Sunday, March 30, 2014

History of sickness and medical art 24: India 4


< 1. Buddha >

How did Buddha who participated actively around the 6th century B.C. face the illness?
We will see new breath in it.


About Buddha of the day
Brahmanism that was mainstream of the day was mainly role to provide offering and ceremony for God.
Buddha who wanted new path to the salvation preached the teachings along with doing communal living with many pupils and traveling over villages.
This priest group involved the participation of all classes, man and woman.
They didn't work, accepted charity, didn't have goods, and lived equal and simple life.
Acceding to the rule that Buddha decided was a single condition that the members can belong to the group.
During several hundred years, the pupils had carried on the tradition of these rules, and then these became the Scripture being calling Vinaya-Pitaka.


Turmeric: medicines and curry powder 

< 2.  Turmeric: medicines and curry powder >

From Vinaya-Pitaka, below are an extract and a summary.

A priest suffered from a sickness. Everybody nursed him, but he didn't recover. He went to a slaughterhouse of pig, and ate the uncooked meat and drank the blood. His disease thereby recovered. Buddha said, “ I forgive the sick person for eating uncooked the meat and drinking the blood.””

“ I allow use of roots-root of turmeric, ginger, and iris, etc.- as medicines. Although these are appetizing and add a flavor, healthy person must not eat it. You will commit a crime, if you eat them though these are not necessary.”

“ Ananda, because I am out of condition, I want to drink a purgative. Ananda consulted Jivaka. The doctor ordered Ananda that he must paint fats the body of Buddha for a few days, and then the doctor gave him a light purgative. The doctor said to Buddha that you should refrain from liquid meal until you completely recovered. And Buddha recovered.”

Buddha knew the medical art of the time, and applied it actively.
He hadn't the idea of the sickness that was caused by the violation of taboo or the punishment by God.
In addition, he was a friend with skilled physician Jivaka.







< 3.  Map  >

Taxila ruins, after the 6th century B.C. 

< 4.  Taxila ruins, after the 6th century B.C. >

About legendary doctor Jivaka.
He was a skilled physician that participated actively in the capital of Magadha country, cured the king and was also Buddha's court physician.
Although he was of low birth, he become a pupil of a doctor in Taxila, learned the medical art of Caraka samhita, and then he went back.
Why did he go to the far-off Gandharan capital?
At the time, Gandhara in the northwest was under the influence of the Persia civilization.
On the other hand, he probably thought that learning of new medical art was difficult in Magadha country where Brahmanism's ideology had permeated in.  


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