The origin and evolution of Ayurveda has been mentioned in several book but in Bhavaprakasha we find a comprehensive assessment of the evolution of Ayurveda. Bhavamishra claimed that he has referred several books before writing his description. It is believed that Brahma created Ayurveda with one lakh hymns/shlokas but some authors also tell that Ayurveda already existed Lord Brahma just recalled Ayurveda. He then passed it onto his son Daksha prajapathi thinking that he is capable of propagating it further. Daksha Prajapathi after attaining the expertise in practise ofayurveda, he taught it to Ashwini kumaras, who are born with amass of Lord Surya. Ashwini kumaras has written a text ashwini samhitha to enlighten the Ayurvedic community and they were considered as physicians of heavens. Some examples for the expertise of ashwini kumaras might fo as follows –
- When bhairava beheaded Brhma, it was reunited. For this particular act ashvini kumaras were provide with yajnabhaga.
- During the war between Deva (gods) and Asura (demons) all the wounds were managed by ashwini kumars.
- Frozen shoulder of lore Indra was treated and corrected.
- Elixer was given to Lord Chandra.
- Pusna (one among the Dwadasha adityas) was provided with dents.
- Bhaga (surya bheda) was provided with eyes.
- Rajayakshma (correlated to leprosy in modern science) of lord Chandra was treated.
- Cyavana (of saint bhrgu family) was made young
And many other astonishing treatments that most of us believe it might be just a myth but again it all just goes on ones believes and if a textbook says it happened then I am sure it would have.
There are many references and instances which made Ashwini kumara’s are “DEVA VAIDYAS”. Observing their amazing skills in surgery as well as medicines, Lord Indra expressed his desire towards learning Ayurveda. Then Ashwini kumaras passed down the whole knowledge of Ayurveda to Lord Indra. He in turn made Ayurveda available to sages like Bharadwaja, Atreya etc.
EVOLUTION OF AYURVEDA FROM PRE-VEDIC TO POST-VEDIC PERIOD –
PRE-VEDIC PERIOD – Brahma and Daksha Prajapathi
VEDIC PERIOD – Ashwini kumars and Indra
POST-VEDIC PERIOD – Bharadwaja, Atreya etc
- BRAHMA – He is considered to be the creator of the universe and creator of Ayurveda as well. He recalled and narrated Ayurveda as “Brahma Samhita” with 1,00,000 shlokas.
- DAKSHA PRAJAPATHI – There are several Daksha prajapathi’s in the literature but the one who is known as son of brahma and the one who is the propagator of Ayurveda. Daksha prajapathi as also been quoted in “Dakshna Yagna” of ‘Shiva Purana’. Both the individuals appear to be different.
- Ashwini kumaras – Ashwini kumars are the famous twin physicians of the vedic period. They have provided some miraculous cures and treatments for many diseases/disorders. Also called as Deva Vaidya’s.
- Indra – Vedic hymns invoke Indra to bestow prosperity and also to destroy the enemies. The very statement in the samhitas that Bharadwaja receives Ayurveda from Indra proves his authority in this subject.
- Bhaskara – According to brahmavaivarta purana, Prajapathi leant Vedas from brahma and prepared Ayurveda as the Fifth Veda. He then passed on the knowledge to Bhaskaraa wwho further madde his own Samhita ( Bhaskara Samhitha) and dissipated the knowledge through his 16 disciples who later propagated the knowledge to others.
Dalhana quoted Gayadasa and Bhaskara as the authors of Brhatpanjika and Laghupanjika commentaries. Kavindragrantha suchi quote Bhaskara and his work Sushruthapanjika. He might be the father of Shodala and teacher of Dalhana.
- Varuna – he is among the physicians of vedic period along with Agni, Surya, Chandra and Indra. Varuna is also famous as father of Vasistha.
- Agni – Rigveda shlokas praise agni for his curative power. Agni eliminates all the aliments. He saved the blind Dirghatamas son of manmata from all the tribulations or diseases. Ancient seers prayed agni for longevity, to keep sinless health and wealth and for a remedy for toxic effect of vandana (a highly toxic plant), for being blessed with a wealthy son and also for preventing old age.
- Vayu – Vayu is the god of wind. The vayu in our body can be correlated to one of the tridosha that is Vata. In the ancient civilisation period, lord Vayu was worshipped as a primitive god by Iranians and Tutons.
FUTHER EVOLUTION OF AYURVEDA AS PER THOSE WHO ACCEPT THE BHASKRA SCHOOL –
After Daksha Prajapathi we know that the knowledge of Ayurveda was passed on to Ashwini kumars but according to Bhaskara school of teaching it was passed on to both Ashwini kumaras and Bhaskara and they were know as Heavenly physicians i.e Deva Vaidyas.
Later Ashwini kumars propagated the knowledge to Lord Indra further to Sage Bharadwaja, from here we see two schools of teaching i.e SAMPRADAYAS. In easy terms it is school of surgery and school of general medicine and treatment.
- Dhanvantari Sampradaya
- Atreya sampradaya
Dhanvantari Sampradaya – according to Sushrutha Samhitha, the main disciples of Dhanwantari are Sushrutha, Oupadhenava, Vaitarana, Ourabhra, Pouskalavata, Karavirya and Gouprarakshita.
Atreya Sampradaya – accoding to Charaka Samhitha, the main disciples of Atreya are Agnivesha, Bhela, Jatukarna, Parashara, Haritha and Ksarapani.
And futher the propagation of Ayurveda continues and develops into an immense level.