“Tatra shalyam naam vividhtrand-kasht-pashadpanshuloh-loshtasthirbalnakpueshrav dushtvranantgarbhshalyodharddandrth yantrshastrksharaagnipranidhanvranvinishchyarthach”
(Sushruta sutra sthan 1)
This text implies that: The methodology used to remove different types of grass, wood, stones, dust particles, metal, mud, bone, hair, nail, pus, secretions, mal presentation of foetus i.e. obstructive labour (moodhgarbh) and many other physical or foreign body is known as Shalya Tantra. This science makes the use of blunt and sharp instruments and many other materials to complete the task. It also includes the procedure of using specific type of cauterization by the help of red hot rod or certain basic material (क्षार) prepared by ayurvedic methodology.
The general belief of people is that Ayurveda has no relation with surgery, which is not at all true. As it is well known that Ayurveda is the ancient form of medical science and many incidents occurred during that period about performing different surgeries by the great vaidyas. For example-
- It is found in Rigveda (one of the four vedas) that during a war king‘s wife lost her leg and the vaidya Ashwini kumar implanted a new leg which was made of a light weighted metal.
- As per the upnishadas, rudra mutilated the yagya’s head and vaidya Ashwini kumar joined his head to his body and made him alive again.
- They treated the damaged teeth of Pushan.
- They also replaced the head of Dadhichi with the head of the horse.
These few examples shows that the surgical knowledge was at its peak during that time. Although many ayurvedic texts mentioned about the subject of shalya but the detailed knowledge is found in Sushruta Samhita written by Acharya Sushruta. Sushruta got this knowledge from the teachings of Dhanwantri. The major topics which are explained in the text are-
- Shavchedan (dissection of the body) to understand the anatomy of human body.
- Different types of shastras (sharp instruments) and yantras (blunt instruments) for performing surgeries.
- Upyantras like agni, kshara, jaluka, siravedha etc.
- Different types of wounds.
- Sangyanasha (Anaesthesia).
- Bhagna (Fractures).
- Bandha ( Types of bandages).
- Dagdha (Types of burns).
- Diseases of eye, ear etc.
Acharya Sushruta have placed shalya tantra above all the eight branches by saying-
‘Astasvapi chayurvedatantreshvetdevadhikambhimatam aashukriya karanaadyantrashastraksharaagnipranidhanaat sarvatantrasaamanyach’
(Sushruta Samhita, Sutra sthana 1)
Shalya tantra is considered to be better due to following qualities:
- This chikitsa is rapid in nature i.e. it gives immediate results.
- Different methods of treatment are described such as yantra, shastra, kshara, agni, rakta vistravan etc.
- It gives total eradication of the disease.
- Beneficial for complicated and chronic diseases.
- Diseases which cannot be treatment with medicine, can be cured with the help of shalya chikitsa.
- It is very much helpful in emergency conditions.
This was all for the topic for today. We will be back with the further description of the Topic Ashtang Ayurveda. Till then Stay tuned for more. Thank you.