They are wonderful doctors. They heal wounds, nuts, broken limbs, and heal in just a few days. Cancer is an incurable disease, but they are not. They cure cancer in eight days. If it is a skin or an external scar, it will heal the scars so much that it would not have been there before. During my stay here, I have seen military soldiers and captains recover from their remedies. What’s more amazing is how they do it so lightly. ”(“ Fat Adelaide Historia de Ceilao ”, Joa Ribeiro, a Portuguese soldier which served in Ceylon from 1641-1658)
This statement is a short excerpt from a book by a Portuguese resident of the country about the ancient Hela Dharma of our country.
The history of our country of medicine is incomparable. Mihintale Hospital, the first fully equipped hospital in the world, is similar in structure to the modern hospital. The hospital contained an external treatment room, individual rooms for patients, and dispensaries and storage facilities. Medicine boats and surgical instruments show the advances made by local medicine even back then. According to the Mahavamsa, King Pandukabhaya who ruled the country in the 4th century BC invented sivakasotti halls that could accommodate patients in various parts of the country.
The health of the people who contributed to the work of constructing the Great Irrigation and Temples was considered the responsibility of the Government. Accordingly, these hospitals are common places where people can be treated equally, regardless of race, religion, caste or gender. Mihintale, Anuradhapura, Medirigiriya, Digawapi, Dompegoda, Alalana Pirivena Complex are the places where such hospitals are located.
Hela Medicine was nourished with Buddhism. The Supreme Buddha preached that the gilanoposthana is a ministry to him. It is because of the teaching of Buddhism that the Hela Vedas do not want to be treated as a profession but as a profession.
We can see this discipline from the very beginning of Hela Veda. The kings sought to protect and nurture the doctors because it was the responsibility of the king to make the country a happy man. In the Girnar Sel Letter of Emperor Dharmasoka (3rd century BC), who pioneered the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka, he states that Tambapanni (then known as Ceylon) was the centre for treating people as well as animals.
King Buddhadasa (4th century), who personally took over the responsibility of making the country a happy man, was a famous medical king in Sri Lanka. The king was a physician, surgeon, obstetrician, and veterinarian. It is said that King Buddhadasa carried surgical equipment and adequate medicine even during his regular visit. It is said in the chronicles that on such a visit, he performed surgery on a pregnant woman. On another occasion, a man who had been forming a tumour had been surgically removed and healed. In both cases, the king did not make any difference in the practice of medicine because of caste or brutality.
The caste system in India where Ayurveda was born is very strict and the lower castes are called untouchable communities. So even in the medical practice, there was no justice for the lower caste. There is no doubt, however, that the country’s medical practice, nourished by Buddhism, is aimed at achieving the goal of expelling all animals.
The literary treatise called Sanskrit is a medical book written by King Buddhadasa. Although this book has been supported by Indian Ayurvedic books, it also includes indigenous medical systems. Its contents are variable. It covers a wide range of subjects such as medication preparation, diagnostics, surgical instruments and surgical procedures, eye and ear disorders, eye diseases, tuberculosis, hysteria, epilepsy, and childbirth.
Hela Veda is not Ayurveda. When Buddhism first came to Sri Lanka, it was clear that Ayurvedic medicine came with many aspects of Dambadiva culture. But the doctors of this country have developed their own methodology with the influence of Buddhism. They knew that they needed to practice not only medicine but also virtues like kindness and love.
The Mahavamsa mentions that Vihara Maha Devi had given food and medicine to the Bhikkus for the purpose of conceiving Prince Kusuma Gemunu. King Dutugemunu is said to have provided food and medicines to the sick. It is with this influence that many aspiring citizens today find themselves offering herbal medicines and medicines. In examining Hela Veda, it is seen that medicine is not only a physical remedy but also a good way of life.
Today’s medical practice is largely a money-making business. It is, in fact, a more profitable business. Modern equipment and treatments are no longer available to everyone. As a result, medicine has become an increasingly privileged service. It is true that the government provides free medical services. But it is also true that the trend of commercialization is growing.
Hela Veda was far beyond these commercial objectives. Medicine was fostered by the government as it was the duty of the king to ensure the well-being of the citizens. The King made arrangements to provide gifts to the doctors who cured them. The Culavamsa mentions that the kings allotted lands to the doctors.
The goal of the Hela Vedas was to heal the patient. He did not expect a medical fee. Since the medicines supplied were easily herbal remedies found in the surrounding environment, the doctors did not incur additional costs. The allowance or allowances given by the King were sufficient for the maintenance of the doctor. Or the doctor was maintained by the village social organization. The villagers collectively cultivated his space to give him time to practice medicine.
Medical knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation. Medicine was regarded as highly required teaching by the teacher. An important factor in the teacher-teacher relationship was the long training of the teacher by the disciple. The training included identifying the disease, identifying and preparing the medication, and determining the appropriate treatment options. This knowledge is not available in a short time. Therefore, a long period of training under the supervision of the teacher was essential. For example, let’s look at the pulse and make a diagnosis. There is no written advice for this. Hundreds of patients have a pulse and are trained under the guidance of their teacher. It is for this reason that virtually all the father’s sons or daughters have inherited medical knowledge.
The overall result of this process was the emergence of a brilliant and dedicated generation of doctors. Hela Veda has made it unique because of the vast amount of experience passed down from generation to generation.
The gradual decline of Hela Veda began with the dominance of the West. It was accelerated through the impact of globalization and commercialization. With the advent of Western medicine, the practice of indigenous medicine was brought down, just as the Green Revolution destroyed the indigenous culture. The Green Revolution was enough for a half-century to completely dismantle the country’s indigenous seeds and agriculture. But moreover, the indigenous medicine, which had brought our country to life, was not easy to destroy.
Our country is still incorporated with some state patronage of Ayurveda, which is of Indian origin, and well-written knowledge. But indigenous medicine did not receive the same patronage. Local origins such as jaundice, nuts, pulse therapy, snake venom, as well as cattle (animal) medicine are slowly declining. Because there was no state patronage for it. In the absence of state recognition, treatment became illegal. The local doctors had to register under the Ayurvedic medical system to legalize their treatment.
At first glance, it doesn’t look so bad here. But one thing seems certain. That is, even Ayurveda is slowly becoming commercialized. One might think that commercialization is essential to the survival of the current socioeconomic system. But it is time to reflect on our Buddhist identity and values. Do we still have the essential qualities of kindness, kindness, and love?
Why should we pay attention to this fact? Granted, modern medicine makes amazing discoveries. An X-ray, ultrasound, ultrasound, or ultrasound of a medical doctor was performed today to reveal the pulse of the patient. R. Eye. Uses such as scan (MRI). We should not be unhappy about it.
We must also keep an eye on new trends. Do we understand the limits of Western medicine? It has modern equipment for diagnosing cancer. But there is still no specific cure for cancer. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy treat cancer, but there is no cure. The side effects of these remedies are sometimes worse than the original.
Doctors in the West, as well as heads of pharmaceutical companies, are on the lookout for alternative therapies.
The difference between modern and alternative (local) treatment is that local treatments are holistic. Modern scientific treatments often use only active chemicals. In this parable, paracetamol is like a slice of drink and an earthenware drink. Paracetamol has only one active chemical. Too much can be fatal. But the pharmacological properties of soils are not one active chemical. It works by combining several herbs. There is no fatal accident.
The new trend is the practice of indigenous medicine will begin from where western medicine stops. Today there are treatments of local medicine for the problems that medicine is trying to solve. See Ribeiro’s report, which I quoted earlier in this article. There have been successful treatments in Hela Medicine for cancer. Through our folly, we have allowed ourselves to perish, without regard to our knowledge.
This does not mean that modern knowledge should be discarded and local knowledge reclaimed. There should be roomed for both of this knowledge. One should not be allowed to swallow those who are waiting to fulfil their commercial objectives.
It’s time to open my eyes. Are we waiting until the medicine is commercialized? Isn’t this the right time to embark on a program to preserve, develop and contribute to the future generation with a wealth of knowledge and experience accumulated over a long period?