2013 Events
  • Analogy in Ayurveda & Traditional Indian Discourse
    Tuesday, 15 January 2013, Dasheri (NCBS auditorium)
    Speaker: Indudharan Menon

    Analogies are an essential feature of traditional Indian scientific and philosophical discourse, and certain analogies became leitmotifs for describing and debating the nature of man and the universe. This talk is principally about the importance of analogy in Ayurveda. Scholarly opinion has it that Ayurveda’s almost 2000 year-old medical theory was constructed using concepts from various Indian philosophical traditions and adapting them to the domain of medicine. We find the two seminal texts of Ayurveda describing the human body and its functions using age-old analogies derived from activities and contexts that have been vital for humans since prehistoric times. I argue that it was knowledge originating from time immemorial grass roots observations expressed through such analogies that shaped Ayurveda’s views about life processes, disease and healing.

    The talk will also examine the role of analogy in the larger context of the traditional Indian intellectual discourse.

    Ever since the ancient Greeks, analogies have played an important part in the history of western science. Since the past few decades, analogy has become an important subject of study, especially in cognitive science, information theory and psychology. So I will touch upon the vital role of analogy in science and scientific discoveries.