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Kashyap Samhita

Kashyap Samhita, also known as Braddha Jivakiya Tantra, is an important treatise on Ayurveda medicine written in ancient India by the sage Kashyap.

The originator of this Samhita is said to be Brahma himself, who transmitted this knowledge to Daksha Prajapati. Daksha then transmitted this knowledge to the Ashwins, who in turn illuminated Indra, Kashyap, Vashishtha, Atri and Bhrigu. The son of Kashyap and the pupil of the Kashyap transferred the knowledge to subsequent generations.

The Kashyap Samhita was later translated into Chinese during the Middle Ages.[1]



In the Kashyapa Samhita, the Ayurveda science descriptions are given in question-and-answer style: raised by the pupils and answered by the Sage Kashyapa himself, in a lucid way. The questions raised relate to the [a] commencement of diseases, [b] diagnosis, [c] treatment and [d] management. Kashyapa Samhita is said to be one of the oldest classical books on Ayurveda and an excellent study on the Arterial System.

Kashyap Samhita has an interesting myth concerning its origin - When Kashyap Rishi wrote the Samhita, it was not welcomed by the Ayurveda masters of that time. The then five-year old son of sage Richeek, named Jeevak, summarized the huge volume of Samhita written by Kashyap himself and went to Kankhal, Haridwar, in Uttarakhand, India and presented the concise version of Samhita before the Ayurvedic practitioners of the time, who rejected it outrightly, considering it to be written by a five-year-old boy.

At the same time, the boy went to bathe in river Ganges, and when he stepped out after he had transformed into an old man (Braddha). Seeing this transformation, present Ayurveda practitioners called him "Braddha Jeevak" and recognized the collected work as "Braddha Jeevakeeya Tantra".

It is presumed that the time of Braddha Jeevak, is before of Buddha and Mahavir, and is different from Jeevak Vaidya, born in the era of Buddha, Bimbsaar's Bhujishya. Jeevak Vaidya was very expert in surgery while Braddha Jeevak is understood to be first originator of Kaumar Bhratya (pediatrics, midwifery, and gynecology).

With the passage of time, the Braddha Jeevakeeya Tantra suddenly came in the hand of Anayas Yaksha. At that time, Uttarakhand was domain by the Yakshas. Anayas Yaksha saved this script and spread the knowledge to his entire community.

After some time, Vatsaya, who was the successor of the Kashyap family, again got the script from Yaksha. He edited the whole book and divided it into eight chapters, or branches:

  1. Kaumar Bhratya
  2. Shalya kriya - pradhan shalya
  3. Uttamang- Shalyakriya - Pradhan Shalakya
  4. Vayah Sthapanadi deergha prayoga - Pradhan Rasayana
  5. Shareerik Mansik Chikitsa Pradhan
  6. Kaya Chikitsa
  7. Agad Tantra
  8. Bhut Vidya.[citation needed]

Because of this eightfold division Ayurveda also known as Astanga Ayurveda (The Eight Armed Ayurveda).


The present Kashyap samhita is divided according to subject matter as follows:

  • Sutra sthan, of 30 chapters
  • Nidan sthan, of 8 chapters
  • Vimana sthan, of 8 chapters
  • Shareer sthan, of 8 chapters
  • Indriya sthan, of 12 chapters,
  • Chikitsa sthan, of 30 chapters,
  • Siddhi sthan, of 12 chapters
  • Kalpa sthan, of 12 chapters
  • Khil Bhag, of 80 chapters.

Today the Kashyap samhita contains 200 chapters. The basic matter of the book is said to be from the Atharva Veda.


  1. ^ Terence Duke. The Boddhisattva Warriors: The Origin, Inner Philosophy, History and Symbolism of the Buddhist Martial Art Within India and China (p. 139-145).

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kashyap_Samhita". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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