Coffeehouse for desis
Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.

Vedic hymns on the practice of medicine

Go down

Vedic hymns on the practice of medicine Empty Vedic hymns on the practice of medicine

Post by Seva Lamberdar Fri Apr 10, 2020 12:37 pm

Vedas include a number of hymns that reflect the condition, customs and living in society long ago. These hymns give a great insight as to what was happening then. It seems, according to the Vedas, physicians were not looked at as lowly professionals, but they were quite well-respected in society and considered important in maintaining the health and well-being of people. Moreover, they practiced their vocation with great dedication and care, even maintaining cleanliness etc. while practicing medicine.

The following hymns for example show the respect from people towards physicians’ profession. Physicians were accorded the adulation and respect reserved for parents and sages. They were seen as capable of saving people from the wrath of diseases and rakshshas (the early, wild, beastly and cannibalistic humans who lived mainly as nomads and often attacked those living in society and communes for food, crops, animals and even flesh of people).

"Give full protection, Friends of man, ye Waters, in peace and trouble, to our sons and grandsons.
For ye are our most motherly physicians, parents of all that standeth, all that moveth." Rig Veda (Book 6: Hymn 50.7)

"He who hath store of Herbs at hand like Kings amid a crowd of men,
Physician is that sage's name, fiend-slayer, chaser of disease." Rig Veda (Book 10: Hymn 97.6)

“When the plants come together - Like princes at the assembly,
Sage is the physician called, Slayer of Rakshshas, overpowerer of diseases” Yajur Veda (Kanda 4: hymn 4.2.6.g)

In addition, there is indication about the importance of hygiene and cleanliness in controlling disease and making medicine more effective according to a number of Vedic hymns (such as given below). Here the practitioner of medicine appeared to be advised to routinely wash and clean himself during work, and also not participate in ritualistic activities and worships (involving scores of people) without purifying and cleaning himself with water. In addition, a person working as a brahmin (priest) might not practice medicine because of the fear of impurity and contamination to others, such as participating in rituals etc.

As indicated below, there would be a pot of water placed next to the physician so that the water from it probably could be used to clean and wash anytime during work. This led the physician to not contaminate himself and others. Moreover, this type of washing was carried out almost in the ritualistic way, being fully mindful as in the case of a brahmin performing sacred and priestly activities. Furthermore, a close association between a physician (practicing medicine) and brahmin (dedicated as a priest), as implied in the following hymn, indicates that there was no casteist discrimination against the physician for practicing medicine and that his profession was not considered lowly. The vocation and skill of physician was rather complex and appeared to involve three important influences (factors): agni (the deity as well as fire: the source of energy, food and hot water etc.), water (used in drinking, medicine and cleanliness etc.) and knowledge (acquired and learnt as by a brahmin and dealing with diseases, medicines and herbs among other things).

"… a brahmin (priest) should not practice medicine (at the same time), for the physician is impure (contaminated by the diseased and sick) unfit for the sacrifice (involving activity and participation of many people). Having purified them by the Bahispavamana (Stotra) they drew for them this cup for the Açvins; therefore (the cup) for the Açvins is drawn when the Bahispavamana has been sung. Therefore by one who knows thus the Bahispavamana should be performed; verily he purifies himself. Their skill as physicians they deposited in three places, in Agni a third, in the waters a third, in the brahmin a third. Therefore one should put beside him a pot of water and sit on the right hand of a brahmin when practising medicine; all medicine he performs thereby, his remedy becomes effective….” Yajur Veda (Kanda 6: hymn 6.4.9.2)

: Subhash C. Sharma
(original post on July 31, 2008: https://www.oocities.org/lamberdar/vedic_physicians.html )
Seva Lamberdar
Seva Lamberdar

Posts : 6302
Join date : 2012-11-29

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bYp0igbxHcmg1G1J-qw0VUBSn7Fu

Back to top Go down

Vedic hymns on the practice of medicine Empty Re: Vedic hymns on the practice of medicine

Post by Seva Lamberdar Fri Apr 10, 2020 12:38 pm

Kudos to everyone (doctors, nurses and others) working in hospitals and other places these days (during Covid-19) to save and take care of people!
Seva Lamberdar
Seva Lamberdar

Posts : 6302
Join date : 2012-11-29

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bYp0igbxHcmg1G1J-qw0VUBSn7Fu

Back to top Go down

Vedic hymns on the practice of medicine Empty Re: Vedic hymns on the practice of medicine

Post by Seva Lamberdar Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:15 am

Happy Global Hand-washing Day on Oct. 15, 2020!

As mentioned in this blog, the need to wash hands with water to stay clean and disease-free was recognized thousands of years ago during Vedic times.

The hymn from the Yajur Veda above emphasizes the need for water and hand washing frequently by a physician during the practice of medicine, and it advises the physician to not engage at the same time (to avoid others from getting contaminated / infected -- a kind of social distancing) as priest / brahmin (conducting religious group rituals).
Seva Lamberdar
Seva Lamberdar

Posts : 6302
Join date : 2012-11-29

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bYp0igbxHcmg1G1J-qw0VUBSn7Fu

Back to top Go down

Vedic hymns on the practice of medicine Empty Re: Vedic hymns on the practice of medicine

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum