By Anthony Cerulli
Looks at narrative in the heritage of ayurvedic clinical literature and the views on sickness and patienthood that emerge.
In ayurvedic clinical perform, the ways that and the explanations why humans develop into sick are usually defined with tales. This ebook explores the types and capabilities of narrative in Āyurveda, India’s classical clinical process. taking a look at narratives relating fever, miscarriage, and the so-called king’s ailment, Anthony Cerulli examines how the clinical narrative shifts from scientific to narrative discourse and the way tales from spiritual and philosophical texts are tailored to the scientific framework. Cerulli discusses the ethics of sickness that emerge and gives a family tree of patienthood in Indian cultural historical past. utilizing Sanskrit scientific resources, the ebook excavates the function, and eventually the centrality, of Hindu spiritual suggestion and perform to the improvement of Indian drugs within the classical period as much as the eve of British colonialism. as well as its cultural and historic contributions to South Asian reports, the scientific narratives mentioned within the ebook give a contribution clean views on medication and ethics usually and, particularly, notions of well-being and illness.
“Somatic Lessons provides significantly to our figuring out of Āyurveda … the vast narrative sections of the texts which are Cerulli’s fundamental problem were regularly undervalued within the scholarly list. Cerulli demonstrates the decisive value of those narrative sections in not just offering a cultural and spiritual backdrop to those texts, yet in displaying how they actively control the full method and are vital in themselves. This publication is extremely unique in suggestion and supply, and intelligently addresses a major zone of Indian scientific and cultural history.” — Frederick M. Smith, coeditor of Modern and international Āyurveda: Pluralism and Paradigms
“Somatic Lessons is among the most attractive items of scholarship that i've got learn lately. it's good written, transparent, and illuminating. The paintings is a most crucial piece of scholarship in reports of Sanskrit clinical literature and its dating to Sanskrit brahmanical literature and is sort of bound to create a lot dialogue in numerous educational circles.” — Kenneth Zysk, writer of Religious drugs: The historical past and Evolution of Indian Medicine
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Additional info for Somatic Lessons: Narrating Patienthood and Illness in Indian Medical Literature
Yet, they are often blatantly disregarded by practitioners and scholars of Āyurveda. During periods of fieldwork in South India in 2003–05, 2008, and 2011 at Government Ayurvedic Colleges, I frequently met students and practitioners of Āyurveda who dismissed the narrative tradition in the Sanskrit texts out of hand as useless to their work. There is no question, as I demonstrate in the chapters on fever, miscarriage, and the king's disease, that the stories in the ayurvedic sources have long and complex lives in religious literature (Atharvaveda, Mahābhārata, Purāṇas), moral-political-legal science (dharmaśāstra), and the science of statecraft (arthśāstra) that well exceed the medical context.
Such ubiquity of knowledge is what sets apart the narrative portions of the Sanskrit medical literature from the tradition's chart talk. Narrative medical explanations hence attend to the medically untrained community of patients, while at the same time they add social and moral weight to the medical compilers' rationalizations of disease and health. Without fail, the medical narratives of Āyurveda assign substantial weight to the actions of the gods and goddesses and demons that generally “give birth” to the diseases I discuss in the following chapters.
S. Department of Education Fulbright-Hays DDRA program, the Martin Marty Center of the University of Chicago Divinity School, the Committee on Southern Asian Studies at the University of Chicago, and a Faculty Research Grant from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. At the Colleges, I would also like to thank former Provost, Teresa Amott, and the three alternating chairs of my department, Michael Dobkowski, Susan Henking, and Richard Salter, each of whom has enthusiastically supported my work. I owe an extra-special thank you to everyone at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at the University College London, who generously hosted me on two extended periods of research.