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September 23, 1893


JAMA. 1893;XXI(13):465-466. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420650031008

The oldest of the Hindu medical books known to be complete, the Charaka, is undergoing translation at the hands of the learned Dr. Avinash Chandra Kaviratna. The sixth fasciculus of the Charaka lies upon our table. The difficulty about ancient Hindu literature is the absence of dates, the Hindu chronology being utterly fabulous.

The laws of hygiene and of diet, however, have been studied by the Hindus from the earliest times. The Ayur Veda, the "science of life," is the oldest of their books, and as was customary in all oriental mythology its origin is said to be divine, having been prepared by Brahma in the Satyar-yuga.

Wise, in"History of Medicine Among the Asiatics," gives the following list of authors:

These works are all compiled on the plan of the Ayur Veda. The Charaka is a system of oral instructions delivered by Agniveça (or Agnibesa,) and commented upon