The Nepalese manuscripts of the Suśrutasaṃhitā include Bhoja as one of the great, ancient authorities of Ayuveda. The recent post by Jason Birch discusses this point. In this post I would like to give some information about this figure in medical history. The remarks below are based on the research of Meulenbeld .
First, this authority is nothing to do with the famous eleventh-century Paramāra king, Bhoja of Dhārā. The Bhoja of the Suśrutasaṃhitā obviously preceded the physical manuscript Kathmandu KL 699, dated 878 CE, that mentions the name. But it is likely that this Bhoja may be datable to an earlier period still, when the text of the Suśrutasaṃhitā was being compiled. Since the text was compiled over a long period and in several discrete steps, it is hard to be more precise about the date. Bhoja preceded the commentators Jejjaṭa (c. 650 – c. 750), Indu and Tīsaṭa (fl. c. 900-1000), who quote him, and Meulenbeld lists almost fifty later authors who also cite or refer to Bhoja’s work.
The ancient medical author Bhoja composed a work of his own that may have been similar to the Suśrutasaṃhitā and possibly even one of its sources. Bhoja’s work is widely quoted by later authors including, especially, the learned commentators Cakrapāṇidatta (fl. c. 1075) and Ḍalhaṇa (b. 1150). It is sometimes referred to as a saṃhitā, or as a tantra and according to the Vāgbhaṭamaṇḍana it was divided into the same sthānas as the Suśrutasaṃhitā The quotations from it suggest that it was written in verse mixed with prose and may have been in the form of a dialogue between a teacher and a king (like the Suśrutasaṃhitā). The quotations also suggest that Bhoja’s text included material on śalya and śālākya as well as general Ayurvedic topics. There may have existed different versions of Bhoja’s treatise, since shorter and longer versions (bṛhad-, vṛddha-, mahā-, kṣudra-) are referred to.
Bhoja’s work is referred to as late as the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by Muslim medical authors in India, for example in the Ma‘dan al-shifa’-i Sikandar-shahi and the Ganj-i bad-awurd .
Finally, the name Bhoja referring to a medical authority is also known from Buddhist sources, where however he is characterized as a specialist in toxicology and the treatment of snakebite.