Essential information about Charaka Samhita-
Charaka Samhita is one of the most authoritative, and oldest, yet very comprehensive works written in Ayurveda. It is believed to be an original book of reference for holistic Ayurvedic medicine. Charaka is a Sanskrit word, which means a wandering religious student, scholar, or ascetic.
Charaka Samhita, as well as Sushruta Samhita are believed to be foundational texts of Ayurveda that have been sustained since time immemorial. The earliest forms of Charaka Samhita are dated from 900 BC to 600 BC. But the very latest editions that are referred to even today might come to picture from 400 BC to 200 BC. It talks about the most ancient and authoritative content referred to in Ayurveda.
It is so believed that the writings of Charaka Samhita may be a collective work of some school of thought, it may have been written by a team of scholars or a group of followers of a person named Charaka, or it could have been an original composition from the person Charaka himself. On the other hand, a handful of people also believed that it is a work of redaction of Agnivesha Samhita, which is a very old and voluminous work of the ancient days.
Charaka Samhita is considered to be an Ayurvedic encyclopedia, especially on medicine. It is written in a poetic style in Sanskrit. It was so written so that it could easily be memorized. Great valuable information is spread across this piece of content and is scattered over in the form of verse statements in the manuscript. Charaka Samhita is divided into 8 sections, collectively called astanga sthana which consist of 120 chapters that further contain 8400 metric verses.
The Ayurvedic medicinal system is based on philosophy and logic that is determined by Charaka Samhita. Charaka Samhita mainly focuses on internal medicine or kayachikitsa and emphasyzis on longevity and health to strike a balanced approach between a person’s corporeal and spiritual being. This is one of the reasons why it goes deep down into research, while a diagnosis, to find the root cause of a particular disease.