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Abstract

INFLUENCE OF BUDDHISM IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF CONTEMPORARY HEALING TRADITIONS

Dr. Akhilesh Kumar Singh*

ABSTRACT

Buddhism and Ayurveda originated in India and both aim at eliminating dukkha (sufferings). Buddha himself was renowned as the Bhaishajya-guru (healing master) and healing practices were integral part of Buddhist monasteries. In addition to dissemination of Indic healing traditions westward to Persia and Central Asia, to China and to South-east Asia, Buddhist monks (Vagbhtta, Nagarjun, Jivak etc.) had also developed various new dimensions of healing, further assimilated by Ayurveda. There are various authoritative texts of Buddhism that contain important references to medical concepts, procedures, medications, sanitations and code for healthy livings like Digha Nikaya, Milinda Panho, Vishuddhimagga of Buddhaghosha, Dhammapada and Vinaya Pitaka (especially Mahavagga). So, it is quite evident that Buddhism and Ayurveda have great influence over each other. Ayurvedic historians never admitted the influence of Buddhism in the development of Indic healing tradition probably because one among other reasons was that they discredited Emperor Ashok for the demolition of Ayurvedic surgery, as he banned the bloodshed in his kingdom. The paper shall unfolds the hidden vistas available in Buddhist medical concepts, procedures, medications, sanitations and code for healthy livings; Ayurvedic healing practices adopted and groomed by Buddhism and new dimensions of healing developed by Buddhist monks, assimilated by Ayurveda in later stage. There is profound need to explore as these are untouched and novel dimensions. Buddhist philosophy of healing is primarily based on humanistic healing. The philosophy of Indic healing tradition is primarily concerned with the treatment, prevention and preservation of health. The paper will addresses the biggest issue of „suffering‟ by exploring humanistic healing along with treatment, prevention and preservation of health will certainly translate to new philosophy of holistic humanistic healing.

Keywords: Ayurveda, Buddhism, Healing, Sufferings.


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