Jivaka was the eminent physician of Buddha’s time in the 6″ century B.C.
He was born to Salavati, a call girl of Vaisali, and was rejected by his mother. Then he was brought up by the prince “Abhaya” in the royal palace and so he was called Kumara Bachcha’. The word is also having the meaning of *Kaumarbhritya’ expert in treating the children. jivak learned Ayurveda from the renowned scholar, “Atreya‘ at Takshasila, the center for medical education of those days, for 7 years.
After the completion of the course, he was asked by the teachers, to bring any one of the plants which are not used in medicine. He returned with empty hands and replied that he did not find any such plant. After hearing the answer given by Jivaka, the preceptors were very much pleased and issued the certificate to do the medical practice.
On his way to Rajagaha, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Magadha. (Present-day Rajgir, located in Nalanda District, Bihar State – It was a great holy place for the Buddhists. During the days of Mahavira and Buddha, who visited Rajagaha very often, as it was a very flourishing city. It was the venue of the 1st Buddhist Council held immediately after the Nirvana of Buddha, during the time of king Ajatshatru) Jivaka started doing medical practice as the money on hand was exhausted.
He showed extraordinary proficiency in medicine and surgery.
A merchant’s wife at ‘Saketa’, who had been suffering from headache for 7 years was cured of it with Nasya Karma. He was rewarded a huge amount of money along with a horse cart and a servant.
As Bimbisara was suffering from fistula-in-ano, Jivaka prepared a paste and in one application only he was cured. By virtue of that success, he was appointed as Royal physician to Bimbisara.
At Rajagaha he also performed a cranial operation on a merchant and pulled out two worms. The patient was relieved from chronic headaches.
At Banaras he performed laparotomy on a merchant’s son, to set right the twisted and obstructed intestines.
Jivaka also treated the king of Ujjain, Pradyota who was suffering from Jaundice.
Jivaka treated Lord Buddha for constipation, after a heavy meal, by asking him to smell a medicated lotus flower that acts as a purgative. Lord Buddha’s ailment was relieved by Jivaka with the use of ‘Aghrana Yoga (purgative recipe).
Bouddha Bhikshus suffering from Ajirna were also treated.
He was reported to have traveled to Egypt at the request of the king Bimbisara and performed a cranial operation in the royal family there.
The principle of neurosurgery, cutting the nerve at its root, for a quick (relief) cure of the disease was recognized by Jivaka.
Jivaka became popular as a great physician and surgeon of those days.
He is said to have possessed a herb by the name ‘Bhaishajya Raja’ which had the specific property of illuminating the internal organs when it was placed over the body.
Jivaka’s fame spread far and wide even beyond the borders of India..
Q & A About Jivak
Who was Buddha’s doctor?
Where did jivaka the disciple of Lord Buddha learn Ayurveda?
Jivaka studied medicine under the tutelage of Pingala for several years. After completing his studies, he decided to return to the palace, Nandagavali said.