Mahabharatam forces of life and death (1).
A little more investigation into the biological thesis of the Rishis would be necessary for the clear comprehension of "Shukra-Vahulyam" and "Shonita-Vahulyam" of Sushruta and other Tantras (3). Man is both animal and spirit; and the Ayurvedic physiology recognises two distinct sets of apparatus in his organism answering to the different phases of his existence. The one helps him in performing the organic functions, which are so essential to his animal existence, and keeps intact the co-ordination of those incer-nal functions with the incidents of his environments. The other is attuned to the finer forces of nature, and responds to the call of his higher or psychic; self. The one is organic, the other is psychic The one chains him down to the phenomenal, and is governed by the laws of growth and decay; the other opens on the region of absolute realities where growth and decay have no room to be. Growth is not the only condition of life. Man may exist without food (1) or respiration, only if he can manage to dive deep into the realities within himself. Between these two sets of apparatus there is the Jivatma, which, by its own peculiar energy (the will-force), can operate in phenomenal or organic plain, or recede from thence into the psychic one, thus being in contact with the world of the senses', and the one that is beyond the darkness of death. Death, in fact, is the grand usherer to life, which is only the rise of the curtain over the life's drama, all equipments for which are made in the green room of death.
(1)The Evolution of Sex. Ch. XVIII.
Prof. P. Geddes and, J. A. Thomson,
(2) "The body or soma", Weismann says, "thus appears to a certain extent as a subsidiary appendage of the true bearers of the life, - the reproductive cells". Ray Lankester has again well expressed this: - "Among the multicellular animals, certain cells are separated from the rest of the constituent units of the body, as egg-cells and sperm-cells; these conjugate and continue to live, whilst the remaining cells, the mere carriers as it were of the immortal reproductive cells, die and disintegrate. The bodies of the higher animals which die, may from this point of view be regarded as something temporary and non-essential, destined merely to carry for a time, to nurse, and to nourish the more important and deathless fission-products of the unicellular egg." - Quoted in the Evolution of Sex (P. Geddes and J. A. Thompson) 1901. Chap. XVIII.
Sarada Tilak Tantram.
(B) Sushruta Samhita (Sharira Sthanam Ch. III)
A man can not propagate at will. No amount of willing on the part of the parent-animal can help him in creating progeny. The self of the child, who is about to come into life, chooses its own parents, according to the dynamics of its own acts or Karma, from the region of the lunar Pitris or quiescent life, if it be warrantable to use such an expression (2). The self of the would-be child mixes with the self of its human father, and hovers over the reproductive cells of the latter's organism, and regulates the intensity of its father's sexual desire, according to the nature of the sex, determined necessary for the fruition of the purposes of its advent into the world. A greater intensity of its father's desires ensures the preponderance of tile Pitrika Shakti (katabolism) in the impregnated ovum, which determines the male sex of the child, while such a thing, on the part of the mother at the time, is followed by the relative preponderance of the Matrika Shakti (anabolism) which accounts for the femininity of the issue. Equal intensity of sexual desires in both the parents, creating an absence of the relative preponderance of the Pitrika and Matrika Shaktis in the impregnated ovum, leaves the sex of the child practically undetermined. The relative preponderance of the Pitrika or Matrika Shakti, as evidenced by the greater or less intensity of the sexual desire of either of the parents, which results in the speedier emission of the paternal or maternal element (sperm or ovum) during an act of successful fecundation, is contemplated by the term "Shukra-Vahulyam," or "Shonita-Vahulyam," by the framer of the Samhita, as may be fully substantiated by a couplet by the venerable Daruvahi (1).
Skanda Puranam quoted by Shridhara Svami in his commentaries on the Vishnu Puranam. Ch. VI. V. 16.
So far Sushruta is at one with the modern Western theory of preponderant katabolism or anabolism in the ovum as the determining factor of the sexual diamorphism to the extent that seeds or reproductive cells are the bearers and not the manufacturers of life, only containing those categories which foster life, and help its evolution into an organic being. To deny this would be to admit the chemical, or physiological basis of life, which, as a theory, was never acceptable to the biologists of ancient India. The number of reproductive cells may be increased by suitable dietary, and to say that the immortal reproductive cells, as the creators of life, come out of the mortal, organic food stuff; is to say that darkness is the father of light. The question of the immortality of the seed (germ plasm) has been elaborately discussed in the commentaries on the Sankhya Darshanam (1). The Qjah Vindus (germ cells) pulsate with the vibrations (rhythmic movements), which are the relics of the primordial ethereal vibrations, which ,ushered in the birth-throes of the universe. As such, they are essential to the evolution of life; and man, as an offspring of the universe, still retains them in his reproductive cells as the best condition for calling out the life in his offspring, when its self enters into the impregnated ovum in the mother's womb. Life is the essence of self, and not the product of any chemical or physiological process. It is an influx; and microscopes and spectroscopes may not expose to view the hinterlands of birth and genesis. Perhaps it was this theory of will-force and intensity of parental desire as determining the sex in the child, together with the facts of parthenogenesis observed in lower animals, from which Sushruta was disposed to extend the analogy to the human species, and believed that conception without sexual union is possible in women. The conception of the nature of these Matrika and Matrika Shaktis is more clearly set forth in the Pauranika ninth regarding the origin (etiology) of fever; Sushruta relates the story as follows: - Daksha, the father of the universal mother, (or constructive metabolism in man) insulted the divine father, her consort (destructive metabolism), by witholding his quota of sacrificial oblations. The wrath of the insulted deity broke out in the shape of a morbific heat (hyperpyrexia) which is fever. The process of digestion in man has been often compared to an act of Homa sacrifice (I) in the Ayurveda. Stripped of its allegory the myth may be explained quite in a pathological line. It means that when the Pitrika Shakti, the process of destructive metabolism (Pita, father or Shiva in Hindu mythology being the god of destruction or disintegration) of the body is not properly served by the factors, which nourish its constructive metabolism (Father of the Matrika Shakti), the excrements and excretory process of the body are arrested (by the wrathful deity), and the heat generated in consequence is fever. Fever, then, is a disease of defective digestion and excretion. Whenever this Pitrika Shakti,. is disturbed or not properly served there is fever, and heat is one of its essential effects.
Darubahi (Quoted by Aronadatta in his commentaries on Vagbhat).
Sankhya Sutra Ch. I. 122.
Ibid. Ch. III. 3.
Sankhya Prabachana Vashya (Vijnan Bhikshu) Ch. I. S. I.
With a precision and love of details, which mark the best days of Brahmanic literature, Sushruta lays down rules of diet and conduct to be observed by the enceinte, from month to month, during the whole period of gestation, and gives medicinal recipes for the development of a partially atrophied child in the womb.
A perusal of the Chapter on Marma Shariram world leave no doubt for the conclusion that anatomical knospit ledge was cultivated by surgeons and soldiers alike. any knowledge about the locations of the vulnerable joints, or nerves, or vein anastomoses where a blow or a little pressure may enable him to make short work of his man could not but be dearly prized by the soldiery at a time when the fate of a war was often decided by the success of a single champion, and we have reasons to believe that a scientific system of wrestling was formulated in the light of the Sushruta Samhita, and practised by the gentry of ancient India much like the Jiujitsu (Skr. Yuyutsu, the intending fighter) of modern Japan, (1).