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Welcome to the Study of Hindu Religion
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Ayurveda ~ The Science of Life
 
History of Medicine in Ancient India ~ Part - 1
 
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 Pioneers of Medical Education - [Medicine] 
   
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In the Beginning

The earliest records of organized medical practice in the world began about 600 B.C., with the Sanskrit Treatise of Sages Atreya and Susruta. But the beginnings of medicine in India, as in Greece, is found in mythology. According to this realm, medicine and surgery were gifts from the god Indra to Sages Bharadwaja, the patron saint of medicine, and Dhanvantari, the patron saint of surgery. These two scholars passed on their knowledge to two worthy men, Atreya and Susruta.

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This system is called Ayurveda -[ Science of Life -- knowledge of combined state of body, senses, mind and soul ]. Ayur Veda considers ill health emerging from the external [ toxins and pathogens ], and derangement of body [ metabolic, immune response or host resistance ]. Ayurveda developed from Atharva Veda which dealt mostly in science. Sage Dhanvatari renounced his royal status as Prince of Kasi [ Varanasi ] and retired into forest where he dictated his Ayur Veda to Susruta.

Located on the present Jhelum River, Takshasila [ also known as Taxila ] was the second ancient school of medicine. Sage Atreya, who is believed to have imbibed the Ayur Veda [ science of life ] directly from Sage Bharadwaja, headed the medical school in Taxila. His treatise on medicine is contained in 46,500 verses.

When Emperor Alexander invaded India in 327 B.C., physicians and surgeons in India were well respected for their knowledge and skill. Some writers say that Aristotle was inspired by Eastern knowledge.

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