The first ever prosthetic leg


Ramaswamy Sastry

 

A prosthetic leg is an artificial leg used below the knee by amputees to regain normal movement. The first ever reference to a prosthetic leg is found in Rigveda.

Mandalam 1.116.15

चरित्रं हि वेरिवाच्छेदि पर्णमाजा खेलस्य परितक्म्यायाम् ।

सद्यो जङ्घामायसीं विश्पलायै धने हिते सर्तवेप्रत्यधत्तम् ।।

Mandalam 1.117.11

सूनोर्मानेनाश्विना गृणाना वाजं विप्राय भुरणा रदन्ता ।

अगस्त्ये ब्रह्मणा वावृधाना सं विश्पला नासत्यारिणीतम् ।।

Mandalam 1.118.8

अमुञ्चतं वर्तिकामंहसो निः प्रति जङ्घा विश्पलाया अधत्तम् ।

युवं श्वेतं पेदव इन्द्रजूतमहिहनमश्विनादत्तमश्वम् ।।

Mandalam 10.39.8

युवं विप्रस्य जरणामुपेयुषः पुनः कलेरकृणुतं युवद्वयः ।

युवं वन्दनमृश्यदादुदूपथुर्युवं सद्यो विश्पलामेतवे कृथः ।।

 

Aswins are divine physicians. There was a king by the name Khela. His wife was Vishpala. Her leg got cut off in a battle. Agastya was Khela’s purohita. Upon being praised by him with mantras, Aswins came in the night and gave Vishpala prosthetic leg made of iron.


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