An English Translation of the Sushruta Samhita: Based on Original Sanskrit Text, with a Full and Comprehensive Introd., Additional Texts, Different Readings, Notes, Comparative Views, Index, Glossary and Plates, Volume 30, Part 3

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Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office, 1963 - Medicine, Ayurvedic
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This fictitious figure Sushruta was created only in the 18th century after the establishment of Calcutta Medical 1835. 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.
Towards the end of 1833 a Committee was appointed by the government of William Bentinck in Bengal to report on the state of medical education and also to suggest whether teaching of indigenous system should be discontinued. The Committee 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. The intending candidates should possess a reading and writing knowledge of the English language, similar knowledge of Bengali and Hindustani and a proficiency in Arithmetic. This recommendation, soon followed by Macaulay's minute and Bentinck's resolution, sealed the fate of the school for native doctors and medical classes at the two leading oriental institutions of Calcutta. The NMI was abolished and the ayurvedic classes at the Sanskrit College and at the Madrasaa were discontinued by the government order of 28 January 1835. This closure of NMI infuriated the faculty and students. Only one member of the staff of the Native Medical Institution, Madhusudan Gupta (an Ayurvedic practitioner trained in western medicine), was transferred to the new college. It was at this time spurious medical and surgical manuscripts in Sanskrit in the fictitious names of Charaka and Sushruta were produced. 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



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