Here commences that portion of the Suśruta Samhitá which is known as the Uttara Tantra (the supplementary part) to which references have been often made in the preceding one hundred and twenty chapters, as the fit place wherein to revert in detail to the topics cursorily mentioned therein. This part comprises within it the specific descriptions of a large and a varied number of diseases, viz., those which form the subject matter of the Śiálákya-Tantra (Diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat) as narrated by the king of Videha; the aetiology and symptomatology, etc. of diseases peculiar to infants and women (Kaumára-bhritya), the pathology, etc., of those diseases mentioned in the six books of the Practice of Medicine par excellence (Káya-chikitsá) compiled by the holy sages of old and diseases known as Upasarga (e.g. Bhutopasarga Demonology) as well as diseases of traumatic origin are also included in this supplementary text*. Herein are also mentioned the sixty-three combinations of the six different Rasas (tasces) as well as the laws of health and hygiene with their rationale (rules, interpretation and reasonings) and the classifications of different Doshas and organic principles of the body and various accessories and remedial agents required for their successful treatment and cure. 2.
I shall now begin with the description of the numbers, the pathology and the curability or incurability of those specific ailments of the body which are peculiar to the region of the head out of a myriad of other distempers reserved for treatment in this portion of the work (Uttara-tantra) which may be compared to the unfathomable deep in respect of the vastness of its depth and magnitude. 3.
The eye-ball (Nayana-Budbuda) is two fingers (about an inch) in transverse diameter, about the breadth of one's own thumb in depth (Sagittal diameter), and two fingers and a half ail round (in circumference). The eye-ball is almost round in shape and resembles the teat of a cow. It is made up of all the (five) elements of which the universe is built up. The element of the 'solid' earth (Bhu) contributes to the formation of its muscles, the element of 'heat' (Agni or Tejas) is in the blood (that courses in its veins and arteries), 'the gaseous element' (Văyu) contributes to the formation of the black part (Iris, etc.) in which the pupil is situated, the fluid element (Jala) preponderates-in the lucid (white) part (Vitreous body) and the void (ethereal) Space (Ákas'a) is there to form lachrymal or the other ducts or sacs (As'rumârga) through which the secretions are discharged. 4.
(1) The text has A'gantuka (traumatic diseases). Gayadăsa explains it to mean Apasmára, Unmáda, etc. (Hysteria, insanity, etc.).
I shall now proceed to describe the Drishti (the central part of Retina - 'Macula Lutea') as set forth by expert ophthalmic physicians. The black portion of the eye (Krishna-mandaia - Choroid) forms one third part of its whole extent while the Drishti, according to them, occupies only one-seventh part of the Krishna-mandaia. The Mandalas or sub-divisions or circles of the eye-bail, the Sandhis or Joints (parts where these sub-divisions meet with one another) and the Patalas (layers or coats) of the eye are respectively five, six and six in number. 5-6.