Update: 2014-10-31 06:11 PM +0630


Vṛkṣāyurveda of Parāśra
A Treatise on Plant Science


by N.N. Sircar and Roma Sarka , Indian Books Centre, Delhi, India, 1996, pp166
Copied and edited by U Kyaw Tun (UKT), and Daw KhinWutyi & staff of TIL for staff and students of TIL. Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone. Prepared for students and staff of TIL  Computing and Language Center, Yangon, MYANMAR :  http://www.tuninst.net , http://www.softguide.net.mm ,

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The text of the Vṛkṣāyurveda of Parāśara edited by N.N. Sircar and Roma Sarkar is a remarkable contribution in the field of Botany in ancient India. [UKT ]

The work consists of the text of the Vṛkṣāyurveda in Skt-Dev (Sankrit in Devanagari), an English translation and critical notes. A dissertation under the heading "An Introduction to the Vṛkṣāyurveda of Parāśara" by the late N.N. Sircar appeared in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol. XVI. No. 1, 1950. [UKT ]

In this article a preliminary account of the text-critical apparatus and of the contents of the Manuscript were furnished. It was stated therein that the original Ms was discovered by the late Vaidyaśāstri Jogendranath Sircar Viṣagratna, father of the late N.N. Sircar. The handwritten Devanagari copy of the Ms as now in possession of Roma Sarkar, contains five parts i.e.
- Bījotpattikāṇḍa,
- Vānaspatikāṇḍa,
- Vānaspatyakāṇḍa,
- Gulmakṣupakāṇḍa and
- Virudhavallīkāṇḍa. [UKT ]

The text contains 65 folios in Devanagari script. The sixth and last part, the Cikitsitakāṇḍa as mentioned in the content (vs. 15 Ch. 1, Bījotpattikāṇḍa) is not available in the present Ms. The text ends abruptly with the Vīrudhavallīkāṇḍa. [UKT ]

Examination shows that the present Ms unlike majority of the Mss does not contain an introduction regarding the author and of his lineage; a colophon at the end containing the date of composition is found missing too, But by paying homage to Brahmā, the Creator of the Universe, and by referring to the work as a subsidiary branch of the Atharva Veda it has in a way fulfilled the object of introduction. [UKT ]

Each chapter of the Ms begins with the caption "ityāha Parāśara" and the concluding lines every-(Roman01end-Roman02begin) where contain the statement "iti Parāśarakṛte Vṛkṣāyurvede".. This Ms therefore, establishes Parāśara's authorship of the Vṛkṣāyurveda.. In determining the authenticity of the text we have first of all to examine the validity of the tradition fathering the authorship of the Vṛkṣāyurvede..., to Parāśara, and secondly to examine to contents of the Ms to ascertain the nature of the data furnished by it.

The name of Parāśara has come down to us from the hoary past ages as an authority on politics, smṛti, astrology, astronomy, agriculture, meteorology, and the science of prognostications. [UKT ]

Parāśara is also credited with works on medicine and on the science of the use of whey (takrakalpa)
(rom02-01b). Parāśara has been referred to with reverence in the Ṛgveda (rom02-02b), the Taittirīya Āraṇyaka (rom02-03b), the Bṛhadāraṇyakopanisad (rom02-04b), Mahābhārata (rom02-05b),  Yājavalkyasaṁhitā (rom02-06b), Carakasamhitā (rom02-07b) and Bṛhatsāmhitā (rom02-08b). [UKT ]

Bhaṭṭotpala in his commentery on the Bṛhatsamhitā Ch. 29 cites a verse from Parāśara dwelling on the features of plants (vs 14). Bhaṭṭotpala can be placed in 976 A.D. from his own account. (rom02-09b)

Thus we find that there is a great tradition associated with the name of Parāśara who might be a progenitor of a school and it can at best be inferred that the author of the present text may belong to that school. The provenance of the Ms was probably Coochbehar (rom02-10b) in North Bengal where Vaidyaśāstri Jogendranath Sircar spent (Roman02end-Roman03begin)





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Para Footnotes

-----Footnotes: p.Roman02-----

rom02-01. The History of Indian Medicine. G. Mukherjee Vol. 1. p44. - rom02-01b
rom02-02. Rgveda VII. 18. 21 - rom02-02b
rom02-03. Taittiriya Āraṇyaka I.I. 3. 37 - rom02-03b
rom02-04. Br. Ar. Up. II. 6. 2; IV. 6.3 - rom02-04b
rom02-05. Sabhāparvan Ch. 113. vss 15-27; Chitrasala Edn - rom02-05b
rom02-06. Yāj. I 5. - rom02-06b
rom02-07. Sῡtrasthāna, Ch. I. - rom02-07b
rom02-08. Ch. 29 - rom02-08b
rom02-09. Preface to the Bṛhatsamhitā. Sarasvatibhavan series 96. - rom02-09b
rom02-10. Vide the Catalogue of Sanskrit Mss in the Sahityasabha of
  Coochbehared by D.K Kanjilal and published by the Sahityasabha,
  Coochbehar 1977 - rom02-10b



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