Freitag, 08. Oktober 2021, 15:15 - 16:45 iCal

Of Sins and Sons

Medical case narratives in the Karmavipākasaṃhitā

Seminarraum 1 des Instituts für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde
Spitalgasse 2, Hof 2.7, 1090 Wien


A guest lecture by Caterina Guenzi (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and Centre d'Études de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud, Paris)


Composed in early-modern North India, the Karmavipākasaṃhitā is a Sanskrit treatise intended for use during a consultation (praśna) between a “querist” (pṛcchaka) and a Brahmin practitioner. By combining astrology and the theory of karmic retribution, the text provides explanations for infertility (that is, the inability to have a son) and other diseases through past life and rebirth narratives. It contains 108 multi-life stories and as many individualized treatments. Based on my translation, I will argue that this treatise may be seen as a “Collection of medical cases”, a very unusual epistemic genre in Sanskrit medical literature.


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Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde

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Judith Starecek
Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde in Kooperation mit der Indischen Botschaft, Wien
4277 43502