• Anthony Cerulli deposited “Politicking Ayurvedic Education” in the group Group logo of Postcolonial StudiesPostcolonial Studies on Humanities Commons 4 years, 9 months ago

    As the Indian population’s interest in biomedicine increased at the end of the nineteenth century, public confidence in India’s indigenous medicines flagged. Physicians of Ayurveda and officials of Indian medical organizations responded with discussions about and plans for reconfiguring the āyurveda (“life science”) of the Sanskrit medical classics of Caraka, Suśruta, and Vāgbhaṭa to be compatible with the anatomical, physiological, and pharmacological frameworks of biomedicine. This article considers some of the negotiations that shaped Ayurveda in late colonial and postcolonial India, paying special attention to how these debates affected the history of ayurvedic education. Reflecting on how the presence of biomedicine in India prompted ayurvedic practitioners to reimagine the history of their profession, it examines the revitalization of Ayurveda through the reinvention of ayurvedic education. It probes the historical move away from the gurukula as the seat of education and the institutionalization and standardization of education in the ayurvedic college. The historical record is expanded periodically with ethnographic data collected at gurukulas in South India to offer contemporary views on changes in ayurvedic education over the past 130 years.