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All the language deposited upon things by time is pushed back into the very last category, in a sort of supplement in which discourse is allowed to recount itself and record discoveries, traditions, beliefs, and poetical figures. Michael Taussig has alerted us to the dual role that magic plays in societies on the fringe of capitalism. Sengupto, Ibid. Michel Forcault, while recounting the defining moment of 'natural history'promulgated by scholars like Linnaeus,68 described its arangement of discourse according to the following plan: Both these figures are easily discerned in Nogendronath's70 text as well. There are lists of names, in different languages, followed by a physical description of the plant in terms of the type of leaves, flowers, appearance, height etc.
By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, though, the consensus had emerged that the Islamic rule was unquestionably the watershed moment. The Ayurbed Shommiloni, yet another influential journal, or R. Chopra the Nationalist doctor, all designate the decline of Buddhist power contrapuntally as the moment of decline of Ayurveda.
One of the most outre statements of this position is seen in Rai Bahadur Dr. Harinath Ghosh's article, Deshio Chikitsha Shasktr-er Daabi, in the very first issue of the journal in The narrowing of the sources of legitimation of indigenous medicine is obviously an advance strategy to the slightly later attempts to professionalize indigenous medicine, yet there is more to it as well.
By seeking to divorce fact from fable, magic from madicine, a more insidious attempt can be perceived here: Michael Taussig has alerted us to the dual role that magic plays in societies on the fringe of capitalism.
The enchantment of things, in this case things medical: Yet the fetishism of capitalist and precapitalist societies are qualitatively different.
While the fetishism in pre-capitalistic economies embodies the very social relationship within which the value of the things are produced, capitalistic societies fetishise things with an aura of apparent naturalness and neutrality, which is the result of a splicing off of men and the things they produce. In Mirza Nathan's chronicle for instance, he fell ill and started vomiting blood while on a campaign to subjugate the recalcitrant Assamese to the Mughal yoke, as a consequence of the witchcraft practised by his rival Mir Shams.
Subsequently on writing to Mian Aqil Muhammed in Dhaka, the Mian's 'medium' controlled spirit] engages in a fight with that let loose by Shams, finally overpowering it and turning back on Shams himself. July - December mentions amulets worn for not only cures of diseases, but reunion with friends, passing examinations, seducing members of the opposite sex, getting a job etc.
In short, medical narratives in precapitalistic societies are seldom troubled with the distinction between the social and the biological, thus implicating medicine inextricably within a matrix of societal relations. This in the mid-nineteenth century is also partially true of 'western' medicine, and is not unique to indigenous medicine.
In fact the attempt to rationalize 'indigenous' medicine should be seen together with a similar movement withing the western tradition as well. Roy Porter, in his fascinating study of pre-modern English quackery, has mentioned the charismatic nature of medical practice,3' while Nicholas Jewson commenting on the same period has developed the notion of pre-modern medicine being 'patient-centred.
This superseding of a personalized medicine for an abstracted and de-personalized world of bourgeois medicine, is what the trinitarian frame seeks to achieve. Despite the common framing strategy though, there were two clearly marked trajectories along which the attempted rationalization proceeded amongst Indian authors. While those like Ghosh and Ghopra feel 'compelled to accept' that - both Unani and Ayurbed failed to develop effective concepts of 'Anatomy Sorirtotwo , Physiology Norodehototwo , Nosology Rogtotwo or Chemistry Rosayon ,' which should be imported from 'western' medicine,33 others such as the members of the Nikhil Bongiyo Boidyo Protinidhi Mondol, want to completely reject western medicine and derive its rejuvenating impulse solely from classical Ayurbed.
Proponents of both trajectories agreed though that the decline of contemporary Ayurbed was largely the result of unlettered practitioners, who had not learnt the trade at the feet of a guru well versed in the classical texts.
In , the editors of Ayurbed Shonjiboni, one of the first Bengali Ayurbedic journals, Bhogoboti Proshonno and Hori Proshonno Sen for example singled out the 'illiterate practitioners' as a prime target for their ire.
The Chikitsha Shommiloni, in is even more explicit in its use of strong language against 'quacks and illiterate practitioners. Chaudhuri at the Town Hall, called for similar measures for indigenous medicine to ensure that Boddis and Hakims in future learnt their craft through a pedagogical apparatus similar to western medicine and based on set texts and taught by recognised physicians.
Thereby they set in motion a host of manoeuvres that sought to re-position the older texts as the basis of the system, arguing for a common pan-Indian Sanskrit root and proceed to Bengali Ayurbed: Texts and Practices 21 dis-enfranchise all those who practised Ayurvedic medicine which wqas non- textual, non-Sanskritic and thereby more often than not non-elite.
In time hence the narratives of antiquity start speaking of the Ayurbed as not merely a system, but inded a single lost text. Thus Mitter speaks of the 'Ayur Veda' as the 'most venerable medical authority of the Hindus,' Calling it further a 'treatise of one thousand sections. Chopra similarly calls it the 'foundation stone of the ancient medical science of India.
Bala's comment that, "Ayurveda, as we know it, is presented as a complete text as were the earlier Vedas," is this a fulfilment of the project that began with Mitter. Even the glimmer of hope that flickers in the active verb 'presented,' is extinguished later in the same paragraph when we are told that some time slightly after post-Vedic age, the 'Machiavellian' Brahmans seeing the fruitlessness of their attempts to thwart medical knowledge appropriated and codified it thus.
The question that Bala's national history never asks is 'who knows it as such'? Have the other meanings of Ayurbed. Ajay Skaria has brilliantly demonstrated the fetishization of writing in the colonial context. Furhter 'logocentrism,' Skaria points out, is "often a ferocious critique of contemporary society The framing strategy as well its mythic productions, pre-eminent among which was the lost book of eight sections, all sought to establish a bourgeois medical system that removed the very marks of the political contexts that produced it i.
Yet this was not as easily and cleanly achieved as might be apprehended from the above account.
Several rear-guard actions were fought to resist this new antiquity, and in various dark corners there continued to lurk the shadows of the un-buried ghosts of non-elite, non-textual, more recent pasts.
Ironically for the historian then, the challenge lies in resurrecting those ghosts from within the very texts which were destined to be tombs raised on the death of them. The magical or the fabulous for instance, keeps haunting the very loxts that sought to exorcise it from its pale. The Ayurbed Shommiloni, for example publishes an article by one Kobiraj Brojobollobh Ray about a case of bhoote- pnoa [spirit possession] where a young widowed niece of a much respected 22 The Calcutta Historical Journal.
July - December Bengali gentleman was given up as incurable by three allopathic doctors as well as the Kobiraj, before a lower class man [nimno sreni-r lok], a Roja [exorcist] succeeded in curing the girl. The learned Kobiraj attempts to make sense of this seemingly irrational phenomenon by invoking explicatory paradigms as far removed as Christian theology and Nyaya epistemology.
He thus mentions, that women are especially prone to possession, since in general it is the ritually polluted [oshuchi] and impure [lupto Shoto] people who are most susceptible.
Not only does the dis-enfranchised and dis-owned subaltern practitioner make a triumphant return into the medical narrative but the latent equations of power that imprison the youthful widow in a life of few joys also returns through the fabulous into the very bastion of a publication established to propagate a rationalised, textualised and antique Ayurbedic tradition.
Curiously most of the scholars who have studied the revival of 'traditional' medicine in 19th Century Bengal, have tended to focus on the institutional innovations, such as the Tol Traditional school established by Gangadhar Ray of Shaidabad Berhampore or the sale of standardised medicines by Gangaprasad Sen, and later still the nexus between the revival and the nationalist movement; what is largely glossed over is the immense corpus of texts that were produced in cheap prints throughout the late 19th and early 20th Century.
It is mostly with these texts that we shall concern ourselves in the present essay. There are clearly three distinct trajectories that are visible in these publications. The first, and the arguably the most visible of the lot, are those which purport to be translations of old Sanskrit classics. The second, looks curiously like the pharmacopoeias of western medicine, i.
Finally, the third category comprises of an eclectic collection of cures for various diseases arranged according to deseases.
Not that the lines between these three types were watertight or unimpeachable, one often encountered texts such as say, the RajBollobiyo Drobyoguunoh of Rajendranathnath Sen39, which, though a list of substances and their respective compositions and hence a member of the second category in our typology, claims to be a translation of an old classic.
Or, for example, consider Debendronath Ray's40 bilingual text that claimed to be a Materia Medica entrenched within the western medical tradition but included a discussion on the theory of fever. Thus the point we would reiterate at the very beginning is that the typology that we construct is largely heuristic and should bot be taken to be three different corpuses independent of each other. Bengali Ayurbed i Frames. By nominating a particular text as being a 'translation', a sign is set up.
A sign whose referent is deferred to another chronotope, in a 'space', that is both removed in time and place from the present context. Thus the very act of nomination entails a denial of the present. Yet since the act of signification is in itself entrenched in its own sociohistorical provenance, this denial is largely tropological. Thus what we call 'discrepancies' here, is largely an attempt to retrieve this denied present in place of the defaulting anterior presence of a past referent.
We are also hopeful that this act of retrieval shall in itself shed some light upon the reasons for the deployment of this trope of denial.
It is also perhaps important to reiterate that this retrieval in not merely a retrieval of a temporal axis of'presence', but indeed also a spatial context. Bakhtin's idea of a chronotope is helpful here, in that it refuses to make a rigid distinction between time and space, and views the two as an amalgam. Thereby allowing us to pry open the distance between both the referred past in which these 'authentic originals' are situated and the contemporaneity of the act of translation; as also that between the extra-local homogenised space of 'antiquity'and the materiality of colonial Bengal.
Throughout our period a number of alleged translations of old Sanskrit Ayurbedic classics make their appearance. Most prominent amongst these are the 'translations' of the Chorok Somhita, the Shushruto Shomhita and the Madhab Nidaan. One way of mapping the sovereignty of an alternate tradition is to trace the anomalies that creep into an alleged translation, and thenceforth to trace the recurrence of the same anomaly in later texts.
Gangadhar Roy's41 Chorok Shomhita is held to be the first Bengali redaction of the text. But in , A. Hoernle42, an Orientalist scholar of Ayurbedic anatomy had pointed out that there were severe discrepancies between the number of bones described as comprising the human body in the available Sanskrit MSS of Chorok and the redaction of Gangadhar.
Comparing most of the late 19th Century Bengali translations to these lists, we find that despite minor differences there is a close adherence to Gangadhar's version. In fact most of the discrepancies in the Gangadhar translation re-appear in these later texts. Looking at Shotish Chondro Shorma's B. SholakaAsroyand Prishtho, instead of the single set in Chorok; there is also an anal bone called Gujhyo, which again is lacking in the original; similarly again a cluster of two bones called Kurcho are mentioned which are absent in Chorok's text; also present are 2 cheek bones called Gondo, three nasal bones called Ghonaland 17 breast bones, all of which though present 24 The Calcutta Historical Journal.
July - December in Gangadhar are absent in Chorok. Though Gangadhar's version appeared in , Obinash Chondro Kobirotno's44 edition in , Debendronath and Upendronath Sengupto's45 edition in , and subsequently another edition in , all restate the same figure.
Clearly, the repetition of the same errors over and over again point to a significant degree of inter-textuality, if not the existence of an alternate and un-stated canon. In fact this alternate canon became so far hegemonic by the end of the nineteenth century that when Jibonanondo Bidyasagor, whose version of the text had been true to the original, released a second edition in , he changed it to match the set proposed by Gangadhar, apoligising for the errors in the earlier edition.
Another aspect of these texts which are of seminal importance but shows considerable variations are the renditions of the Tridosh pathology. In , Vaidyaratna Captain G. This became a sort of canon for all later committees appointed for similar purposes and was not only appended to the Report of the Government of India Committee in , but also got its author co-opted as a member of the said Committee. In the memorandum Murti outlines the fundamentals of the Ayurbedictradition.
While discussing the Ayurbedic theory of pathology, Murti writes, The three Dhatus knwon as Vata, Pitha and Kapha are the three elementary and fundamental units or principles on which the building and sustenance of the body depend When they are in normal equilibrium, it is healthy; and ill-health when they are not, in which case the Dhatus are technically known as Doshes literally Faults; this is because in this condition they give rise to Faults or ill-health in the body.
Also noteworthy here is the fact that Doshes and Dhatus are essentially identical. What in its normal condition of equilibrium is called a Dhatu, becomes a Dosh when it is in the unnatural condition of dis-equilibrium. On the other hand in Shotish Chondro's text for example, it is said, Depending on the type of their actions, there are three types of substances. Some substances are such that, by their effect, they bring the three Doshes Doshthroy namely, Baayu, Pittwo and Kaaph into equilibrium.
Some other are such that their effect give rise to Doshes in Dhatus such as Blood Rokto John Marshall, who visited Bengali Ayurbed: Texts and Practices 25 India in the 17th Century for instance is told by Nilkanth, a 'doctor from Hughli' that there are seven Dhatus which are distinct from the Doshes. Yet elsewhere Marshall is told, that there are seven Dhatus and they are identical with the Doshes, since each Dhatu has a corresponding Dosh.
Though usually Dhatus are rarely used as diagnostic indices, occasionally even this happens.
Wise for instance, who asw we know depnded mainly on Bengali interlocutors such as, AbhaycharanTarapanchanan and Madhusudan Gupta, to arrive at a comprehensive view of mid-nineteenth century Ayurbed, notes that, When the principal humours dhatus are deranged, the disease is called by the name of othe humour affected; such as rasaja chyle Yet even here, when they are indeed used as diagnostic causes, they are no longer treated as being composed of other doshes.
Thus this much at least is safe to contend that, even those interpretations of classical theory that did in fact use the shoptodhatus as diagnostic causes, still continued to equate doshes and dhatus. The distinction posited by Shotish Chondro, is hence completely novel as is the subsequent relationship of inherence of the dosh in the dhatu.
In the Bengali texts we repeatedly find this laxity in the use of technical terms. Yet there remains a second possible reading of Shotish Chondro's formulation i.
This reading too in fact has a genealogy of its own as can be seen from the following comments of T. Wise,49 who significantly collected his material, from Bengali interlocutors and even his footnotes are occasionally given in the Bangla script.
According to Wise, The air vayu , bile pitta , and phlegm kofa , are the three pillars or supports of the system Could it be then that 'blood' as a humour was appropriated from Unani Tibb?
Though a seductively easy solution, there are other facts to be considered. Comparing the usage of Katyayana and Patanjali on the doshes with the usage to be found in the Buddhist Pali canon Hartmut Scharfe has mentioned that, "though Katyayana and Patanjali share the expressions vatika, paittikas, slaismika and sannipatika with the classical medical texts, the meanings of these terms do not match exactly those found 26 The Calcium Historical Journal.
Later still from around the middle of the 6th Century A. The manuscripts contain three medicinal tracts.
While one might argue that phlegm and wind are undesirable intruders phlegm was not listed as part of the body in the older Vedic ritual texts, though it was in the Satapatha- brahmana and in Buddhist texts , this cannot be said about bile, which has always been considered part of a healthy body [i. The ambiguous role of the blood - often lining up with the dosas while frequently listed as one of the bodily elements dhatus -has been discussed by several later Ayurvedic authors.
It is well beyond the scope of this paper to investigate if the divergence between the Pali canon and the conceptions of Katyayana and Patanjali, was caused due to the regional differences or difference in dialects. Yet the fact that there were alternative views available within the Ayurbedic tradition, which has strong similarities with the Unani tradition, may point towards a complex process of mimetic legitimation.
A unilinear developmental model is premised on there being discrete and unified traditions in contact with one another from which mutual borrowing may take place through various dialogic transactions.
An alternate model to conceptualise similarities between different traditions which exist in close proximity to each other would be to see all traditions as being comprised of plural possibilities. Locked in close proximity these traditions might then accent those readings which are common to both, in an attempt to derive legitimation from each other.
The neighbouring traditions are thus locked into a mimetic vertigo, where each incorporate elements of each other's narratives thus mutually drawing legitimation from each other. Elsewhere again, while discussing the action and growth of Baathic fever, one of the eight types of fevers recognised by the Ayurbedic tradition, Shotish Chondro writes, The effected Baayu then enters into the stomach amashoy and combines with the digestive fire jothoraagni , henceforthe it depends upon the first product of the digestive process i.
Texts and Practices 27 What then is the relation posited between the Dhatu and the dosh? It is definitely not one of the former being constituted or made up by the later. For then how can the dosh 'depend' upon the dhatu? Not only do we have yet another example here of the extremely loose usage of the word Dhatu, but more importantly there is talk of the disease causing the effected or polluted Baayu actually "entering' the stomach and then moving to different places in the body from thereon.
But as we have heard Murti tell us, Vayu is supposed to be an elementary and fundamental building block of the body. What then does it mean to talk of its as entering here or leaving there? Is it not then being visualised as a localised agent causing disease? We do not wish to argue here that the idea of a motile Baayu was novel to Ayurbed in the late 19th century, indeed Dr. Arthur Ewing had spokent of five vital breaths mentioned in the Yajur and Atharva Veda way back in What was novel was the attempt to use the language of plural winds to communicate ideas of a localised malady within the body, rather than a generalised malady caused by an imbalance of the three doshes.
Instead of speaking terms of ill-health caused by an imbalance in the body's constituents, it suggests a series of mobile but definitely localised sites that are stimulated to an extent whre their potential malevolence becomes activated and then circulates through various paths to different parts of the body causing ill-health. Consider for example this archetypical formulation from Saroda Choron Sen's B.
Since it is when they get mischievous taht the body is polluted. When they are mischievous to the point whre thay can cause disease the three doshes travel by various paths to different pahs of the body, and give rise to ill-health and suffering While this might be true for the Ayurvedic practices studied by her, it is in need of the Ayurbedic discourse of colonial Bengali Ayurbed to localise pathogens in an anatomical space i.
Further this anatomical space was not identical to the 28 The Calcutta Historical Journal. July - December anatomical space of the bio-medical tradition. Another important qualification to keep in mind in this regard is the fact that denotative speech which localises its referent in an anatomical space can still be metaphorical in describing its referents, such as, for example, in the case of the pulse, where while the three doshes to be felt in the act of diagnosis are clearly described metaphorically, the language is still denotative in giving detailed and localised directions as to where and how to feel for the doshes.
In fact the large-scale use of birechon purges and bomon vomiting , further suggests a clear division between the anatomical space and the outer space. In fact, zysk commenting on the development of anatomical knowledge in Ayurbed has mentioned that despite efforts of scholars such as Hoernle and Filliozat, it is difficult to identify the exact organs known to the authors of the Sutras B.
Though the Charok Shomhita technically predates the Shushruto, yet the extant versions of the Chorok are mostly held to be dating at best from the 8th Century, when Dhrirabal62 redacted and substantially added to the original, further we have already seen that the Chorok used in Bengal was Gongadhor Ray's version which displayed defintie evidence of having been shaped and influenced by someone who was conversant with the Shushruto text. Such a conclusion is supported by the use of reletively specialised Shushrotoisms such as the word Kurcho to designate a cluster of bones.
Langford has argued that, the division betweent he inner anatomical space of the body and the external space is not only central to the bio-medical discouse but also allegorical of the sort of spatial arrangement that marks the modern nation-state with defintie boundaries. Unfortunately, in this case Langford seems to have fallen prey to the impulse towards describing Ayurbed as an absolute and diametric opposite of bio-medicine.
Though admittedly Ayurbedic bodies are indeed often fluidly connected to their environments, an absolute difference at the conceptual level between all forms of Ayurbed and bio-medicine seems to warrant some qualification. In fact insinuating perhaps what we have called 'mimetic legitimation' Langford too has spoken of the attempts to translate Ayurbed as 'science,' thus stressing the continuity with bio-medical forms at one level.
What she seems to be describing when she, Bengali Ayurbed: Texts ami Practices 29 after compairng the practices of three contemporary practitioners of Ayurbed in enframing the body mentions that "each of these physicians resist modern forms of knowledge at different levels What we designate as 'dialectic legitimation' is a mode of presentation of a medical praxis that draws legitimation by asserting its radical opposition to another medical praxis.
Both 'dialectic' and 'mimetic' forms of legitimation are then tied into a relationship of mutuality with proximate alternative praxes. Yet while 'dialectic' forms of legitimation seem more symptomatic of the post-colonial contemporary praxes that Langford studies and which cater increasingly by her own affirmation to a growing niche for 'alternative' medicines; 'mimetic legitimation' seems more typical of the colonial period.
It is cogent though to remind ourselves how easy it is to over-estimate the role of the Tridosh pathology in Ayurbed. In fact in certain ways it is this over- estimation that has largely contributed to the reading of Ayurbed at text rather than as practice. Wilson, for instance, wrote in the Transactions of the Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta in that 'treatises on individual diseases were unknown to Hindu medicine' and that they always sought to construct a system.
The first are a set such as Horolal Gupto's67 Ayurbed Bhashabhidan which attempts to establish a common language of nomenclature for the various drugs and drug substances while the second are typified by Nogendronath Sengupto's Drobyoguun Shikkha and sought to exhaustively list all elements that one was likely to come into contact with and acquaint one with their Ayurbedic composition in terms of three Ayurbedic quasi-humours i.
Baath, Pittwo and Kaaph. Both genres share at least a morphological similarity with the Materia Medicas of the West'. Gupto's text was first published in B. In the preface to his first edition, Gupto had written that, These days most Auyrbedic texts tend to follow the language in use in Calcutta.
This is usually the cause for great constenation for the lay practitioner of Ayurbedic 30 The Calcutta Historical Journal. July December medicine. They tend to get their training in one particular district and learn the names of the herbs in that district's language, but then because of various exigencies have to move to another district where the herbs are known by another name. The translations available are not always accurate, and it is to eradicate this grave impediment that I have undertaken to write this book.
Clearly then the material trappings of modernity i. But more importantly for us, it also pointed towards the hegemonic gesture made by a Calcutta- based nomenclatorial system towards a plethora of localised registers of names. In the third edition of his text Gupto includes a strikingly modern classificatory system for arranging herbs, according to whether they bear flower or not, the type of roots, the type of leaves etc.
There are lists of names, in different languages, followed by a physical description of the plant in terms of the type of leaves, flowers, appearance, height etc.
Of course the names in the English texts are given in provincial languages such as Bengali, Tamil, Hindi etc. Similarly, the texts referred to in the former are those of a host of earlier writers such as de O'rta, Royle, O'Shaughnessy etc. Michel Forcault, while recounting the defining moment of 'natural history'promulgated by scholars like Linnaeus,68 described its arangement of discourse according to the following plan: All the language deposited upon things by time is pushed back into the very last category, in a sort of supplement in which discourse is allowed to recount itself and record discoveries, traditions, beliefs, and poetical figures.
The difference between the earlier English texts and the Bengali ones lay only in the fact that, the litteraria had diferent referents. A case perhaps not only of mimetic legitimation but also of a form of culture politics similar to nationalism, which, while sharing its form with the colonial project, sought to invoke other pasts and differnt memories. Interestingly Gupto further writes, The number of pollens in each flower vary.
Some experts on plants have attempted to classify them according to the number of pollens in each. Even some Aryan seers are said to have attempted to have done this. Today though such practices are hardly deemed necessary, and hence I too have decided against including them here. Hengali Awtrhed. Texts anil Tim li, es 31 A clear indication of the debate in botany about the natural and the Linnaean systems of plant classification, which is once again mimetically incorporated into an 'Aryan' past.
Significantly though this past is one which can apparently be selectively used, and the selection further can take place along a simple criterion of 'current usage'.
Both these figures are easily discerned in Nogendronath's70 text as well. Though perhaps, Nogendronath is even bolder than Gupto in articulating the need for innovation. This text was first published ten years after Gupto's in B.
In the preface to the first edition, Sengupto writes, There is enough advice regarding the qualities that constitute various substances, in the classical texts of Ayurbed. Not only a blade of grass but also precious gems of all kinds and even rice, lentils, loochis and shondesh i.
Yet the things that modern science have brought to our doorstep today, were not known at the time of the last compilation of the classics, and henco are not dealt with. Hence, our curiosity today can no longer be sateisfied by merely studying the ancient texts. There is both the attempt to establish an alternate tradition as well as a selective and eclectic use of older traditions to do the same, though both attempts are, as in Gupto's text couched in an idiom of revival and retrieval from ancient Ayurbed.
Yet there is another interesting aspect in which Nogendronath's text points to the emerging local tradition of Ayurbed. We have already seen how in the more philosophically oriented 'so-called' translations there were two different forms of humoural theory available. While the one saw all reality to be constituted of the same basic elements and an imbalance in their composition led to ill-health, there was on the other hand a quasi-humoural theory in which the diseases were themselves a sort of exrternal contagion that intruded the individuated body and thereby caused illness, through the circulation of mobile but localised agencies of malevolence.
In the latter too, there is talk of the same three humours Baath, Pittwo and Kaaph, but the meanings given to them are quite different. In Nogendronath's text too we find this discrepancy. He does not describe in practice what he promises to do in the preface, viz.
What he actually does is in fact state what effect these have on the individual patient's humours. Consider for example his description of Othibisha Acontium Heterophyllum. This Acontium Heterophyllum yields a strong bitter juice, which raises body heat, and is effective in Kaaph. Diarrhoea, Cough, Puking, Poisoning and Sleshmic complaints July December 21X15 texts in merely a synonym of Kaaph Phlegm.
Further the use of medicines in Nogendronath's text is not as agents that redress humoural imbalances but much rather as curatives that address a contagion marked by complaints such as fever, diarrhoea, cough, vomiting etc. Yet diseases caused by causes other than 'humoural imbalance," are not new to Ayurbed. Scharfe commenting on Zysk's views on the matter state that, "Zysk rightly stresses the continuity between early Buddhist and early Ayurvedic medicine, in that wind, bile and phlegm - or a combination of these - are causes of many ailments, though in several instances ailments are not traced to any of these three.
Though obvisoiusly Nogendronath's disease categories are not derived from these ancient non-humoural diseases, it points once again to the existence of various conceptual strands within the Ayurbedic tradition, which allowed for variant localized readings to emerge in keeping with the dynamics of mimetic legitimation.
It also serves to pre-empt us from construction of hasty lineages whereby concepts and ideas were 'borrowed' in a linear movement from an 'other'tradition. There is another third set of texts, which sits somewhat awkardly with the preceding two sets of lists.
The corpus of texts known as Bhoishoj Rotnaboli, claim both to be translated from an older Sanskrit work, and yet it is largely a list of prescriptions, with hardly any discussion of the theorty of disease or symptomatology as such.
In the preface to his B. Umesh Chondro Bhottacharjyo writes about the text, A renowned ancient Kobiraj by the name of Gobindo Das had written this text.
By the strength of his erudition, he had written the work entirely in Bengali, since then this work has been the favourite of all Boidyos. It has been passed down from Gurus to their disciples in hand written form. Perhaps it is because of this and mistakes made while copying it out, that there are several discrepancies about the true contents of the text What is noteworthy here is the existence of local texts which too were occasionally incorporated within the emerging canon through print.
There are a large number of prescriptions in the text that openly refute the humoural or indeed quasi-humoural pretensions of the Ayurbedic tradition. The fevers are here not divided into the eight types listed according to humoural theories of Ayurbed, instead they are split into old, new and middling fevers, depending on how long ago one contracted it.
Further there are a host of prescriptions which are like elixirs; that is that they are said to work on a host of complaints, regardless of the cause or specificity of the malady, somewhat like the patent medicines of the day. About the Mrityunjoy Rosh, a particular prescription for instance it is said, The Mrityunjoy Rosh is effective for all diseases withoiut exception. Therefore it is the cause of the name and fame of the physician who uses it.
Hennali Ayurbed l-'rames.
II in most unqualified acclaim though is reserved fro Mercury. Baayu, Pittwo, Kaaph; or indeed the ilit. I or a medic who despite having studied all the systems of medicine, if he does not know the use of mercury, is like a priest who does not have a faith. Yet the striking aspect of the text is in the theory that underlines it.
It is clearly an empirical text, and obviously influenced by neighbouring systems, for mercury is generally believed to have entered Ayurbedic practice in the fourteenth century through such texts as the Sharongodhor Shomgroho and the Jogo Rotnakor, which texts themselves were surely influenced byTantric and Unani ideas.
While most of the other texts that we have discussed till now have tended to at least pay lip service to the humoural pathology of the Ayurbedic tradition, the texts we now turn to are in open contradiction to it. That is not to say that they do not deploy the rhetoric of antiquity, but they hardly ever cite any particular texts from which they derive. While others such as Durgadas Kor's Bhishok Bondhu , or Oghorchondro Shingho's Bhoishoj Prokash are merely compilations of prescriptions, drawn apparently from the recent advances made in 'western' medicine, without citing any particular textual source.
Yet since our primary focus in this paper has been on texts that have avowedly placed themselves within the Ayurbedic tradition, it is yet another set of texts that we shall turn to in this section. Most of these texts use the relatively ambiguous term 'kobiraji' or even'mushtijoge' medicine to describe themselves, rather than the more firmly traditional term Ayurbedic. Griho Mushtijoge Chikitsha. In the preface to the text, Boshak writes, Hereby I place before the public some medicines which are mentioned in the Shashtras, but which I have gained knowledge of, by personal experience.
For years I have used them to help the poor and now having procured letters of recommendations from a number of renowned medical men, I bring these before you. Even though Shashtric legitimacy is invoked the medicaments are not said to be derived from them but much rather from personal experience. Yet since most of these texts avoid any lengthy philosophical discussions or erudite considerations of the origins of their medicaments, other than a paragraph or two at best on the age old knowledge that they are drawing upon, we have to depend mostly on their method of diagnosis and aetiology to arrive at any kind of considerations regarding their theoretical paradigm.
There are two striking features in the diagnostic strategies of these texts. First is the attempt ot re-create the human body as a legible visual code, that marked out ill-health and the second, perhaps more ubiquitous, is the centrality afforded to pulse examination.
Publication information. Amar Chitra Katha Pvt. Number of issues. Creative team. Writer s. Artist s. In , the imprint and all its titles were acquired by a new venture called ACK Media. On 17 September , a new website by ACK-media was launched.
Creation and creators. He was shocked that Indian students could answer questions on Greek and Roman mythology, but were ignorant of their own history, mythology and folklore. However, Outlook Magazine has this article about the genesis of this popular comic series: The comics.
The original printings of amar Chitra were not in full colour—because of budgetary constraints, the panels were printed using yellow, blue and green. Subsequent issues, however, changed to full colour.
All Amar Chitra Katha books stuck to a monthly later fortnightly page format, with emphasis on lucid, entertaining storylines. In addition to the 'singles' format the stories are also available as hardcover 3-in-1 and 5-in-1 bundles.
Occasionally there were "bumper" issues with 90 pages, most collecting stories of a similar type from individual issues e. The continuous popularity of the comics led to reprints being issued frequently, which ensured that the back-issues remained in print throughout the seventies and the eighties. At the height of its popularity, in the mid-eighties, it had been translated into Bengali, Marathi, Assamese, Gujarati, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil and Urdu and selling half a million copies a month.
Towards the mid-nineties, the original comics were reprinted in sleeker and more durable editions, with thick cardstock covers and better colour separations. Today, Amar Chitra Katha has a national footprint across all major book retailers, hundreds of small bookstores, and tens of thousands of vendors.