A Question on Medicine

Jonathan.Silk at um.cc.umich.edu Jonathan.Silk at um.cc.umich.edu
Wed Jan 19 07:06:24 UTC 1994

I have been working on a Buddhist text (Ratnaraa"sisuutra), extant
in Tibetan, Chinese, and portions in Skt.  I have encountered many
problems; I ask today about only one.  In a discussion of those who
have lost their vital strength (ojas) it is said:  "Those whose
strength is thus robbed are not healed by medicines, incantations
or magic spells, and finally their end will be none other than death."
This is OK.  But, the Chinese translation adds:  "sword or staff."
What sort of medical treatment could we have being referred to here?
(I cannot date the text accurately; the Chinese translation in
late 4th century.)  (By the way, ojas is of course homologized in
the text with all sorts of ascetic virtues -- not, I think, relevant
to the problem at hand.)
Any help out there?
Jonathan Silk:  jonathan.silk at um.cc.umich.edu

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