From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia


Rsi Parasara was one of the six disciples of Maharsi Atreya and a co-student of sage Agnivesa. He wrote a treatise on medicine but is not available now.

Origin of the Word Parasara

The word Parasara means a posthumous son, but we have no evidence to show that this Parasara was posthumously born.

References About Parasara

  • Medical authors belonging to various ages have quoted substantively from Parasara.
  • He was one of the Rsis invited by Romapada to learn the science of the treatment of elephants.
  • In Hasti- Ayurveda, a treatise on the treatment of elephants, Parasara is referred to as under:
Parasara, Acuda, Matanga and Urmimali were also invited.[1]
  • A treatise called Takra-kalpa, the pharmaceutics of buttermilk is also ascribed to him. There are many specimen quotations from him which are found in many other medical works of repute.
  • Satshabdais used to signify the six treatises on medicine as composed by Agnivesa, Bhela Jatukarna, Harita, Ksarapani and Parasara.
  • Dalhana quotes Parasara.
  • Vagbhata mentions that each of the disciples of Atreya has composed a treatise Arunadatta, while commenting on this line makes it clear by mentioning the names of each author, Parasara being one of them. This commentator quotes Parasara at various places e. g. in the description of various kinds of rice.
  • Hemadri, the other commentator of Vagbhata, in his commentary Ayurvedarasayana quotes Parasara.
  • Cakrapani quotes him in his commentary Ayurveda-dipika.
  • Sivadasa in his Vyakhya-kusumavall quotes him in several places.


Parasara's works have long fallen into oblivion and have shared the fate of many a learned work that has probably been lost for ever. All we learn about his works is from the quotations found in other works. The point that medical authors of repute have quoted him proves that he must have been held as an authority of no ordinary repute in their times.


  1. Hasti Ayurveda 28
  • The Caraka Samhita published by Shree Gulabkunverba Ayurvedic Society, Jamnagar, India