The Earliest Surgeon of the World – Sage Susruta

The greatest treasure of knowledge comes down from our Vedas which include all the laws of nature and life. The word Veda itself means knowledge. Indian culture is deep rooted in our Vedas spreading into various branches of science, literature, Ayurveda, Art, Puranas and Sastras. Knowledge mentioned in the Vedas are way beyond some of the technology and intelligence of modern times which denotes that what was said to be discovered lately was already mentioned in the Vedas long back.


One of the most promising and important treasure of knowledge in the Vedas is Ayudrveda, which deals with medical studies and surgery. The Ayurveda is the Upaveda of The Rigveda and is considered as the ‘knowledge-chest’ of the world. The science of Ayurveda are gifts from great sages like Rishi Bharadwaj, Charak, Susruta etc who gave us eternal gifts in the form of health and life mentioned in the Ayurveda.

It is indeed a true fact that surgery was neither new to India nor a knowledge borrowed from the West. It was the Aswin devas (the twin celestials) who introduced the skill of surgery to mankind. The Rigveda mentions about a woman warrior Vischala who was fitted with an artificial leg by the Aswins Devas when she lost a leg in the war. The Rigveda also mentions about an eye transplantation done by the Aswins.

Sushruta, was the greatest and the first surgeon of the world were form our very own land. Known for his surgery skills, he learnt this skill from Dhanvantari, an incarnation of Bhagwan Vishnu who gave the Amrit during the Samudra Manthan. Dhanvantari along with the nectar of immortality gave all the knowledge of medicinal science to the world. Susruta learnt the same under Dhavanatari and codified all of it in a text named Susruta Samhita. This text is followed by practitioners of Ayurveda even till date.

Susruta mentions eight kinds of surgery in his text which are Chedya – cutting, Lekhya – separating, Vedhya – removing the toxic objects , Ishya – blood tests, Ahraya kriya – elimination of harmful elements in the body, Visradavya – removing water from the body, Civya- stitching body parts and Bedhakriya – making holes and performing surgery.

Susruta Samhita is such an advanced medicinal text that it mentions many of the skilled operations which are performed today with modern technology. Susruta mentions about 125 surgical instruments for the same. It also mentions various methods of plastic surgery and Caesarean operations too.

Ayurveda adopts surgery as the last resort and believes more in prevention before cure. Hence Susruta also mentions around 496 medicinal plants which can be used as therapeutic measure for various diseases. For all his great contribution to the world of medicine and surgery, Susruta is regarded as the father of medicine. Although Susruta is less known contributor of medicine and surgery to the world , yet his contribution remains the best to the surgical world and his work is one of the most valuable assets of the medicinal world which makes us proud about our Santana Dharma.