Cover of: An English translation of the Sushruta samhita, based on original Sanskrit text. by Susruta

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An English translation of the Sushruta samhita, based on original Sanskrit text.

Edited and published by Kaviraj Kunja Lal Bhishagratna. With a full and comprehensive introd., translation of different readings, notes, comperative views, index, glossary and plates.

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This edition was published in in Calcutta.

Written in English

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Cover of: An English translation of the Sushruta samhita, based on original Sanskrit text.

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An English translation of the Sushruta samhita, based on original Sanskrit text

Edited and published by Kaviraj Kunja Lal Bhishagratna. With a full and comprehensive introd., translation of different readings, notes, comperative views, index, glossary and plates.

First published in 1907



Work Description

Review by A.Yeshuratnam

The British East India Company established the Indian Medical Service (IMS) as early as 1764 to look after Europeans in British India.. IMS officers headed military and civilian hospitals in Bombay, Calcutta and Madras, and also accompanied the Company's ships and army. The British also established on 21 June 1822 "The Native Medical Institution"(NMI) in Calcutta, where medical teaching was imparted in the vernacular. Treatises on anatomy, medicine, and surgery were translated from European languages for the benefit of the students. From 1826 onwards, classes on Unani and Ayurvedic medicine were held respectively at the Calcutta madrasa and the Sanskrit college. In 1827 John Tyler, an Orientalist and the first superintendent of the NMI started lectures on Mathematics and Anatomy at the Sanskrit College which was also founded by the British. In general, the medical education provided by the British at this stage involved parallel instructions in western and indigenous medical systems. Translation of western medical texts was encouraged and though dissection was not performed, clinical experience was a must. But the government was not satisfied with the medical education imparted at the Native Medical Institution. Ayurveda had no knowledge of virology, anatomy, surgery, Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose & Throat), pediatrics and surgery. Surgical instruments were never used in Ayurveda because Ayurvedic system stressed a balance of three elemental energies or humors: Vāyu vāta (air , space – "wind"), pitta (fire & water – "bile"). This was a primitive belief and Ayurvedic conception of elemental energies has no scientific basis for the treatment of patients.. Even basic equipments such as thermometer, stethoscope and BP apparatus were unknown to Ayurvedic physicians and they were seeing them for the first time in 1822 at the NMI. The British wanted to improve the quality of medical education in India. Lord William Bentinck appointed a Committee and it consisted of Dr John Grant as President and J C C Sutherland, C E Trevelyan, Thomas Spens, Ram Comul Sen and M J Bramley as members. The Committee criticized the medical education imparted at the NMI for the inappropriate nature of its training and the examination system as well as for the absence of courses on practical anatomy The Committee recommended that the state found a medical college 'for the education of the natives'. The various branches of medical science cultivated in Europe should be taught in this college. When the Calcutta Medical College was established in 1835, the Indian Medical Service (IMS) was dissolved and the Ayurvedic students, except Madhusudan Gupta, were expelled. It was during this period that the infuriated Ayurvedic teachers and students produced spurious Sanskrit manuscripts in the pretentious names of Chraka and Sushruta. The Asiatic Society scholars in Calcutta accepted these fake manuscripts as genuine and published research papers in the Society journal. To legitimize this false claim, fanatical Sanskrit pundits, Ayurvedic physicians and some Orientalists chalked out a well planned strategy by which they linked the fictitious Sushrusa with world renowned Western surgeons. In 1815, Joseph Constantine Carpue wrote about a rhinoplasty performed on a wounded soldier whose nose had been all but destroyed in battle, and another patient whose nose had been damaged by arsenic. His work, the “Account of Two Successful Operations for Restoring a Lost Nose” became a standard work in medical colleges. Although the Italian surgeon Tagliacozzi’s treatise on making a nose from an arm flap, De curtorum chirurgia per insitionem(Venice, 1597), was an outstanding work, the condemnation of operation by religious authorities resulted in complete withdrawal of this practice. Students of Calcutta Medical College, founded in 1835, were taught about the works of Tagliacozzi and Carpue and the successful rhinoplasty performed by Carpue .Ayurvedic proponents wanted to show that Carpue and Tagiliacozzi learned rhinoplasty from Sushruta’s technique. It is quite transparent that the essential points in Carpue’s work were plagiarized and Sanskrit manuscripts were published in the fictitious name of Sushruta. To camouflage this act, Ayurvedic physicians claim that Carpue came to India and stayed for 20 years to learn Shusruta's technique of rhinoplasty. But the fact of the matter is that Carpue had never come to India. The British medical journal Lancet is categorical that Carpue stayed and worked in London only. They also claim that the Italian Tagliacozzi also learnt from Sushruta's method. To substantiate this false claim they had invented a story that Sushruta's work was translated into Arabic during the Abbasid Caliphate and from there it went to Europe. What a fantastic manipulation! There is no Arabic translation of Shusruta's work during the Caliphate.The famous physician in the Caliphate was Avicenna and he produced treatises and works that summarized the vast amount of knowledge that scientists had accumulated, and was very influential through his encyclopedias, The Canon of Medicine and The Book of Healing. There is absolutely no reference to Sushruta or rhinoplasty in his works. What is more, there is no statement by European surgeons that they received Sushruta's Arabic translation from the Arabs during the Renaissance.
As there is little evidence to prove their false contention, Ayurvedic exponents now say that Sushruta’s technique of rhinoplasty is mentioned in The Gentleman’s Magazine. The Gentleman’s Magazine was founded in London in 1731 and it had nothing to do with the concocted Sushruta whose birth and period are still not confirmed. Another ridiculous attempt to legitimize the fictitious Sushruta was the Bower’s manuscript. Like the Pitman’s hoax, Bower produced some manuscripts The Bower Manuscript, like the Pitsdown Hoax, is a hoax. Hamilton Bower wanted to get name and fame for himself. During the period of his service in India, the Asiatic Society was making all endeavors to construct the History of India. In the absence of printed texts, scholars of the Society were collecting old manuscripts. Due to the long Muslim rule and due to the political uncertainty in India there was no manuscript library, no storehouse and no temple to preserve manuscripts, if at all they were available. When the Society called for manuscripts, thousands of fake Sanskrit manuscripts were produced and they were presented before scholars. Many English men such as William Jones, Colebrooke, Wilson and many others used Brahmins to produce fake manuscripts. Strachey and Colebrooke attempted to prove knowledge of science and mathematics in ancient India. In the absence of printed texts, it was easy for these scholars to invent stories by using spurious and manipulated Sanskrit manuscripts. Jones wanted to establish the fact that ancient India had advanced system of surgery and scientific knowledge. Jones wanted to be knighted and for this purpose he produced many stories using spurious manuscripts. One Islam Akhun was notorious for producing fake manuscripts in Sanskrit and Brahmi. Hamilton Bower probably would have got these fake manuscripts from Akhun. Hoernle who deciphered these manuscripts was also fooled by these fake manuscripts. Birch bark-leaf manuscripts were alleged to have been found in 1909, and one may wonder how could these manuscripts survive for several centuries? We are told that fortune seekers found these manuscripts. How did the manuscripts find their way to Turkestan? So on the face of it everything is fraudulent and it was a cunning attempt of Bower to get name and fame for him. Doubting the authenticity of the works, Sir Aurel Stein met with Islam Akhun in Khotan in the spring of 1901. Stein questioned Akhun on the manuscripts and concluded that the manuscripts were fake. Eventually, he exposed Akhun for imitating Brahmi characters and inventing similar-looking characters.

An English translation of the Sushruta samhita, based on original Sanskrit text.

Edited and published by Kaviraj Kunja Lal Bhishagratna. With a full and comprehensive introd., translation of different readings, notes, comperative views, index, glossary and plates.

This edition was published in in Calcutta.


Edition Description

part 1

Classifications

Library of Congress
R605 S873 1907

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL14006574M
Internet Archive
englishtranslati00susruoft

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