Medical Texts and Manuscripts in Indian Cultural History

This book presents a collection of the latest research on ayurveda by an international group of leading historians of medicine and Indian culture. The book begins with papers by C Pecchia and P A Maas that reveal some of their discoveries resulting from their work on a critical edition of the Vimanasthana of the Carakasamhita. K Preisandanz presents a study of the early phases of formal Indian philosophy in the Carakasamhita arising out of the same project. D Wujastyk reports on the recent discovery of a Nepalese manuscript of the Sushrutasamhita that pushes back our physical evidence for the text by almost a thousand years. A Cerulli discusses the interplay of medicine, government, and religion in an 18th-century Sanskrit allegorical play. K G Zysk discusses the Siddha tradition of medicine and alchemy in Tamil Nadu, and his co-authored chapter with T Yamashita reports on their progress in editing and translating an early commentary on the Carakasamhita. M Sankaranarayana discusses the relationship of clinical practice and ayurvedic theory in modern Kerala, and P Ram Manohar explores the combinatorics of Indian pharmacology in an innovative 13th-century Keralan ayurvedic text. The meticulous studies in this book advance the boundaries of the modern knowledge of ayurveda. At the same time, they demonstrate a range of original methodologies for deepening our understanding of this scholarly, traditional medicine of South Asia, while also directly speaking to the unique problems presented by the modern reception of Sanskrit medical works after centuries of manuscript transmission.