Kashyap Samhita

Kashyap Samhita

Kashyap Samhita (Sanskrit: कश्यप संहिता), also known as Braddha Jivakiya Tantra, is an important treatise on Ayurveda medicine written in ancient India by the sage Kashyap, since it is suffixed as a Samhita which means means "Compilation of Knowledge", he was probably one of the first compilers of the ancient knowledge .

Today, Kashyap Samhita is considered, a classical reference book on Ayurveda especially in the fields of Ayuvedic Pediatrics, Gynecology & Obstetrics . It is also part of the Ayurveda teaching syllabus especially in Kaumarbhrityal Balroga (Pediatrics) .


The originator of this Samhita is said to be Brahma himself, who transmitted this knowledge to Daksha Prajapati. Daksha then transmitted this knowledge to the Ashwins, who in turn illuminated Indra, Kashyap, Vashishtha, Atri and Bhrigu. The son of Kashyap and the pupil of the Kashyap transferred the knowledge to subsequent generations.

The Kashyap Samhita was later translated into Chinese during the Middle Ages.

In the Kashyapa Samhita, the Ayurveda is taught using question-and-answer style: raised by the pupils and answered by the Sage Kashyapa himself. The sage belonged to the Aryan Race. The questions raised relate to the commencement of diseases, diagnosis, treatment, and management.

Kashyapa Samhita is said to be one of the oldest classical books on Ayurveda and an excellent study on the Arterial System


According to traditional myth, when Kashyap Rishi wrote the Samhita, it was not welcomed by the Ayurveda masters of that time. Jeevak, the five-year old son of sage Richeek, summarized the huge volume of Samhita and went to Kankhal, Haridwar, in Uttarakhand, India and presented the concise version of Samhita before the Ayurvedic practitioners of the time. The Ayurvedic practitioners rejected it outrightly, because they thought it had been written by a five-year-old boy.

The boy went to bathe in river Ganges. When he stepped out of the river, he had transformed into an old man (Braddha). Seeing this transformation, the Ayurveda practitioners called him "Braddha Jeevak," and recognized the collected work as "Braddha Jeevakeeya Tantra".

It is presumed that the time of Braddha Jeevak, is before that of Buddha and Mahavir, and is different from Jeevak Vaidya, born in the era of Buddha, Bimbsaar's Bhujishya. Jeevak Vaidya was an expert in surgery, while Braddha Jeevak is understood to be the originator of Kaumar Bhratya (pediatrics, midwifery, and gynecology).

With the passage of time, the Braddha Jeevakeeya Tantra suddenly came in the hand of Anayas Yaksha. At that time, Uttarakhand was domain by the Yakshas. Anayas Yaksha saved this script and spread the knowledge to his entire community.

After some time, Vatsaya, who was the successor of the Kashyap family, again got the script from Yaksha. He edited the whole book and divided it into eight chapters, or branches, which gave it eightfold division Ayurveda also known as Astanga Ayurveda (The Eight Armed Ayurveda):

  • Kaya Chikitsa - Internal medicine
  • Balaroga Chikitsa - Paediatrics
  • Shalya Chikitsa - General surgery
  • Shalakya Chikitsa - Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat surgery
  • Agada Tantra - Toxicology
  • Rasayan Chikitsa - Science of Rejuvenation
  • Vajikarana Chikitsa - Study & development of sexual power & fertility
  • Bhoot Vidya - Psychiatry


The present Kashyap samhita is divided according to subject matter as follows:

  • Sutra sthan, of 30 chapters
  • Nidan sthan, of 8 chapters
  • Vimana sthan, of 8 chapters
  • Shareer sthan, of 8 chapters
  • Indriya sthan, of 12 chapters,
  • Chikitsa sthan, of 30 chapters,
  • Siddhi sthan, of 12 chapters
  • Kalpa sthan, of 12 chapters
  • Khil Bhag, of 80 chapters.

Today the Kashyap samhita contains 200 chapters. The basic matter of the book is said to be from the Atharva Veda.

Further reading

  • Kashyap-Samhita or Vriddha-JivakiyaTantra 1970. Trans IGM Shastri, Bombay Sastu Sahitya, 757.
  • Kashyap Samhita or Vridhajivakiya Tantra; text with English translation and commentary; edited by Prof. (km.) P. V. Tewari with Dr. Neeraj Kumar, Dr. R. D. Sharma and Dr. Abhimanyu Kumar.
  • Kashyap Samhita, Hindi translation with commentary edited by Nepal Raj Guru Pandita Hemaraja Sharma commentary by Shri Satyapal Bhishagacharya.


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