THE DISCARDED CHILD
THE VEN.DICKWELLE MAHINDA
When the supreme Buddha was staying at Rajagaha in the Anathepindikamonastery, there lived a beautiful courtesan named Salavti. A child was born to her. But unfortunately, that infant was a son.
In accordance with their ancient custom, they will not bring up sons. They raise only daughters, who will later become courtesans. She called a slave woman and asked her to put this infant into a winnowing fan and throw him in to a rubbish heap. " Very well, lady " she said and threw that infant into a rubbish heap which was not far from the main road.
On the following morning, the king's son Abhaya was attending royal audience, and saw that helpless infant surrounded by crows, and asked his retinue 'What is this that is surrounded by crows'?. It is an infant Sire. Is he alive?. He is alive Sire. Bring that orphan and let the nursing mother of the palace look after him.
on the naming day, because it was said of him "He is alive" they gave the name Jivaka. One day he approached his foster father and asked many questions. " prince who is my mother?. Who is my father?. Not even I know your mother. Then it occurred to Jivaka, without learning a craft it will not be easy to maintain himself later.
Then set out for Taksila to meet the teacher known as Disapamok Achariya. Under this teacher, he learnt medicine for seven years. At the end of his seven years, he told his teacher I can remember all I have learnt. Well now, Jivaka, you take this horse and go all around Taksila and bring any plant that cannot be used as medicine. He came back with empty hands. You are trained, this much is enough for your livelihood. He gave him provisions for the journey.
on the way he went to Saketa where lived a merchant's wife who had been suffering from a disease of head for seven long years. Jivaka told her servant, please, inform the lady, that a doctor has come to see her. When the said so she inquired what sort of doctor he was?. He is young lady, That is enough servant, what could a young doctor do for me?. Many famous doctors have not been able to cure me. They have gone away taking much gold doctor spoke thus, I can collect my fee after the cure. You can give me what you like.
Then the merchant's wife agreed and gave a handful of ghee to Jivaka to make medicine. He cooked the ghee with various medicines. He made that patient lie down on her back on a couch and injected it her through the nose came out of the mouth. Then she ordered the slave woman to come and take up the ghee with cotton.
Then it occurred to Jivaka, 'this ghee ought to be thrown away, but this stingy woman ordered it to be taken with cotton. I do not known whether I will receive my fee. This economy is a little too much. The ghee is excellent for the servants or workmen for rubbing on their feet. Don't be afraid, your fee will not be lacking, said the lady.
Jivaka cured the disease of the head by treatment through the nose. She gave him four thousand gold coins. Her son also gave him four thousand gold coins.
Now at that time king Bimbisara was suffering from fistula. Jivaka removed his fistula with just on ointment. He received various kinds of gifts from the king Bimbisara. Jivaka went to see a patient suffering from a disease of the head for seven years, who had been abandoned by other doctors. They said that the patient will pass away on the fifth day. Jivaka cut the skin of his head and opened a suture in the skull. He removed two tiny living creatures who
were destroying the brain. He received a hundred thousand gold coins as a present.
At one time, a son of a merchant while playing at somersaults, came to suffer from a twist in the bowels. So that he did not properly digest whatever he ate and drank. Jivaka cut the skin of the stomach and drew out the twisted bowel and sewed the skin of the stomach. He applied an ointment given by Jivaka and soon became well.
An urgent message was received by the King Bimbisara from his friend who was living in Ujjeni. The message said that King Pajjota was suffering from jaundice "please send Jivaka as soon as possible" Bimbisara ordered Jivaka to go there.
Jivaka approached King Pajjota and told the King that he wanted to make a decoction with ghee. But the king said, you must make the decoction without ghee because, ghee is abhorrent to me. Then it occurred to Jivaka it is not possible to make him well without ghee. The smell and colour of ghee could be changed by cooking. He made a decoction changing the colour, the smell, and taste of ghee. Before giving medicine to the King, Jivaka got permission from the king to go out at any time and to return to the palace. Jivaka gave the medicine to be taken. The king did so. At that very moment, Jivaka fled from the palace riding on an elephant. Because Jivaka knew that the king could not control his anger. The king Pajjota shouted at him in anger, saying "Wicked Jivaka has made me drink ghee, find Jivaka. If Jivaka had been standing near the king, The king would have beaten or killed him. Jivaka knew the king's intention. Therefore he fled.
After a few days, the king being well, sent a messenger to bring back Jivaka. When Jivaka approached the king, he praised him and gave him various kinds of gifts including hundred pairs of clothes.
When the venerable Ananda informed Jivaka that the supreme Buddha was not well, Jivaka went to see the Buddha. Then it occurred to Jivaka, it is not suitable that I should give a strong purgative to the Buddha. He had mad three handfuls of lotuses mixed with various medicines.
The Buddha had only to smell the lotuses to make his bowels move. After a warm water bath Buddha was completely cured of his ailment. The discarded child became a world famous doctor.