Many of India’s oldest epics and book give us accounts of how Indians have been one of the most progressive civilizations back in the days of the B.C. we gave the world the Number system, yoga and we taught the world economics, business, game theory and much other valuable knowledge. Another field of expertise in the field of medicine and surgery.
Father of Surgery
So, readers, this article is dedicated to who we consider as the Father of Surgery- Sushruta! Sushruta was an Indian surgeon who practiced medicine in Kashi. He identified the origin and treatment of several diseases and is known to be the chief founder of many Ayurvedic medicines. Sushruta was known for his expertise in Rhinoplasty, cataract surgeries, eye diseases, anal and dental surgeries. He has described several diseases, their origin, the treatment, the medicine to be used, the symptoms, after effects and many essential sources of information in his compilation known as the “Samhita.”
This compilation by Sushruta has information about eight different branches of Ayurvedic medicine. The book has six sections and 184 chapters. It has a detailed description of 650+ drugs from plants, animals and vitamin and mineral origin. This is seen as the founding base for many Ayurvedic streams of medical treatment.
Sushruta was known as the disciple of Dhanwantri, the god of Ayurvedic medicine. Sushruta was actually the disciple of the Varanasi king of Divodasa, who was known as the incarnation of Dhanwantri himself. He is also recognized as the descendant of Sage Vishwamitra who was a renowned sage whose references and importance is seen in Ramayana and Mahabharata.
He is also accredited to be the father of Plastic surgeries. Many instances of nose jobs and plastic surgery by removing excess skin from the hand or thigh to use for the face and plastic surgery have been recorded. Records of usage of foreign bodies like rods and probes using metal, rock, wood, etc. (Shalaka) are also found in his book.
Advancement of Medicines
Advanced stages of medicine that we see now are very closely found in many writings and manuscripts of the past. For example, the stem cell bank that we talk about right now was already practiced in the olden times. History shows us proof of how the umbilical cords of the babies were kept in a pot and buried in the soil for preservation. This was a way of stem cell banking! Similarly, the Mahabharata talks about how Gandhari laid eggs, and they turned into 100 kids! Could that be an implicit reference about IVF? The example of Shoorpanaka, the Lanka Princess, sister of Raavan who got her nose cut by Lakshman in the forest for trying to impress Rama and then got it fixed! Does that not sound like the plastic surgery we do today?
We as Indians have had so many treasures in ways of knowledge from the past! With the amount of experience that we have, and if we use it the right way we would be one of the most developed countries in the world today!