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Nagarjuna and Buddhist Medicine

Although this is not well known, the great teacher, Nagarjuna, who propounded the doctrines of sunyata and upaya, was also a master of Ayurvedic medicine. Nagarjuna is considered the founder of the science of iatrochemistry, the preparation of medicinal mineral substances (Ninivaggi, 2008). Within the Nagarjuna school of Ayurvedic medicine, the development of a pharmacopeia of mineral substances included the discovery of processes that rendered these minerals safe for human consumption. These therapeutic interventions continue to be an integral part of Ayurvedic medicine. Nagarjuna authored a pivotal commentary on the Ayurvedic text, Susrata’s Samhita, and continued writing treatises on medicine as he developed the concept of interdependent origination through the Prajnaparamita sutras (Lad, 2002; Ninivaggi, 2008).

Lad, V. (2002). Textbook of Ayurveda fundamental principles. Albuquerque, NM: Ayurvedic Press.

Ninivaggi, F. J. (2008). Ayurveda: A comprehensive guide to traditional Indian medicine for the west. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Padma, J. )2021) Field of Blessings: Ritual and Consciousness n the work of Buddhist healers.

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