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Title: A critical edition of Chapters 1-18 of the 'Bhesajja Manjusa' with extracts from the commentary, notes, and an essay on its position in the Ayurvedic medical literature of Ceylon
Author: Beneragama, D. C. P.
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1953
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The present thesis consists of five parts: I. Introduction giving a biographical sketch of the author and the commentator; II, the Text which is the only medical work in the Pali language; III. Extracts from the commentary of Sangharaja Saranamkara; IV. Notes on the Text and matter arising therefrom; V. an Essay dealing with the beginnings of the Ayurveda, its practice in Ceylon from the earliest to modern times, the Ayurvedic medical literature of Ceylon, and lastly, magic medicine and rituals connected with medical practice in Ceylon. The Bhesajja Manjusa consists of sixty chapters (about 4,700 gathas), each chapter being subdivided into several sections. The text was written especially for the Buddhist Order of monks and as such it does not contain references to women's diseases or children's ailments. Two editions of the text in Sinhalese character have previously been attempted by Sinhalese scholars but these ventures unfortunately failed, only nine chapters having been published out of a total of sixty. Even these editions are very rare today and have been out of print for a long time. A summary of the commentary has been rendered into Sinhalese verse for the benefit of physicians practising the Ayurveda. Apart from any scientific value which this text may possess, it is the only known medical work in the Pali language and it provides the philologist with a considerable number of hitherto unlisted Pali scientific terms. The notes and explanations in the present thesis are generally treated from a philological rather than a scientific point of view: any scientific explanations made are made in the light of comparison with standard Sanskrit authors such as Caraka and Susruta. Very little is known about the author. As regards the commentator I have been able to obtain some valuable material, so far unknown, from Mss. in the British Museum Library. The Essay attempts to bring together material which has not up to now been viewed fully or uniformly.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral