Science, Religion and Ethics: The religious ethical basis of Indian science of Medicine


  • Sreekumar Nellickappilly IIT Madras


It is often said that in Ayurveda, the Indian science of medicine, the scientific concerns are muddled up withreligious and metaphysical convictions. This paper reies to show how while retaining the experiential route of science intact,Ayurveda shares certain imporant concerns with religion and philosophy in India. It affirms that this ultimately has helpedAyurveda successfully avoiding the problems associated with multiple ontologies--owing to a separation of science fromvalues. Thsi paper will examine some important religious assumptions that play vital role in the conception and practiceof the science of Ayurveda and how such approaches contributed in developing and integraing a strong code of medicalethics into the practice of medicine. The first section of the paper will bring out the experiential route of Ayurveda. Thesecond section examines the concepts of disease and health/wellbeing in Ayurveda, in order to bring tout the ethical outlookingrained in it. The thirs section will analyse some fundamental postulates fo Indian ethics and attempts to show that withthe Vedic conception of Rita -cosmic moral order- Ayurveda uniquely defines itself as a way of physical, mental and ethicalliving, which aims at a very comprehensive notion of wellbeing    


Ayurveda, science, Indian medicine, Indian ethics

Author Biography

Sreekumar Nellickappilly, IIT Madras

Assistant Professor (Philosophy). Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras