Talk:/Medical Institutions in ancient india/Nursing/Jivaka

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Jivaka, the physician to Buddha

The Medical treatment of the Buddha and his order of followers was entrusted by generous king of Magadha, Seniya Bimbisara, to Jivaka Komarabhachcha, the Royal physician, an excellent young doctor, who had orders to wait upon the King, his Seraglio and the fraternity of Bhikkhus with the Buddha at its head. He was a most distinguished medical authority of his times, well versed in both medicine and surgery, and had calls from distant places like Saketa, Benares and Ujjeni, always to treat diseases which baffled the skill of other medical practitioners. The free prov�ision of such expert medical aid for the order was one of the tempta�tions to the lay public to join it. There is a story that on the outbreak in Magadha of the five diseases of leprosy boils, dry leprosy, consumption, and fits, the people suffering from them approached Jivaka and said, �Pray, Doctor, cure us and all that we possess shall be yours and we will be your slaves�'. But the Doctor said. �I have too many duties, Sirs, and am too occupied. I have to treat the Magadha King Seniya Bimbisara and the royal seraglio, and the fraternity of Bhikkhus with the Buddha at their head. I cannot cure you." Now those people thought: "Indeed the precepts which these Sakyaputtiya

Samanas keep and the life they live are commodious, they have good meals and lie down on beds protected from the wind. What if we were to embrace the religious life among the Sakyaputtiya Samanas, then the Bhikkhus will nurse us and Jivaka Komarabhachcha will cure us." Thus these persons got themselves ordained by the unsuspecting Bhikkhus and then secured the Bhikkhus to nurse and the physician Jivaka to treat them. The demands of the sick made the Bhikkhus constantly beg for food for the sick, while Jivaka, having to treat so many sick Bhikkhus, neglected some of his duties to the king. This stratagem worked so well that persons similarly afflicted with one or other of those diseases began to offer themselves for monkhood, not for the sake of the religious life but simply to exploit the order, to get themselves nursed and cured and then to return to the world, for the entry into the order was as easy as exit therefrom. The entire corrupt practice was, however, one day completely exposed when Jivaka in the course of one of his medical rounds noticed a run-away renegade tramping the public roads and subjected him to a cross examination which revealed the whole truth. On Jivaka reporting the matter to the Buddha, he ruled that no person seeking the order in sickness should be admitted.