Page images
[ocr errors]

never drink water in which there are insects or rotting vegetation; or which smells badly, or water taken from a drying tank or well in which only a little water has been left.

It is in the Sushruta-sūín hita (Anthyāya, 45) that we find very elaborate directions in connection with drinking water.

For drinking rain-water, collected before it touches the ground, is most highly recommended. But even in rain-water a distinction has been made-one kind has been called Samudră coming from the ocean (by which perhaps it is meant that the rain has fallen from clouds formed by vapours emanating from sea-water); and the other has been called Cāng' coming from the Gangă '; the following test has been prescribed : when it is raining place a silver vessel filled with white rice in the rain ; after a couple of hours if the water changes colour and acquires some sort of smell, the water should be regarded as coming from the ocean ; while if there is no change in the colour of the water and there is no 'odour of any kind, it should be regarded as coming from the Ganga ”. During the rainy season, rain-water is the best for drinking ; during the autumn, all water is equally good ; in the winter water from lakes and tanks is recommended, during spring and summer water from wells and springs is considered best. No drinking water should be drawn from a source in which the dead body of an animal has been found, in which leaves, etc., are rotting, in which people bathe, on which the rays of the sun and the moon do not fall, or which is too cold. When however good water is not available, one should either thoroughly boil the water, or should put into it a red-hot ball of iron, before it is used for drinking purposes. of cleaning water of mud and other things held in solution, the putting into it of certain substances has been recommended; a few such substances are-a fruit-seed called, Nirmali, the root of the lotus-plant, water weeds, pearl, and certain other gems.

If the water is not sufficiently cool, it should be fanned or exposed to draught of air, or it should be put in an earthen-jar standing on wet sand. Drinking water from wells or tanks

For the purpose or lakes should be drawn in the early morning. But of all water on the earth, river-water is the best ; it promotes digestion.

; The Sushruta-sāmhitā devotes a chapter (Adhyāya, 20) to air. The air that comes from the east is sweet, saltish and heavy; it produces a burning sensation in the body ; promotes bile ; interferes with the healing of sores ; it is harmful to persons with a phlegmatic temperament. The air coming from the north is sweet, cool and pungent ; it is light and healthy ; promotes energy and is beneficial to the eye. The air coming from the west is dry and hard ; makes the body rough ; is

l enervating ; it is unhealthy. The air coming from the south

; is soft, sweet, pungent, cool and healthy; it promotes energy ; it is specially beneficial to consumptives.

The Sushruta-sāṁhitā, towards its close, sums up its advice to men as follows :- Bathing is necessary ; clothing should be clean ; when going out one must carry an umbrella and a stick ; one should walk gently in clean places; one should never talk ill of the King, Gods or his elders ; one should avoid the company of bad men ; one should never climb trees oi Ibills ; one should savoid riding wicked horses or elephants ; one should never enter an unknown stream ; one must avoid places where any epidemic is spreading ; one should never check the flow of the excretory organs ; if one chances to sneeze or yawn among a large number of men he should always cover up his mouth ; one should not expose his chest either to wind or to sun ; one should not stare at the sun or the star ; when sleeping the head should always be kept on a higher level than the rest of the body; meals should be regular ; one should never eat at the house of men or women of bad character, or of such persons as have been dismissed from their posts; one should never eat anything in which hair or fly or insects have fallen; hands and feet should always be washed before food.

From the above it will be seen that the old people of this country knew and practised many laws of health and sanitation which have since been forgotten, with results that all deplore.


It is a mere glimpse of this vast and interesting subject that has been provided in this paper. It is an inviting branch of study, and the present writer has written this paper in the hope that some one more competent to deal with the problems here discussed will be induced to take up the study and give to the world the benefit thereof.

III.-The History of Orissa in the Seven

teenth Century, reconstructed from Persian sources.

By Jadunath Sarkar, M. A.

In his Account of Orissa Proper or Cuttack written in 1822, Alexander Stirling complains, “The slender information extant of the proceedings of the Moghul officers from the retirement of Raja Man Sinh in A.D. 1604 to the dewanship of the famous Nawab Jaffer Khan Nasiri (A.D. 1707 to 1725), has to be gleaned from a few 'scattered notices in Persian histories of Bengal and scarcely intelligible revenue accounts, though the century in question must be regarded as a most important period in the annals of the country, when we consider the deep and permanent traces impressed on the state of affairs, by the arrangements, institutions, offices, and official designations, introduced by the imperial government during that interval.” (Page 87 of the Government reprint of 1904.)

From Persian works, not indicated by Stirling, it is possible now to fill, though partially, this gap in our knowledge of Orissa during the 17th century, which Stirling rightly calls "a most important period in the annals of the country.” Our sources of information are : (i) The Memoirs of Jahangir and the official annals of the

reigns of Shah Jahan and Aurangzib, which throw light only on the conquests and changes of officials but not on the administration or the condition of the

people. (ü) The Muraqat-i-Hassan, or Letters of Maulana Abul Has

san, who served the subahdars of Orissa as Secretary for about 12 years (1655—1667), and put this collection


« PreviousContinue »