CARAKA, the name of an Indian physician associated with one of the major works on Indian medicine (the Carakasaṃhitā), as well as the name of King Kaniṣka’s physician according to the Chinese version of the Buddhist text Sūtrālaṃkāra. It has been suggested that this Caraka was the same person as the redactor of the Carakasaṃhitā. The Carakasaṃhitā is Caraka’s revision of an earlier work, the Agnivésatantra. For a full discussion of the evidence for the identification of Kaniṣka’s physician with the author of the Carakasaṃhitā see G. J. Meulenbeld, The Mādhavanidāna and Its Chief Commentary, Chapters1-10, Leiden, 1974, pp. 403-06.

(Ronald E. Emmerick)

Originally Published: December 15, 1990

Last Updated: December 15, 1990

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Vol. IV, Fasc. 7, p. 792