Changing translations of Ayurveda: Understanding cancer through the words Arbuda and Granthi
Sonya Davey and Neil Davey
With respect to the intersection of traditional medicine and modern medicine, translations serve a dual purpose. On one hand a translation of a traditional medical book must reflect the unique and original characteristics of the book. However, simultaneously many translators believe it is important to contextualize such translations to modern biomedical parallels to in order to create a pragmatic text. Specifically studying cancer, the paper aims to understand how Ayurvedic translation incorporated the words “tumor” or “cancer” into their English translations of the Caraka Samhita and Suśruta, two of the major classical canons of Ayurvedic literature. In the analysis of the translations of cancer, the paper incorporates the theories of translation and the effects that certain translations have on the study of Ayurveda. The paper will critique scientific publications on cancer and Ayurveda and explore other cultural aspects of Ayurveda that are lost in these texts.