहरेत् । तासामेव च तालुन्येकां मृदावुद्देशे। अष्टत्रिंशदुभयोनेत्रयोः । तासामेकैकामपाङ्गयोः परिहरेत् । कर्णयोर्दश । तासां शब्दवाहिनीमेकैकां परिहरेत्। नासानेत्रगतास्तु ललाटे षष्टिः तासां केशन्तानुगताश्चतस्त्रः । आवर्त्तयोरेकैका । स्थपन्याञ्चैका परिहर्त्तव्या । शङ्खयोर्दश, तासां शङखसन्धिगतामेकैकां परिहरेत् । द्वादश मूर्धिन, तासामुत्क्षेपयोर्द्वे परिहरेत्, सीमन्तेष्वेकैकाम्-एकामधिपताविति । एवमशस्त्रकृत्याः पञ्चाशज्जत्रुण ऊर्ध्वमिति ॥ २४ ॥

Of the thirty-six¹ vessels in the tongue, sixteen are situated in the 1. Gayi asserts that there are eight each of the Vayu-carrying, Pitta-carrying. Kapha-carrying and blood-carrying Siras in the region of the neck, thus




under-surface of that organ and twenty in the upper surface; of these the two speech-carrying and the two taste-carrying ones should be held unfit for venesection. Of the twenty-four vessels in the nose, the four adjacent to the nose proper and the one running into the soft palate should be held unfit for similar purposes. Of the thirty-eight vessels in the two eyes, the one situated at each Apanga should not be opened. Of the ten vessels in the two ears, the sound-carrying one in either ear should not be opened. Of the sixty vessels of the nose and eyes coursing through the region of the forehead, the four vessels adjacent to the scalp proper and the Avarta Marma should be held unfit for opening or bleeding. One vessel (Sira) in each of the two Avartas and the one in the Sthapani-marma should not be opened (on any account). Of the ten vessels in the temple, the one about each temple-joint should be held unfit for opening or bleeding. Of the twelve vessels in the head, the one in each of the two Utksepa-Marmas, one in each of the (five) Simanta-marmas and one in the Adhipati-Marma, should be held unfit for the purpose. No incision or opening should be made into any of these fifty vessels situated in the region above the clavicles. 24

भवति चात्र ।

algakufuat Za afura: yyat: fert: 1 प्रताना: पद्मिनीकन्दाद् विसादीनां यथा जलम् ॥ २५ ॥

Memorable Verses: As the stem and leaves etc., of a lotus plant, originate from its bulb, spread over the whole surface of a pool or tank (lit: water), so the vessels emanating from the umbilicus of a man spread over his whole body. 25

इति सुश्रुतसंहितायां शारीरस्थाने सिरावर्णनविभक्तिशारीरं नाम सप्तमोऽध्यायः।। ७।।

Thus ends the seventh Chapter of the Sharira Sthana in the Susruta Samhita which treats of the description and classification of Siras (vessels).

making a total of 32 in place of 36 of the text.

He also holds that there are 28 in place of 36 Siras in the tongue, 16 in place of 24 in the nose, 24 in place of 38 in the eyes, 16 in place of 10 in the ears and 8 in place of 10 in the temple. In the counting of the Siras situated in the other parts of the body, he however, does not differ from the text.



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