Early Tantric Medicine: Snakebite, Mantras, and Healing in the Garuda Tantras (Hardback)Michael Slouber (author)
Hardback 392 Pages / Published: 22/12/2016
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Early Tantric Medicine looks at a traditional medical system that flourished over 1,000 years ago in India. The Garuda Tantras had a powerful influence on traditional medicine for snakebite, and some of their practices remain popular to this day. Snakebite may sound like a rare and exotic phenomenon, but in India it is a problem that affects 1.4 million people every year and results in over 45,000 deaths. Michael Slouber offers a close examination of the Garuda Tantras, which were deemed lost until the author himself discovered numerous ancient titles surviving in Sanskrit manuscripts written on fragile palm-leaves. The volume brings to life this rich tradition in which knowledge and faith are harnessed in complex visualizations accompanied by secret mantras to an array of gods and goddesses; this religious system is combined with herbal medicine and a fascinating mix of lore on snakes, astrology, and healing. The book's appendices include an accurate, yet readable translation of ten chapters of the most significant Tantric medical text to be recovered: the Kriyakalagunottara. Also included is a critical edition based on the surviving Nepalese manuscripts.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 392
Weight: 660 g
Dimensions: 241 x 163 x 32 mm
"The book is written in a fascinating style, bringing to life serpents, eagles, gods, and goddesses, and remains throughout enjoyable. It offers a colorful mix of lore on snakes, theories on mantras and healing, and also reveals newly discovered literature of snakebite medicine. The book is thus a must read for all those interested in religious medicine or Tantric cultures." --Diwakar Acharya, Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics, All Souls College, Oxford
"Slouber's fascinating book draws us into a whole new world of medieval Indian Tantric wisdom about poisons, venomous snakes, mantras, visualizations, rituals, and healing. Slouber also gives us a first edition of key sections of a previously unpublished work, the Kriyakalagunottara, together with a lucid translation and interpretation of the new materials revealed by this thousand-year-old treatise. Overlapping only partially with Ayurveda, the new materials explored by Slouber will be enthralling for anyone interested in the full spectrum of ancient healing practices in South Asia." --Professor Dominik Wujastyk, Singhmar Chair of Classical Indian Society and Polity, University of Alberta
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