Ashtanga Hridaya

Ashtanga Hridayam is an ancient lifestyle manual and medical text that sums up the teachings of Ayurveda, the Indian Science of Life. It was written by Vagbhata a Vedic from Kashmir in about the 6th century AD.

There were earlier masterpieces on Ayurveda (Charaka Samhita and the Sushruta Samhita) but Vagbhata - whose name means 'Warrior with Words' - found them very elaborate and difficult to study.

He decided to collect and present their essence in 7120 easily understood Sanskrit verses (Sutras), which could be memorised (relatively) easily by doctors. When they encountered a medical issue, they could remember and recite the relevant Sutra, and use it to help their patient.

Ashtanga in Sanskrit means ‘eight components’ and refers to the eight sections of Ayurveda. General medicine, Paediatrics, Psychiatry, Ear-Nose-&-Throat, Surgery, Toxicology, Geriatrics and Aphrodisiac therapy.

According to Vagbhata, 85% of diseases can be cured without a doctor; only 15% of diseases require a doctor. 

Vagbhata as he may have looked. (Click the image to download Ashtanga Hridiya section 1 of 3)

Ashtanga Hridaya Download part one of Astanga Hridaya and start studying Ayurveda now. 1.88 MB

Jack Stafford's new album of songs inspired by Ashtanga Hridayam

Ashtanga Hridaya is massive. Thankfully Vagbhata wrote it in order of importance. The first Sutra is the most important one. The first chapter is the most essential. So I have written songs based on the first four chapters only.

My songs emphasise the prevention that Vagbhata preached. Prevention is the best cure. The daily and seasonal regimes are the key to this.

Ashtanga Hridaya (2018)

Jack Stafford, Ayurvedic Troubadour

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Ashtanga Hridaya (2018)

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