Sunday, 28 October 2012

The world's first pediatrician

Not many know that Raavana was the great grandson of Brahma. He is also the world’s first pediatrician (specialist in children’s disease).
Ravaana’s grandfather was sage Pulasthi who was one of the six sons of Brahma. Pulasthi had a son called Vishrava.
Vishrava married a second time. His second wife was Kaikasi and Ravaana was their son. Ravana’s other brothers are Kuberaa, Vibheeshana, Kumbakarana, Kara and Dushana.
Ravaana ruled over Lanka 5,000 years ago and religious texts of Lanka and India say he was well-versed in ten arts. The arts are medicine (ayurveda), music (He invented the bow stringed violin and also sand the first ragas), astronomy,   acupuncture, metallurgy, architecture.
The texts Bisajjya Grantha and Nadi Shasthra says Ravaana and his grandfather Pulasthi had actively participated in musical  conferences held Janasthan Pura now in  Pakistan.
Ravaana was a pioneer is Arka Shastra. In this system of Ayurveda, herbs were used to cure diseases. He wrote Arka Prakasa, a book on tinctures and extracts from herbs. He was a master in preparing tinctures that cured wounds instantly. He knew the amount of Mercury to be used in herbal preparation to cure diseases.
Nadi Pariksha is a book on how to examine a person by checking his pulse.
He is also the author of Kumara Tantra or Ravaana Samhita which is an incomplete poetical composition. This work shows the depth and expertise of Ravaana on medicines and drugs to be used to cure diseases. There is information on how to deal with diseases suffered by children. The book starts with a chapter on motherhood and the diseases suffered by expectant mothers and the manner in which they have to be treated.
This book can be described as the first text in the world on pediatrics. It contains twelve chapters. Some of the diseases of children discussed are hiccups, vomiting, dysentery, diarrohea, ulcer of the mouth, post-teething problems  and swelling of the navel.
He wrote the book at the request of Mandodari when she was pregnant. Nadi-pariksha (a short work in 96 verses give the details of pulse-examination).
In Arkya Prakasha, he deals with astronomy of his times. The book is interesting as it is based on conversation between Ravaana and his wife Mandodari. It is the form of question and answer. Another work is Ravaana Samhita. It deals with astrology. Even today, astrologers refer it as it has details on how to predict one’s future.


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    are experts in Ayurvedic Pulse Diagnosis. Nadi chikitsa is also one of the best centers in India to learn Nadi Pariksha.