Know Thy Body, Know Thyself: Decoding Knowledge of the Ä€tman in Sanskrit Medical Literature
AbstractThis essay discusses a central assertion in the Caraka Saá¹ƒhitÄ about the origin of mental distress and the eleventh century commentator CakrapÄá¹‡idatta's interpretation of that assertion. We argue that CakrapÄá¹‡i's reading of Caraka is dependent on the polythetic meaning of Ätman in classical India and classical indian medicine, and we suggest that CakrapÄá¹‡i's hermeneutical innovation is to claim that knowledge of oneself as a physical body is primary to, and indeed funadamental for, all other types of knowledge about one's self as an embodied, transmigratory entity.
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