World Sight Day
World Sight Day is the annual eye awareness day held on the second Thursday of October, for global attention on Blindness and Vision impairment.
Sight, Drishti, Etymology
The word ‘sight’ comes from the old English word Gesicht, meaning ‘faculty to see’.
In the Samskrt, the word used for Sight is Drishti.
The Science of Eye treatments, Ophthalmology has been in vogue in India from time immemorial. The word Ophthalmology comes from the Greek word ophthalmus, meaning ‘eye’ and logia meaning ‘Study of’. Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine that deals with the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eye.
Rishi Nimi Videha
One of the earliest Ophthalmologist in Ayurveda is Rishi Nimi Videha. He lived about 22 generations before Janaka, the father of Sita. We have been able to date the times of Rama, Sita and Janaka to be around 5100 BCE, i.e 7100 years back.
More on the Dates and the Historicity of Rama, Sita and Janaka in our book, ‘Historical Rama’.
As Rama, Sita and Janaka lived 7000 years back, Rishi Nimi who was 22 generations before them, would have lived around 8000 years ago.
King Janaka and Sita
This tells us that Ophthalmology has been studied and practised in India since last 8000 years.
Susruta, the father of surgery in Ayurveda, compiled his treatise Susruta Samhita which deals with all surgical procedures refers to Rishi Nimi as Adi Bhishag, meaning the first doctor.
Sushruta Susruta Samhita
Susruta and his shishya, disciple excelled mainly in cataract surgery, its detailed step by step process, the bladder surgery and dissection procedures.
Susruta Performing surgery, a painting
A step by step procedure as per Ayurveda method extracted from Susruta Samhita
In Tanjavore, a ruler Serfoji Maharaj who was the 7th descendant of Chatrapathi Shivaji had done research on sight, eye care and Ophthalmologic surgeries.
Among the Shaivite saints, there are 63 saints called Nayanmars. One among them is Kannappa Nayanar who donated both his eyes to Lord Shiva. Why and How he donated his eyes is a famous lore of this land. The kshetra where this event took place is Kalahasti near Tirupati.
Kannappa Nayanmar donating his eyes to Lord Shiva
This huge world exists for us through our small eyes.
Let us save and donate our eyes
Let us save our eyes when we are alive. Let us donate our eyes so that others who are not so fortunate can see with our eyes after our times. The land of India is well know for Dhana, charity. Netra Dhana is one of the foremost.