The Roots of Ayurveda - Caraka

The Roots of Ayurveda - Caraka - to excesses and by...

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Introduction What is the good life? Here is a perspective from Charaka, a physician who lived in India somewhere around the second century BCE. Charaka is considered to be the author of a book of medicine called Charaka Samhita (“Charaka's Compendium”). He begins his book with some general philosophical statements and then proceeds to give very specific instructions on the ethics of physicians, care givers, diagnosis, and remedies. Brief extracts from the first section of his book are given here; in the following pages, we see his vision of how a human being (the norm was a male in many of these texts) should lead an ideal life, which focuses on righteousness, a healthy body, and a healthy life style, without being “addicted
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Unformatted text preview: to excesses and by avoiding overuse, underuse and abuse of sense objects, actions, or time. Note that from his perspective, life does not stop at death; it also includes the afterlife, which in his cultural milieu is rebirth. Questions: What are the qualities, and pursuits a human being should have to have a "long life, filled with honor?" What are the "three ambitions, three "pillars." three kinds of strength, and the three sources of disease? How have people in other cultures, at other times, articulated the pursuit of happiness?...
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The Roots of Ayurveda - Caraka - to excesses and by...

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