The exact position of a shaft (Shalyam) embedded in the skin should be ascertained by applying a plaster composed of clay, Masha-pulse, Yava, Godhuma and cow-dung over the injured limb or part. The part (limb) should be duly lubricated with oil, and diaphorised (by fomenting or applying heat to its surface) before the plaster is applied. The shaft (Shalyam) should be considered as lodged in that part which would be marked by pain, redness, or swelling (Samrambha) after such application. As an alternative, the affected part should be plastered with clarified butter, common clay and sandal paste. The embedded shaft (Shalyam) is then exactly located at the spot where, owing to the heat of the affected part, the clarified butter, or earth, or sandal paste would be found to have melted, or dried up.

Similarly, the mode of localising a shaft (Shalyam), * So as not to obstruct the coursing of the blood or serum in the locality, embedded in the flesh is as follows: - First, the patient should be duly lubricated and diaphorised with medicinal agents suited to the requirements of his case. Then, the part or the limb having been thus reduced with depletive measures, the shaft would be found to have been dislodged from its seat and to be moving about (within the deeper tissues of the affected part), giving rise to pain, redness and swelling. In such a case the exact location of the shaft should be fixed at the spot where the pain and swelling, etc. would occur. The same measures should be adopted in the case of a shaft (Shalyam) which lies embedded in the cavity of the abdomen (Kostha), or in a bone, or joint, or muscle In the case of a Shalyam lodged in a vein, in an artery, in any external channel (Srota) of the body, or in a ligament, the patient should be made to ride in a carriage with a broken or lopped off wheel and dragged up and down in it on an undulating road The pain and swelling, etc. incidental to the jolting, would occur at that part of his body, where the shaft (Shalyam} is embedded.

In the case of a shaft (Shalyam) lodged in a bone, the affected bone should be lubricated and diaphorised with oil and heat respectively, after which it should be firmly pressed and bound up. The seat of the pain or swelling, caused by such a procedure, would mark the exact locality of the embedded Shalyam.

Similarly, in the case of a shaft (Shalyam) lodged in a joint, the same lubricating, diaphorising, compressing, and expanding measures should be adopted, and the painful swelling caused thereby would indicate its exact locality. No definite method can be laid down as regards ascertaining the exact location of a Shalyam lodged in any of the vital parts of the body (Marma), inasmuch as they are co-existing with (the eight different locations of ulcers, such as, the skin, the flesh, the bone, etc.) *

General Rule

A painful swelling, occurring at any part of the body and incidental to such physical or natural endeavours of the patient, as riding on an elephant or on horse-back, climbing a steep hill, bending of a bow, gymnastic exercises, running, wrestling, walking, leaping, swimming, high-jumping, yawning, coughing, singing, expectorating, eructating, laughing, practising of Pranayama (regulating the breath preliminary to the practice of Yoga), or an emission of semen, urine or flatus, or defecation, would clearly indicate the exact location of the embedded shaft (Shalyam).

Authoritative Verses On The Subject

The part of the body, which is marked by pain and swelling, or which seems heavy and is marked by complete anaesthesia, or the part which the patient repeatedly handles, or constantly presses with his own hand, or which exudes any sort of secretion, and is marked by a sort of excruciating pain, or which he involuntarily withdraws from, or constantly guards against (an imaginary painful contact), should be regarded as clearly indicative of the exact location of the embedded Shalyam.

* Accordingly measures enjoined to be adopted in connection with a shaft (Shalyam) lodged in any one of them should be applied mutatis mutandis to cases in which these Marmas would be found to be similarly affected.

A physician, having tested with a probe the cavity of the incidental ulcer or the interior of the affected locality, and found it to be characterised by little pain and absence of any aching discomfort or unfavourable symptoms and swelling, after a course of proper treatment, and after having been satisfied as to its healthy look and the softness of its margin, and after having ascertained that any remnant of the embedded arrow can not be perceived with the end of the director by moving it to and fro, should pronounce it free from any embedded foreign matter (Shalyam), which would be further confirmed by the full flexion and expansion of the affected limb or organ.

A particle of soft bone, horn or iron, in anywise lodged in the body, assumes an arched shape; whereas bits of wood, grass-stems, or chips of bamboo-bark, under the same circumstances, putrify the blood and the local flesh, if not speedily extracted from their seats of lodgment. Bits of gold, silver, copper, brass, zinc, or lead, anyhow inserted into a human organism, are soon melted by the heat of the Pittam and are assimilated and transformed into the fundamental principles of the body. Metals or substances of kindred softness, and which are naturally cold, are melted and become amalgamated, under such circumstances, with the elements of the organism. A hair, or a particle of hard bone, wood, stone, bamboo scraping, or clay, which remains lodged in the body as a Shalyam, does not melt, nor undergo any change or deterioration.

The physician, who is fully conversant with the five different courses or flights of an arrow Shalyam), whether feathered or unfeathered, and has minutely observed and studied the symptoms due to its lodgment in any of the eight different seats of ulcers (Vrana) in the human organism such as, the skin, etc.), is alone worthy of attending on kings and nobles.

Thus ends the twenty-sixth Chapter of the Sutrasthanam in the Sushruta Samhita which treats of exploration of splinters.