|Year : 2013 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 17-20
A review through Charaka Uttara-Tantra
Richa Vishwakarma1, Pradip Kumar Goswami2
1 Junior Resident, Department of Samhita and Sanskrit, Faculty of Ayurveda, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banas Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Associate Professor and Head, Department of Samhita and Sanskrit, Faculty of Ayurveda, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banas Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Date of Web Publication||23-Jul-2013|
Department of Samhita and Sanskrit, Faculty of Ayurveda, IMS, BHU, Varanasi - 05, UP
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
| Abstract|| |
In the present scenario, the available editions of Charaka Samhita contain eight Sthanas only. Charaka Samhita does not contain Uttara-Tantra like Sushruta Samhita and Samhitas of Vagbhata. On contrary, in the 12 th chapter of Siddhi Sthana, Charaka has mentioned about Uttara-Tantra of Charaka Samhita. So, it is essential to emphasize on this issue, which was not explained in length by commentators of Charaka Samhita. Many controversies raised on the existence and recognition of Uttara-Tantra of Charaka Samhita. On the other hand, some scholars who belong to a later period have been mentioned certain references in their work, which are claimed to be from Uttara-Tantra of Charaka Samhita. After a thorough study and scanning of available literature, it is concluded that, Charaka Uttara-Tantra was existing up to the time of Nishchalakara (13th century AD). Nishchalakara has quoted a number of references in Ratnaprabha, which are from Uttara-Tantra of Charaka Samhita. Furthermore, there is a need to discuss about the existence of Uttara-Tantra of Charaka Samhita by further more detailed study and scanning of literatures of Ayurveda and allied literatures.
Keywords: Chakrapanidatta, Charaka Samhita, Nishchalakara, Ratnaprabha, Tika, Uttara Tantra
|How to cite this article:|
Vishwakarma R, Goswami PK. A review through Charaka Uttara-Tantra. AYU 2013;34:17-20
| Introduction|| |
Samhitas are considered as highly codified store houses of ancient wisdom. Samhitas have their own style of narrating classics such as Sthana, Chatushka, Adhyaya, Sutra, Shloka, Pada etc., Facts have been presented in Sutra form in Samhitas and in commentaries the same have been interpreted and elaborated in the form of Bhashya. Thus, the commentaries serve the purpose of Bhashya on the Samhitas, which not only give meaning of words but also supplement the ideas by furnishing additional information on the subjects. The commentator quotes the previous authors and after critical verification gives his own conclusion based on either rejection or agreement on logical grounds. This requires a wide and thorough knowledge of the existing literature of Samhitas and commentaries along with sufficient background of allied literature. Moreover, a commentator needs critical and analytical faculty by which he can verify the facts and arrive at a rational conclusion.  Likewise, Uttara-Tantra has been considered as a store house of subjects, which are not present in portions of main Samhitas. Existence of Uttara-Tantra of Charaka Samhita has been mentioned in Siddhi Sthana of Charaka Samhita.  This is not referred by any other scholars.
The meaning of the Shloka is for the true knowledge of this treatise according to the Guna and Dosha, these Tantra-Yuktis will be explained once again in detail in Uttara-Tantra. This portion belongs to Dridhabala, who supplemented 17 chapters of Chikitsa Sthana, 12 chapters each of Kalpa and Siddhi Sthanas. In the above context, Chakrapanidatta, quoted that this verse is not authoritative one.  He opined that Uttara-Tantra of Charaka Samhita as Anarsha, which means Sambuddhau Shakalyasyettau Anarshe (not belonging to the Rishi or which is not Vedic),  because there is no Uttara-tantra in Agniveshatantra.
These are the views of some Hindi translators of Chakrapanidatta's Ayurveda Dipika on Charaka Samhita. However, some English translators have different views on the commentary of Chakrapani's Ayurveda Dipika.
According to Prof. P. V. Sharma, it refers to the Uttara-Tantra, which deals with the exposition of Tantra-Yuktis, but this is regarded as unauthoritative by elders as the existence of the Uttara-Tantra itself in the Agniveshatantra is not authentic. It indicates that in certain traditions, the Uttara-Tantra existed dealing with Tantra-Yuktis and other allied matters.  This shows that according to Prof. P. V. Sharma some of the senior physicians of Chakrapani regarded the Uttara-Tantra as unauthoritative, but not Chakrapani himself. Prof. P. V. Sharma also not refuted the authenticity of Uttara-Tantra.
Likewise, R. K. Sharma and Bhagwan Dash, few among the English translators of Ayurveda Dipika said that Chakrapani quoted the views of experienced physicians according to whom the text in verse no. 50 is unauthentic. However, he himself has not refuted the authenticity of this text.  This is because after explaining 36 Tantra-Yuktis, Chakrapani said in his commentary on Charaka Samhita that in addition to the above mentioned 36 Tantra-yuktis, there are 15 types of Vyakhyas (explanations), 7 types of Kalpana (arrangements), 21 types of Arthashrayas (implications) and 14 types of Tantra-Doshas (defects in composition). These are not mentioned here because of their description in Uttara-Tantra.
Whether Chakrapani or his senior scholars recognized Uttara-Tantra not as a work of authoritative scholars that is another issue. Nishchalakara quoted many references of Uttara-Tantra of Charaka Samhita in his commentary Ratnaprabha on Chikitsa Samgraha of Chakrapani Datta. Nishchalakara belongs to 13 th century AD. and Chakrapani belongs to 11 th century AD. Therefore, fact is that up to the time of Chakrapani or even later period there was the existence of Uttara-Tantra of Charaka Samhita. Simultaneously, to the present edition of Charaka Samhita, their popularity and acceptance by scholars may be at the lower level in regards to Uttara-tantra of Charaka Samhita. Subsequently scholars who were much junior to Chakrapanidatta has quoted the Uttara-tantra of Charaka Samhita with importance. Among them, Nishchalakara who had commented upon the most famous work Chikitsa Samgraha of Chakrapanidatta quoted certain Shlokas from Uttara-tantra of Charaka Samhita. The name of his commentary is Ratnaprabha. In many places, he also mentioned that 'Charakottaratantre' (as he discuss in Uttara-tantra of Charaka Samhita).
The aim of this study was to ascertain the existence of Uttara-tantra of Charaka Samhita, which is considered to be a controversial matter. Uttara-Tantra is considered to be an important part of Samhitas, which deals with the remaining branches such as an explanation of Kayachikitsa, Shalakya, Balarogas in Sushruta Uttara-Tantra, etc., which are not covered in main Samhitas.
| Materials and Methods|| |
Classical literature (Samhitas and commentaries) have been critically analyzed and reviewed. Mainly Ratnaprabha of Nishchalakara on Chikitsa Samgraha of Chakrapani Datta has been consulted. In addition, Ayurveda Dipika of Chakrapanidatta and Jalpakalpataru of Gangadhar Rai have also been consulted.
Among the Brihatrayis, Sushruta Samhita and Vagbhata Samhitas contain Uttara-tantra and it is generally observed that whatever the concept and materials of Ashtanga Ayurveda has not been deals with main Samhita, are addressed mainly in Uttara-Tantra as shown in comparative [Table 1] and [Table 2].
|Table 2: References and topics given in Ratnaprabha commentary on Chikitsa Samgraha of Chakrapani Datta by Nishchala Kara|
Click here to view
| Discussion|| |
After observing the comparisons in [Table 1] and [Table 2], it seems that the topics, which are not mentioned in main Samhitas are explained in Uttara-Tantra. For example - Sushruta Samhita is a Shalya Pradhana treatise and it has a specialty in the topics related to Shalya, but the topics other than Shalya are described in Uttara-Tantra. Furthermore, in Ashtanga Samgraha and Ashtanga Hridayam, the topics other than main Samhitas are mentioned in Uttara-tantra according to these tables.
According to a significant statement given by Chakrapani about Vyakhyas (explanations), Kalpana (arrangements), Arthashraya (implications) and Tantra-Doshas (defects in composition), it may be possible that in Chakrapani's time, this subsidiary text was available, which is no more extant. This might alternatively be a subsequently interpolation in Chakrapani's commentary. It is also possible that senior physicians of Chakrapani quoted the Uttara-Tantra as unauthoritative one that is why Chakrapani did not commented on that, but he himself not refuted the existence of Charakottaratantra. The present available editions of Charaka Samhita is considered as a Kayachikitsa Pradhana (principal) treatise so it may be possible that to explain the topics other than Kayachikitsa such as Shalya, Shalakya, Tantra-Yuktis, Vyakhyas (explanations), Kalpanas (arrangements), etc., anyone wrote Uttara-Tantra in Charaka Samhita. Since, the senior scholars quoted it as unauthentic, nobody commented on it. Perhaps it was not so much popular like Uttara-Tantra of other Samhitas, and was disappeared in later period.
There can be one more evidence for the possibility of the existence of Uttara-Tantra, i.e. according to the verse no. 52 of 12 th chapter of Siddhi Sthana of Charaka Samhita, 12000 verses should be present in Charaka Samhita.  The meaning of this Shloka is the physician who that in his memory this treatise containing 12000 verses and prose paragraphs is verily the knower of its implications. He has the power of discrimination and he is proficient in the treatment of diseases. Such a person cannot fail to diagnose a disease and initiate its appropriate treatment.
According to these lines, the present available editions of Charaka Samhita should have to be Dvadasha-Sahasri (12000 verses and prose paragraphs). Notwithstanding variations in the numbering of verses and prose paragraphs in the different editions of this work, the total number of the verses and prose paragraphs in 120 chapters does not exceed ten thousand, which is significantly at variance with what is stated in the original text here. Apart from the possibility of an error in the statement made in the above text, it is likely that the original text had actually 12000 verses and prose paragraphs and some of these were lost subsequently. Alternatively, it may be possible that this statement includes the number of verses and prose paragraphs of Uttara-Tantra or Uttara-Sthana which is no more exist. This can be strong evidence in relation to the Charakottaratantra. Since the other two important Ayurvedic classics, viz., Sushruta Samhita and Vagbhata Samhitas have such supplementary sections, the possibility of Charaka Samhita having such a supplementary section cannot be brushed aside, notwithstanding the confusing statements in the existing editions of Chakrapani's commentary. 
Different number of Shlokas and references as quoted by Nishchalakara  in Ratnaprabha mentioned in [Table 2] are not available in any sections of present available Charaka Samhita. This signifies that these Shlokas and references are from other sources, which indicates that these may be belong to so called Uttara-Tantra of Charaka Samhita as these are related to mainly Shalya, Shalakya, etc. which are not discussed in main Samhita.
In spite of this, Gangadhar Rai, in Jalpakalpataru says that "for the true knowledge of this treatise according to Guna and Dosha, Tantra-Yuktis are explained by me in Uttara, in the chapters other than one hundred twenty chapters explained by Acharya Charaka". 
This important explanation also signifies that Uttara-Tantra may be present at that time for the explanation of Tantra-Yuktis, Vyakhyas (explanation), Kalpana (arrangements), Arthashrayas (implications), Tantra-Doshas (defects in composition), etc., but in later period, this portion disappeared due to some reasons.
| Conclusion|| |
After a critical discussion based on available references and resources, conclusions can be drawn that one cannot brush aside the hypothesis that there was an Uttara-Tantra of Charaka Samhita, which was technically available up to the time of Nishchalkara and Shivadas Sen. Simultaneously senior scholars who had studied intimately Charaka Samhita, not ready to recognize this Uttara-Tantra of Charaka Samhita as an authoritative one. There are so many unsolved questions persist like who was the writer of it, what was the period, up to what period its existence was there, when and why it disappeared and why Acharya Charaka did not mentioned the list of chapters present in Uttara-Tantra along with the list of chapters of other Sthanas in 30 th chapter of Sutra Sthana. These questions are yet to be solved with external and internal evidences, which substantiate the existence of Uttara-Tantra of Charaka Samhita and its authenticity. There is no strong evidence to totally reject existence of Uttara-Tantra of Charaka Samhita. Interestingly translators and commentators of modern age are in dividing opinion. For getting a substantive conclusion on the issue more and more methodical and extensive researches are needed.
| References|| |
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[Table 1], [Table 2]