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   { vāgbhaṭa }
Script: Devanagari


Puranic Encyclopaedia  | English  English
VĀGBHAṬA   A Sanskrit scholar who lived in the 12th century A.D. He is the author of the two medical books ‘Aṣṭāṅga-saṅgraha’ and ‘Aṣṭāṅgahṛdaya’. Another work called ‘Neminirvāṇa’ is also written by Vāgbhaṭa. This work deals with the story of Neminātha, a Jain hermit. Not much is known about Vāgbhaṭa. He was a scholar in rhetorical science. There are certain stories about his writing the medical books. It was a period when the muslims had beaten down the Brahmins. They had taken away the medical science also from them. The Brahmins considered this to be a disgrace to them. They decided to select an intelligent boy and send him to a Muslim physician. They selected Vāgbhaṭa. The Brahmins disguised Vāgbhaṭa as a Muslim boy and sent him to the Muslim Physician on the other side of the river. The boy went to the physician and told him that he was coming from far away with the intention of learning medical science. The teacher put certain questions and understood that the boy possessed extraordinary intelligence. He began to teach the boy the science of medicine. Seeing the interest of the boy the teacher asked the boy to eat food from his house and to learn day and night. The Brahmin boy did not like to eat the food of Muslims. The boy said that he had a relative on the other side of the river and that he would go there and have his supper and return for the night study. The teacher agreed and thenceforward Vāgbhaṭa began to learn day and night. Within a short time he completed learning. One day the teacher was sleeping on the seventh storey of the building and his disciple Vāgbhaṭa was massaging his legs. The boy soliloquised that fate had destined him to massage the legs of a Musalman. Instantly he cried bitterly, and the teacher awoke and understood that the boy was not a Muslim, and tried to cut his head. The boy thought: “The four Vedas and the six Śāstras say that there is a god. If it is true no harm will come to me.” Then he jumped out of the window. In consequence of this jump, he became a little lame and no other harm befell him. He swam across the river and reached the other side and told the Brahmins everything. The Brahmins asked him what he imagined when he jumped from the seventh storey. He replied “I jumped with this imagination. The four Vedas and the six Śāstras say that there is a god. If it is true no harm will come to me.” As soon as the boy had finished the Brahmins became angry and they all got up. They said “You went wrong in using the doubtful ‘if’, instead of the affirmative ‘As.’ The Brahmins joined together and expelled him from the society. The boy thought of going away somewhere. “But there won't be another chance for somebody else to go and learn medical science from the Muslim physicians. So before going away from here I must make the fruits of my efforts available to these people.” Thinking so he lived there for a little longer. He lived there without mingling with the Brahmins, cooking his food. It is believed that Vāgbhaṭa wrote ‘Aṣṭāṅgasaṅgraha’ and ‘Aṣṭāṅgahṛdaya,’ during this period.


A Sanskrit English Dictionary | Sanskrit  English
वाग्—भट  m. m.N. of a writer on rhetoric (author of the वाग्-भटालंकार), [Cat.]
वाग् भट
of a writer on medicine, ib.
of other authors and learned men, ib.

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