Asceticism and Healing in Ancient India: Medicine in the Buddhist Monastery
The rich Indian medical tradition is usually traced back to Sanskrit sources, the earliest of which cannot much antedate the common era. In this book Kenneth Zysk shows that Buddhist scriptures some centuries older than this contain abundant information about medical practice, and are our earliest evidence for a rational approach to medicine in India. He argues that Buddhism and the medical tradition were mutually supportive: that Buddhist monks and people associated with them contributed to the development of medicine, while their skills as physical as well as spiritual healers enhanced their reputation and popular support. Drawing on a wide range of textual, archaeological, and secondary sources, Zysk first presents an overview of the history of Indian Medicine in its religious context. He then examines primary literature from the Pali Buddhist Canon and from the Sanskrit treatises of Bhela, Caraka, and susruta. By close comparison of these two bodies of literature Zysk convincingly shows how the theories delineated in the medical classics actually became practice.
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affliction Ancient India ascetic Asvins Atharvaveda Atreya ayurvedic medicine Bhaisajyaguru BhCi Bhela bile bodhisattvas body bowels brahmanic Buddha Buddhaghosa Buddhist monastery Buddhist monastic medicine Buddhist monks CaCi Caraka and Susruta Caraka Samhita CaSu century c.e. Chapter Chattopadhyaya Chinese clarified butter codified Commentary common era cure Dalhana decoction Delhi disease drugs early ayurvedic early medical treatises early Vedic period emetic empirico-rational enumeration Filliozat Four Noble Truths healers heterodox Hindu humors included Indian medicine involving JTvaka king kustha Linn literature magical magico-religious Mahayana materia medica medical doctrines medical knowledge medical lore medical texts medical tradition medicinal foods mentioned Mulasarvastivada myrobalan occurs Pali canon peccant physicians plant practices purgative rectal fistula religious remedy Rgveda ritual salts sangha Sanskrit Sarvastivada snakebite sources sramanas SuCi suffered Susruta Susruta Samhita SuSu Sutra SuUtt techniques therapeutics therapy Theravada Tibetan trans treatment tree types urine Vedic period versions Vinaya wind wound Zysk