The Vimana Sthana of the Charaka Samhita as a Knowledge and Measurement Unit
The Indian system of medicine is known for its classical literature, mainly the major triad of the Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and the Ashtanga Hridayam. These classical texts were created by the seers of yore who had a profound knowledge free of any shortcomings. These ancient literary gems were based on the strong foundation of Indian Philosophy, mainly the theistic ones. Out of the three major classics, the Charaka Samhita is well known for its deliberations on the speciality of medicine. The main postulates of the Charaka Samhita aim at the maintenance of health of the healthy and the treatment of the diseased. The Charaka Samhita has a total of 120 chapters divided into 8 sections known as Sthana. The first and foremost is the Sutra Sthana, i.e. the section dealing with the fundamentals of the Indian system of medicine known as Ayurveda. All the basic principles of the Ayurveda system related to the health are mentioned in this section. These principles find their application elsewhere in the other seven sections of the text. One of the most important of all the sections of the Charaka Samhita is the Vimana Sthana, i.e. the section dealing with measurement/standardization. It is hereby referred to as the Section of Examinations or the Pariksha Sthana. The Vimana Sthana has a total of 8 chapters which ponder over a wide range of subjects like the special effects of drugs, epidemiology, pathology, dietetics, ways of gaining knowledge and the teaching methodology. The discussion in the Vimana Sthana centers on the different types of examination of the patient, mainly the ten-fold examination of the natural constitution (prakriti), vikriti (pathology) et al. Along with these examinations, there is a vivid description of the teaching methodology in the Ayurveda system of medicine with an emphasis on the friendly discussions. The fundamentals of research like the drug research and the five-fold research protocol are also conspicuous by their presence and find their widespread utility in the contemporary research arena. Thus, the Vimana Sthana provides ample knowledge to the seekers of Ayurveda knowledge and paves the way for research and standardization in this ancient holistic Indian System of medicine.
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aahaara vidhi aama adhyaya agni Agnivesha anumana assessment Ayurveda classics Ayurveda parlance Ayurveda science Ayurveda system basic principles body causative factor Charaka Samhita Chaukhamba concept of prakriti contemporary Dadu deliberations described desha detailed dhatu diagnosis dietetics digestion direct observation disease dosha doshadi drug eight factors epidemic epistemology explained food intake guna hetu ingestion kala kapha Kashyapa knowledge unit krimi lamghana line of treatment maintenance of health measurement unit methodology in Ayurveda natural Nidana non-beneficial Nyaya optimum panchamahabhuta parasites pariksha pathya patient physician pitta points of examination prabhava prakriti pramana Pratijna principles of Ayurveda quantity of food rasa regimen research activity saara saatmya sattva shukra Siddhanta significant Sootra Sthana special effect srotasa Sthana of Charaka strength Sushruta Samhita system of medicine termed therapy tissue tools of examination transformation treatment principle unique valid Varanasi vata Veerya Vimana Sthana chapter Vimana Sthana namely Vimana Sthana presents vitiated vyayama shakti