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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 57-60

A review on Cikitsātilaka of Srīnivāsa

1951/2, N. S. Road, East Cross 1, Mysore - 570 001, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication4-Feb-2015

Correspondence Address:
Dr. K R Bhavana
1951/2, N. S. Road, East Cross 1, Mysore - 570 001, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Bhavana K R. A review on Cikitsātilaka of Srīnivāsa. Ancient Sci Life 2014;34:57-60

How to cite this URL:
Bhavana K R. A review on Cikitsātilaka of Srīnivāsa. Ancient Sci Life [serial online] 2014 [cited 2023 Mar 20];34:57-60. Available from: https://www.ancientscienceoflife.org/text.asp?2014/34/1/57/150784

Author: Srinivasa

Editor: Venkatasubramanya Shastri

Year: 1953

Pages: 308

Price: 9.40

Binding: Bharathi Vijayam Press, Madras (Chennai)

Publisher: Government Oriental Manuscripts Library, Madras (Chennai)

  Introduction Top

Though the brhattrayī are the source of all the essential knowledge of Ayurveda, studying other books helps one in up gradating one's knowledge. Cikitsātilaka, a book written much later to brhattrayīs, has few unique formulations and concepts not found in the former.

  About the manuscript Top

The manuscript of this treatise was written on palm leaves and preserved in the Government Oriental Manuscripts Library, Chennai (R. No. 378b). It was written in Telugu script and was published by Government of Madras in 1953. It was edited by Sri Venkatasubramanya Shastri. It is the 63 rd book published under the Madras Government Oriental Series.

  About the author Top

Vaidya Śrīnivāsa has written this book as is evident from the first chapter of the book. He seeks blessings of Lord Visnu at the commencement of the treatise besides Dhanvantari, Suśruta and Agniveśa.

Going by the name of the author, it can be guessed that he belonged to South India. Further, the manuscript was found to be written in Telugu script with a number of Telugu words like kuṅkumapū for kuṅkumapuṣpa, pannīru for puṣpadrava imply that the author belonged to either Andhra or Karnataka. He was the son of Dattātreya and grandson of Raghunātha belonging to Kauṣika gotra and Arvela lineage. The period of the author cannot be determined.

  About the style Top

The whole work is in verse form. The author follows Aṣṭāṅgahṛdaya in his exposition and his verses are simple and easy to follow. Certain verses are only incorporations without any change from Aṣṭāṅgahṛdaya. Some concepts elaborated in the book are entirely absent or are merely mentioned without any details in the earlier works. One may call this work as a revised edition of Aṣṭāṅgahṛdaya brought up-to-date.

  About the book Top

The original treatise composed of five sthānas containing 130 chapters totally. But only the Sūtrasthāna is available today. The book has dealt with all 8 branches of Ayurveda with greater importance given to kāyacikitsā. The names of chapters of the whole treatise are given at the end of the first chapter.

Sūtrasthāna has 40 chapters while śārīrasthāna has been claimed to have 10, the nidānasthāna is supposed to contain 16 chapters and cikitsāsthāna 24. The last part of the treatise uttarasthāna has been claimed to have 40 chapters.

  Peculiarities of the book Top

In the Sūtrasthāna of Aṭāṅgahṛdaya, the methods of Pancakarma are dealt with completely. But no complete account is given as to how the necessary medicine is to be collected or the hazards that may result are overcome. Similar is the case with Caraka Saṃhitā where the information relating to Pancakarma is scattered in different sthānas. If all the facts relating to Pancakarma were grouped together, it would have facilitated quick, easy and complete study of the subject. This lack is remedied in the Sūtrasthāna of the present book.

In Aṣṭāṅgahṛdaya, the characteristics of the various ingredients of the medicine, tastes, effects are only briefly explained and are developed in the other parts of the book. But in Cikitsātilaka, they are grouped together to facilitate ease of use.

The preservation of herbs and other plants for medicine are laid down as the duties of all. To the men engaged in the task of rearing up gardens, the section "udyānavarga0" in annavijρānīya adhyāya would be of immense help. The section deals with vṛkṣāyurveda that is, horticulture. Construction of gardens, the qualities of good seeds, and the procedure to be adopted to protect the plantations are elaborated. Plant specific manures are the special feature of the book not found in greater or lesser triads of Ayurveda. A few are illustrated here.

  • Manure for sarala plants includes seeds and fruits of aśoka, ankola, jalasikta and jaṭāmāmsi while for dāḍima one has to prepare the manure using the meat of elephant, deer, koala, cat, cāṣa added with milk
  • For bījapūra, one has to cut the meat of fox into pieces and use as manure. Also, the water processed with milk, jaggery and meat is to be poured
  • Sāraṅgi grows well if it is provided with water processed with viḍanga, tila, siddhārta, a, umā, and milk. It has to be provided with fuming or paste of meat of fox
  • Ketaki flowers well if watered with water mixed with milk.

All types of seeds sprout early if treated with fuming where the smoke is generated by burning fish scales, vasa, meat and milk. If the skin of sheep is tied on the branch of any tree it will not flower. To get fruits all-round the year 1 has to use as manure, the bolus prepared by madhuyaṣṭi, sita, kuṣṭa and madhupuṣpa.

The procedure of preparing aṅkolatailam is explained and this is mixed with milk and waste from fish meat. This makes the tree yield larger fruits. Aṅkolatailam is prepared triturating aṅkolabījamajjā with sesame oil seven times. Later mardana with hot water is carried out and oil is extracted.

The book does not speak about Nāḍī (pulse). This may be because it is a delicate method and cannot be understood by a common man.

The book gives more importance to herbal preparations. But at the end of Sūtrasthāna three mineral preparations, rājamṛgāṅkarasa, mahārājamṛgāṅkarasa and vasantakusumākararasa are mentioned. As nothing is written about these in the body of Sūtrasthāna, it gives rise to the suspicion that they may be interpolations at a later period.

The pariśiṣta section of the ṛtucaryādhyāya speaks about many untouched aspects like the significance of fire, sunlight, moonlight, darkness, lamp, looking at the mirror. A plenty of formulations have been described to treat corpulence, undue slimness, sleeplessness, excessive sleep, cholera. There is also a description of treatment of persons rescued from drowning and various other useful methods and medicine. The author speaks of aromatherapy and in the tāmbūlavarga of pariśiṣta, mentions not only the uses of aromatic substances like musk, saffron, camphor, hrīvera, sandal, khadirā etc., but also of the flowers like rose, jasmine, lotus and so on.

The author speaks about seasonal clothing. In the cold seasons, red and yellow coloured dress made of silk is advised whereas in the seasons of grīṣma and vasanta, white, thin and saffron clothing is prescribed. During rainy season, thick woollen clothing is advised and in śarad, soft and white attire is recommended. The properties of different clothing are also explained viz. saffron dress being cool in potency, medhya and mitigating pitta and kapha while yellow dress is described to be hot in potency, good for heart and one which mitigates kapha and itching.

The merits and demerits of consumption of food on different leaves are told. E.g., Eating food served on jackfruit leaf is the best as it makes food tasty, mitigates vāta and kapha, kindles the digestive fire and causes bṛhmaṇa while partaking food on lotus leaf is contraindicated because of it leading to vātaprakopa.

The book deals with medicated ghee. It has been claimed that after 5 years ghee can be called as purāṇa and older is better.

The book prescribes three things to be followed compulsorily viz. vyāyāma, mardana and snāna to mitigate kapha, vāta and pitta respectively. Duration of abhyaṅga is explained based on ṛtu . In hemanta one has to do abhyaṅga for two nāḍikā, in śiśira for three nāḍikā, in vasanta for five nāḍikā, during grīṣma for six nāḍikā and in śarad, varṣa one has to do sadyasnāna.

Jaṭhara is taken as the synonym of grahaṇi and its location is mentioned as left lateral side of nābhi and is considered as the seat of agni.

Trivṛt is said to mitigate all the three doṣas when associated with other substances [Table 1].{Table 1}

Chapters thirty to thirty-five deal with śālākya and the last five chapters deal exclusively with śalyatantra.

  Certain yogas mentioned in the book Top

Treatment of corpulence is dealt within dvividopakramaṇī-yādhyāya. Techniques described here include the use of the decoction of asanasāra with honey, sesame oil on an empty stomach, the powders of triphalā, guḍūcī and abhaya with honey and so on. For atikṛṣa the treatment measures prescribed include the use of kūṣmāṇḍakaghṛtam, aśvagandhādighṛtam or thick gruel prepared of rice and other medicines to be consumed after food.

The treatment for excessive sleep and insomnia are described in dinacaryādhyāya.

In excessive sleep, nasya of madhuyaṣti, musta, saindhava and bṛhatīphala can be given. Also, pepper mixed with honey and saliva and applied as a paste on forehead cures excessive sleep.

For insomnia, consumption of madhūkapuṣpa, madhūka, kuśā, kṣīri and sugar with milk, or bolus prepared by mixing pippalimūla powder with jaggery can be taken internally. Mardana is prescribed for the feet with mastu. Upodikā if tied on the head causes sleep. The application of aρjana prepared using the soil collected from the root of the lotus on the night of Kṛṣṇāṣṭamī, the aρjana prepared using katakaphala and decoction of apāmārga, kokilākṣa and suvarṇaka makes the person sleepy.

For mandāgni, few simple formulations are given. Harītaki with nāgara or jaggery or saindhava kindles the digestive fire. Mārīca with hiṅgu and sauvarcala consumed in the middle of the food has an effect of kindling digestive fire, and so is milk processed with dhānya and nāgara. Few formulations like dīpyajīraka, agnighṛtam or agnitailam has been prescribed for mandāgni.

  Aromatherapy Top

The book has an exclusive section in ṛtucaryādhyāya that deals with aromatherapy. Here the properties of different aromatic substances and their indications are given.

  • Generally all flowers bestow auspiciousness, longevity and provide strength to dhātus and indriyas. They alleviate effects of sweat, dirt and bad odour
  • The flowers of campaka are kaṭu, viṣada, śīta, light and good for eyes. The flowers mitigate excessive thirst, burning sensation and poisoning and is vṛṣya
  • The flowers of ketakī are tikta, viṣada, laghu, hot in potency and are aromatic. They mitigate kapha and vāta and are best among the flowers
  • The flowers of pāṭalī are tikta and madhura with kaṣāyānurasa, hot in potency and heavy to digest. They cause excessive thirst, burning sensation, vomiting, hiccough, distaste and cough. Use of these flowers is indicated in vātarakta
  • The flowers of punnāga mitigate kapha and pitta, cures dizziness, jāḍya, itching, koṭa and poisoning. They are cold in potency and improves complexion.

Time duration for wearing different flowers has been given as in [Table 2].{Table 2}

Aromatic substances are also dealt in detail. Pūga has been described to be of four types that is, girija, vanaja, ānūpa and jāṅgala. Out of these, jāṅgala is considered to be of superior variety. Depending on the stages, pūga is described as having different properties. That which is steamed is tridoṣaghna while uncooked pūga aggravates the doṣas. Fresh ones are not conducive to eyes and causes pāṇḍu (anaemia). Old pūga alleviates fainting and glāni and is vṛṣya and rucya. But 1 year old pūga is to be avoided.

Aguru destroys sweat, obesity and bad odour. It is kaṭu, tikta, guru, snigdha, uṣna and mitigates vāta and kapha.

Kuṅkuma has tikta-kaṭuka-rasa, madhuravipāka and possess the qualities such as snigdha, uṣna, tīkṣna, sara, vṛṣya and hṛdya. It cures vomiting, poisoning, mada, emaciation, diseases of skin, eyes and head, aids in healing the wounds, medhya and mitigates tridoṣas.

Hrīvera is śītala, tikta, laghu, dīpana and pācana. The water processed with it mitigates fever, vomiting, excessive thirst, burning sensation and diarrhoea.

The definition of Ayurveda is concise and has been defined as the science that deals with hitāyu, ahitāyu, diagnosis and management of diseases.

Though the book follows Aṣṭāṅgahṛdaya, it has many new formulations and new concepts like vṛkṣāyurveda, aromatherapy and others, thus making it worth reading.


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Certain yogas me...
About the manuscript
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About the book
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