Prophylactic Measures

In such cases migration to a healthy or unaffected locality, performances of rites of pacification and atonement, (wearing of prophylactic gems and drugs), recitations of mantras, libations of clarified butter cast into the sacrificial fire, offerings to the gods, celebration of sacrificial ceremonies, obeisance with clasped palms to the gods, practice of penances, sell-control and charity, kindness, spiritual initiation; obedience to one's elders and preceptors, and devotion to the gods and the Bramhanas, and observance of such like rules of conduct may prove beneficial to the affected community.

* Marriages with girls of prohibited description have been known as well to have ushered in an epidemic which devastated a whole town or a country.

The Characteristic Features Of The Seasons Which Do Not Exhibit Unnatural Traits (Metrical Texts)

Cold winds from the north blow in the season of Hemanta. The quarters of the sky are enveloped in smoke and assume a dusky aspect. The sun is hid in the frost, and lakes and pools are frozen or lie covered over with flakes, or thin layers of ice. Crows, rhinoceroses, buffaloes, lambs and elephants become excited and sprightly in this part of the year; and the Lodhra, Priyangu, and Punnaga trees begin to . blossom.

Winter exhibits the same features as above, only in a greater degree of intensity; and the quarters of the sky are agitated by strong gales of wind and showers of rain.

In spring, when the summits of the mount Malaya are besmeared red with the moist foot-prints of the brides of the Siddhas and the Vidyadharas, and are perfumed in contact with the sweet-scented sandal forests, the lively south-wind is roused up from his lair and winnows gladness to damsels burning with desires, and kindles up the flame of love and appeases the amorous anger of the beloved pairs by turning their fancies to themes of love. The quarters of the sky are cleared up and look joyful. The woods are decked with the full-blown flowers of the Kinshuka, lotus, Vakula, mango and Ashoka trees. The bee hums and the notes of the Cuckoo are heard to reverberate through the skies. The south wind fans this king of the seasons, and the forests are hung with the festoons of tender and sprouting leaves in his honour.

The sun's rays become stronger and more intense in summer. Unhealthy winds blow from the south-east. The earth is heated; the rivers run narrow and shallow in their beds; the quarters of the sky glare with a blazing light, the birds Chakravakas with their mates roam about in quest of cool ponds and reservoirs of water; herds of deer are tormented and overwhelmed with thirst; trees, plants and creepers are scorched by the intense heat, and withered leaves drop off from the trees which alone serve to make the identification of their parents possible.

In the forepart of the rainy season (Pravrit), packs of detached clouds, spangled with lightning and driven before the gales of the west-wind, come thundering over and envelop the skies. The Earth is robed in green with luxurious growth of corn, enlivened here and there by the dark crimson of the cochineal insects (Indragopa), and Kadamva, Nipa, Kutaja, and the Ketaki trees begin to flower.

During the rainy season, the rivers overflow their banks, tumbling down the trees which grow on them. Ponds and lakes are decked with the full-blown Kumud and Nilotpala flowers. The earth is covered with profuse vegetation. All distinction between dry lands and reservoirs of water becomes impossible, and the sun and the planets are enveloped in dark clouds that shower torrents of rain but do not roar.

In autumn the sun's rays assume a mellow golden tint. Masses of white clouds are seen to sail the dark deep blue of heaven. Ponds are decked with the full blown lotus flowers, agitated by the wings of the diving swans The high grounds become dry, while the lowlands still retain their muddy character. The level plains are covered with shrubs and undergrowths, and plants and trees such as, Vana, Saptahva, Vandhuka, Kasha and Asana, flower in abundance.

The bodily humours such as wind, etc. are disturbed and aggravated by the contrariety, excess or variations in the characteristic features of the seasons. Hence it is prudent to check the deranged phlegm in spring, to conquer the deranged bile in autumn, and to subdue the deranged bodily wind in the rains, before they develop themselves in any patent or manifest bodily ailment.

Thus ends the sixth chapter of the Sutrasthanam in the Sushruta Samhita which treats of the characteristic features of the seasons and their influence on health and drugs.