Epistemological Basis of Astro-medical Mandate of Prognosis of Fevers as Mentioned in Sri Lankan Indigenous Medicine

D. L. Perera

Abstract


Astrology was an auxiliary subject associated with Indigenous Medicine (IM) toovercome supra-medical causative factors and perform healing practices inculturalnorms. The aim of this study was to find the epistemological basis of mandatoryperiods of prognosis attributed to 27 kinds of fevers which are originated withinastrological mansion (nakshatra) as mentioned in IM texts. This study was based on fiveIM textbooks belongs to different chronological periods namelySārārthaSangrahaya(SS), Bēsajjamanjusā (BM), Yōgārnavaya (YN), Varyōgāsaraya(VS), Yōgaratnākaraya (YR). They were written in three different languages in differentstyles like Sanskrit (SS), Pali (BM), Sinhala (YN, VR and YR). Primary data werecollected from these five texts and verified them with a Sri Lankan astrological textbookDaivaghnaKāmadhēnu (DK) for astrological facts. Analyzed data were compared withan Indian medical text, VrihatNighantuRatnākara (VNR) andno significanthomogeneousness was revealed.

According to BM reference, this theory was originally revealed by sage Haritaand this cannot be verified because original version of Harita Samhita is not availabledue to antiqueness. Astro-medicallyattributed time durations of 27 fevers were differentin all other texts except YN and VS which had identical data. According to the primarydata, since SS has deviated only in few time durations from previous texts (YN and VS)basically they could be included into one groupwhile BM and YR werereasonablycategorizedintoanother group. Only one point was totally identical in all 5 SriLankan texts with VNR and no interrelation has been demonstrated. For relievingmalicious affects VNR prescribes rituals associated symbolic trees associated withmoon-mansions while SS very clearly dictate specific rituals related to astro-divineethos and spiritual measures. Epistemological basis of Sri Lankan IM knowledge relatedto astro-medical mandates of 27 fevers is exclusively evolved within a differentparadigm from Indian tradition.

Key words: Astromedical, Fever, Epistemological basis, Prognosis, Indigenousmedicine


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