• "Gifting Knowledge for Long Life"

    Author(s):
    Anthony Cerulli (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Group(s):
    Hinduisms, Medical Humanities, Religious Studies, Textual Scholarship
    Subject(s):
    History of medicine, South Asian studies, Networks of exchange, Hinduism
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    gift giving, Gift theory, ayurveda, south india
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/wnar-kq79
    Abstract:
    During nonemergency appointments at traditional sites of āyurvedic healthcare in Kerala, South India, classically trained Brāhmaṇa physicians and their patients seldom exchange anything of substance (whether medicinal or monetary). The physician-patient interface instead routinely involves an exchange of knowledge. Interactions between physicians and patients in these meetings evoke the highly theorized notion of the “Indian gift” and the question of prestation in South Indian societies. This article explores the nature of exchange in the supply and reception of healthcare among physicians and patients at traditional sites of āyurvedic treatment (that is, sites not affiliated with governmental or private hospitals or clinics) in contemporary Kerala. Drawing on classical treatises about the dharma of gifts (dānadharma) and the Sanskrit medical classics of Āyurveda, it examines reciprocity, ideal preconditions of givers and receivers of gifts, and the possibility of a “pure gift” in the appraisal and production of wellbeing.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    6 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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