[INDOLOGY] poison

Dan Lusthaus yogacara at gmail.com
Fri Jun 5 20:30:59 UTC 2020

Dear Jonathan,

I believe viṣaśāstra, as its name implies, is a general term for toxicology, dealing with things like poisons, venoms, etc. Many medical works have sections on this. The Caraka-saṃhitā called this kaumārabhṛtyakam; the Suśruta called it agadatantra; Vagbhata called it daṃṣṭrā. Yijing, in his survey of Indian Medicine, called it 論惡揭陀藥 (cf. T 54.2125.223b28-23c6).

Some of our illustrious colleagues who deal with that literature can perhaps guide you to more specific sources.


> On Jun 5, 2020, at 1:41 PM, Jonathan Silk via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
> Dear Friends
> My friend Charles Ramble is working on a Tibetan text on poison. It mentions for instance 32 types. I am aware that (no doubt among others) Suśrutasaṁhitā in its Kalpasthāna has much to say about poison, but understandably, not how to make it. There seems to exist a term viṣaśāstra, but more I have not been able to discover. I feel I may have overlooked something rather well known. 
> I would be delighted both to learn more myself (no, I'm not looking to poison anyone!) and to pass along the information to Charles.
> Very best,
> Jonathan
> -- 
> J. Silk
> Leiden University
> Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, LIAS
> Matthias de Vrieshof 3, Room 0.05b
> 2311 BZ Leiden
> The Netherlands
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> https://leidenuniv.academia.edu/JASilk <https://leidenuniv.academia.edu/JASilk>
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