Ashtanga Hridayam 1a

Title: Interpretation of the ASHTANGARIDAYAM 1a

Volume: 1a/20 SUTRASTHAN (1)
Author: Dr Govind Rajpoot PhD

ISBN 978-80-906461-2-4
Format: B5 (ISO),  pages: 160,


This book is an interpretation of the first part (Sutrasthan) of a classic work of Ayurveda known as the Astanga-hrida-samhita (Astanga Hridayam, Astanghridayam). The author is known as Acharya Vagbhatta, Date of work is unclear but deducted in Buddhist era.

Vāgbhatta (वाग्भट) is one of the most impressive classical writers of Ayurveda. Astangahridayam makes frequent reference to the earlier classical works, the Charaka Samhita and the Sushruta Samhita. Sushruta is considered as one of the earliest surgeons, Charaka as a medical genius, and Vagbhata is considered to be “The Trinity” of Ayurvedic knowledge.

Vāgbhata is suppose to have lived in Sind (today in Pakistan) and to have been the son of Simhagupta and pupil of Avalokita (buddhist monk). Astangahridayam originally written in Sanskrit language.

The Aṣṭangahrydayam is written in poetic language,
in 7120 easily understood Sanskrit verses that present a coherent account of Ayurvedic knowledge.
Ashtanga in Sanskrit means „eight components“ and Hridayam means „heart“. Astanga refers to the eight sections of Ayurveda: internal medicine, surgery, gynecology and paediatrics, rejuvenation therapy, aphrodisiac therapy, toxicology, and psychiatry or spiritual healing, and ENT (ear, nose and throat). There are sections on longevity, personal hygiene, the causes of illness, the influence of season and time on the human organism, types and classifications of medicine, the significance of the sense of taste, pregnancy and possible complications during birth, Prakriti, individual constitutions and various aids for establishing a prognosis. There is also detailed information on Five-actions therapies (pancakarma) including therapeutically induced vomiting, the use of laxatives, enemas, complications that might occur during such therapies and the necessary medications.

Evidently it was not widely read in early times. However, the Astangahridayam has come to new prominence since the twentieth century through being made part of the curriculum for ayurvedic education worldwide.

This book is a interpretation of the first four chapters of the first section, the “Sutrasthana”, which is dedicated to the general principles of the art of Ayurveda, with a commentary by Ayurvedacharya Govind Ji for western readers.

Chapter 1

Desire for long life, origin of ayurveda, eight branches of ayurveda, Tridosha, types of digestion, about body, tridosha qualities, Dhatu a mala (body tissues and waste products), six tastes, Alleviation of doshas through tastes, potency (virya), vipaka, causes of disease and health, definition of health and disease, patient examination, types of environment, Types of kala – time, types of therapy, general recommendation on healing physical and psychic illnesses, Treatment of mental disorders, four factors of treatment), qualities of patient, Patients unfit for treatment, list of the chapters in Ashtanga hrdayam.

Chapter 2

Dinacharya – daily regimen, teeth cleaning, Andjana, Nasya and gandusha, contraindications to betel chewing, Abhyang, exercise, Massage after exercise, Udvartana – paste massage, bath,

Eating habits and so forth, Wise words, ten sins, Proper behaviour,

Personal hygiene and appereance, Personal accessories, Warning when walking, Proper behavior code, Alcohol, What to avoid, Importance of teacher in life , Good man, Think dispassionately.

Chapter 3

Six seasons (in india), Adan kala (uttarayana), Visarga kala, body strength in different seasons, Hemanta ritu lakshana – Regime of different seasons winter, Spring, Greeshma, rainy season etc.

Chapter 4

Body urges not to be suppressed, Apan vayu suppression – illnesses and treatment,

Suppression of stool and urine (purish-mutra rodh), sneezing (chhik rodh), thirst (trashna rodh), hunger (kshudha rodh), lack of sleep and their treatment.Diseases arising from cough suppression (khas rodh), Diseases arising from suppression of lost breath after physical activity (kshram-shvas rodh), Suppression of yawning (zdzrambha rodh), tears (ashru), vomiting (chhradi rodh), sperm (shukra-veg rodh). Importance of shodhana (impurities removal), Shodhanottar rasayana – nourishing after removal
of doshas and malas, Shodhanottar upchar – recommendations, following the removal of doshas and malas, Agantu of disease – deaseases from external reasons, Treatment for nij and agantu diseases, Removing the seasonal influence, Recommendation for life without disease.