This is the only surviving premodern painting which is depicting the students of the Sushruta school of ancient India (6th century BC).These students were trained in Vedas at the age of 8, then they were trained as surgeons for 6 yrs and taught the principles of Sushruta Samhita. They are shown performing mock surgery on water melons and cucumbers. As such, they are earliest recorded surgeons of World. This was found in an old manuscript of Sushruta Samhita which dates back to 600 years.
This illustration is from Odisha Museum.
This master literature remained preserved for many centuries exclusively in the Sanskrit language which prevented the dissemination. of the knowledge to the west and other parts of the world. Later the original text was lost and the present extant one is believed to be a revision by the Buddhist scholar Vasubandhu (circa AD 360-350). In the eighth century A.D., ‘Sushruta Samhita' was translated into Arabic as Kitab-Shaw Shoon-a-Hindi and Kitab-i-Susrud. The translation of ‘Sushruta Samhita' was ordered by the Caliph Mansur (A.D.753 -774).11 One of the most important documents in connection with ancient Indian medicine is the Bower Manuscript, a birch-bark medical treatise discovered in Kuchar (in Eastern Turkistan), dated around AD 450 and is housed in the Oxford University library.12 The first European translation of ‘Sushruta Samhita' was published by Hessler in Latin and into German by Muller in the early 19th century. The first complete English translation was done by Kaviraj Kunja Lal Bhishagratna in three volumes in 1907 at Calcutta.1
The treatise's insight, accuracy and detail of the surgical descriptions are most impressive. In the book's 184 chapters, 1,120 conditions are listed, including injuries and illnesses relating to ageing and mental illness. The compendium of Sushruta includes many chapters on the training and practice of surgeons. The Sushruta Samhita describes over 120 surgical instruments.5,13 300 surgical procedures and classifies human surgery in 8 categories.