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Lawrence Jordan
Lawrence Jordan

Ashtanga Sangraha: A Classic Text of Ayurveda

Ashtanga Sangraha: A Classic Text of Ayurveda

Ashtanga Sangraha is one of the most influential classical texts of Ayurveda, the ancient science of life. It was written by Vagbhata, a renowned scholar and physician who lived in India around the 6th or 7th century CE. The name Ashtanga Sangraha means "a collection of eight branches", referring to the eight divisions of Ayurveda: internal medicine, surgery, ear-nose-throat and eye diseases, pediatrics, toxicology, psychiatry, rejuvenation and aphrodisiacs[^1^].

The text consists of six sections, each containing a varying number of chapters. The first section, Sutra Sthana, deals with the basic principles and concepts of Ayurveda, such as the five elements, the three doshas, the seven tissues, the six tastes, the four stages of life, etc. The second section, Sharira Sthana, covers the anatomy and physiology of the human body, as well as embryology and genetics. The third section, Nidana Sthana, describes the causes, symptoms and diagnosis of various diseases. The fourth section, Chikitsa Sthana, provides the treatment methods for different ailments, using diet, herbs, minerals, metals and other substances. The fifth section, Kalpa Sthana, explains the preparation and administration of various formulations and remedies. The sixth section, Uttara Tantra, covers the topics that are not included in the previous sections, such as diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat, mental disorders, poisons and antidotes[^2^].


Ashtanga Sangraha is a comprehensive and systematic text that covers all aspects of Ayurveda in a concise and clear manner. It is based on the teachings of earlier authorities like Charaka and Sushruta, but also incorporates new ideas and innovations by Vagbhata himself. It is written in simple Sanskrit verse that is easy to memorize and recite. It also contains many examples and illustrations to make the concepts more understandable[^3^].

Ashtanga Sangraha is a valuable source of knowledge and wisdom for anyone who wants to learn more about Ayurveda and its applications for health and well-being. It is also a testament to the rich heritage and culture of India that has contributed to the advancement of science and medicine throughout history.

Ashtanga Sangraha is not only a text of medicine, but also a text of yoga. The term Ashtanga yoga refers to the eight limbs or steps of yoga that are described by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras. These are: yama (ethical rules), niyama (personal observances), asana (physical postures), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (absorption). Vagbhata explains these limbs in detail and gives practical guidance on how to practice them for achieving physical, mental and spiritual well-being[^2^].

Ashtanga yoga is also a popular style of yoga that is derived from the teachings of Vagbhata and his successors. It involves performing a series of postures in a continuous flow, synchronized with the breath. There are six series of Ashtanga yoga, each with increasing levels of difficulty and complexity. The first series, called Yoga Chikitsa, means yoga therapy and aims to purify and heal the body. The second series, called Nadi Shodhana, means nerve cleansing and aims to balance the energy channels. The third to sixth series, called Sthira Bhaga, mean divine stability and aim to cultivate strength, grace and endurance[^4^].

Ashtanga yoga offers many benefits for the practitioners, both physically and mentally. Some of the benefits are[^3^] [^4^]:

  • Improves flexibility over time, as with most forms of yoga

  • Increases strength and muscle tone

  • Improves cardiovascular fitness and reduces body fat

  • Reduces stress and anxiety and increases focus and creativity

  • Lowers blood pressure and improves respiratory function

  • Establishes mental strength and self-discipline

  • Enhances spiritual awareness and connection

Ashtanga Sangraha is a treasure trove of knowledge that can benefit anyone who wants to learn more about Ayurveda and yoga. It is a text that bridges the gap between ancient wisdom and modern science, offering holistic solutions for health and happiness. 0efd9a6b88

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