HINDU ENCYCLOPEDIA

सनातन धर्म भूमिका

Meaning of "Charaka"

Word

Charaka

Sanskrit

चारक

IAST

cāraka

In General

Sage charaka is famous for his work in medicine. He was also a great Grammarian, Ecologist, Physician, Nationalist, Social thinker and Botanist. His most revered book is Charak Samhita which describe about various diseases and preparation of herbal medicines. Charaka samhita got many translation in foreign langaues such as Arabic, Persian,Chinese, Tibetan, Latin languages. The work is basically a modified study on Agnivesa Tantra, another ancient medical text. There is no mention of Charaka as a student of Agnivesha, so many century might have passed between Agnivesa and Charaka. Charaka samhita is found mention in many other texts in the country including the literature of Bhuddist origin. So charka Samhita is definitely before Buddhism and according to tradition Hindu wisdom his time is during the end of Dwaparayuga. The Athervavedic rituals like Santipaustika, Bali, Mangala and Homa are prescribed in Charaka Samhita. This is again an evidence for its antiquity. He is considered as an incarnation of Patanjali and a follower of Black Yajurveda.

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