Then it should be fumigated with the drugs, known as Guggulu, Vacha, white mustard, Saindhava and the leaves of the Nimva tree, soaked in clarified butter. The residue of the clarified butter [dripped down and collected from the fumigating compound described above], should be rubbed over the region of the heart and other vital parts of the patient, and the floor of the chamber should be washed and sprinkled over with drops of water previously kept in a (new) pitcher for the purpose. The rites of protection from the influences of baneful spirits, should then be performed by reciting the Mantra which runs as follows: - "I am about to practise the prophylactic incantation for guarding thy person against the malignant influences of Rakshas and conjured demonesses, and may the god Brahma be graciously pleased to approve of its performance. May the Gods and deities and ministers of grace disperse and confound the hosts of wrathful Nagas (celestial serpents), Pishaehas, Gandhar-vas and Pitris that might be maliciously disposed to strike thee in thy sickly confinement. May the spirits, which stir abroad in the night and roam about in the sky and on earth, defend thy person in recognition of thy fervent devotion to them. May the concourse of Brahma-begotten sages ('such as, Sanaka, etc.), the saintly and canonised kings (Rajarshis) in heaven and the sacred mounts, streams and oceans of the earth protect thee from evil. May the fire-god guard thy tongue; the wind-god protect thy breath; and the Moon-god, Parjanya, Vidyut (lightning) and the spirit of the clouds preserve the healthy coursings of those vital winds in thy organism which are respectively known as Vyana, 6

* Even the bedsheets, etc. of the patient should be fumigated as above. This foreshadows the germ theory of the modern days - Tr.

Apana; Udana and Samana. May Indra, the presiding deity of all physical energies, keep thy bodily strength immaculate. May Manu defend the two side tendons at the nape of thy neck, as well as thy faculty of intellect; the Gandharvas, thy faculty of desire; Indra, thy fortitude; Varuna, thy faculty of cognition; the Ocean, thy region of umbilicus; the Sun-god, thy eyes; the Quarters of the Heaven, thy ears; the Moon-god, thy mind; the Stars, thy complexion; the Night, thy shadow; the Water, thy vigour; the Oshadhis, thy hair; Infinite Ether, the space which is imprisoned in thy body; Yasundhara, thy body; Vaishvanara, thy head; Vishnu, thy moral courage; Purushottama (the foremost of beings), thy energy of action (dynamical action of purposes); Brahma, thy self; and Dhruva (immutable being), thy eyebrows. May these divinities, which perpetually reside in thy body, ensure thy safe continuance in being and may thou enjoy a long life through their grace. May the gods such as, Brahma, etc., confer blessings on thy head. May the Sun, the Moon, the twin sages Narada and Parvata, the fire-god, the wind, and the other celestial helpmates of Indra, bring thee good. May the prophylaxis devised by Brahma keep thee from evil. May thou be spared to witness the return of many a long and happy year on earth. May such abnormal physical phenomena as, drought, deluge, excessive downpour of rain, and excessive germination (or wholesale extinction of such vermin as) rats, mosquitoes, flies which invariably portend evil and mortality in a community, as well as bloody feuds among kings, abate and cease. May thou be relieved of all pain and misery. We close the prayer with a "Svaha" (obeisance). The present Vedic mantra exercises an occult power in relieving ailments which are due to the malignant influences of conjured up she-devils. May thou acquire a long life through the protective energy of the prophylactic prayer (lit: - incantation now read by me.

Then having protected the body of the patient with the recitation of the above Vedic Mantra, the surgeon shall see his patient taken to his own chamber, and prescribe the proper course of medicine and diet according to the exigencies of each case. The old bandage should be loosened on the third day of the operation, when the wound or the ulcer should be washed, and a fresh bandage should be wound round as before. The bandage should not be loosened on the day following the lancing of a boil, as such a measure might give rise to a sort of excruciating pain and formation of knots in the wound and retard the process of granulation (healing). On the third day, the surgeon (Vaidya) should prescribe the proper medicated plaster, diet, etc. after fully considering the strength of the patient, the nature of the disease, and the then prevailing season of the year. A wound should not be tried to be healed up, as long as the least morbid matter, or pus remains in its inside, as it would lead to the formation of fresh cavities in the surrounding healthy tissues, and ultimately to a recrudescence of the disease.

The Authoritative Verses On The Subject

Accordingly a wound or an ulcer should be made to heal up after the perfect purification of both of its inside and exterior has been fully brought about. Even after the healing of the wound the patient should studiously avoid all sexual connections, indigestive viands, fatiguing physical exercises and indulgence in emotions of grief or fright, or in ecstasies of joy, until the cicatrix has acquired enough toughness. The dressings and bandages should be untied and changed every third day in winter, in spring and in the season of Hemanta, and on each alternate day in summer and in the rains. But a physician (surgeon) should not be guided by these rules in cases where there would be reasons to apprehend imminent danger, and in such cases the wound or the ulcer, like a house in flames, should be checked as speedily as possible.

Clarified butter boiled with Yashtimadhu, and applied tepid to a wound, incidental to a surgical operation, is sure to alleviate the excruciating pain that is usually experienced in such an affected part.

Thus ends the fifth chapter of the Sutrasthanam in the Sushruta Samhita which treats of Preliminary measures.