Charak Chikitsa 1.4 – Ayurved Samutthaneeya Rasayana Pada

The fourth quarter of 1st chapter of Charaka Chikitsa Sthana deals with origin of Ayurveda, anti ageing recipes with divine herbs, who can undergo rejuvenation (Rasayan) and who cannot, nobility of a doctor etc. This chapter is called Ayurveda Samutthaneeya Rasayana Paada. Fourth Quarter of the Chapter on Rejuvenation Therapy
Now we shall explore the quarter dealing with “Ayurveda Samutthaneeya – the original propagation of Ayurveda” of the chapter on Rejuvenation therapy. Thus said Lord Atreya [1-2]

Return of Sages to the Himalayas

Sages who were formerly either Shalinas (residents of cottages in the woods) or Yayavaras (who moved from one place to the other) resorted to the herbs and diet of the ignorant villagers, as a result of which, they got interested in accumulation of wealth, became lazy, worldly and thus they could not maintain their health in good condition. They were therefore unable to attend to their regular meditation practices properly.

Then they realised the mistake of residing among such ignorant worldly people. Therefore, these great sages viz., Bhrigu, Angiras, Atri, Vasistha, Kashyapa, Agastya, Pulastya, Vamadeva, Asita, Gautama etc, returned to their old abodes in Himalayas which were free from Gramya dosha (unwholesome diet and habits).

Abode in the Himalayas

Their abodes in the Himalayas were :
Auspicious, virtuous, altruistic
Conducive to the promotion of intellect
Not accessible to sinful persons
Original sources of the Holy Ganga
Inhabited by Amaras (the Gods), Gandharvas (Divine Persons) and Kinnaras
The receptacles of all types of gems
Have unimaginable and wonderful Prabhavas (specific features)
Surrounded by Brahma Rishis (great sages) and Siddhas
Had celestial holy places and herbs
Provided shelter par excellence and Protected by Lord Indra, the king of the Gods. [3]

Indra and erawan (Elephant) statues of pagoda at Wat Pho , Bangkok
Indra and erawan (Elephant) statues of pagoda at Wat Pho , Bangkok

Discussion with Indra

Lord Indra, the one thousand eyed, the preceptor of the Gods, told them, “Welcome to the Divine sages, proficient of the Vedas endowed with the wealth of Knowledge and penance. Because of your association with people with the materialistic way of life, you have lost your strength, energy, voice and complexion as a result of which you are afflicted with ever growing unhappiness.

Association with materialistic people is the root cause of all sufferings. You the pious souls have already accomplished the welfare of the people. Now is the time for you to look after your health. It is also the time for the Brahma Rishis (divine sages) to be imparted Ayurvedic instructions.

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Origin of Ayurveda

For the welfare of myself and people, the Ashwinis (twin divine doctors) imported sacred knowledge of Ayurveda from Daksha Prajapati and Prajapati received it from Lord Brahma. Now people have got a shorter span of life; and because of this, they are afflicted with old age, diseases, unhappiness and they have deviated from Tapas (Penance), Dama (control of senses), Niyama (observance of conduct rules), Dana (Charity), as well as Adhyayana (study).

Therefore, I am imparting to you this knowledge of Ayurveda which is
Punyatama (most scared),
Ayuh prakarsha kara (promoter of longevity),
Jara Vyadhi Prashamana (alleviator of old age and diseases),
Urjaskara (promoter of energy),
Amruta (ambrosia), Shiva (Auspicious), Sharanya (protector) and Udara (universal, sympathetic).

You may listen, absorb and propagate this scriptural knowledge for the welfare of the people – the knowledge in the process of successive transmission from Brahma out of friendly deposition and compassion, excellent piety and universal sympathy (Udara). Transmission of this knowledge constitutes a divine and immortal act.

After listening to the king of the Gods (Indra), all the sages offered prayers to him by reciting sacred hymns. The sages, extremely delighted, welcomed his statement. [4-5]

Indrokta Rasayana

Thereafter, Indra imparted the knowledge of Ayurveda which is like ambrosia to the sages, “All these instruments should be followed. This is the auspicious time for rejuvenation. All the Divyausadhis (Celestial drugs) which grows in the Himalayas are matured with Veerya (Potency).”

For example,
Aindri – Colocynth – Citrullus colocynthis,
Brahmi – Bacopa monnieri
Payasya – Impomoea paniculata
Shravani, Maha Shravani( Alambusha) – Sphaeranthus indicus
Shatavari – Asparagus racemosus
Vidari (Ipomoea paniculata / Pueraria tuberosa)
Jivanti – Leptadenia reticulata
Punarnava – Boerhavia diffusa
Nagabala – Grewia populifolia, Sida spinosa, Urena lobata, Grewia hirsuta
Sthira – Shalaparni – Desmodium gangeticum,
Vacha – Acorus calamus Linn.
Chatra – Psallipta Compstris
Atichatra (Madhurika)
Meda – Polygonatum cirrhifolium
Maha Meda – Polygonatum cirrhifolium and
Such other drugs which are Jeevaniya (promoter of Vitality) should be mixed with milk and taken for six months.

Benefits: The person is endowed with excellent
Longevity, youth, freedom from diseases, voice, complexion, nourishment, intellect, memory
strength and such other desirable benefits. These are the drugs with infallible efficacy [6]

Celestial herbs recipes

Recipe of other Divya Aushadhi – celestial herbs:
In addition to the herbs described in the above passage, the following Divya Aushadhis (Celestial drugs) are also used for rejuvenation:

  1. Brahma Suvarchala: it has golden coloured latex and its leaves are like those of Puskara.
  2. Aditya Parni: it is also called Surya Kanta. It has golden coloured latex and its flowers are round like the sun.
  3. Nari: it is known as Ashva Bala . Its leaves are like those of Balvaja.
  4. Kasthagodha: It is like Goda (Iguana)
  5. Sarpa: It is like a snake.
  6. Soma: it is the king of drugs and has fifteen Parnas (leaves). Like the moon, these leave decreases and increase.
  7. Padma: It is lotus in shape. It is red like lotus and has the smell of Lotus.
  8. Aja: It is known as Aja Shringi.
  9. Neela: it has blue latex and their flowers are blue. It is a creeper with several branches.


  • All or any of the above mentioned herbs, depending on their availability is collected.
  • The person is given the juice of these herbs to the full of his stomach.
  • A Droni (a table specifically designed for the purpose) is prepared of the green wood of Palasha – Butea monosperma and is smeared with Sneha (ghee or oil)
  • The person should remove all his clothes and sleep in this Droni.
  • He is then covered with the lid when he becomes unconscious.
  • He regains consciousness after six months.

Pathya: The person is fed with goat’s milk.


Within six months, He

  • Gets youthfulness, complexion
  • Good voice, shape, strength and lustre like the Gods
  • Gains mastery over his speech i.e., what he says comes true
  • Is endowed with the divine vision and hearing
  • Can walk for one thousand Yojanas
  • Lives for ten thousand years free from all obstacles [7]

Indicated individuals

Who can have the above-mentioned Rasayana:
Thus it is said:
Only the sages like you can withstand the specific action (Prabhava) of the divyausadhis (celestial herbs), described above, and not others who are devoid of self-control.
By the influence of these medicines, you will be able to perform your duties properly and be endowed with all their benefits.

Drugs which grown in sacred places can also be used by person in Vanaprastha Ashrama (the third stage of life in which the person leaves village and town and stays in forests for performance of meditation etc.) and Grahastha Ashrama (the second stage of life in which the person leads family life) provided he is sincere and is endowed with self- control [8-10]

Disease- Treatment Of Charaka Samhita Made Easy

Depending upon the attribute of the land (other than the Himalayas) the effect of these drugs become moderate and their Virya (Potency) becomes mild. But they are to be administered, following the same method (as described above). The pleasure- seekers however, will not be able to search for them, for the method of rejuvenation is different which are described below. [11-12]

Indrokta Rasayana

Indrokta Rasayana – another recipe described by Lord Indra:
48 ml of juice extract of each of the below herbs is collected.
Ten drugs belonging to each of Balya, Jeevaniya, Brumhaniya and Vayasthapana groups (vide Sutra 4:9, 10 &18 )

Balya Gana – improving strength
Aindri (Citrullus colocynthis Schrad.),
Rishabhi – Rishabhaka – Manilkara hexandra
Atirasa – Asparagus root – Asparagaus racemosus,
Rishyaprokta – Teramnus labialis,
Payasya – Impomoea paniculata,
Ashwagandha – Winter Cherry / Indian ginseng (root) – Withania somnifera,
Sthira – Desmodium gangeticum,
Katukarohini – Picrorhiza kurroa,
Bala – Country mallow (root) – Sida cordifolia, and
Atibala – Abutilon indicum

Jeevaneeya Gana – – Enlivening, anti aging group of herbs
Jeevaka – Malaxis acuminata
Rishabhaka – Manilkara hexandra
Meda – Polygonatum cirrhifolium
Mahameda – Polygonatum verticillatum
Kakoli – Fritillaria roylei
Kshira Kakoli – Roscoea purpurea / Lilium polyphyllum
Mudgaparni – Phaseolus trilobus,
Mashaparni – Teramnus labialis,
Jivanti – Leptadenia reticulata and
Madhuka– Licorice – Glycyrrhiza glabra

Brumhaneeya Gana – Nourishing, increasing weight
Ksheerini – Mimosops hexandra Roxb.)
Rajakshavaka – Euphorbia microphylla,
Ashwagandha – Winter Cherry / Indian ginseng (root) – Withania somnifera,
Kakoli – Fritillaria roylei,
Ksheerakakoli – Roscoea purpurea / Lilium polyphyllum,
Vatyayani – Country mallow (root) – Sida cordifolia,
Bhadraudani (Sida cordifolia Linn.),
Bharadvaji – Thespesia lampas,
Payasya – Impomoea paniculata and
Rushyagandha (?)

VayaSthapana -rejuvenating, anti ageing.
Amruta (Tinspora cordifolia Miers.),
Abhaya – Terminalia chebula,
Dhatri (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.),
Mukta (pearl),
Shveta (white variety of Clitoria ternatea Linn.),
Jivanti – Leptadenia reticulate,
Atirasa – Asparagus root – Asparagaus racemosus,
Mandukaparni (Centella asiatica Urban),
Sthira – Desmodium gangeticum and
Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa Linn.)

Khadira – Acacia catechu
Asana – Indian Kino tree (heart wood) – Pterocarpus marsupium,
Kharjura – Dates – Phoenix dactylifera
Madhuka – Licorice – Glycyrrhiza glabra
Musta – Nut grass (root) – Cyperus rotundus,
Mrudveeka – Dry grapes
Vidanga – False black pepper – Embelia ribes,
Vacha – Acorus calamus
Chitraka – Plumbago zeylanica,
Shatavari –Asparagus racemosus
Pippali – Long pepper fruit – Piper longum,
Aguru – Aqualloria agallocha
Riddhi – Habenaria intermedia
Nagabala – Grewia populifolia, Sida spinosa, Urena lobata, Grewia hirsuta
Dvarada (Shakataru or Kapi Kacchu),
Dhava – Anogeissus latifolia,
Triphala – Amla, Haritaki, Bibhitaki
Kantakari – Yellow berried nightshade (whole plant) – Solanum xanthcarpum
Vidari – Pueraria tuberosa
Chandana – Santalum album
Ikshu – Saccharum officinarum
Root of Shara – Saccharum munja
promotes natural movement of body fluids,
Shreeparni and
Tinisha – Lagerstroemia speciosa, Ougeinia dalbergioides Benth./ oojeinensis
48 ml of swarasa – juice extract is prepared individually from the above herbs.
48 ml of of Palasha Kshar Jala (alkali water of Butea monosprema) is collected.
Cow milk is taken 4 times the cumulative amount of all of above.
1 Adhaka (3.072 Lit) of sesame oil and cow’s ghee each is added and the mixture is boiled together.
After the preparation is fully cooked and all the water content is evaporated, the obtained fat (medicated oil – ghee) is filtered.
Powder of Amalaki – Indian gooseberry fruit – Emblica officinalis – 1 Adhaka (3.072 kg), impregnated with amla juice for 100 times is added to it.
1 Adhaka – Old honey,
1 Adhaka (3.072 Kg) of the powder of Sugar and
1 Prastha (768 g) of Tugaksheeri – Bambusa bambos / Maranta arundinaceae and Pippali – Long pepper fruit – Piper longum are added.

This preparation is stored for 15 days in a clean earthen jar smeared with ghee.
To this, 1/16th in quantity of the powder of
Pravala Bhasma – Bhasma (Calx) of Coral,
Sphatika – Purified and processed Alum (crystal stone),
Vaidurya (cat’s eye),
Shankha (conch shell) and
Silver are added, mixed well and preserved.

DosageAccording to the power of digestion.


  • During this period Aayaasa (exhaustion) and sexual intercourse should be avoided.
  • After digestion of this medicine, he should take the Shashtika type of rice with milk and ghee.


  • Cures all disease.
  • An excellent medicine for virility, longevity and promoter of energy
  • Promotes strength, Satva (mental activities), memory, physique, Agni (powder of digestion and metabolism) and Indriya (powder of senses)
  • It endows the person with good complexion and voice
  • It alleviates poisoning or any other morbid condition
  • It is conducive to an excellent power of expression
  • It helps in the accomplishment of objects
  • It restores youth
  • It makes one endearing to the people
  • It is conducive to the worldly name and fame (even otherwise)

Person desirous of availing themselves of the above mentioned and efficacy of this therapy should use this recipe for rejuvenation according to the prescribed procedure. It is Brahma (celestial) and Udara Virya with potency having no restrictions whatsoever (unlike those mentioned in connection with the prescription in the preceding paragraph) [13-26]

Suitability for rejuvenation therapy

Kuti Praveshika type of rejuvenation therapy (vide Charaka Chikitsa 1:1 /17-24Wherein person is made to live in a house, without being exposed to outside world) is useful for:
Samartha – persons who are able bodied
Aroga – whose bodies are free from diseases
Dheemataam – who are endowed with intellect
Niyata Atmavaan – whose bodies are self- controlled

who have sufficient time to spare and who have adequate wealth.

For others, Saurya Marutika type (Vatatapika) of rejuvenation therapy, where person is free to expose himself to outside world, without being confined to a house, is useful. Between these two, the former is more useful, but it is far too difficult to accomplish.

Management of complications

Management of complications of Rasayana therapy:

If diseases appear due to wrong administration of rejuvenation therapy, then the medicine appropriate to those diseases should be administered leaving aside (at least temporarily) the rejuvenation therapy. [27-29]

Achara Rasayana

Achara Rasayana – rejuvenates, anti-ageing:
Achar Rasayan – rejuvenation by means of good conduct / Who can get most out of Rasayana therapy:
Person who are-

  • Satyavadi – truthful
  • Akrodha – free from anger
  • Nivrutta Madya Maithunaat – devoid of alcohols and sex indulgence
  • Ahimsaka who do not indulge in violence (himsa) or exhaustion
  • Anaayaasa – peaceful and pleasing in their speech
  • Prashanta – calm
  • Priyavaadi – who talk sweetly
  • Japa Shaucha para – who do regular Mantra chanting and who are clean
  • Dheera – courageous
  • Daana nitya – who regularly donate
  • Tapasvi – who meditate
  • who regularly offer to the Gods, cows , Brahmanas, teachers, preceptors acts,
  • compassionate
  • Sama Jaagarana Swapna – whose period of awakening and sleep are regular
  • Nitya ksheera ghrutaashee – who habitually take milk and ghee
  • Desha Kaala Pramanajna – who are acquainted with the measurement of (things appropriate to) the country and the time
  • Yuktijna – who are experts in the knowledge of rationality
  • Anahankruta – who are free from ego
  • Shastaachaara – whose conduct is good
  • Asankeerna – who are not narrow minded
  • Adhyaatma – who have love for spiritual knowledge
  • Pravanendriya – who have in excellent sense organs are conditions
  • Who have reverence for seniors Astikas (those who believe in the existence of God and validity of the knowledge of the Vedas), and
  • Jitaatmana – having self- control and
  • Who regularly study scriptures, get the best out of rejuvenation therapy.

Thus the rejuvenation effects of good conduct are described. [30-35]

Ineligible persons for Rasayana

In brief, a person, who is not free from the mental and physical defects, does never get the effects of rejuvenation therapy.

The recipes described here promote longevity and recent old age as well as affliction by diseases. These recipes produce effects in persons whose mind and body are clean and who are self- controlled.

The physician should never describe or speak anything about these recipes to a person with evil designs, who is not free from diseases, who is not a Dvijati (Brahmana, Ksatriya and Vaisya) and who has no faith in this therapy. [36-38]

Importance of a physician

Recipes for rejuvenation, aphrodisiacs and medicines for the treatment of diseases – all of them are dependent upon the physician. Therefore, a wise person should extend his utmost respectful regards to a Pranacharya (teacher of life science) who is endowed with intellect and the knowledge of the Vedas, as Indra offered prayers to the Ashwinis.

The Ashwinis are the twin physicians of the gods, who share the offerings in the Yajna (sacred oblation to the fire).
When the head of Yajna (the name of mythical God) was decapitated, these two physicians connected the head to his body again.
They connected the loose teeth of Pusan (the sun),
The treated eyes of Bhaga (one of the gods similar to Sun) and stiffness of the arm of Indra.
They treated and cured the moon when he was affected with Rajayakshma (tuberculosis) because of the depletion his Soma (cooling essence); he was cured by them and was endowed with happiness again.
The sage Chyavana, the Son of Bhrigu, in his old age got afflicted by Kama (sex desire). As a result of it, he was deprived of his completion and voice, the Ashwinis made him young again.

Because of these and many other activities, these two supreme divine physician became objects of frequent prayers by the great souls like Indra etc. for this the Dvijats (Brahmanas, Ksatrias and Vaisyas) prescribe different types of Graha (vessels for taking Soma), Stotra (songs of prayers), Mantra (incantations ), havis (oblations to fire) and Dhumra Pashu (brown coloured animals for sacrifice).

If the havana (oblation to fire) is offered in the morning, then the Soma (the juice of some plant), is shared by Shakra (Indra) along with the Asvins. In Sautramani (a type Yajna), the almighty God along with the Ashwinis, rejoice Indra, Agni and the Ashwinis- these are the three gods who are invariably offered prayers by Dvijas.

The Vedic chantsare recited as prayers to them. No other God is respected so much.

So even the Gods, who are free from old age and death along with their king sincerely offer prayers to these twin divine physicians, the A. Let alone the mortals in the world who are afflicted by miseries because of death, disease and old age, and who seek happiness the mortals must specially extend their respectful regard to a physician.

sage - Rishi


Pranacharya – Physician who can save life:
The physician who is endowed with good conduct and intellect and who is a Dvijathi (Brahmana, Kshatriya and Vaishya), and who is well versed in scriptures, may be considered as a preceptor and offered respectful regards by the living beings. This physician is called Pranacharya (teacher of science of life). [39-51]

Vaidya, Dvija

Definitions of Vaidya and Dvija:
After the completion of the medical education, the physician takes a second birth (jati) and is called “Vaidya”.This title is not given to him because of his expertise in the previous birth.

After the completion of the medical education, the physician is certainly of endowed with either Brahma sattva (the mental faculty of Brahma) or Rushi Sattva (mental faculty of a Rishi). Therefore, he is called a “Vaidya “and Dwija”. A person desirous of a happy life should never covet his possessions or show anger to the Pranacharya (a teacher of the science of life) or do any harm to him. [52-54]

Duties of patient and physician

A person who has been treated by the physician should reciprocate by helping him (in some way or the other) whether such reciprocation was assumed in advance or not. If he does not do so, he has no redemption.

The physician should treat all his patients like his children. He should take care of their health and keep them away from miseries, if he is desirous of Dharma (Virtues) par excellence.

The great sages devoted to righteousness have propagated Ayurveda with their desire for attainment of Dharma (righteousness), Artha (wealth), Kama (satisfaction of the worldly desires) and Akshara Sthana (salvation).

A person who pursues medical profession just out of compassion for the living being and not for Artha (wealth) or Kama (satisfaction of the worldly desires) excels all others.

A physician, who practices his profession as a commercial commodity for earning wealth, is (as a matter of fact) running after heap of ash instead of gold.

Patients suffering from serious diseases are dragged towards death by Yama (the God of death). Therefore, in this world, there is none equal to a physician, who can help an individual with both dharma (righteousness) and Artha (wealth). There is no other gift which excels the gift of life.

Compassion for the living creates is the dharma (righteousness) par excellence. A physician, who enters into medical professions keeping this ideal in view, accomplishes his objects best and gets happiness par excellence. [52-62]


In this quarter dealing with “the original propagation of Ayurveda”, the following topics have been discussed in detail-

  1. The original propagation of Ayurveda.
  2. The method of use of celestial drugs which are auspicious
  3. The effects of rejuvenation therapy containing gems and jewels which is like ambrosia but slightly less in quality.
  4. The conversation of India with the Siddhas (the accomplished sage) and Brahmcharins (those observing celibacy) [63-64]

Thus, ends the fourth quarter of “Ayurveda samutthana” (original propagation of the science of life) of the chapter on Rasayana – rejuvenative; anti-aging (rejuvenation) of Chikitsa Section in Agnivesa’s work, as redacted by Charaka.
Thus is the end of the chapter on rejuvenation therapy.

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