Asceticism and Healing in Ancient India: Medicine in the Buddhist Monastery

by Kenneth G. Zysk


  • ISBN Hardcover: 9789390713325, 9390713323
  • ISBN Paperback: 9789390713011, 9390713013
  • Year of Publication: 2021
  • Edition: 2nd Revised
  • No. of Pages: 306
  • Language: English
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    Since the first edition of Asceticism and Healing in Ancient India appeared, little new evidence has come to light to change the fundamental views offered in it.  After carefully going through the text once again, I tried to clarify fuzzing points and elaborate on underdeveloped ideas.  The importance of medicine in the history of Buddhism cannot be underestimated. This book lays out the basic tenets of a sophisticated medical doctrine and practice that developed in the Buddhist monastic communities from  around the 4th century BCE.  The role of Buddhist medicine in the development of the Sanskrit tradition of Ayurveda is the focus of the study. The results indicate that early Buddhist medicine was fundamental to the formation of ayurvedic medical thinking and practice in ancient India.

    About the Author:

    Kenneth G. Zysk is emeritus professor of Indology and Indian Science at the University of Copenhagen and student of ancient Indian language and culture.  He has written extensively on the history of science and medicine in ancient India and the exchange of knowledge between India and other cultures in antiquity.  He is founder of the Centre for the Study of Indian Science at the University of Copenhagen.

    Reviews:

    Zysk has given us an accurate and lively pricture if medicine in ancient India, for which we have to be most grateful to him. --E.C. Polome

    Zysk really has unearthed a missing link between the hymns and charms of the vedic period and the treatises and handbooks of classical Ayurveda. --Francis Zimmerman