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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 110-113

Yogaśataka of pandita vararuci

1 Department of Basic Principles, State Model Govt. Ayu. College, SMIAS Campus, Kolvada, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
2 Department of Basic Principles, Government Ayurveda College, Junagadh, Gujarat, India
3 Department of Basic Principles, I.P.G.T. and R.A., Jamnagar, Gujarat, India

Date of Web Publication20-Mar-2017

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DOI: 10.4103/asl.ASL_208_15

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How to cite this article:
Shukla DJ, Patel NC, Vyas H. Yogaśataka of pandita vararuci. Ancient Sci Life 2016;36:110-3

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Shukla DJ, Patel NC, Vyas H. Yogaśataka of pandita vararuci. Ancient Sci Life [serial online] 2016 [cited 2023 Mar 26];36:110-3. Available from: https://www.ancientscienceoflife.org/text.asp?2016/36/2/110/202594

Author: Pandita Vararuci

Translator: Vijayashankar Dhanshankar Munshi

Year of Publication: 1956 (Vikram Samvat 2013)

Pages: 94

Price: Rs. 1/.

Binding: Paperback

Publisher: Sastu Shahitya Vardhak Karyalaya, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

There was a tradition of writing small books containing drug formulations in Ayurveda. They are one kind of handbooks of Ayurvedic treatment. Vaidyas of yore wrote the books of those formulations which they used in their own practice. These books are small having 100 or 300 formulations. Yogaśataka of Pandita Vararuci is an example of this category. This book attracts reader by its very easy language and formulations which can be easily prepared and have small number of herbs. It describes only those formulations which are the most common and can be used in majority conditions of diseases. This book was taught to beginners of Ayurveda in some old Ayurvedic schools in Gujarat. Harṣakīrti author of Yogacintāmaṇī at the end of his book wishes that the popularity of his book may reach the level of Yogaśataka.[1] There are many books available of the same name. Among them, the most famous and old one is of Nāgārjuna (5-6th CE).[2] Others with the same name were written by Amitaprabha, Śrī Kaṅṭhadāsa, Sāmantabhadra, Vidagdhavaidya, and Akṣadeva.[3],[4] Priyavrat Sharma has also mentioned about Yogaśataka of Madanasinha, Lakṣmīdāsa, Vāmana, Ananta Yogīsvarāćārya in his book on Ayurveda history.[5]

Here we discuss Yogaśataka written by Pandita Vararuci.

Author: Pandita Vararuci

The Author has not mentioned his name anywhere in the book. But According to Priyavat Sharma, author of this book is perhaps the same person who has written Vararuci Saṃhitā.[3] This saṃhitā is also not available but its reference available in other books.[3] He has also written Abhidhānaćintāmaṇi commentary on Yogaśataka of Kaṅṭhadāsa.[6] From this, Priyavrat Sharma decides the time of this author and book to be 10th A.D.[7]Yogaśataka book is available in print published by Divya Prakashana, Haridwar. Balkrushna, translator Yogaśataka published by Divya Prakashana, Haridwar, has proven with very strong evidences that Yogaśataka is written by Amitaprabha and of the period 7th CE.[8] He coated some references named as from Yogaśataka and same also named as of Amitaprabha in Ratnaprabhā Tīkā of Cakradutta. Similar quotes of Aṣṭāṅga Hṛdaya (6th CE) are available in Yogaśataka. Most of the yogas of this book are available in Vṛnda Mādhava (8/9th CE) Cikitsākalīkā (10th CE), Cakradatta (11th CE) Śārṅgadhara Saṃhitā (13th CE)and Bhāvaprakāśa (16th CE). There are similar stanzas available in Cakradatta and Bhāvaprakāśa. From these evidences it is clear that the time of Yogaśataka and therefore the author Amitaprabha is 7th CE. However, according to Vijayshankar Dhanashankar Munshi, Yogaśataka was written by Pandit Vararuci.

After going through this book it is clear that the author of this book was a very good practitioner of his time.

Book: Yogaśataka

Acharya Priyavrat Sharma states that only two commentaries are available on this book viz. the ones by Pūrṇacandra or Pūrnasena and Rūpanayana.[3] Other commentaries are Vallabha ṭīkā of Sanātana, Karmamālā ṭīkā of Somadāsa, Candrakalā ṭīkā of Dhruvpāda, Viśvavallabhā ṭīkā of Mahīdhara and Nandalāla ṭīkā. References of these commentaries are available in Ratnaprabhā ṭīkā of Cakradatta.[9]Two more Gujarati commentaries are also available in manuscript form which aren't published yet. Availability of many commentaries is proof of the popularity of this book. Yogaśataka vallabhā ṭīkā of Rūpanayana is now published by Divya Prakashana. Other commentaries are not published yet.

Yoga means drug formulations and Śataka means hundred. This book contains 100 famous drug formulations. Hence it is named as Yogaśataka. This work attracts people by its simple and to the point descriptions. There are only 105 stanzas in this book. Author did not divide it into chapters but translator divide it into 9 chapters. Description of Yogas is according to order of the eight branches of Ayurveda as described in stanza 3. Jvara (fever) related yogas are described first as seen in other old texts like Ćaraka Saṃhitā. After that, Yogas for Atisāra (diarrhoea) and Grahaṇi are described. As one formulation can be used in many diseases, description of Yoga w.r.t to disease is not continued. Selection of Yoga is done based on its effectiveness as well its utility. Generally, one formulation which is effective in most of the conditions of one disease is described. Treatment for only those diseases which were very common is described in this book. No importance is given to naming of disease. Symptomatic treatment is also described. For example, treatment for excessive tears in eyes and itching, burning and pain in the eye are described without mentioning disease.

Stanzas were written in common meters like Anuṣṭup, Śārdūlavikriḍita and Vasantatilakā, Upajāti etc., hence students or beginners can easily recite this stanzas. There is no stanza for Mangalācaraṇa. In the first stanza the author mentions that the book will consist of 100 yogas. And he included only those yogas which are used by most famous and eminent Vaidyas.

Second stanza is very famous among Ayurveda fraternity and is related with Āma (undigested food particle/immature Rasadhātu) principle. It has been told that “only after examining hetu (causative factors) and lakṣaṇa (sign and symptoms) of disease thoroughly, treatment should be prescribed. And any kind of drug or treatment can cure the disease if it is applied in Nirāma (devoid of Āma) condition”. Thus Author gave more importance to Āma than drugs.

3rd stanza is related with 8 branches of Ayurveda and they are Kāyacikitsā, Śālākya, Śalya, Bhūta tantra, Viṣatantra, Bāla tantra, Rāsāyana and Pañcakarma. It describes Pañcakarma as one separate branch from Kāyacikitsā. This may be the only book which describes Pañcakarma as an independent branch. This also indicates that this book is of time when Pañcakarma became very famous and very much practised in society.

From the 4th stanza start the description of Yogas. Number of stanzas and yogas of different branches is described in [Table 1].
Table 1: Number of stanzas and Yogas according to eight branches of Ayurveda

Click here to view

Total 144 drugs have been described in this book. Most of them are well known and easily available. Famous or frequently used herbs have been described in the treatment of those diseases. For example, Śilājatu, Pāṣāṇabheda (Bergenia ciliate Haw.) is indicated for Aśmari (Renal calculi). Single herbs are also indicated. For example, Bhāraṅgī (Clerodendrum serratum Linn.) is indicated in Śvāsa (dyspnoea). Identity of some drugs such as Pitikā, Tejani, Sprukkā, Candrā or Kaunta is not known. V. D. Munshi has translated these unknown drugs with the help of similar references available in other classics.

There are almost all types of classical Kalpanās (drug formulations) available in Yogaśataka. Decoctions and Powders have been mostly described but Lavaṇa kalpanā, Guṭikā/Modaka kalpanā (pills) Ghṛta kalpanā (medicated ghee) and Taila kalpanā (medicated oil) and Avaleha are also available. External applications are also prescribed in skin disorders like Dadru (ring worm) Kanḍu (itching), Sidhma (tinea versicolor) etc. All type of Netra Kalpas (Ophthalmic preparations) like Aścyoṭana (eye drops), Rasakriyā, Biḍālaka (application of paste on eyelids), Tarpaṇa, Varti (collyrium), Añjana (collyrium) are described. Pratisāraṇa (application of medicine with the tip of finger) is described in dental disorders. However Sandhāna kalpanā (fomented preparation) is less seen in this work. Simple preparations such as Sauvīraka and Tuṣodaka (prepared by fomentation of Barely) are recommended as Anupāna (vehicle) and base of lepa (external application). But no Āsava - Ariṣṭa is prescribed. Only two simple preparations of Sandhāna are prescribed, among them, one is for external in Sidhma (one type of skin disease) and one is internal for Rasāyana therapy.

There is almost nil use of Rasaśāstra yogas i.e., organo-metallic preparations seen in this book. Only Śilājatu, Manaḥśilā (Arsenic sulphide) and Iron has been recommended internally. Śilājatu is prescribed for Aśmari, Manaḥśilā in vomiting and Iron in Pāṇḍu. Rasasindhūra (Mercury Sulphide) is recommended only as external application. This shows that this book may belong to an era of early development of Rasaśāstra i.e., 5th to 8th CE.[10]

However the author has described treatment related with all eight branches of Ayurveda in this book but mainly focuses on Kāyacikitsā. A total of 104 different diseases are described in this book. First chapter is related with Kāyacikitsā. Nine decoctions are described for Jvara. In the fourth stanza, decoction of Guḍūcī (Tinospora cordifolia Willd.), Mustā (Cyperus rotundus Linn.), Dhanvayāsa (Alhagi camelorum Fisch.) and Śuṇṭhi ( dried rhizome of Zingiber officinale) is described for Vātika Jvara, decoction of Dhanvayāsa, Parpaṭaka (Fumaria indica Hausskn.), Mustā and Kirātatikta (Swertia chirata Wall.) for Pittaja jvara while the decoction of Mustā, Vāsā (Adhatoda vasica), Śuṇṭhi and Dhanvayāsa is recommended for Kaphaja Jvara. Decoction of Kaṇṭakārī (Solanum surattense Burm.), Śuṇṭhi and Guḍūcī, with Pippalī (Piper longum Linn.) powder is described for Jīrṇa Jvara (Chronic fever) and other disorders. Other decoctions are described for complications of Jvara such as Raktapitta (Bleeding disorder), Tṛṭ (thirst), Saṃjñānāśa (unconsciousness), Pralāpa (delirium), Śvāsa (dyspnoea), Kāsa (coughing) etc., One decoction is indicated for Dīpana, Pācana in Sāma jvara ( first phase of fever). This is same as Āragvadhādi decoction described in Śārṅgadhara Saṃhitā[11] and Ārogya pañcaka of Bhāvaprakāśa[12] made up of Āragvadha (Cassia fistula Linn.), Pippalimūla (rhizome of Piper longum Linn.), Kaṭukī (Picrorhiza kurroa Royal ex Benth.), Mustā and Harītakī (Terminalia chebula Retz.) These kinds of simple formulations described in this book are the ones which anyone can memorize and easily apply.

Only one decoction of Indrayava (Holarrhena antidysenterica Wall.), Ativiṣā (Aconitum heterophyllum Wall.), Bilva (Aegle marmelos Linn.), Uṣīra (Vetiveria zizanioides Linn.) and Mustā is indicated in Sāma Atisāra (diarrhoea) and chronic Atisāra. This is also indicated in painful or Raktātisāra (bloody diarrhoea).

Decoction of Śuṇṭhi, Mustā, Ativiṣā and Guḍūcī is indicated for Mandāgni (low digestive power), Āmavāta, Grahaṇī (Sprue) and diseases caused by Āma. It is also known as Cāturbhadra decoction in Śārṅgadhara Saṃhitā.[13] The famous Phalatrikādi decoctionwhich is available in Caraka Saṃhitā[14] is also described using the same words.

We find description of formulations related to Śālākya tantra started after the section relating to Kāyacikitsā. In this, treatment for disease of Eye, Ear, Nose, Throat, Teeth and mouth is described. Eight formulations relating to eye disorders, one relating to ear, two relating to mouth and two relating to throat are described. Treatment of Eye disorders is comparatively in detail than diseases of ear and mouth. Symptomatic treatment is described for Śālākya tantra related disorders. For example, treatment for excessive tears in eyes and itching, burning and pain in the eye are described without mentioning disease. One medicated oil has been prescribed as Karṇapūraṇa (filling of medicated liquid in middle ear) for pain in ear. Dental disorders are not described in detail. Only one Pratisāraṇa is described for bleeding, pain and itching in teeth. One Kavala (rinsing of medicated liquid in the mouth) for ulcers in mouth prescribed. One decoction and one tablet to remain in mouth is described for all throat diseases. No symptoms or names of throat diseases is described.

There are two medicated oil and one medicated ghee prescribed for dressing of ulcers in Śalya tantra related stanzas. Kṣāra taila prepared from Kṣāra (caustic alkali) of Muṣkaka (Schrebera swietenioides Roxb.), Nalaśikhā and Śaṅkha is prescribed for healing of wounds, Bhagandara (fissure in ano), Nāḍivraṇa (fistula) and skin and throat diseases. The famous Jātyādi ghṛta is prescribed for deep and non-healing ulcers with almost similar stanza of Aṣṭāṅga Hṛdaya.[15]

Treatment of Poisonous snake and other poisons of animal or plant origin is described in Viṣa tantra. Śveta Mārīca powder triturated in juice made from flower of Śirīṣa (Albizzia lebbeck Benth.) is used in añjana, nasya and orally for the treatment of snake poison. Treatment of Alarka Viṣa (Rabies) is recommended with a mixture of crushed Tila (Sesamum indicum Linn.), jaggery and latex of Arka (Calotropis procera Ait.f.). Only 2 herbal mixtures are indicated for every kind of animal and plant origin poisons. One of them is the paste of Harītakī, Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa), Nimbapatra (leaves of Azadirachta indica), Hiṅgu (Ferula narthex) and Vacā (Acorus calamus).

Treatment for evil or supernatural powers like Kṛtyā (supernatural power produced from mantras), Graha, Skanda, Piśāca, Rākṣasa also described in 5 yogas. Generally Candrodayā varti is used in eye disorders but in this book it is prescribed for Kṛtyā, Alakṣmī, Jvara, Garaviṣa (artificial poison). However there is no similarity in between the two except name. Candrodayā varti of this book is prepared by totally different herbs. One Dhūpana (fumigation) is indicated to counter supernatural powers. Two medicated ghees named as Bhūtarāva and Mahābhūtarāva Ghṛta is described with similar stanzas as they are available in Aṣṭāṅga Hṛdaya.[16]

Treatment for paediatric diseases such as fever, diarrhoea, vomiting is described in 3 yogas. Powder of Karkaṭaśṛṅgī (Pistacia integerrima Stewart.), Mustā and Ativiṣā with Honey is indicated in fever, cough and vomiting.

Simple Rasāyana (rejuvenative drugs) such as Āmalaka Rasāyana (Prepared from powder of fruits of Phyllanthus emblica Linn.), Rasāyana powderwhich is a mixture of powders of Guḍūcī, Gokṣura (Tribulus terrestris Linn.) and Āmalaka etc., are described for rejuvenation. Powder of Āmalaka triturated with its own juice and mixed with Pippalī (Piper longum Linn.), honey and sugar is fomented for one year. According to the author if a person uses this for one year continuously it will give him blackish hairs, improves intellect, memory power, speech, strength and mental power. Yaṣṭimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra Linn.) powder with honey and ghee with Anupāna of cow milk is indicated for Vājīkaraṇa (aphrodisiac).

In Pañcakarma section, there is one stanza and preparation described for each Karma. Paste of Indrayava, Pippalī and Madanaphala (Randia dumetorum Retz.) mixed with Yaṣṭimadhu decoction is described for Vamana. Powder of Dantī (Baliospermum solanifolium Suresh), Citraka (Plumbago zeylanica Linn.), Pippalī and Biḍlavaṇa mixed with Harītakī decoction made up from Sauvīraka is used for Virecana. Castor oil is also recommended for Virecana. One yoga for Nirūha Basti (Decoction enema) and two yogas for Anuvāsana Basti (oil enema) is described. Nasya of jaggery and Śuṇṭhi (dried rhizome of Zingiber officinale), Saindhava and Pippalī is described for Śiro Virecana (errhine therapy).

87th stanza is related with common matters for application of Yogas. Causes for provocation of Vāta, Pitta and Kapha is described in 88-90 stanzas lucidly. Adhyaśana (taking meal on meal)is among Vāta provocative factors while Viṣamāśana (irregularity in quantity and time of meal) is among Pitta provocative factors. Symptoms of vitiation of Vāta, Pitta and Kapha described in 92 to 94 stanzas briefly. Saṅkrānti which is translated as spreading of infection is a symptom of Kapha vitiation.

Lassitude, drowsiness, Hṛdyāviśuddhi (absence of belching), Apravṛtti (inactivity) of Doṣa, abnormality of stool and urine, heaviness in abdomen, anorexia, Suptatā are the symptoms of Sāma vyādhi which is described in 96th stanza. This stanza is also famous as there are only few references available for symptoms of Sāma vyādhi.

Treatment of three Doṣas is described in 97th to 99th stanzas. There are therapeutics described in one stanza for each Doṣa. 100th stanza related with Śodhana (Eliminating therapy) of particular doṣas. Opposite to famous tradition, not only Vamana but Nasya is indicated for Kapha doṣa. Next stanza is related with provocation of Doṣas in particular seasons. Seasons for provocation of Vāta are Hemanta (Jan-Feb), Varṣa (Rainy season) and Śiśira (Dec-Jan). Season for provocation of Pitta is Grīṣma (summer)and Śarad (Oct-Nov) while for provocation of Kapha is Vasanta (Feb-Mar). Treatment of Āma described in stanza no. 102. Spiritual therapy is described for treatment of diseases caused by deeds of past lives in 103rd stanza. These are comprised of Religious rites, vow, atonement, fasting, chanting, different kinds of offerings to idols of God and Brahman. Last stanza is a benediction of the author.

Emphasis on Āma and Śodhana procedures, Simple easy Sanskrit language with different meters, and minimum number of Yogas made Yogaśataka unique among all Ayurvedic texts. A text of this kind is handy to students for to easily memorize formulations and became good clinicians.


The authors are thankful to the Library of Sheth J. P. Government Ayuuveda College, Bhavnagar for providing books for this study.

  References Top

Acharya B, editor. Yoga shatam of Amitaprabha. 1st ed. Haridvar: Divya Prakashana; 2014. p. 16.  Back to cited text no. 1
Sharma P. Ayurveda ka Vaigyanik Itihas. 2nd ed. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Orientalia; 1981. p. 195.  Back to cited text no. 2
Sharma P. Ayurveda ka Vaigyanik Itihas. 2nd ed. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Orientalia; 1981. p. 196.  Back to cited text no. 3
Sharma P. Ayurveda ka Vaigyanik Itihas. 2nd ed. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Orientalia; 1981. p. 324.  Back to cited text no. 4
Sharma P. Ayurveda ka Vaigyanik Itihas. 2nd ed. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Orientalia; 1981. p. 330.  Back to cited text no. 5
Vidyalankar A. Ayurveda ka Bruhat Ithihas. 2nd ed. Indian University's Press; 1976. p. 315.  Back to cited text no. 6
Sharma P. Ayurveda ka Vaigyanik Itihas. 2nd ed. Varanasi; Chaukhambha Orientalia; 1981. p. 323.  Back to cited text no. 7
Acharya B, editor. Yogashatam of Amitaprabha. 1st ed. Haridwar: Divya Prakashana; 2014. p. 8-10.  Back to cited text no. 8
Acharya B, editor. Yogashatam of Amitaprabha. 1st ed. Haridwar: Divya Prakashana; 2014. p. 12-4.  Back to cited text no. 9
Sharma P. Ayurveda ka Vaigyanik Itihas. 2nd ed. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Orientalia; 1981. p. 475.  Back to cited text no. 10
Parikh R, editor. Sharandhar Samhita of Sharangdhar Madhyam Khanda. 5th ed., Ch. 2, Ver. 23, 24. Ahmedabad: Sastu Sahitya Vardhak Karyalaya; 2012. p. 213.  Back to cited text no. 11
Shastri G, editor. Bhavprakash of Bhavmishra, Madhyam Khanda Vol.II. 2nd ed., Ch. Jvara Chikitsa. Ver no. 155. Ahmedabad: Sastu Sahitya Vardhak Karyalaya; 1966. p. 719.  Back to cited text no. 12
Parikh R, editor. Sharandhar Samhita of Sharangdhar Madhyam Khanda. 5th ed., Ch. 2, Ver. 73. Ahmedabad: Sastu Sahitya Vardhak Karyalaya; 2012. p. 222.  Back to cited text no. 13
Acharya YT, Ayurveddipika commentary of Chakrapani on Charaka Samhita of Charaka, Chikitsasthan. Ch. 6, Ver. 40. Varanasi: Chaukhabha Sanskrit Sansthana; 2008. p. 448.  Back to cited text no. 14
Srikanth Murthy KR, editor. Astang Hridayam of Vagbhatta Uttarsthana. 6th ed., Vol. 3, Ch. 25, Ver. 67. Varanasi: Chaukhabha Krishnadas Academy; 2012. p. 246.  Back to cited text no. 15
Srikanth Murthy KR, editor. Astang Hridayam of Vagbhatta uttarshtana. 6th ed., Vol. 3, Ch. 5, Ver. 19, 20. Varanasi: Chaukhabha Krishnadas Academy; 2012. p. 49.  Back to cited text no. 16


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