Ancient Tamil Medicine Manuscripts Institute of Asian Studies Chennai


People often ask me on the sources of my articles. I have listed the sources in my ‘About’ Page.And I keep updating it. I also provide the relevant Link or the text or Book at the end of each article.When it comes to Indian history, people are not still convinced about the authenticity of the sources.When a Link or source is provided regarding Indian History, these sources are in turn based on Manuscripts Epigraphs,Temple Sthala puranas, References in Sanskrit and other Regional languages and word of mouth and legends. These are cross checked with archelogical findings, Astro dating,C4 dating, References in contemporary literature of the period.

Where are the main sources, Manuscripts and Epigraphs?These are available in Foreign countries’ Museums,Private Collections and a very negligible portion with India.When I was reading the Ancient Tamil writings, Epigraphs in Darparanyeswara Sanctum outer wall, at Thirunallaru, I was requested by the Executive of the temple and presented a Book 📚.It was a copy of the text of the Epigraphs at the temple and the deciphered version of the writings /Epigraphs. The work was carried out by French Organization at Pondicherry.I shall produce excerpts with my notes in a series of articles.

To the point at hand… Ancient Tamil texts dealing with Medicine,herbs, preparation of special medicines, chanting to be done while preparing medicines, rare diseases and their treatment are housed at The Institute of Asian Studies,Chennai.Thesr documents are preserved in the Memory of the World Register in 1997.

The I.A.S. Tamil Medical Manuscript Collection

Documentary heritage submitted by India and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 1997.

Mostly Tamil Medical Manuscripts preserved at the Institute of Asian Studies reflect the ancient system of medicine, practised by yogis. This system explains the methods of obtaining medicines from herbs, herbal roots, leaves, flowers, barks, fruits etc. The proportions of the ingredients as well as the specific processes are explained in detail.

Traditional Indian Medicine has a long history. Its theories and detailed practices are recorded in classic texts written by medical scholars of the past. Modern practitioners study these texts to increase their skills. The Institute of Asian Studies in Chennai has collected 564 copies of these texts, all written in South India, mostly in Tamil, on palm leaves, mostly dating from the 19th century. The collection is part of a wider collection of ancient Tamil texts. The texts reflect both the Siddha and Ayurvedic medical systems. They discuss the nature and symptoms of diseases, and methods of cure. Most are general texts, giving prescriptions for use in a number of diseases, but some are specialist texts covering diseases of children and women. The texts explain how medicines can be produced from herbs, and from the roots, leaves, flowers, bark and fruit of medically valuable products, detailing the specific processes and the proper proportions of the several ingredients in any specific medical product. Traditional Indian Medicine requires that certain rituals and ritual chants should be undertaken while medicine is administered, and 57 of the manuscripts give such details.

Traditional medical systems are a major part of the world heritage of learning and culture, and preservation of this collection is of great importance in consequence This collection is the finest and most complete library of traditional Indian medical texts extant. The collection reflects, in particular, the medical traditions of South India: most other collections of traditional Indian medical texts reflect the traditions of other parts of India. The collection was inscribed on the International Memory of the World Register in 1997.

International Register

https://mowcaparchives.org/items/show/36

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