AyurYog workshop: Rejuvenation, longevity, immortality. Perspectives on rasāyana, kāyakalpa and bcud len practices

Dagmar Wujastyk

AyurYog workshop: Rejuvenation, longevity, immortality. Perspectives on rasāyana, kāyakalpa and bcud len practices

Bronze purification, image courtesy of Andrew Mason, neterapublishing.com

The two-day workshop explored the historically linked South and Inner Asian practices of rasāyana, kāyakalpa and bcud len.  These are practices, treatment techniques and formulations aimed at a variety of goals that range from prolonging life, restoring youthfulness, and promoting physical health, to accessing special powers, achieving enlightenment, and attaining immortality.

Early accounts of such practices are found in Sanskrit medical, alchemical and yoga literature; Tamil Siddha medical literature; and Tibetan Buddhist literature. Variations of these practices are still found as part of South and Inner Asian medicine, yogic techniques and Buddhist practices.

Participants presented historical overviews of these practices in the different disciplines and their literatures, looking for connections (but also disjunctures) between them, and discussing the concepts and aims underlying them. There was also a practical demonstration of the preparation of traditional ayurvedic iatrochemical tonics.

 Programme:

Friday:

Venue: Seminarraum 1, Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, Spitalgasse 2, Hof 2, entrance 2.7, 1090 Vienna

9:00 Welcome

9:10 Dagmar Wujastyk (University of Vienna): Rasāyana in Sanskrit medical and alchemical literature

10:00 Ilona Kędzia (Jagiellonian University): Mastering deathlessness - some remarks about immortality teachings from selected Tamil Siddha texts

10:50 tea break

11:10 Claudia Preckel (Ruhr-University Bochum): The Elixir of the Body (Iksīr al-badan): Alchemy, rejuvenation and immortality in Unani medicine

12:00 Francis Zimmermann (EHESS): Rasāyana today on the market of proprietary medicines

12:50 lunch break

14:00 Christèle Barois (University of Vienna): Representations of age and life in Sanskrit medieval literature: the concept of vayas

14:50 Philipp A. Maas (University of Leipzig): Rasāyana in classical Sāṃkhya-Yoga

15:40 tea break

16:00 Jason Birch (SOAS): Rejuvenation and herbs in medieval yoga traditions

16:50 Suzanne Newcombe (Inform, LSE): Human Hibernation and 185-year-old Sadhus – Claims of life extension and aspirations for immortality in the modern period

17:40 Conclusion

 

Saturday:

Morning session:

Venue: The practical demonstration on Saturday, October 22, will take place at the Carl Auer von Welsbach Lecture Hall of the Faculty of Chemistry. Entrance at Boltzmanngasse 1, 1090 Vienna.

9:30 Welcome

9:45 Andrew Mason (Netera Publishing): Demonstration of the preparation of rasāyanas: bhallātaka and rasa parpaṭī

13:00 lunch break

 

Afternoon session:

Venue: Seminarraum 1, Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, Spitalgasse 2, Hof 2, entrance 2.7, 1090 Vienna

14:30 Cathy Cantwell (University of Oxford): Reflections on bcud len and related practices in Nyingma (rnying ma) tantric ritual

15:20 Barbara Gerke (University of Vienna): Mercury as a bcud len in Tibetan medical traditions

16:10 tea break

16:30-17:30 Concluding session

The workshop took place from Oct 21.-22.2016 at the Institute for South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Vienna and at the Carl Auer von Welsbach Lecture Hall of the Faculty of Chemistry, University of Vienna.

The workshop was open to the public.

© Ayuryog 2015 - University of Vienna, Spitalgasse 2, Hof 2.1 & Hof 2.7 (Campus), 1090 Wien