Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University Bulletin, 2016, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 96–103

Medical reference in the epics of ancient India (Ramayana and Mahabharata)

Subotyalov M. A. 1 (Novosibirsk, Russian Federation), Subotyalova A. M. 1 (Novosibirsk, Russian Federation)
1 Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University, Novosibirsk, Russian Federation

The article focuses on the historical and medical phenomenon: the study of medical and biological heritage by examining medical references in literary works of the relevant era. This paper presents the analysis of the ancient Indian epics ("Ramayana" and "Mahabharata"), which are considered as literary sources for the history of medicine in Postvedic period of medical tradition of Ayurveda. Postvedic period of Ayurvedic medicine extends between X and VI centuries BC. These great epics are the most valuable sources of evidence about ancient Indian culture. Due to diverse nature of the epics, they provide a wide range of information about ancient Indian medicine. The study revealed a number of references to medical terms in Sanskrit, historical figures related to doctoring, found the testimony of some pathological symptoms, diseases and methods of treatment. The present findings allow us to indirectly identify the level of knowledge about doctoring in the relevant period. Despite the fact the initial knowledge of medicine in the Vedic literature was based on magic and the supernatural approach, it should be emphasized that later medical knowledge was based on observations and scientific experience. Ayurvedic physicians of past generations provided a significant and logical justification of the traditions of their medical system.

For citation:
Subotyalov M. A., Subotyalova A. M. Medical reference in the epics of ancient India (Ramayana and Mahabharata). Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University Bulletin, 2016, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 96–103. DOI:
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Date of the publication 29.06.2016