A text dealing with Ayurveda

Vielle Christophe vielle at ORI.UCL.AC.BE
Wed Apr 21 10:05:54 UTC 1999

        Dear members of the list,
I am examining for the moment an unpublished saMhitA of "purANic" type (its
content is principally formed by stories about different mythical
characters), but in the middle of the text appears suddenly a chapter
dealing with physiological/embryological matters. Here is an abstract, in
which sAMkhya/Ayurveda conceptions are exposed (e.g. "form"-rUpa as one of
the five "subtle elements"-tanmAtra, corresponding to the fire as one of
the five "gross elements"; dhAtus or principles etc.). Here is an abstract

babhUva rUpatanmAtraM puruSecchApracoditAt
rupatanmAtrato vahniH sambabhUva vikurvataH
vizeSavittvaM rUpasya cakSuSo jAyate yataH
guNadivyAkRtijJatvaM vyaktisaMsthAtvam eva ca
prakAzAtmatvam ity agne rUpatanmAtravRttayaH
uddyotanaM tu dhAtUnAM dravIkaraNam eva ca
adanaM pacanaM pAnaM zoSaNaM himamardanaM

It is also mentionned in the same chapter that the semen introduced into
the womb of the woman by the man at the time of coition will get mixed with
the blood in the womb, and that the issue will be male, female or
hermaphrodite (napuMsaka) according to the proportion of the mixture: if
blood exceeds semen the issue will be a girl, if semen exceeds it will be a
boy, and if both are equal the child will be a hermaphrodite.

Since I am not a specialist of such matters at all, my question is if those
elements remember to someone a specific text or if it is a kind of
physiological "common view" (I heard that in the Agni-PurANa there exist
also passages of that type). Moreover, since my text comes from South India
and could be dated arround the eight century AD, I would like to know if
these data are not incompatible with such a dating hypothesis (based on a
serie of other elements).
Thank you very much.

Dr. Christophe Vielle
Institut orientaliste
Collège Erasme
Place Blaise Pascal 1
B - 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)
Tel. 32+10+47 49 54

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