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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 65-70

Hemadri - Renowned Commentator of Ayurvedarasayana Commentary on Ashtangahridayam

1 Assistant Professor, Department of Swasthavritta & yoga, M.J.F. Ayurved Mahavidyalaya Chomu, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
2 Ex Vice – Chancellor, Dr. S. R. Rajasthan Ayurved University, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

Date of Submission26-Aug-2021
Date of Decision02-Feb-2022
Date of Acceptance07-Feb-2022
Date of Web Publication19-Mar-2022

Correspondence Address:
Vishwavasu Gaur
MJF Ayurveda College, Harota, Jaipur, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/joa.joa_277_21

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Background: Hemadri, the prominent minister of King Mahadeva and Ramdeva of Devagiri, Maharashtra, was very eminent scholar belonging to the 13th–14th century. He has written many scholarly books and Ayurvedarasayana commentary on Ashtangahridayam is considered his masterpiece. Objective: The objective of this study is to enlighten the contribution of Acharya Hemadri in the field of Ayurveda. Data Source: The books, i.e., Ayurvedarasayana commentary on Ashtangahridayam, Life of Hemadri, Vagbhatavimarshah, KashyapasamhitaUpodghata, etc., have been reviewed. Review Methods: Thorough study of data source followed by critical and rational analysis of the life and works of Hemadri. Results and Conclusion: The commentary is incomplete, but it is written with a practical approach and the author has amended the order of chapters and has organized it more systematically. The remarkable features of his commentary are the reorganization of Nidanasthana and Chikitsitasthana in such a way that after each chapter of Nidanasthana the corresponding Chikitsita is explained.

Keywords: Ganakagrani, magnum opus, well-descriptive treatise, copper plate inscription

How to cite this article:
Gaur V, Gaur VB. Hemadri - Renowned Commentator of Ayurvedarasayana Commentary on Ashtangahridayam. J Ayurveda 2022;16:65-70

How to cite this URL:
Gaur V, Gaur VB. Hemadri - Renowned Commentator of Ayurvedarasayana Commentary on Ashtangahridayam. J Ayurveda [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Mar 27];16:65-70. Available from: http://www.journayu.in/text.asp?2022/16/1/65/339985

  Life and Compositions Top

Hemadri was the Minister and Accountant General (Shreekaranaadhipa) in the court of Raja Mahadev (1260–1271 A. D) and his successor Raja Ramdev (1271–1309 A. D) of Devagiri, Maharashtra.[1] His time period is clearly ascertained as the latter half of the 13th century to the first half of the 14th century. Bopdeva was the contemporary of Hemadri and was a nice friend.

The successor of Mahadev, the king of Devagiri was king Ramdev. Some historians and academicians quoted the name Ramchandra instead of Ramdev but both are the same. Nowadays, Devagiri, is a station named Daulatabad near Aurangabad, Maharashtra. The distance of Aurangabad and Daulatabad is 17.4 km.

Some important remarks of learned academicians, famous historians, experienced librarians, and experts of Ayurvedic texts are quoted here to know about Hemadri and his Ayurvedarasayana commentary on Ashtangahridayam:

  1. Bopdeva was the Chief Priest in the court of king of Devagiri, Maharashtra.[2] His native place was Vedpur, situated on the bank of famous river the Varada, which was the capital of king Simharaj, he was the pupil of Dhaneshwar. Hemadri was denoted as Ganakagrani in Bopdeva's book Muktaphala. Those who deal with the income expenses were known by the title Ganaka at that time and Hemadri was pioneer (Agrani) among them.
  2. P. K. Gode says in the introduction of Ashtangahridayam, that:

    Hemadri's name is familiar to us on account of his magnum opus, namely the Chaturvargachintamani which Prof. Keith describes as “written between 1260 and 1309 for Yadav princes,” in this book Hemadri, sets out enormous detail about rules of vows and offerings, pilgrimages, attainment of release, and offerings to the Dead.

    (History of Sanskrit literature, oxford, 1928, page number 448.)[3]
  3. Aufrecht makes the following entries about Hemadri and his work in his catalog:

    Hemadri was the son of Kamadeva, son of Vasudev, son of Vamana, who lived under King Mahadev (1260–71) of Devagiri, son of Chaitrapal and under his successor Ramchandra 1271–1309.

    (“catalogus catalogorum” part first, page 768 and part third page 52).[3]
  4. A work called Tristhalividhi on dharma by Hemadri has also been recorded by Aufrecht.
  5. Professor PV Kane assigns the composition of the Chaturvargachintamani to a period of 10 years (1260 and 1270 A. D) because, in the Chaturvargachintamani, Hemadri is said to be the keeper of the state records of Mahadeva, who reigned from 1260 to 1271 A. D. Professor Kane further observes-“that there are contemporary records available showing that Hemadri was in high favor not only with Mahadev but also with his successor Ramachandra.”[4]
  6. “The Thanaplate (Maybe it is an Indian copper plate inscription that are the historical legal records engraved on copper plates in India of Ramachandra) (Dated S'aka 1194, i.e., 1272 A. D.) describes Hemadri as one who had attained a preeminent position in the government through the favor of Ramachandra and as one who was in charge of all state records and was the foremost minister (History of Dharmashastra literature volume first 1930, page 357 by Prof. PV Kane).[4]
  7. Hemadri (the author of Ayurvedarasayana commentary) is different from Bhatta Hemadri son of Ishwar Suri author of Raghuvansh Darpan commentary on the Raghuvansh.
  8. Hemadri was not only a minister and favorite consultant of king but he was also a very religious person who inspired rich and influential persons to make various temples in Maharashtra.
  9. P K Gode says that:

    For more information about Hemadri and the Yadavas of Devagiri, Professor Kane's “History of Dharmashastra following lines is noteworthy.

    “Hemadri also wrote a commentary called Ayurvedarasayana altogether……. Hemadri was a towering personality, his name is associated throughout the Maratha country with the construction of numerous temples having a peculiar style of architecture and is also credited with having invented the Modi script.”[5]
  10. Modi script:

    Modi was a script used to write the Marathi language. Nowadays, in computer-system, some fonts of Modi script are developed by some technical persons.
  11. Mr. K A Padhye (Advocate) in his book “Life of Hemadri” (in Marathi) refers to Mr. Kunte's statement that:

“Hemadri wrote a commentary on the Sutrasthana and Kalpasthana.

After this remark Mr. K. A. Padhye throws out a suggestion that some contemporary learned physician patronized by Hemadri may have written the Ayurvedarasayana.[5]

Mr. Kunte's statement was obviously made in 1880 on a partial survey of MSS Material (Manuscript text file (Perfect Writer-Scribble-MINCE-Jove) for this commentary when Aufrecht's catalogus catalogorum (1891–1903) was not available to Mr. Kunte. Thus, Mr. K A Padhye's statement has no gravity.

Hence, it can be said that Chaturvargachintamani and other books and famous Ayurvedarasayana commentary on Ashtangahridayam have been written by learned Hemadri.

  Compositions Top

Hemadri was a scholar of many subjects and has contributed richly through his works.

His main compositions are:

  1. Chaturvargachintamani
  2. Ayurvedarasayana commentary on Ashtangahridayam
  3. Commentary Kaivalya-Deepika on “Muktaphal” of Bopdeva
  4. Commentary on “Pranavakalpa” of Shaunaka.

Chaturvargachintamani is the sole original work, others being the commentaries. This well-descriptive treatise was composed for the attainment of Chaturvarga (Dharma, Artha, Kaama, and Moksha). It extensively describes about various methods of Vrata (fast), Upavasa (starvation as a part of religion), etc.

More than a dozen works have been found as of Hemadri, which are not yet confirmed as the original works of the author.

These texts are:

  1. Shraaddhapaddhatih
  2. Hemadriprayogah
  3. Naanaashaantayah
  4. Hemadri-nibandhah
  5. Hemadri-daankhandsaarah
  6. Tristhaleevidhih
  7. Hemadripraayashchitta-sangrahah
  8. Arthakaandam
  9. Kaalnirnayah
  10. Kaalnirnaya-sankshepah
  11. Tithinirnayah
  12. Daanavaakyaavalih
  13. Parjanyaprayogah
  14. Pratisthaa
  15. Lakshana-samucchayah.

All the above texts share the topic of description in common, i.e., Jyotish, Karmakaanda, etc., Furthermore, we find another commentary “Vivek “on the text of Harileelaa by Bopdeva, his friend.

Pt. Hemaraj Sharma, claims in the preface of Kaashyapasamhita, about having a handwritten copy of the Text “Lakshanaprakaasha” written by the author.[6] Advocate K. A Padhye stated in the Book of “Hemadricharita” which was printed in Mumbai and published in 1931, that the author also has many works in Marathi to his credit being a Maharashtrian. However, none of them is available now. Hence, the critics are highly skeptic regarding the authorship of these works.

  Ayurvedarasaayan Commentary Top

“Ayurvedarasayana” the commentary on the Ashtangahridayam was written by Hemadri, in the first 9 verses author says himself Hemadri and also the author of the Chaturvargachintamani book.[7] In the Chaturvargachintamani, he has written that good health is necessary to perform chaturvarga. Ayurvedarasayana commentary on the Ashtangahridayam – a Textbook of Vagbhata has been written with a view to facilitate the attainment of good health. In this commentary, Hemadri also mentions his relation with his Patron, King Ramchandra of Devagiri.

It appears from the above reference that Hemadri had written first Chaturvargachintamani, thereafter he worked on Ayurvedarasayana commentary.

Ayurvedarasayana is a much-studied scholarly commentary on Ashtangahridayam. However, the disappointing fact is that the work is not completely available. The textual edition of Ashtangahridayam published before 1939 contains commentary on only 30 chapters of Sutrasthana and six chapters of Kalpasiddhisthana. However, the earnest efforts of Shri Hari Shastri Paradakar, etc., could recover some more lost parts of the work. The presently published Ashtangahridayam contains the Ayurvedarasayana commentary as follows:

  1. Complete 30 chapters of Sutrasthana
  2. Complete commentary for the first three chapters of which Nidanasthana is up to 27th sutra of chapter 4. The fifth and sixth chapters have partial commentaries and the rest of the chapters are missing
  3. One to fifth chapters of Chikitsitasthana are complete with commentary available. Commentary of the 6th chapter is also available completely leaving few sutras which have partial commentaries
  4. In the 7th chapter of Chikitsitasthana Shloka up to 100 are not available with commentary but it is available from (101-112) again discontinues from the next shloka
  5. Commentary is not available from 8th to 22nd chapter that is the end of Chikitsitasthana
  6. Completely available for all the chapters in Kalpasiddhisthana
  7. No traces found for Uttarasthana and Shareersthan.[8]

  The Incomplete Commentary Top

The Ashtangahridayam has total of 120 chapters and the commentary is available only on 47 chapters with 2 chapters being partially described. Now whether the commentary is written or not for the rest of the chapters remains a big query.

The different arguments regarding this can be presented as follows.

Although the commentary is available only on the first 7 chapters of Chikitsitasthana, the Kalpasiddhisthana is complete through all the chapters. Hence, seems that the author had completely written the work.

  The Supporting Arguments are as Follows Top

  1. The Kalpasiddhisthana is the complementary part of Chikitsitasthana. Hence, it does not make sense to explain Kalpasiddhisthana without completing Chikitsitasthana
  2. Mr. Hari Shastri Paradkara says that the commentary of Uttarasthana of Ashtangahridayam had written by Hemadri, but it is not available nowadays. Mr. Paradkar quoted that one of the manuscripts of Arunadatta commentary of Ashtangahridayamon Uttarasthana sites the reference as.

“Garbhe garbhavasthayam” iti Chandrika Hemadrirapi.”

However, it is only in one manuscript; so, maybe it is inserted by the editor or writer of that manuscript, as it seems impossible to be quoted by Arunadatta in his Sarvangasundara commentary due to the difference in the era of Arunadatta which is the 12th century. Hence, he was the predecessor of Hemadri.

Except the above two, there are no other points to prove the above hypothesis.

Now the counterarguments could be analyzed as below:

  1. It can never be imagined that the author failed to complete the work due to the lack of vision of the development of Ayurveda literature

  2. However, our opinion is that Hemadri could complete only up to 7 chapters of Chikitsitasthana and the rest of the part he might have had to leave due to his busy schedule
  3. Completing the Kalpasiddhisthana while keeping the Chikitsitasthana incomplete can be understood as the author's attempt to present the text stressing the practical utility
  4. In the published Ashtangahridayam, the Ayurvedarasayana commentary is incomplete due to the unavailability of the manuscripts with complete commentary
  5. The prior (Before 1939) printed editions also contain only two sthana (Sutrasthana and Kalpasiddhisthana). Some chapters of Nidana and Chikitsita together were recovered later as they might have written together. Nowadays, the new editions of Ashtangahridayam are available with Ayurvedarasayana commentary of Sutrasthana, Kalpasiddhisthana, and some chapters of Nidanasthana and Chikitsitasthana.

At the very outset, we would like to apologize to all the scholars of Ayurveda and historians, as we are proposing a different hypothesis, an idea which is based on the thoughts that are already expressed by our ancient scholars:

  1. At this point, it can be better believed that Hemadri wrote the commentary only on the available chapters until we get the complete Ayurvedarasayana
  2. The mode of presentation was such that each subject ought to remain intact and in close relation with the other. Hemadri presents reedited text in three parts:

  1. Combined form of Sutrasthana and Kalpasiddhisthana
  2. Combined aspects of Nidana and Chikitsitasthana
  3. Uttarasthana.

  Form of Available Manuscript Top

Shri Hari Shastri Paradakar says that Hemadri does not follow the order of chapters as in the text written by Vagbhata, but he has arranged the chapters according to the utility of subject by his own choice.

  Arrangement of the Chapters Top

The first 15 chapters of Sutrasthana are explained in the same order as that of the original text of Vagbhata. After shodhanadiganasangraha, the 15thchapter of Sutrasthana, Hemadri continues with the commentary of the 6th chapter of Kalpasiddhisthana, Dravyakalpa with a practical view. The change is appropriate as the shodhanadigana's drugs (vegetables or medicines or formulations) are used for various medicinal preparations described in Kalpasiddhisthana.

Hemadri describes this matter at the beginning of the 6thchapter of Kalpasiddhisthanaas.

“The drugs are narrated here to understand easily, which are actually narrated in the Dravyakalpa chapter of Kalpasiddhisthana” (Ayurvedarasayana commentary).

The above reference found in the manuscript of the text is removed from the present textbooks as they follow the same order as that of the original text. In the same way, Hemadri puts the chapter of Kalpasiddhisthana named Vamanavirechanavyapatsiddhi after the Vamanavirechanavidhi Chapter of Sutrasthana (chapter 18) and also justifies his attempt.

Sri. Paradakar Says about that:

  It Means Top

After describing the chapter of vamanavirechanavidhi (Sutrasthana's chapter 18), the shodhanopyogi adhyaya (the chapter of purificatory procedures) which is described in Kalpasiddhisthana is mentioned here in Sutrasthana because it is appropriate to describe after chapter of vamana-virechana procedure. Describing this chapter here is more appropriate, so first of all, the chapter named Vamanvirechanavyapatsiddhi (Kalpasiddhisthana's chapter 3) is described here. After writing this comment, Hemadri described three chapters of Kalpasiddhisthana because these can be understood easily here. The names of three chapters are (1) Vamanavirechanavyapatsiddhi, (2) Vamanakalpa, and (3) Virechanakalpa.

The chapters are arranged as Snehadhyaya, Svedadhyaya, Vamanavirechanadhyaya, and Vamanavirechanavyapatsiddhi adhyaya. The order is well justified when the clinical utility is considered. The next chapters are Vamanakalpaand Virechanakalpa, the 1st and 2nd chapters of Kalpasiddhisthanawhich are followed by Bastividhiadhyaya, the 19th chapter of Sutrasthana, Bastivyapatsiddhi, the 5thchapter of Kalpasiddhisthana and Bastikalpa, and the 4th chapter of Kalpasiddhisthana.

The rest of the chapters follow the same order as that of the original text.

Arrangements of chapters are such as:

  • Shodhanadigana–sangraha (Sutrasthana, chapter 15th)
  • Dravyakalpa (kalpasiddhisthana, chapter 6th)
  • Snehavidhi (Sutrasthana, chapter 16th)
  • Svedanavidhi (Sutrasthana, chapter 17th)
  • Vamanavirechanavidhi (Sutrasthana, chapter 18th)
  • Vamanavirechana vyapatsiddhi (kalpasiddhisthana, chapter 3rd)
  • Vamanakalpa (kalpasiddhisthana, chapter 1st)
  • Bastividhi (Sutrasthana, chapter 19th)
  • Bastivyapatsiddhi (kalpasiddhisthana, chapter 5th)
  • Bastikalpa (kalpasiddhisthana, chapter 4th).

  Arrangement According to Second Pandulipi Top

The second manuscript also accepts this order which describes Nidana-Chikitsitachapters. Although Mr. Harisastri Paradakar has not given this arrangement but he explains it as:

  It Means That Top

The same procedure of allocation used in Sutrasthana and Kalpasiddhisthana has been adopted for NidanaChikitsitasthana allocation, this is cleared by handwritten books.

According to this, the arrangement of chapters of Nidana and Chikitsita will be as follows:[11]

  1. Sarvaroganidana adhyaya (Nidanasthana)
  2. Jvaranidana adhyaya (Nidanasthana)
  3. Jvarachikitsita adhyaya (Chikitsitasthana)
  4. Raktapittakasanidana adhyaya (Nidanasthana)
  5. Raktapittachikitsita adhyaya (Chikitsitasthana)
  6. Kaasachikitsitaadhyaya (Nidanasthana)
  7. Svasahidhmanidana adhyaya (Nidanasthana)
  8. Svasahidhmachikitsita adhyaya (Chikitsitasthana)
  9. Rajayakshmanidana adhyaya (Nidanasthana) (fragmented)
  10. Rajayakshmachikitsita adhyaya (Chikitsitasthana) (fragmented)
  11. Madatyayanidana adhyaya (Nidanasthana) (fragmented)
  12. Chhardirogatrisnacikitsita adhyaya (Chikitsitasthana) (fragmented)
  13. Madatyayachikitsitaadhyaya (Chikitsitasthana) (fragmented).

It shows that each chapter in Nidanasthana is explained followed by the respective Chikitsitasthana up to Madatyayanidana.

The further commentary might have also been planned in the same fashion but probably not completed due to two reasons – being busy with royal duties and death.

  Death Top

The death of Hemadri may be one of the causes for incompletion of Ayurvedarasayana commentary because writing was an intimate part of his life and most of his works were done during his busy schedule, it would not be appropriate to ascribe his busy duties as the reason for the noncompletion of Ayurvedarasayana.

Unlike what the majority think, it is better to believe that Hemadri has not written the complete commentary until and unless we get the complete commentary. Even though he planned, he could not accomplish it due to the abovesaid reasons.

  Conclusion Top

Hemadri, the prominent minister of King Mahadeva and Ramdeva of Devagiri, (Maharashtra), was very eminent scholar. Ayurvedarasayana commentary on Ashtangahridayam is considered his masterpiece. This commentary is available in incomplete form. The commentary is written with a practical approach and the author has changed the order of chapters, unlike the order followed in the original text. He has added chapters of Kalpasiddhisthana in between the chapters of Sutrasthana according to the clinical utility. He also attempts to place the chapters related to a particular topic together. The chapters of Nidanasthana and Chikitsitasthana are combined in such a way that after each chapter of Nidanasthana the corresponding Chikitsita is explained.

  1. Ayurvedarasayana commentary is completely available on sutra and kalpa-siddhisthana and both are related
  2. Six chapters of Nidana and seven chapters of chikitsita are available
  3. Commentary is not available for the rest of the chapters
  4. In 1880, the Ayurvedarasayana and Sarvangasundara were published together in which commentary of Sutrasthana and Kalpasiddhisthana is given[12]
  5. In 1939, edition of Ayurvedarasayana with Nidana and Chikitsita together was published along with Sarvangasundara
  6. The unavailable part of the commentary is probably unwritten.

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  References Top

Banwari Lal Gaur. Ayurvedetihasa-Parichaya. 1st ed. Jaipur: Publication Scheme; 1982. p. 205.  Back to cited text no. 1
Banwari Lal Gaur. Ayurveda Ka Prarambhik Itihas. 1st ed. Jaipur: Sakshi Publishing House; 2013. p. 214-5.  Back to cited text no. 2
Pt. Hari Shastri Paradakara. In: Gode PK, editor. Ashtangahridayam of Vagbhata, Sarvangasundara Commentary of Arunadutta and Ayurvedarasayana Commentary of Hemadri. 1st ed. Varanasi, India: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Series Office; 1982. p. 9.  Back to cited text no. 3
Pt. Hari Shastri Paradakara. In: Gode PK, editor. Ashtangahridayam of Vagbhata, Sarvangasundara Commentary of Arunadutta and Ayurvedarasayana Commentary of Hemadri. 1st ed. Varanasi, India: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Series Office; 1982. p. 10.  Back to cited text no. 4
Pt. Hari Shastri Paradakara. In: Gode PK, editor. Ashtangahridayam of Vagbhata, Sarvangasundara Commentary of Arunadutta and Ayurvedarasayana Commentary of Hemadri. 1st ed. Varanasi, India: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Series Office; 1982. p. 11.  Back to cited text no. 5
Kashyapasamhita of Vriddha Jivaka. Upodghata by Pt. Hemaraj Sharma. 10th ed. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Sanskrit Sansthan; 2005. p. 12.  Back to cited text no. 6
Dr. Vishwavasu Gaur. Ashtangahridayam of Vagbhata (Sutrasthana). English Translation as Jyotsna Commentary of Samvartika Hindi Commentary. Varanasi-221001, India: Chaukhambha Orientalia; 2010. p. 8.  Back to cited text no. 7
Banwari Lal Gaur. Ashtangahridayam of Vagbhata, Samvartika Hindi Commentary (Sutrasthana). Varanasi, India: Chaukhambha Orientalia; 2007. p. 12.  Back to cited text no. 8
Pt. Hari Shastri Paradakara. Ashtangahridayam of Vagbhata, Sarvangasundara Commentary of Arunadutta and Ayurvedarasayana Commentary of Hemadri. Vagbhatavimarshah (Preface of Ashtangahridayam). 1st ed. Varanasi, India: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Series Office; 1982. p. 36.  Back to cited text no. 9
Pt. Hari Shastri Paradakara. Ashtangahridayam of Vagbhata, Sarvangasundara Commentary of Arunadutta and Ayurvedarasayana Commentary of Hemadri. 1st ed. Varanasi, India: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Series Office; 1982. p. 36.  Back to cited text no. 10
Banwari Lal Gaur. Ayurveda ka Prarambhik Itihas. 1st ed. Jaipur: Sakshi Publishing House; 2013. p. 211-12.  Back to cited text no. 11
Anna Moreshwar Kunte. In: Gode PK, editor. Ashtangahridayam of Vagbhata, Sarvangasundara Commentary of Arunadutta and Ayurvedarasayana Commentary of Hemadri. 9th ed. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Orientalia; 2002. p. 4.  Back to cited text no. 12


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