अथातः शिष्योपनयनीयमध्यायं व्याख्यास्यामः, यथोवाच भगवान् धन्वन्तरिः ॥१॥
Now we shall discuss the Chapter which deals with the rites of formal initiation of a pupil into the science of Medicine (Sisyopanayaniya adhaya). 1
ब्राह्मणक्षत्रियवैश्यानामन्यतममन्वय-वयः शीलशौर्यशौचाचारविनयशक्तिबलमेघाघृति-स्मृतिमति- प्रतिपत्तियुक्तं तनुजिह्वौष्ठदन्ताग्रमृजुवक्त्राक्षिनासं प्रसन्नचित्तवाक्चेष्टं क्लेशसहञ्च भिषक् शिष्यमुपनयेत्; अतो विपरीतगुणं नोपनयेत् ॥२॥
Such an initiation should be imparted to a student, belonging to one of the three twice-born castes such as, the Brahmana, the Ksatriya, and the Vaisya, and who should be of tender years, born of a good family, possessed of, a desire to learn, strength, energy of action, contentment, character, self-control, a good retentive memory, intellect, courage, purity of mind and body, and a simple and clear comprehension, command a clear insight into the things studied, and should be found to have been further graced with the necessary qualifications of thin lips, thin teeth and thin tongue, and possessed of a straight nose, large, honest, intelligent eyes, with a benign contour of the mouth, and contented frame of mind, being pleasant in his speech and dealings, and usually painstaking in his efforts. A man possessed of contrary attributes should not be admitted into (the sacred precincts of) medicine. 2
उपनयनीयन्तु ब्राह्मणं प्रशस्तेषु तिथिकरणमुहूर्त्तनक्षत्रेषु प्रशस्तायां दिशि शुचौ समे देशे चतुर्हस्तं चतुरस्रं स्थण्डिलमुपलिप्य गोमयेन दर्भे: संस्तीर्य्य पुष्पैर्लाजभक्तै रत्लैक्ष देवताः पूजयित्वा विप्रान् भिषजश्च तत्रोल्लिख्याभ्युक्ष्य च दक्षिणतो ब्रह्माणं स्थापयित्वाग्निमुपसमाधाय खदिरपलाश देवदारुबिल्वानां समिद्भिश्चतुर्णां वा क्षीरिवृक्षाणां न्यग्रोधोडुम्बराश्वत्थमधूकानां दधिमधुघृताक्ताभिर्दावहौमिकेण विधिना सुवेणाज्याहुतीर्जुहुयात् । सप्रणवाभिर्महाव्याहृतिभिस्ततः प्रतिदैवतमृर्षीींश्च स्वाहाकारञ्च कुर्य्यात् शिष्यमपि कारयेत् ।। ३ ।।
Mode of Initiation : A Brahmana preceptor should intiate a disciple or student in the following way- A square sand cushion or platform, measuring a cubit in length and breadth, should be laid out on a plot of smooth, level and sacred ground under the benign influence of any auspicious phase of the moon or astral combination such as, the “Karanam”, etc. and in a direction of the compass which is held most auspicious to that end. The cushion or the platform should be plastered over with a solution of water and cow-dung; and blades of Kusa grass should be strewn over it Then the gods, the Brahmanas and the physicians should be worshipped with oblations of flowers, fried paddy, gems and sundried rice. Then having drawn straight lines across the Sthandila so as to meet the top of the furthest side of the square, and having sprinkled them over with holy water, the preceptor should lay down a blade of Kusa grass tied up in the form of a knot, known as the Brahmana, along the side of the sacred cushion to his right, and kindle the sacred fire close to his seat. Then having soaked the twigs of the four sacrificial trees of Khadira, Palasa, Devadaru and Bilva, or of Vata, Udumbara, Asvattha and Madhuka in curd, honey and clarified butter, he should perform the rite of Homa according to the rules of Darvi Homa ceremony. Then libations of clarified butter should be cast into the sacrificial fire with a repetition of the Maha Vyahrti Mantras preceded by the mystic Omkara. After that, libations of clarified butter should be cast into the fire in honour of each of the gods and Rsis (celestial physicians) invoked by repeating the Svaha Mantra.
ब्राह्मणस्त्रयाणां वर्णानामुपनयनं कर्तुमर्हति, राजन्यो द्वयस्य, वैश्यो वैश्यस्यैवेति । शूद्रमपि कुलगुणसम्पन्नं मन्त्रवर्ज्जमनुपनीतमध्यापयेदित्येके ॥४॥
A Brahmana preceptor is competent to initiate a student belonging to any of the three twice-born castes. A Ksatriya preceptor can initiate a student of the Ksatriya or the Vaisya caste, while a Vaisya preceptor can initiate a student of his own caste alone. A Sudra student of good character and parentage may be initiated into the mysteries of the Ayurveda by omiting the Mantras enjoined to be recited on such an occasion. 4
ततोऽग्निं त्रि: परिणीयाग्निसाक्षिकं शिष्यं ब्रूयात्, कामक्रोघलोभमोहमानाहङ्कारेर्ष्यापारुष्यपैशुन्यानृतालस्यायशस्यानि हित्वा नीचनखरोम्णा शुचिना काषायवाससा सत्यव्रतब्रह्मचर्य्याभिवादनतत्परेणावश्यं भवितव्यम्, मदनुमतस्थानगमनशयनासनभोजनाध्ययनपरेण भूत्वा मत्प्रियहितेषु वर्त्तितव्यम्; अतोऽन्यथा ते वर्त्तमानस्याधर्म्मो भवत्यफला च विद्या न च प्राकाश्यं प्राप्नोति ॥५॥
अहं वा त्वयि सम्यग्वर्त्तमाने यद्यन्यथादर्शी स्यामेनोभाग् भवेयमफलविद्यश्च । द्विजगुरुदरिद्रमित्रप्रव्रजितोपनतसाध्वनाथाभ्युपगतानां चात्मबान्धवानामिव स्वभेषजैः प्रतिकर्त्तव्यमेवं साधु व्याधशाकुनिकपतितपापकारिणां न च प्रतिकर्त्तव्यमेवं विद्या प्रकाशते मित्रयशोधर्म्मार्थकामांश्च प्राप्नोति ॥६॥ भवति ।
Then having thrice circumambulated the sacrificial fire, and having invoked the firegod to bear testimony to the fact, the preceptor should address the initiated disciple as follows: “Thou shalt renounce lust, anger, greed, ignorance, vanity, egotistic feelings, envy, harshness, niggardliness, falsehood, idleness, nay all acts that soil the good name of a man. In proper season thou shalt pair thy nails and clip thy hair and put on the sacred cloth, dyed brownish yellow, live the life of a
1. The libations should be offered as follows Svaha ( obeisance) to Brahma, Svaha to Prajapati (the lord of the created beings), Svaha to Asvins. Svaha to Indra. Svaha to Dhanvantari. Svaha to Bharadvaja and Svaha to Atreya. the disciple should be made to do the same.
truthful, self-controlled anchorite and be obedient and respectful towards thy preceptor. In sleep, in rest, or while moving about-while at meals or in study, and in all acts thou shalt be guided by my directions. Thou shalt do what is pleasant and beneficial to me, otherwise thou shalt incur sin and all thy study and knowledge shall fail to bear their wished for fruit and thou shalt gain no fame. If I, on the other hand, treat thee unjustly even with thy perfect obedience and in full conformity to the terms agreed upon, may I incur equal sin with thee, and may all my knowledge prove futile, and never have any scope of work or display. Thou shalt help with thy professional skill and knowledge, the Brahmanas, thy elders, preceptors and friends the indigent, the honest, the anchorites, the helpless and those who shall come to thee (from a distance), or those who shall live close by, as well as thy relations and kinsmen [to the best of thy knowledge and ability] and thou shalt give them medicine [without charging for it any remuneration whatever], and God will bless thee for that. Thou shalt not treat medicinally a professional hunter, a fowler, a habitual sinner, or him who has been degraded in life; and even by so doing thou shalt acquire friends, fame, piety, wealth and all wished for objects in life and thy knowledge shall gain publicity.” 5-6.
कृष्णेऽष्टमी तन्निधनेऽहनी द्वे शुक्ले तथाप्येवमहर्द्विसन्ध्यम् । अकालविद्युत्स्तनयित्नुघोषे स्वतन्त्रराष्ट्रक्षितिपव्यथासु ॥ श्मशानयानाद्यतनाहवेषु महोत्सवौत्पातिकदर्शनेषु । नाध्येयमन्येषु च येषु विप्रा नाधीयते नाशुचिना च नित्यम् ।। ७ ।।
Prohibited periods of the study of the Ayurveda: The day of the new moon, the eighth day of the moon’s wane, the fourteenth day of the dark fortnight, as well as the corresponding days in the bright one, the day of the full moon, and the meetings of day and night such as (morning and evening) are occasions when the study of the Ayurveda is prohibited. Similarly, a clap of thunder heard at an improper season (months of Piusa, Phalguna and Caitra), or a flash of lightning occurring at a time when such phenomena are naturally rare, or an evil befalling one’s country, relations or king, should be deemed as occasions prohibiting the study of the Ayurveda. Moreover, one Vol. 1-2
should not read it in a cremation ground, nor while riding (an elephant, horse, or any) conveyance, nor in a battle-field, nor in a place of execution. A festival or the appearance of inauspicious omens, and the days of the fortnight usually avoided by the Brahmanas in studying the Vedas, as well as an unclean state of the body, should be regarded as occasions prohibiting the study of the Ayurveda. 7
Thus ends the second chapter of the Sutrasthana in the Susruta-Samhita which treats of the formal initiation of a student into the Ayurveda.