Thursday, January 20, 2011


Jeevaka: Physician of Gautama Buddha

Jeevaka: Physician of Gautama Buddha (c. 6th Century B.C.)

Jeevaka, the legendary physician and surgeon, figures in the Buddhist literature and is immortalised because of the traditional account that he treated Lord Buddha and became his disciple. He also donated a arama or resting place for the Buddhist monks. This came to be known as Jeevakarama which existed for centuries.

Jeevaka was the son of a courtesan Salavati and a prince Kumara(Kumara Bhartrika or one brought up by Kumara is another title of Jeevaka in Buddhist tradition). He wanted to cultivate one art or science which could be of eternal benefit to humanity. From Bihar his birth-place in the East, he went to another end of the country's western tip, Taxila (a.k.a. Takshashila, now in Pakistan). University of Taxila was famous for imparting medical sciences along with metaphysics and mathematics. Jeevaka studied medicine for seven years and the time had come to test his proficiency. His teacher gave him a spade and pick axe and asked him to examine every plant growing around Taxila for a Yojana (tweleve miles) and bring a plant which has no medicinal value. Jeevaka obeyed and examined every plant (specified) and reported that he did not find any plant which had no medicinal property. The teacher was satisfied that Jeevaka had become adept. This brilliant student was poor and could not pay fees to his Guru. Instead the Guru himself gave him a petty amount to last for a day or two after which Jeevaka had to subsist on his newly gained knowledge and also undertake journey back home thousand miles away.

On the way, he learnt that a rich merchant's wife was suffering from bad migraine for seven years Jeevaka volunteered to cure her. He boiled certain medicinal roots and leaves in ghee and administered the drug through the nose. Very soon the lady was cured, and her husband gave him 16,000 gold coins along with a coach for further travel. Later he operated on another business man's skull for worms and cured him. A ruler was cured of fistula on way to Benaras. A Shreshthi's son while performing a gymnastic feat had got his intestines entangled and could not digest food or ease himself in the normal way. He looked very pale and his veins appeared prominent allover the body. Jeevaka performed a very difficult and complicated surgery and rectified the condition, put the intestines in correct position and stitched the skin, annointing with soothing salve later. By the time Jeevaka reached his home-town near Sravasti, he had become rich and famous. He became the court-physician of Bimbisara, a king.

If we leave exaggerated portions in many of the legends connected with Jeevaka, certain historical evidence does accrue. That Taxila was a big center of learning including medical science since early centuries BC is an established fact. Students from Middle east and far east came to study there.

Surgery of skull and stomach were common, and many tools and surgical instruments are mentioned in Charaka's and Shushruta's works.

Places through which Jeevaka travelled like Saketa, Benaras, Vaisali and Ujjain were well known for medicinal treatment and he established his proficiency there.

Huge earnings were made by physicians and surgeons of bygone days.

However, Jeevaka is remembered for his big charities. The monastery he dedicated to his guru Buddha lasted for several centuries.


Ayurveda is ancient Indian medical system, which is holistic in the fullest sense of the term, in that it gives priority to the involvement of the patient in his or her own well-being. In Ayurveda, health is defined as perfect balance between body, mind, spirit and the environment. Ayurvedic techniques focus on achieving that balance.

Ayurveda empowers you to take control of your own life and health, with the aim of preventing illness, as opposed to only treating disease once it has arisen. For example, if you have a headache, you will not only be recommended a treatment, but also asked to look at the imbalance in your lifestyle, your environment, diet and mind that has given rise to the pain. Once the deeper imbalances are identified and corrected the disease, like a weed, will be removed by the roots, rather than just trimming their tops off. The long term result is that you are enabled to live in such a way that the cause of the pain never returns.

Muslims from across the world stay ordained to the Quran and fast for the whole of Ramadan month. Fasting is a part of pleasing God, in almost all religions. Probably, the health benefits of fasting were known to our forefathers several centuries ago.

Though the primary aim of fasting by Muslims is to conform to religious norms, fasting brings in several health benefits too. While considering health benefits, there are also a few problems to consider and precautions to take while fasting.

Those who suffer from medical conditions like coronary artery disease, kidney stones, etc are exempt from fasting. The negative effects of total fasting include hypokalemia (drastic drop of blood potassium levels), cardiac arrhythmia (abnormal heart beat), etc. Ramadan fasting is not total fasting and believers take nutrients needed for the body, through the systematically planned early morning and evening food.

Lowering of blood sugar levels, cholesterol and blood pressure are the first notable physiological changes.

Diabetes patients need to take extra care while fasting. Hypoglycaemia, a condition characterised by abnormal drop of blood sugar levels can cause health problems. Diabetic patients should reduce intake of medicines or insulin injection during fasting. Monitoring of blood sugar levels is also desirable. Conditions like tiredness, sweating, headaches, unconsciousness, etc are the symptoms of abnormally low levels of blood sugar levels.

Hyperglycaemia- this is the reverse of hypoglycaemia, characterised by increase of blood sugar levels. This is mainly due to the medicinesyou take to sustain blood sugar levels. Increase in blood sugar levels can cause problems to kidney and eyes.

Problems of Acidity and Ulcer รข€“ bile can get filled up in stomach, which causes acidity and ulcer.

Healthy individuals have considerable health benefits from Ramadan fasting. It is an effective detoxification therapy. Toxins accumulated in the body break down and pass out of the body.

Fasting is ideal for both overweight and underweight persons. It is commonsense how fasting works to reduce weight. During fasting, deposited fat gets used and burns down and facilitates weight loss.

Fasting also normalizes the digestive system of underweight persons, and equips body to digest and assimilate nutrients from the food they eat.

Fasting can also clear many skin problems. This is because of the elimination of toxic materials from the body and generally cleansing the blood.

Fasting has advantages in getting rid of addictions and unhealthyhabits like smoking and taking alcohol.

Ramadan fasting improves the health condition of healthy people. But for people who suffer from any medical condition should monitor their body and physiology more closely.

Pregnant and feeding women are exempted from fasting and they shall not attempt fasting, as it can deprive nutrition to both mother and child.

Traditional Ayurvedic secrets of medicines and treatments available for transfer from a government recognised practitioner

Ayurveda universities, herbal & pharmaceutical companies, medicine hunters or other genuine parties can contact us for details. The deal includes transfer of the knowledge of medicine preparation and treatment details, including diet control and lifestyle restrictions.

Know-how of treatments for the following conditions is now available to be transferred to qualified persons or institutes.

  • Cancer (various types)
  • Heart Conditions
  • Skin Diseases (Psoriasis, acne, etc)
  • Crane (Sexual Impotency Cure for Men)
  • Geriatric Medicines

Herbal/pharmaceutical companies, recognised medical universities (from India or abroad) and parties with genuine interests onAyurvedic treatment methods are welcome.

About the Physician Who is selling the Know-How

This Vaidyar (Ayurveda physician) is a member of the famous Ashta-Vaidya community of Kerala. Ayurveda practice has been the tradition of the family. He started practicing as a vaidyar at the tender age of 16, while getting trained under his father. His grandfather also was a government recognized physician. He can’t transfer this knowledge to his next generation, as his children didn’t show an active interest in Ayurveda practice.

More details of this vaidyar, his credentials, and government recognitions he have got will be added in the coming days.