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Table of Contents
GUEST EDITORIAL
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 80-81

Charaka Shapath: A way of life


Teerthankar Mahveer Medical College and Research Centre, Teerthankar Mahaveer University, Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication11-Jan-2023

Correspondence Address:
S K Jain
Teerthankar Mahveer Medical College and Research Centre, Teerthankar Mahaveer University, Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2773-1987.367581

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How to cite this article:
Jain S K. Charaka Shapath: A way of life. Santosh Univ J Health Sci 2022;8:80-1

How to cite this URL:
Jain S K. Charaka Shapath: A way of life. Santosh Univ J Health Sci [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Feb 1];8:80-1. Available from: http://www.sujhs.org/text.asp?2022/8/2/80/367581



“A physician who fails to enter the body of a patient with the lamp of knowledge and understanding can never treat diseases. He should first study all the factors, including environment, which influence a patient's disease, and then prescribe treatment. It is more important to prevent the occurrence of disease than to seek a cure.” -Maharishi Charaka

“Prevention is better than cure” is a phrase, that is, prevalent not only in the medical profession but also among the people who have only the faintest idea about health and hygiene. The earliest proponent of these historic words was probably Maharishi Charak. Maharishi was a wandering scholar devoted to promote health and disease prevention. He was adamant in his purpose of gaining knowledge and disseminating his wisdom to the common people of the world and it was this dedication that led him to become The Father of Indian Medicine and the main contributor to the Ayurvedic Sciences. It is believed that the knowledge for his famous text “Charaka Samhita” was given to him by Lord Brahma. It was this great man who gave us the Charaka Shapath.

Similar to Charak Shapath is another set of values that are a code that should be followed by all medical students and practitioners.

This beautiful and widely appreciated text is called The Hippocratic Oath. It was first written 2500 years ago in Ancient Greece by the Father of Medicine - Hippocrates.

Hippocrates was possibly the first person to believe that diseases were caused naturally and not due to supernatural interferences. His work gave medicine the strong foundation it needed to become what it is today.

The Hippocratic Oath and Charaka Shapath at a broad level send all medical professionals the same message – The message of Humanity above all.

Where the Hippocratic Oath is strongly focused on the values one should have as a person involved in the world of Providing Health, The Charaka Shapath gives us the ethics and principles of life in general.

Charak Shapath educates us on the value of decency, discipline, respect to all teachers and elders which are the basic values that have been passed on to us through generations.

Maharishi Charak, in his oath, not only talked about the ideal behavior of a medical student or a practicing doctor but also targeted the population as a whole.

As he wrote about respecting women, not broadcasting the internal matters of a patient (which is also Hippocrates philosophy), being truthful, respectful, polite, and nonegoistical; he was sending a message to our complete community.

The Hippocratic Oath is a code of ethics for medicine, and stresses on it completely. If one is looking for the professional way to be a medical professional, this is, where they go - yet the oath lags when it comes to the life lessons that are provided in the Charaka Shapath. First, as students, we take these oaths; and then as professionals. These are our guiding paths, our light in the darkness and are our code for the right and the wrong.

As gullible students, we need direction not only to become good doctors and nurses but also a guide to become good human beings and that is what the Charaka Shapath provides us with - The Manual on how to live life.

The Shapath starts with the words “O Dwij,” which means twice-born. As we stand and swear upon the holy fire and all the learned before us, we take an oath to be reborn as a better version of ourselves. Once taken, it is not only about how successful a professional you are but about how virtuous a human you are.

The oath is truly imbibed into us and we uphold it only if we have changed ourselves to become more disciplined, respectful, and moral than we were before. We uphold it only if we have become better humans than we were before. We uphold it only if we become better citizens, better students, better sons, and daughters and not just better medical professionals.






 

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