This paper represents a preliminary edition and translation of Suśruta Saṃhitā Cikitsāsthana 26. The verses in the chapter are composed in anuṣṭubh metre and deal with potency-therapy (vyājīkaraṇa). In comparison with the vulgate edition (A), K covers verses 1 through the beginning of 27, of which only the first five akṣaras are found. The remainder of verse 27 through verse 39 is wanting. The abruptly truncated verse indicates that the chapter originally contained more text. Of verses 1-27 of A, K has a total of 22 verses, leaving the following to be found only in A: 2, 6, 8-9cd, 13cd, 14, and 16ab. The 22 verses make a unique version of the chapter 26. K’s readings show characteristics that are also found in Mahāyāna Buddhist manuscripts from Nepal, such as sibilant and gender fluidity. The readings in A are sometimes mere metrical variations of K and overall represent embellishments and alternate interpretation of K that have occurred over time.
Text, translation, and notes
athātaḥ kṣīṇavalīyaṃ vyājīkaraṇacikitsitaṃ vyākhyāsyāmaḥ/ 1 A 1
vyājī-] vājī- A
Now we shall discuss the treatment by means of potency-therapy for him whose strength is diminished.
Ḍ: kṣīṇatā is powerlessness (hīnaśaktitvam).
yathovāca bhagavān dhanvantari/ A 2
As the Lord Dhanvantari spoke.
Wanting in K.
sarveṣv ṛtuṣv aharahaḥ vyāsvāyo na nivāritaḥ// 2 A 3
kalyasyo] kalasyo- K; aharahaḥ] aharahar A
For him who is healthy, whose age is advanced and who resorts to potency-therapy, daily coitus in all seasons is not prohibited.
In a, K reads kalasya, “for him who soft/weak,” which could be possible. However, Ḍ reads kalyasya and glosses it as “without disease” (rogarahitasya). He glosses udagravayasaḥ, “whose age is advanced,” as “young” (taruṇasya). It would appear that Ḍ has in mind a very young adolescent, whereas the mūla-text indicates that the man is old.
strīṣv akṣaryāṃ? mṛgayatāṃ vṛddhānāṃ ca riraṃsatām/
klīvāṇām alpaśukrāṇāṃ strīṣu kṣīṇāś ca ye narāḥ/ 3 A 4
strīṣv akṣaryāṃ? mṛgayatāṃ vṛddhānāṃ ca riraṃsatām] sthavirāṇāṃ riraṃsūnāṃ strīṇāṃ vāllabhyam icchatām A; klīvāṇām alpaśukrāṇāṃ strīṣu kṣīṇāś ca ye narāḥ] yoṣitprasaṅgāt kṣīṇānāṃ klībānām alpyaretasām A
vilāsinām arthavatāṃ rūpyayauvanaśālinām/
nṛṇāṃ bahupatīnāṃ ca yogā vyājīkarā hitāḥ// 4 A 5
bahu] vahvī K; bahupatīnāṃ ca yogā] ca bahubhāryāṇāṃ yogā A; vyājīkarā] vyākaro K, vājīkarā A.
Potency-therapy formulae are suitable for the [following men]: …those who go with wild animals; who are old, who are lustful; those who are impotent; those who have little semen; those who are diminished in front of women; those who are sportive/wanton; those who are wealthy, handsome, and youthful; and those who have many wives.
For verse 3, A reads much clearer: “who are old, lustful, desirous of women’s favour, diminished on account of their indulgence in women, impotent, and men with little semen….” For 3ab, it would appear that K is a corruption of another reading altogether. K’s akṣaryāṃ is doubtful. It appears to be a feminine genitive plural from the stem akṣarī/i, which is not found in the lexicons. A replaces akṣaryāṃ mṛgayatāṃ with vāllabhyam icchatām, “desirous of women’s favour.” The reading riraṃsatām appears to be an unattested present participle form from the desiderative stem of the √ram, “to be or make content,” i.e. lusting after, lustful. The attested form is found in A.
sevamāno yadaucityād vājīvātyarthavegavān/
nārīs tarpayate tena vājīkaraṇam ucyate// A 6
Potency therapy is called that by which a man, when he habitually uses it, and being possessed of excessive impetuosity like a stallion, satisfies women.
This verse is only found in A, and appears to be a later definition of potency-therapy. Ḍ states that it is a definition of potency-therapy and quotes this unidentified half śloka: vājīvātibalo yena yāty apratihataḥ striyaḥ, “whereby, he, excessively strong like a stallion, goes, unrestrained, to women.”
bhojanāni ca citrāṇi pānāni vividhāni ca/
vācaḥsrotro ’nugāminyas tvaksukhasparśanāni ca// 5 A 7
-srotro ’nugāminyas] -śrotrānugāminyas A; tvaksukhasparśanāni ca] tvacaḥ sparśanās tathā A.
Various kinds of foods and drinks, hearing the voice of a female companion, and soft touches on the skin,
K’s s for ś is indicative of Prakrit and vernacular readings or Newari scribal practices. The variations found in A tend to take the form of rephrasing of pādas rather than one word replacements. This is indicative of emendation. K’s reading of pāda d is more explicit.
yāminī sendutilakā kāminī navayauvanā/
gītaṃ śrotramanohāri tāmbūlaṃ madirāḥ srajaḥ// A 8
the night with a tilaka-like moon (i.e., a full moon), an amorous and fresh young woman, song that is charming to the ear, betal, wine/alcohol, garlands,
This verse occurs only in A and extends the list of sexually arousing items, indicative of Kāmaśāstra literature.
gandhān manojñān rūpāni citrāṇy upavanāni ca/
manasaś cāpratīghāto vyājīkurvanti mānavam/ 6 A 9a-d
gandhān manojñān] gandhā manojñā A; ghāto] vāto K (? Chk mss)
scents pleasing to the mind, variegated forms, pleasure gardens, and a non-repressed mind make a man like a stallion.
taiś tair bhāvair ahṛdyais tu riraṃsor manasi kṣate/
dhvajaḥ pataty adho nṛṇāṃ klaivyaṃ samupajāyate// 7 A 9ef-10ab
dhvajaḥ pataty adho nṛṇāṃ klaivyaṃ samupajāyate] dveṣyastrīsaṃprayogāc ca klaibyaṃ tanmānasaṃ smṛtam/ A
But, in the case of a lustful man’s mind that is impaired by various unpleasant states, men’s impotency occurs when the flag (i.e., penis) falls down.
K seems to have a complete verse, but A has something different in cd: “and because of sex with despicable women, impotency is considered to be mental.” A inserts two pādas that move the topic from impotency as a problem of non-arousal to impotency as a psychological problem.
annair amloṣṇalavaṇair atimātropasevitaiḥ/
saumyadhātukṣayo dṛṣṭaḥ klaivyaṃ tad aparaṃ smṛtaṃ// 8 A 10cd-11ab
annair amloṣṇalavaṇair] kaṭukāmaloṣṇalavaṇair A; amloṣṇa-] amlvauṣṇa- K
Another kind of impotency is known when there is observed a diminished cool dhātu (= semen) because of sour, hot, and salty foods used in excess.
In a, in place of annair amloṣṇa– in K, A has kaṭukālmoṣṇa-, “pungent, sour, hot.”
ativyavāyaśīto vā na ca vyājīkriyārataḥ/
dvajabhaṅgam avāpnoti sa śukhrakṣayahetukam// 9 A 11cd-12ab
sa śukhra-] tac chukra- A
He, who indulges in excessive coitus and does not have recourse to potency-therapy, suffers decay/frustration of the penis because of the loss of semen.
A’s reading in d is based on metre.
meḍhrarogeṇa mahatā marmacchedena vā punaḥ/
klaivyaṃ caturthaṃ bhavati nṛṇāṃ puṃstvopaghātājam// 10 A 12cd-13ab
meḍhrarogeṇa mahatā] mahatā meḍhrarogeṇa A; marmacchedena] marmcachedena K (Ck Mss); klaivyaṃ caturthaṃ bhavati] klaibyam etac caturthaṃ syān A; klaivyam] klivyam K (Ck Mss)
Moreover, a fourth type of impotency that destroys men’s masculinity is caused by severe disease of the penis or by a cut at the marman-point.
A’s readings are based on metre.
janman prabhṛti yaḥ klībaḥ klaibyaṃ tat sahajaṃ smṛtam // A 13cd
balinaḥ kṣubdhamanaso nirodhād brahmacaryataḥ/
ṣaṣṭaṃ klaibyaṃ mataṃ tat tu kharaśukranimittajam// A 14
khara-] sthira- A (Pā).
Impotency that begins at birth is known as congenital impotency. The sixth type of impotency, originating from harsh (old) semen, is believed to be caused by a strong man’s disturbed mind, suppression [of the natural urges], and celibacy.
Ḍ glosses balinaḥ, lit. “of a strong man;” as atisthūlasya, “of an excessively big (or clumsy) man;” kṣubdhamanasaḥ, “whose mind is disturbed,” as calacittasya, “whose mind is unsteady;” nirodhāt, “because of suppression [of the natural urges],” as nirodhāt(d) vātamūtrādīnām, because of suppression of wind and urine, etc;” and he reads kharaṃ(Pā: sthiram), “pungent/harsh (old) as kaṭhinam, “hard/stiff/harsh,” while others read paruṣam, “hard, stiff”.
These two types of impotency are found only in A and could well be supplementary information.
asādhyaṃ sahajaṃ klaivyaṃ marmacchedāc ca yad bhavet/
sādhyānām avaśiṣṭānāṃ kāryo vyājīkaro vidhiḥ// 11 A 15
avaśiṣṭānāṃ] itareṣāṃ tu A; vyājīkaro vidhiḥ] hetuviparyayaḥ A
Both congenital impotency and [impotency] caused by a cut at the marman-point are incurable; for the remaining curable [types of impotency], a formula of potency-therapy should be used.
In c, A’s variant appears to be based on metre; in d, it provides a different meaning: hetuviparyayaḥ, “[a remedy] contrary to the cause,” which implies an allopathic approach to healing.
vidhir vājīkaro yas tu taṃ pravakṣyāmy ataḥ param/ A 16ab
Hence, I shall describe the other type of potency-therapy formula.
This half-verse, found only in A, appears to result from a corrupt reading of the previous pāda in K (11d).
tilamāṣavidārīṇāṃ śālīnāṃ cūrṇam eva ca/
rasair ikṣurasair vāpi maditaṃ saindhavānvitam// 13 A 16cd-17ab
varāhamedasā yuktāṃ ghṛtenotkārikāṃ pacet/
tām bhakṣayitvā gaccheyuḥ puruṣāḥ ṣaṣṭhim aṅganām// 14 A 17cd-18ab
rasair ikṣurasair vāpi] pauṇḍrekṣurasair ārdraṃ; saindhavānvitam] K saindhavānvita A [Ck MSS]; yuktāṃ] yuktaṃ A [Ck MSS]; gaccheyuḥ puruṣāḥ ṣaṣṭhim aṅganām] puruṣo gacchet tu pramadāśatam A; puruṣāḥ] puruṣaḥ K.
One should cook in ghee a utkārikā-cake [made from] the powder of sesame seeds, māṣa-beans, vidārī, and śāli-rice kneaded with [meat] soups or the juices of sugar cane, with the addition of saindhava-salt and combined with boar-fat. After eating it, men could go to sixty women.
For 13c, A has pauṇḍrekṣurasair ārdraṃ, “moistened with the juice of pauṇḍra-sugar cane.” Interestingly, Ḍ reads rasair in 13c and glosses it as māṃsarasaiḥ, “meat soup.” Moreover, he understands the samāsa to be a dandva: ikṣurasaiś ca, “and with the juice of sugar cane,” precisely following K. He glosses utkārikām as lapsikām, “a kind of prepared food.” For 14cd, A has something different: puruṣo gacchet tu pramadāśatam, “a man could go to 100 women.” First, it puts the sentence in the singular number, and secondly, it increases the potency by increasing the number of women, both of which point to a perhaps later interpretation.
vastāṇḍasiddhapayasi bhāvitā na sakṛttilān/
śiśumāravasāpakvāḥ tais tilaiḥ śaṣkulīśubhān/
yaḥ khādet ca pumān gacchet strīṇāṃ śatam apūrvavat// 15 A 18cd-19
vastāṇḍasiddhapayasi] vastāṇḍasiddhe payasi A; vastāṇḍa-] vastrāṇḍa- K [CK MSS]; sakṛttilān] sakṛttilāṃ K; -vasāpakvāḥ] vasā pakvā K [CK MSS]; tais tilaiḥ śaṣkulīśubhān] śaṣkulyas tais tilaiḥ kṛtāḥ A; -śubhān] -śubhāṃ K; pumān] pumāṃ K.
If a man should eat delightful śaṣkulī-cakes, whose sesame seeds have been repeatedly steeped/soaked in milk boiled with goats’ testicles or cooked with porpoises’ fat, he [then] goes to 100 women [each] as if his first.
A has a slightly different reading in pāda d, without changing the meaning. Ḍ states that two formulae are indicated: one with goats’ testicles and the other with the fat of porpoises. Each has milk as the anupāna or after drink.
pippalīlavaṇopetau vastāṇḍau kṣīrasarpisi/
sādhitau bhakṣayed yas tu sa gacchet pramadāśatam// 16 A 20
lavaṇopetau] lavaṇaupetau K [CK Mss], lavaṇopete D; vastāṇḍau] vastāṇḍe A; sādhitau] sādhite A.
He, who should eat two goat’s testicles cooked in ghee and butter, with [a little] pippalī-pepper and salt added, could go to 100 women.
In a,b, and c, K has masculine dual, while A has neuter dual endings. The word aṇḍa is normally in neuter gender, but in K it is understood to be masculine (a characteristic of Buddhist Sanskit). Ḍ explains that butter is made from milk, the small (kaścit) amount of pippalī-pepper and salt is added, and the after drink (anupāna) is cold water (śītalajalam).
māṣapippaliśālīnāṃ yavagodhūmayos tathā/
cūrṇabhāgaiḥ samais tais tu ghṛte pūpalikāṃ pacet// 17 A 21
-pippali-] -pippalī- A.
tāṃ bhakṣayitvā pītvā ca śarkarāmadhuraṃ payaḥ/
naraś caṭakavad gacched daśavārān nirantaram// 18 A 22
ca] tu A.
One should make a pūpalikā-cake by cooking in ghee equal portions of the powder of māṣa-beans, pippali-pepper, śāli-rice grains, barley, and wheat. A man who eats and then drinks [Ḍ as an anupāna, boiled] milk sweetened with sugar, goes like caṭaka-bird/sparrow ten times for coitus without interruption.
cūrṇaṃ vidāryāḥ sukṛtaṃ svarasenaiva bhāvitam/
sarpiḥkṣaudrayutaṃ līḍhvā daśanāryo ’dhirohati// 20 A 23
cūrṇaṃ vidāryāḥ sukṛtaṃ] vidāryāḥ sukṛtaṃ cūrṇam A; sukṛtaṃ] sakṛtaṃ K; -kṣaudra-] -madhu- A; -nāryodhirohati] -nāryo ’dhirohita K [Ck Mss], -strīr adhigacchati A, strīr adhirohati A (var. Pā).
After licking well-ground powder of vidārī, steeped in its own juice and combined with ghee and honey, a man mounts ten women.
In d, K and A (var. Pā) are based on the same reading. Ḍ explains that the milk is the anupāna, which is not indicated in the text.
evam āmalakaṃ cūrṇaṃ svarasenaiva bhāvitam/
śarkarāmadhusarpirbhir yuktaṃ līḍhvā payaḥ pibet/
etenāśītivarṣo ’pi yuveva parihṛṣyati// 21 A 24-25ab
In the same way, after licking āmalaka (emblic myrobalan) steeped in its own juice with the addition of sugar, honey, and ghee, [a man] should drink milk (Ḍ as anupāna). By means of this formula, even a man of eighty years becomes excited like a young boy.
pippalīlavaṇopetau vastāṇḍau gṛhasādhitau/
śiśumārasya vā khādet te tu vyājīkarau bhṛśam/ 22 A 25cd-26ab
lavaṇopetau] lavaṇaupetau K [Ck Mss], lavaṇopete A; vastāṇḍau] vastāṇḍe A; gṛhasādhitau] gṛhasādhite A; khādet te tu] khādet tau K (-1); vyājīkarau] vājīkare A.
A man should eat the two testicles of a goat or a porpoise’s/ crocodile’s eggs prepared /fried in ghee and combined/seasoned with pippalī-pepper and salt. The two are powerful potency therapies.
K again takes aṇḍa in the masculine gender. In c, the word śiśumāra can mean either a porpoise or a crocodile. Since the testicles of a porpoise are not obvious, it probably refers to the eggs (aṇḍa) of a crocodile.
kulīrakurmanakrāṇām aṇḍāny evaṃ tu bhakṣayet/
mahiṣarṣabhabastānāṃ pibec chukrāṇi vā naraḥ// 22 A 26cd-27ab
-bastānāṃ pibec chukrāṇi vā naraḥ] wanting K.
In the same way, he should eat the eggs of crabs (i.e., roe), tortoises, and crocodiles; or he should drink the semen of buffaloes, bulls, and goats.
Part of c and all of d are wanting in K. Ḍ explains that for kulīra, others read gṛhacaṭaka (var. Pā gramacaṭaka), “domestic sparrow;” nakra, “crocodile,” is a kind of fish (matsyabheda), colloquially known as ghaḍiyāl. He goes on to say that aṇḍa, “egg,” is a round support of life (prāṇādhāro vartulaḥ), but not a little testicle (muṣkaḥ); and because of the guru’s instruction the aṇḍāni are the testicles along with the scrotum (tadādhārabhūtāny evāṇḍāni). The eggs of roe of crabs are often served as a salty garnish in Asian cuisines.