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Suśrutasaṁhitā is one of the 'Great trio' (Br̥hattrayī) and considered as popular voluminous ancient text of Āyurvēda. It is expounded by Kāśīrāja Divōdāsa Dhanvantari and compiled by Suśruta, who was the son of Sage Viśvāmitra, and disciple of Divōdāsa Dhanvantari, the King of Kāśī. As per the Dalhaṇa Ācārya, commentator of Suśrutasaṁhitā, Sage Nāgārjuna was the 'Pratisaṁskartā' or redactor of this Suśrutasaṁhitā. Emendation or Pāṭhaśuddhi, of Suśrutasaṁhitā was done by Candraṭa, the son of Tīsaṭa. Divōdāsa and his disciple Suśruta are historical sage physicians probably belong to 1500 B.C and 1000 B.C., Suśruta renowned as the "Father of Surgery".

The compendium of Suśrutasaṁhitā is the comprehensive treatise on the entire medical discipline. Entire saṁhitā can be divided in two parts, the original tantra is pūrvārdha having five sections and the later half uttaratantra is added afterwards. Those two parts together encompass with a detailed note on specialties like Śalyatantra (Surgery), Śālākya (ENT & Ophtholmology), Kāyacikitsā (General medicine), Kaumārabhr̥tya (Pediatrics), Rasāyanatantra (Rejuvinators), Agadatantra (Toxicology), Vājīkaraṇa (Aphrodisiacs). It also dealt in a great detail about the fundamnetal concepts of medicine such as Anatomy, Physiology (Śārīrasthāna), Pathology (Rōganidāna) to attain proficiency of medicine.

In this compendium, contrary to the popular belief that, '.........śārīrē suśrutō śrēṣṭhaḥ', all of the major concepts of Ayurvedic medical science with innovative chapters on śārīratantra (anatomy and physiology of human body), kalpasthāna (Toxicology), cikitsāsthāna (treatise on diseases), uttaratantra (main focus on ENT, Eye and Pediatric disorders) were dealt in detail.

The sūtrasthāna, nidānasthāna, śārīrasthāna, kalpasthāna and cikitsāsthāna are the five sections of the pūrvatantra containing one hundred and twenty chapters.

Saṁhitā begins with first section i.e. sūtrasthāna, containing 46 chapters. First chapter of which gives symbolic description of the beginning of medical teaching, followed by śiṣyōpanayanīya, consisting of suggestions about how a medical student should be selected, initiated, and take the oath for Adhyayana. In the first section itself, the division of eight branches of Āyurvēda is given, and is really remarkable. This section also deals with the basic doctrines, seasonal regimen, surgical instruments, Para surgical measures, diet and drugs etc.

The second section, nidānasthāna has 16 chapters, deals with the etiology, pathogenesis, signs and symptoms of diseases exclusively important surgical diseases.

The third section, śārīrasthāna is containing 10 chapters. Under this section, much light was thrown on fundamental concepts of embryology, anatomy and physiology of human body. This also includes the essentials of obstetrics.

The fourth section, cikitsāsthāna has 40 chapters, deal with the principles of management of surgical as well as general diseases, obstetrical emergencies. It also includes a few chapters on rejuvenation and aphrodisiacs. Under the surgical management of some diseases, to produce insensibility to the pain of the operation and as an anesthetic it is advised to use wine before operation. This was the contribution of Suśrutasaṁhitā to the field of anesthesia. This section also deals with the pañcakarma therapies.

The kalpasthāna, fifth section, containing 08 chapters, deals mainly with viṣatantra (Toxicology), along with the nature of poisons and their management. It also dealt with food poisoning, vegetable poisons, animal poisoning like snake, dog, scorpion, spider, rat etc and their management.

The uttaratantra, sixth section of Suśrutasaṁhitā, was added later on, contains 66 chapters. It deals with the details of specialties like śālākya (26 chapters), kaumārabhr̥tya (12 chapters), kāyacikitsā (21 chapters) bhūtavidyā (3 chapters), and tantrayukti etc (04 chapters). Though the compendium deals with the all subjects of medicine, greater portion of it is dedicated to śalyatantra. In the respect to surgery, this treatise stands out as a testimony to the high standard of surgery. It gives a list of blunt and sharp instruments to facilitate the surgical procedures and hand is considered as the most important and the best instrument. Classification and description of these instruments became the basis for the development of instruments of modern surgery. Since the Suśrutasaṁhitā is authoritative text on surgery, in which, along with learning methods of surgery, attaining practical knowledge is equally considered as important. But, to attain practical knowledge, it is necessary to understand the deep rooted meanings of the text properly; otherwise it is not possible to do surgery frequently. In this respect it is necessary to read saṁhitā in the light of commentary. On Suśrutasaṁhitā, so many commentaries are written, but, only a few commentaries are available in the present era. These are Nibandhasaṅgraha commentary by Dalhaṇa, Nyāyacandrikā commentary by Gayadāsa, Bhānumatī commentary by Cakrapāṇidatta and Suśrutārtha sandīpana commentary by Hārāṇacandra. Among them, Nyāyacandrikā is available only on nidānasthāna, Bhānumatī commentary is available on sūtrasthāna only. Where as Nibandhasaṅgraha commentary is not only available for entire saṁhitā but is popular and most useful one. The reason of popularity of this commentary is presentation of explanations in simple and expressive language. The Learned persons of Āyurvēda consider that, the person who is having simple Sanskrit language can also understand the root meaning of saṁhitā easily, with the help of this commentary.

An e-book is defined as 'an electronic version of a book which can be read on a personal computer or hand-held device designed specifically for this purpose'. In general a book from the printed version is analyzed for its generic and specific format and rearranged methodically in the digitized electronic format, which enables it to be retrieved in various forms. Today e-books not only enable reading of the text, but also help perform complete search of the text. Searching of the specific text element i.e Key Word in the Context (KWIC), and citation of a particular verse in the concordance form are very specific requirements for an oriental science like Āyurvēda, which has a vast repository of literature in the Sanskrit verse form. A good number of printed books have been published, but availability in electronic texts is still not very common for this section of books.

This particular Suśrutasaṁhitā e-Book, the first of its kind developed for an Āyurvedic text is a powerful combination of Electronic Book, Full Text Search enabled, KWIC module, which also supports the features of Concordance.

The making of Suśrutasaṁhitā e-Book:

  1. Selection of Standard text as base: Books which are widely in use are consulted for making necessary correction or modifications as and when required.
  2. Keying of the text: complete keying of the text is made in phonetic English (using Baraha Software) and certain changes are incorporated to harmonize it with standard ITRANS version of phonetic English for Dēvanāgarī script for wider acceptance. Trained full time Data entry operators who have good acquaintance with Sanskrit alphabet and phonetic sensibilities, under the supervision of experts are employed for this purpose. It took 12 months of time to completely key in the text and proof read it.
  3. Multi level collaborative editing model is adopted for completing thorough proof reading of the text and as far as possible spelling mistakes have been rectified.
  4. Special software is designed, developed and deployed for this purpose. This software served the purpose of data entry in a stipulated schema (viz., sthāna>adhyāya>sūtra>ṭīkā>foot notes etc.) in a multi-user environment. Later on additional modules, user friendly options have been added to make it ready to use by a person having minimum computer knowledge. The platform chosen to develop this software is time tested, and built on with a lot of community support. Some the software used are php, Server2go, firefox browser etc., and an extension in the form of PADMA- specifically configured for e-Book purpose has provided this software with multilingual reading capability. The use of such free distribution software has reduced the production cost to bare minimum, which is an ideal condition to minimize the cost and propagate Ayurvedic e- literature for wider audiences.
Suśrutasaṁhitā e-Book has the following special features which are provided to facilitate multilingual reading option along with regular e-book features. The options as follows:
  1. Available in different scripts: This e-book is also equipped with Dēvanāgarī as well as Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil, Gujarathi, Kannada, Bengali, Gurmukhī Diacritical (ISO 15919) script and Phonetic English. Hence, the reader who is not familiar with Dēvanāgarī , can utilize this book in their traditional scripts.
  2. Saving of time: Due to the presence of search tool option it is easy to go to the reference directly, in a short time.
  3. Cost effective and expedient: Since it is available in the CD form, it is cost effective and easy to carry (portable).
  4. Do not consume extra resources from the system in which it is installed, and does not interfere with the programmes already
  5. installed.

Appeal to Readers:
This is the Version 1.0 of the e-book of Suśrutasaṁhitā, which is completed with in a short period and limited resources. Hence, some mistakes may be possible in this edition. So it is our humble request to all the readers to bring into our notice about the mistakes. We also welcome you to your precious suggestion to edit further this E-book and make it reader friendly

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