The Medical Profession in Ancient India

Patrick Olivelle delivered the inaugural C R Parekh Memorial Lecture on ‘The Medical Profession in Ancient India: Its Social, Religious, and Legal Status’ on 20 August 2015. The lecture organized by the Institute of Indian Thought, CSDS was chaired by Ranjit Roy Chaudhury.

This lecture addressed two questions: What was the social status of medical professionals in ancient India? and, Did that status differ among different socio-economic and religious groups and among medical pratitioners specializing in different areas of medicine? It examined the terminology in ancient Indian texts to depict medical professional and finds in it some clues as to the changing status of these professionals within Indian society.

Patrick Olivelle, former President of the American Oriental Society and recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, is Professor Emeritus of Sanskrit at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was the Chair of the Department of Asian Studies for thirteen years. He has won book awards from the Association for Asian Studies and the American Academy of Relgion. His numerous publications include: King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India, translation of Kauṭilya's Arthaśāstra, (2013), Viṣṇu's Code of Law (2009), The Life of the Buddha (2008), and Manu's Code of Law (2005). His recent work focuses on ancient Indian legal tradition.

Ranjit Roy Chaudhury is the Chairman of the Task Force for Research of Apollo Hospitals Group in India. He has served as Dean at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh and in senior positions in the World Health Organization. His research work is in the field of reproductive pharmacology, rational use of medicines and in traditional systems of medicine. As the Founder President of the Delhi Medical Council he set up a transparent and equitable system of governance for regulating the medical profession.  He chaired the committee for Postgraduate Medical Education in India and is a leading medical researcher, a specialist in medical teaching and a health planner for the country.

Thursday, 20 August 2015
7 pm, Lecture Room I, Annexe, IIC