Wednesday, 1 June 2016

The First Caesarian Operation

For Illustrative Purpose Only
INDIAN history and mythology is replete with instances and incidences that have a strong resemblance to modern medical miracles. The strong proponents of ancient India being a lighthouse of scientific achievements, point out Lord Ganesh, with his elephant head fitted onto a body in human form as being an ancient example of organ transplant. Modern science has just now started to transplant hands and legs. Another oft quoted example is that of Gandhari with her hundred sons and one daughter being test tube babies rather than biological full term babies conceived naturally. We also have the Mahabharata war being live telecast as an ongoing commentary by Sanjay to Dhritarashtra. Whether these are true or just symbolic, one cannot say in today’s day and age. But no one can take away the seed of the idea that was in the minds of the recorders of these great epics. The ideas of live telecast, babies being grown outside the body and organ transplants by themselves are miraculous.

Post some ancient examples; there are no famous examples of medical medicals or operations or any such scientific achievement in the recorded history for quite some time. But one example from around 30 BC is that of the birth of Bindusara. It is an example that is well recorded in history and gives the origin of the name Bindusara itself.

Emperor Chandragupta had founded his vast empire by a systematic plan by which he took over kingdom by kingdom the entire land mass of India. As a conqueror he had a vast number of enemies who would always be on the lookout of ways to assassinate the Emperor. The usual tactics in those times was through hired assassins, ambush during travels, seduction through courtesans and the most popular poison.

Fortunately Chandragupta had an able security team and the master of strategy Chanakya himself. The Emperor had an elaborate security detail that used a combination of secrecy, decoys and thorough background checks for people coming to meet the Emperor. But all of these were not sufficient to protect the Emperor from that one drop of poison that may come through known or unknown hand through his food or through a small pinprick or a dart.

Chanakya had a solution for this. Right since the time that Chanakya took over as the mentor of the Emperor when he was a small boy, he was fed minute amounts all the most common poisons as part of his food. Chandragupta’s body was now so used to the small doses of poison that his body started to become immune to the poisons. A normal dose sufficient to kill a man would have very little effect on Chandragupta by the time he became Emperor. But this arrangement was always kept a secret between Chanakya, Chandragupta and the closest of his bodyguards.

Once when Chandragupta’s wife was heavily pregnant, she walked into the room of Chandragupta and saw some food lying on the side tables. Without knowing that the food was spiked with poison she tasted some of the food. The poison started to spread through the veins of the queen and she fell unconscious. Chandragupta came in and upon seeing his wife in unconscious state straightaway asked for Chanakya to be summoned.

Chanakya immediately understood the problem. He could give the antidote to the mother and save her but by that time it would have reached the babies delicate system and it would have died inside. Or else the other option was to immediately cut open the womb of the queen and get the baby out before the mother’s blood and the poison reached the baby. Faced with this alternative, Chanakya give importance to the baby’s life rather than the mothers. He cut open the belly and accessed the womb and thus Bindusara was born. The poison had just started to reach the baby and left a small blue mark on the baby’s forehead. This bindi mark was the origin of the name Bindusara. The first recorded cesarean operation had just been performed and the baby was safe though the mother died.

How did the death of the Queen affect Chandragupta? Who replaced the queen and took away the affections of Chandragupta? How did this affect his empire and his close friends? And how did the devils choice that Chanakya made, came back to haunt him. What effect did this entire episode have on Rudra our protagonist? To know more about this you will need to grab a copy of the forthcoming historical fiction, the page turner “The Indus Challenge”. Soon to hit the bookstores.

1 comment:

  1. I really like this article. It contains a lot of useful information.