Sage Charaka was born in 300 BC and has his roots closely related to Kashmir. It is very particularly assumed and believed that he lived in Haraka and was a resident of the place named Kapisthal. Kapisthal in today’s age is known as Jalandhar. This place is located between the Ravi River also known as Iravati and Chandrabhaga River. Chandrabhaga river is now known as River Chenab. It flows through Punjab or Panchanada, a city that has been mentioned quite a few times in the great epic of Mahabharata. Sage Charaka is considered and famously known as the wandering sage or wandering physician. The reason for that is because he travelled from one place to another to cure the illness, ailments and diseases of various people. He believed in doing good for the world and his fellow beings with the knowledge and power he had and so he did.
Charaka comes forth as a notable name in the Ayurveda field of medicine. He has contributed highly to the systems of medicine and therefore taught the correct way of lifestyle in the Indian Culture dating back to ancient times. He is named as the editor of medical work “Charaka Samhita”. It is one of the famous and appraised works in Indian Medicine and Ayurveda. It is definitely considered to be one of the classic texts.
Charaka’s connection with Ayurveda is strong and unbreakable. If we go to see the translations of the Charaka Samhita, we come to know that disease and health are not something that is predetermined but it totally depends on how one treats their body. If one eats healthy food, he will stay healthy and if one does not eat healthily, he is bound to fall sick. It totally depends on the efforts and sincerity of a person to make his life and body healthy. It can also depend on the lifestyle which includes sleep, exercise, thoughts, behaviours etc. Charaka says that prevention of diseases is possible with treatment but it majorly depends on aligning your lifestyle to the changing seasons. Understanding the requirements of your body in that particular season and acting according to that will benefit your health to an unbelievable level.
Sage Charaka had early knowledge of the phrase we so often use today which is “prevention is better than cure”. He spoke of concepts like doshas and dhatus in a human body and how their balance has to be maintained to live a long and healthy life. Charaka not only studied Ayurveda but also the Anatomy of the human body. He was the one to give the information of 360 bones in a human body. Charaka was also the one who stated that the heart is the centre and controlling power of the body. He mentioned that the heart was linked to the entire body majorly through the thirteen channels. He also brought light on the elements like tissues and nutrients in the body.
He has definitely been a beacon of light in the world of Ayurveda and Medicine. Some scholars and researchers have gone to the extent of naming him “Father of Medicine” for his notable and respected contribution in this field, his overall nature of helping people and his act of devoting his life to the world of medicine.