Article by Dr Manasa There were many great ancient Ayurvedic legendary persons who have composed excellent treatises, but they all learnt under some great Guru. Acharya Atreya was one of the greatest teachers of Ayurveda who preached, taught and spread the fragrance of this natural healing system. Atreya was the son of sage Atri. He learned the science of life, Ayurveda, from his teacher, sage Bharadwaja. He in turn taught Ayurveda to his disciples.
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Article by Dr Manasa There were many great ancient Ayurvedic legendary persons who have composed excellent treatises, but they all learnt under some great Guru. Acharya Atreya was one of the greatest teachers of Ayurveda who preached, taught and spread the fragrance of this natural healing system.
Atreya was the son of sage Atri. He learned the science of life, Ayurveda, from his teacher, sage Bharadwaja. He in turn taught Ayurveda to his disciples. Agnivesha the author of the famous Charaka Samhita, one among the greater trio of Ayurveda or Brihat Trayees , Bhela, Jatukarna, Harita and Ksharapani were some of his reputed students.
All these students went ahead to write important treatises related to Ayurveda and thus kept alive the chain of propagation of this holistic science of health and life. Other names and designations of Lord Atrey Atreya was also addressed by other names.
As Atreya possessed all the above said qualities, he was rightly called aas Bhagawan Atreya. Krishna Atreya or Krishnatreya is his popular title. Atreya was also called as Chandrabhaga son of Chandrabhagi , being the resident on the banks of river Chandrabhagi.
He was a Buddhist and was a reputed teacher. Bhikshu Atreya was the teacher of Jivaka, who worked as a professor of medicine at the University of Takshashila. He was not the preceptor of Agnivesha, Bhela etc. Thus we can conclude that Bhikshu Atreya and Punarvasu Atreya are not synonyms of the same persons. They both were different teachers, not one and the same. His teachings were more of medicines and less of surgical implications.
The treatment principles were framed on systematic understanding of the disease and its process which was dependant on strong and comprehensive theoretical and practical knowledge of Ayurveda basics. Punarvasu Atreya was adjudged as the best teacher from the methods he adopted to instruct his disciples. Following the pledge of his teacher, Agnivesha, the most brilliant disciple of Atreya puts questions in order to spotlight the salient features of the subject proposed.
Afterwards, the teacher while expanding these salient points covers the whole field of the proposed subject. Occasionally there are intelligent interjections by Agnivesha asking for clarification on certain points.
Then Atreya delineates the differences between the quack and real physician in a most impressive manner. Call for views — The disciples were given the liberty to express and put forth their views.
After proposing the subject to be expounded and detailed the disciples and other contemporary scholars are invited to offer their individual views. Example, discussions on the subject Vata 12 th chapter of Sutra Sthana of Charaka Samhita and Rasa 26 th chapter of Sutra Sthana of Charaka Samhita are the best examples for such deliberations.
The summary — The expertise inputs and the brief summary of proceedings and deliberations was ultimately put forth by Atreya after having listened to the views of each of the learned persons and disciples present in the discussion.
Atreya used to announce his final opinion on the topic of discussion at the end. It is in its form more ancient and related to the Brahmanical method of discussion. There is a true spirit of inquiry and desire for discovering and accepting the truth on a subject without hostility and prejudices.
The stage of rational medicine began with Atreya. Scientific detailing of basics — Atreya explained in detail, the concepts of Tridosha and Pancha Mahabhutas 5 basic elements of nature.
The theory of Rasa and its influences on metabolic and physiological functions and its application in therapeutics was propounded. The concept of Rasa taste of medicine , Guna quality of medicine , Virya potency of medicine , Vipaka post digestion effect of the medicine and Prabhava gross effect of the medicine was explained scientifically in a comprehensive way.
Concept of Unmada — insanity — Prior to Atreya, it was believed that Unmada may have to a religious or demoniac origin. While explaining insanity Atreya observes that neither the Gods nor the Demons had anything to do with it and it results due to the irregular diet and regimen and must be corrected by suitable remedies.
Hippocrates of Greece also opined that the cause of insanity was no longer divine but human. Teachers like Punarvasu Atreya were pioneers of Ayurveda. Ayurveda, as a science and system took wings under their patron. They not only propagated Ayurveda, but also made sure that it fell into the hands of right disciples like Agnivesha who could carry ahead the legend of Ayurveda.
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Talk:Identity of Atreya with Punarvasu
Thus Bhagawan Atreya, Punarvasu, Atreya and Kisna Atreya are the names of one single individual sage who is the teacher of the medical science in the Caraka Samhita. Thus there can be no confusion in regards to the identity of the person known as Atreya with Kisna Atreya in the Caraka Samhita. Authors Srikantha Datta and Sivadasa, had raised the question of two personalities, Kisna Atreya, the surgeon and Atreya the physician. The commentator Sivadasa holds the view that Kisna Atreya and Punarvasu are one.
Talk:The Period of Atreya
In this essay we introduce the ancient Indian medicine system Part I and also describe its global dissemination Part II. Through Buddhist monks the Ayurveda spread to Tibet and China. So many Chinese scholars visited India and even studied in the ancient Indian universities. After Alexander's invasion, the contacts with the Greek and Persian worlds got intensified.
Acharya Atreya – legacy, works, contribution to Ayurveda
Sage Atreya was a renowned scholar of Ayurveda and six schools of early Ayurveda was founded based on his teachings. He is believed to have worked as the personal physician of King Nagnajita of Gandhara Kingdom , who finds mention in the Mahabharata. According to Surendranath Dasgupta, The old Ayurveda of Atreya-Charaka school probably has its root in the now extinct Caranavaidya branch of Atharvaveda. Of all the six, the one composed by Agnivesa was most revered. According to Dr. Tustomu Yamashita, the Bhela or Bheda la Samhita is often quoted by later authors and commentators of Ayurveda.