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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 231-234

Vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ:” Āyurvedic classic with applied Jyotiṣyaśāstra and Dharmaśāstra

Department of Ayurveda Research, Regional Ayurveda Research Institute for Metabolic Disorders, Under CCRAS, Ministry of AYUSH, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission23-May-2020
Date of Decision21-Oct-2021
Date of Acceptance26-Oct-2021
Date of Web Publication04-Jan-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Santhosh K Avangapur
Regional Ayurveda Research Institute of Metabolic Disorders, Under CCRAS, Ministry of AYUSH, Manavarthekaval, Thalaghattapura, Bengaluru - 560 109, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/asl.ASL_83_20

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How to cite this article:
Avangapur SK. ”Vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ:” Āyurvedic classic with applied Jyotiṣyaśāstra and Dharmaśāstra. Ancient Sci Life 2018;37:231-4

How to cite this URL:
Avangapur SK. ”Vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ:” Āyurvedic classic with applied Jyotiṣyaśāstra and Dharmaśāstra. Ancient Sci Life [serial online] 2018 [cited 2023 Mar 31];37:231-4. Available from: https://www.ancientscienceoflife.org/text.asp?2018/37/4/231/334726

Title of the Book : 'Vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ'

Author : Śrī Rājā Vīrasimhadeva

Editor/Publisher : Khemraj Shrikrishnadas

Published by : Shri Venkateshwar Press, Mumbai

Year of Publication : 1897

Number of Pages : 311

Binding : Paperback

  Introduction Top

Āyurveda, Jyotiṣyaśāstra (Astrology) and Dharmaśāstra (Hindu theological treatises) are the independent, conventional and interdisciplinary sciences since age-old times. These are the distinctive sciences authenticated separately with their own basic principles, critical analysis, and wide applicability with finer documentation. However, there are deficient literary sources which provide the complete blended information of these sciences which would guide for integrated approach helpful in healing humankind. Although there are few works on blending both Jyotiṣyaśāstra and Dharmaśāstra like Sārāvalī, Jātakapaddhati, etc., but no classical works available with the inclusion of vaidyaśāstra. Vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ is one such unique and rare ancient text in Āyurveda which exclusively deals with the application and relevance of Jyotiṣyaśāstra and Dharmaśāstra along with the Cikitsāśāstra in avoiding the predetermined personal consequences, health ailments and also curing the subjective illnesses. Vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ is possibly the only text which has the recommendations of both Jyotiṣyaśāstra and Dharmaśāstra along with Āyurveda cikitsā in the medical science.

Jyotiṣyaśāstra (Astrology) is a science of predicting the supposed influences of the stars and planets on human lives and also on terrestrial events. The actual predictions of the future incidents are made on the basis of the positions and correlation of the planets and zodiacal signs. Astrological science also predicts the manifestation of future illness through the study of person's horoscope. Dharmaśāstra is the collection of the ancient Hindu theological texts which deal with the religious, social, and personal rituals, righteous codes and conducts of ethical living and also jurisprudence of law. In vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ, Dharmaśāstra presents the attributes of Karmavipāka aspect which highlights the role of karma (bad deeds) or karma-phala (effects of bad deeds) in the origin and development of the disease and the author has employed from the different Dharmaśāstra's, thereby it reflects the preventive measures and also helpful for the management of acute and chronic diseases.

This treatise mainly portrays the relevance of knowledge of Jyotiṣyaśāstra and Dharmaśāstra implemented in the diagnosis, prognosis, fatal symptoms (ariṣṭa lakṣaṇa's) and their remedial measures of the given disease. A Vaidya expertise in both Jyotiṣyaśāstra and Dharmaśāstra will be able to view the etiology of the disease from different perspectives and will be able to treat the somatic, psychic, psychosomatic disorders, exogenous infections, and epidemiological outbreaks. Vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ is a Physician's handbook in clinical practice which has the reliable, skillful, and valuable content on nidāna (Diagnosis) and cikitsā (Management) from the perspectives of Jyotiṣyaśāstra, Dharmaśāstra, and Āyurveda. The text vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ is considered as a unique contribution to the field of Āyurveda.

  About Author of the Vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ Top

The text vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ was written by the King Śrī Rājā vīrasiṃhadeva of Tomara dynasty. Vīrasiṃha is the only son of the king Devavarma and a grandson of kamalasiṃha who belonged to the sūryavaṃśa. The nativity of the vīrasiṃha can be ruled out based on the ruling areas of the Tomara dynasty, which are believed to be around the Delhi and Gwalior during the 9th - 12th century. As per the author of the text Nirṇaya kamalākara, the period of Vīrasiṃha is supposed to be in between 1080 AD to 1380 AD. He further added that the vīrasiṃha is a great king and well known for his bravery. In the introductory part of 1st chapter of this text, vīrasiṃha introduced himself as an eminent scholar and well-versed in daivajña (Astrology), Āgama (Vedas), Dharmaśāstra (Ancient Hindu theological texts), Nigama (Puranas) and Āyurveda cikitsā. There are no other original works or commentaries available in his credit.

  Vīrasimhāvalokah and its Style Top

The literal meaning of the text “vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ” (vīrasiṃha + avalokana) suggests the perception, insights or the reviews of the author Śrī vīrasiṃha. This text is written in simple Sanskrit language, arranged in both prose and poetic style. There are no commentaries written on it. It is organized in chapter-wise with no other sthāna's (sections) like in saṃhitā's. Presently, the original text is not easily available and out of print, but one can get the translation of the original text in Hindi and English languages.

Vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ is well known for its unique approach of diagnosis and also complete treatment emphasizing on the Trividha auṣadha such as Daivavyapāśraya, Yuktivyapāśraya, and Satvāvajaya cikitsā. After analyzing the contents and applied information of the text, it is clear that the subject is established on the basis of Jātaka granthā's (astrological texts), Dharmaśāstra's and also few Ayurveda saṃhitā's. The context of Jyotiṣyaśāstra and Dharmaśāstra presents the brief narration on hetu (cause) responsible for the illness and its pratikāra (pacifying remedies) from their respective background. Specific types of homa, japa, dāna, vrata, etc., are mentioned in the context of Jyotiṣyaśāstra and Dharmaśāstra for each disease. Furthermore, vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ briefly gives the description of Ayurvedic view on nidāna and also cikitsā of all the diseases, as there are many saṃhitā's which are already dealt in detail.

  Subject Matter of the vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ Top

The text vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ is composed of 71 chapters (adhikāra's) without any further sections/divisions. The detailed description of all the diseases is dealt from 1st chapter to 59th chapter; 60th and 61st chapter exclusively deal with the Rasāyana and vājīkaraṇa; pañcakarma and other treatment modalities are dealt from 62nd to 70th chapter and the last, 71st chapter miśrakādhikāra deals with the certain classical Ayurveda solutions. Each Adhikāra has been bestowed with the descriptions of three disciplines; Jyotiṣyaśāstra, Dharmaśāstra (on the basis of karmavipāka) and Āyurveda.

Jyotiṣyaśāstra primarily deals with the assessment of hetu and prabhāva (influence) by assessing the Jātaka (horoscope) of the person with applied principles of the astrology. The position, transition, and coincidences between the graha's (planets) or with nakṣatra's (zodiac signs), etc., are the common hetu's and also influencing factors responsible for the human illness and personal consequences. The Pratikāra's (astrological remedies) mentioned in the vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ are in the form of śāntikarma (pacifying measures) of responsible planet or stars by astrological remedies like japa (muttering prayers), homa (oblations), dāna (donations), snāna (auspicious bath), specific mantra and sūkta paṭhana (recitations), etc., vīrasiṃha cited the references from the popular Jātaka granthā's like Sārāvalī (Kalyāṇavarma), Jātakapaddhati (Śrīpati), bṛhajjātaka (Varāha mihira), etc.

All Dharmaśāstra's are originated from the Vedas and mainly focused on ācāra (personal, social and ethical behavior), vyavahāra (righteous codes of conduct) and prāyaścitta (punishments and penances for violations of the rules of dharma). Dharmaśāstra's are derived from the Kalpa, a Vedic supplement (one among the vedāṅga) which includes the Sūtra's like Gautama, Baudhāyana, apastambha, etc., and the Smṛti's like Manu Smṛti, yājñavalkya Smṛti, etc., In the context of Dharmaśāstra of vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ, one can infer that the sins or bad deeds of past life (pūrvajanmakṛta pāpakarma) and effects of karma (karmaphala) are the main causative factor responsible for the manifestation of the different anomalies and illnesses. The pratikāra's (traditional theological pacifying strategies) mentioned in the vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ are in the form of religious rituals like japa, dāna, snāna, vrata, mahābhārata, specific mantra and sūkta paṭhana, etc., The vīrasiṃha cited the interpretations from the different dharmaśāstra's like padmapurāṇa, brahmāṇḍapurāṇa, garuḍapurāṇa, vāyupurāṇa, Brahma purāṇa, kūrmapurāṇa, gautamasūtra, baudhāyana sūtras, mahābhārata, etc.

As per the context of Āyurveda, vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ has covered almost all types of diseases in 60 chapters (including Klaibya in vājīkaraṇādhikāra). Each rogādhikāra briefly describes the familiar explanation of nidāna (causative factors), samprāpti (pathogenesis), bheda (it's types), lakṣaṇa (with clinical features) and cikitsā (treatment) of the given disease. Ayurvedic view of this text reflects that the information is extracted from the existing sources of his period like carakasaṃhitā, suśrutasaṃhitā, aṣṭāṅgahṛdaya, Mādhava nidāna, cikitsākalikā and also mostly from “Vṛnda saṅgraha” (siddhayogasaṅgraha) of Vṛnda Mādhava. Most of the therapeutic formulations of various diseases are familiar and also found in other classical texts like siddhayogasaṅgraha, Cakradatta, Cikitsāsāra saṅgraha, bṛhatnighaṇṭu Ratnākara, Yogaratnākara, Kalyāṇakāraka, etc.

Rasāyanādhikāra deals with the concept of Rasāyana which describes the significance of rasāyana, Rasāyana yoga's like Medhya rasāyana, bhṛṅgarāja rasāyana, Aśvagandha rasāyana, Āmalakī rasāyana, guḍūcī rasāyana, svaravardhaka brāhmyādi yoga, Somarājī rasāyana in Kuṣṭha, Bhallātaka rasāyana, Niśānta kṣīrasevana, Prābhātika jalapāna, ambu nasya and rasāyanaphala. The Vājīkaraṇādhikāra deals with the nidāna, bheda, sādhyāsādhyatā and cikitsā of Klaibya, Concept of vājīkaraṇa, vṛṣyadravya guṇa's and vājīkaraṇārtha strī lakṣaṇas. Important vājīkaraṇa yoga's like nārasiṃha cūrṇam, Śatāvarī ghṛtam, Mahāsugandha tailam, etc., are also dealt.

Garbharakṣādhikāra is the unique chapter which describes the māsika grahādhipati (planet predominance of every month) on fetus from the perspective of Jyotiṣyaśāstra and also description of māsika garbharakṣā paricaryā (month-wise regimen for antenatal care and safe delivery) and Garbharakṣāvidhi (procedure of antenatal care) from the perspective of Dharmaśāstra. About nine chapters are dedicated for the description of snehādi pañcakarma's (Body cleansing therapies) which briefly describes the definitions, types, medicines used, indications and contraindications, suitable and unsuitable conditions for the procedure, main procedure description, clinical features of proper and improper therapies and also benefits of the given procedure. Miśrakādhikāra deals with the specific remedy for each disease, effective formulations for certain specific conditions like śītapitta, pādasphuṭana, arbuda, mandāgni, etc., and also māna prakaraṇa (concept of measurements).

Table 1: Important Pratikāra's (astrological remedies and traditional theological rituals) of the certain specific diseases

Click here to view

  Uniqueness of the Text vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ Top

Vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ is a unique work in the Āyurvedic literature. It is popularly known for the efforts made on the applied knowledge and significance of astrology and ancient theological rituals in medical science. This text has also been acknowledged for the best use of astrology for the maximum number of diseases among the astrological texts and for dealing all types of diseases. The physician expertized in Jyotiṣyaśāstra and Dharmaśāstra will be helpful in the dilemma's while the assessing the nidāna, especially the karmaja vyādhi's (diseases caused due to the sinful acts in the past life) or diseases of unknown origin and also their management. In case of persistence of the disease or its progression even after the effective treatment approach, this text guides the physician to try out some appropriate astrological remedies and theological rituals for the pacification of particular illness.

Some peculiar yoga's in vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ

Apart from routine formulations, vīrasiṃhāvalokaḥ has some peculiar formulations like Droṇapuṣpī rasāñjana (Kāmalā), viśvauṣadhāḍhyaghṛta ghṛtam (grahaṇīroga), pādasindūrīkaraṇa yoga (foot moisturizing), Sarjakādi lepa (pādasphuṭana), Pādaparitāpanāśaka yoga (burning sensation of the foot), svedāntaka yoga (atisveda), vyaṅganāśaka yoga (for facial melanosis), Tilanāśaka yoga (for moles), Varṇakāraka yoga and Mukhaprabhakāraka yoga (for improving skin complexion), jāṭharāgnivardhaka yoga (for increasing the digestive power), etc.


  [Table 1]


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