Talk:/Medical Institutions in ancient india/method of theoretical and practical study/Jivaka

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Jivaka�s Story


With Atreya as his teacher, Jivaka mastered everything excellently at the slightest of instruction from his Guru. Now Atreya was wont, when he visited his patients, to take a young Brahman along with him. One day he took Jivaka also with him, gave him directions to administer certain remedies and then went away. Jivaka thought, in the present case the master has made a mistake. If the patient takes this medicine, he will die this very day. As the remedy which the master has prescribed is not good, I shall contrive an expedient�. So he left the house along with Atreya and said when he came back again, �The doctor has told me not to give the medicine which he had prescribed, but a certain other remedy�. When the patient was treated in this way he became better. The next time Atreya visited the patient, after asking how he was getting on, he gave directions that the same medicine should be given to him on the following day. Being asked whether he meant the medicine which he had prescribed first or that which he had afterwards ordered, he said, �what did I prescribe first and what afterwards?" He was told, "You prescribed the one when you were present here, about the other you gave orders to Jivaka." He said to himself, �I made a mistake. Jivaka is endowed with great insight." Then he said that the medicine which Jivaka had prescribed was to be given.


Atreya became well pleased with Jivaka and took him along with him wherever he went. The Brahmans� sons, said, �O teacher, you are well pleased with him because he is a king's son, and you bestow instruction upon him, but none upon us�. He replied, �That is not the case. Jivaka possesses great intelligence, and he is able to comprehend intuitively whatever I indicate to him�. They said, � O teacher, how do you know this? � He said to the Brahman�s sons, �Go and ask the prices of various commodities, you ask of such a one and you ask of such another�. And having so spoken he sent them off to the market. He also gave orders to jivaka to ask the price of a certain article. The Brahmans� sons did as they were bidden. Jivaka did likewise. But then he said to himself, �Suppose the master asks the prices of other wares, what shall I be able to reply? I shall make myself acquainted with the prices of other commodities as well�. When they had all returned to their teacher, they rendered an account of those things which they had been ordered to do. Then Atreya began to ask the prices of articles which he had not mentioned, paying to each of them �O Brahman�s son, what does this commodity cost?� He whom he questioned, replied that he did not know In like manner did the others make reply when he questioned them. But Jivaka, when he was asked told him the price of every kind of goods.


�O Brahmans� sons, said Atreya, �have you heard ?�

�Yes, we have heard.�

� Behold, this is the reason why I said that Jivaka, as he is possessed of remarkable insight, intuitively comprehends any matter, intimation being given to him�.