The Medical Practices of Yogins in Medieval India. The Case of the Dharmaputrikā

19.10.2017 18:00 - 19:30

Christèle Barois | AyurYog ERC Project, Institut für Südasien- Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde, Universität Wien

As a contribution to the study of the relationship between yoga and āyurveda, two separate domains of knowledge in the Sanskrit textual tradition, I will present the Dharmaputrikā, an unpublished text composed in the 10-11th century at the latest, and preserved in two 12th century Nepalese manuscripts of the so-called “Śivadharma corpus”. Comprising about 340 verses that are divided into sixteen chapters of unequal length, the Dharmaputrikā forms a closed and highly systematic exposé on yoga. It provides us with new elements concerning the relationship between yoga and āyurveda in medieval India, as it fully integrates medical knowledge and practices into the yogic process. By doing so, the Dharmaputrikā sheds light on the appropriation and adaptation of elements of classical Indian medicine by yogins towards the end of the first millenium. This remarkable feature is manifest in chapter 4, which mentions the appearance of diseases due to excessive practice (atyabhyāsa) in the course of the conquest of the five bodily winds (pañcajaya); in chapter 7, which deals with diseases as “obstacles produced through carelessness“ (pramādajāntarāya); and in chapter 10, named yogacikitsā, “therapy in the context of yoga”, which explains the method to treat this category of obstacle represented by disease.

Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde
Seminarraum 1, Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde, AAKH, Spitalgasse 2, Hof 2.7, 1090 Wien