Medical treatment in the context of yoga practice (yogacikitsā): Chapter Ten of the Dharmaputrikā

Christèle Barois

Following my online interview with Jacqueline Hargreaves (see below), many of you were interested and asked where you could find the text of the Dharmaputrikā. I am working on a critical edition and annotated translation of the text, accompanied by an introduction, in collaboration with Anil Kumar Acharya (assistant professor in Tripura) and Nirajan Kafle (Śivadharma project). This should be ready for publication in 2021.


A detailed summary of the whole Dharmaputrikā will already be available in my article “Preliminary notes to the Dharmaputrikā”, which is about to be published in the Journal of Yoga Studies (in open access). Another article, devoted to the question of the link between medicine and yoga in early medieval India and entitled “Medical Practices of Yogins in Early Medieval India: The Testimony of the Dharmaputrikā” is underway. I plan to submit it to the open access journal History of Science in South Asia. This article shows that medicine was required knowledge for yogins in the first centuries of the common era, and demonstrates how complex this integration of medicine in the practice of yoga was.



While waiting for these publications, I would like to point out to readers particularly interested in medical treatment in the context of yoga practice (yogacikitsā) that chapter Ten of the Dharmaputrikā, “Medical treatment” (cikitsā), was added to the four regular lessons (upadeśa) of the Haṭhapradīpikā, in some late manuscripts of this text. This fifth chapter, named Explanation on medication (auṣadhakathanam) or Application of medication (auṣadhaprayogaḥ) according to the colophons, was adopted in the edition of Swami Digambaraji and Raghunathashastri Kokaje (1970, 1998) on the basis of two manuscripts, one of which is dated 1706. So chapter Ten of the Dharmaputrikā is accessible as of now via this indirect source in a slightly different version. Indeed, the edition of the Haṭhapradīpikā by Swami Digambaraji and Raghunathashastri Kokaje gives the Sanskrit text and translation of this chapter on diseases as obstacles to yoga. Here is this late addition to the Haṭhapradīpikā in this edition (p. 178-187):

Medical treatment in the context of yoga practice (yogacikitsā): Chapter Ten of the Dharmaputrikā

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