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Research Article written by london swaminathan
Date: 27 May 2016
Post No. 2845
Time uploaded in London :– 14-08
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This article is published in Tamil as well.
There is an interesting story in Mahabharata. Pandava brothers and Kaurava brothers were learning archery from the great teacher Drona. From the very beginning Duryodhana, the eldest of the Kauravas was very jealous of the Pandavas. Duryodhana was waiting for an opportunity to kill them by hook or crook. Once he tricked Bhima, the strongest of the Pandava brothers to eat poisonous fruits. When he fell unconscious, he tied him with plant fibres and threw him into a river full of poisonous snakes. He thought Bhima was finished. But Bhima came alive as if he was just woken up from sleep. The poisonous snakes in the river had bitten him and that poison neutralised the original poison. That is (– x — = +) Minus x Minus = plus
The popular Sanskrit proverb is Vishasya Aushadam Visham (Venom is the antidote for venom).
The word poison came from the Sanskrit word Visham ( V changes to P in most of the languages)
We have a vast resource of materials on everything under the sun in Sanskrit language. 2000 years ago Charaka and Susrutha wrote about poisonous flowers, roots, seeds, barks, fruits and animal poison in their medical books. They followed Homeopathy and took minute quantities of poison or impurities or germs to cure the symptoms caused by such things. They knew very well that the antidote for poison is another poison. Now this principle is followed in several treatments.
HINDUS DISCOVERED HOMEOPATHY
Five years ago I wrote an article under the title WHY DO HINDUS PRACTISE HOMEOPATHY? And posted here (19 November 2011); Following is an excerpt from my article:–
We are told that Homeopathy was developed by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843).But Indians know the principle long ago and are practising it in their day to day life.
The basic principles of Homeopathy are:
(1) ‘Like cures Likes’;
(2) ‘Symptoms of diseases are body’s self healing processes’ and
(3) ‘If one is administered with very dilute dose of what causes the disease, one will be cured of the disease’
When Hindus go to a holy place, they won’t drink or bathe in the water at once. Even when they go to temple tanks or holy rivers they will take three sips of water and sprinkle it on their head. Then they will use it for washing their feet and hands , bathing, drinking etc. This small dose of three sips of water (Brahmins call it Achamana) will help them to avoid all the diseases from that particular water source. In those days, water was the main source of diseases. The mineral contents, temperature, taste and quality of water were different from place to place. There was no chlorination or protected water supply for the public. Even today one can practise this ‘achamanam’ and avoid getting diseases from water. The diluted water-in small quantity- gives immunity to us from the germs and other impurities. So Hindus know the principle of Homeopathy ‘Like cures Likes’. No need to say that we should remember other basic rules about hygiene.
The rule for doing ‘achamana’ (sipping of water) is that the amount of water you take should submerge only one black gram seed (Urad Dhal in Hindi and Masha in Sanskrit). So when you do it three times you would have taken water that submerges only three seeds-so little!
Shiva – the poison eater
Lord Shiva, one of three Hindu Trinities helped the Devas (angels) by devouring the poison known as Kaalakuuta or Halaahala. When the Devas (angels) and the demons (demons) churned the Milky Ocean for Amruta/ambrosia.
Ten Types of Poison
An old Sanskrit sloka divides poison into five big/main poisons and five small/minor poisons. Since we lost touch with the ancient language and the ancient science may of the words look Greek to us today!
Srngi ca kaalakuutasca muthsalo vathsanaabhakah
Sangakarniiti yogoyam mahaapancavishaamidhah
Five main poisons are; Srngi, Kalakuta, Muthsalah, Vathsanabhakah, sangakarnii
Arkakshiiram snuhikshiiram tathaiva kalihaarikaa
Dhattuurah karaviirasca panca chopavishaah smrutaaah
Five minor poisons are : Arkakshiram, Snuhikshiram, Kaliharika, Dhatturah, Karavirah
Since people knew these things very well they even composed several verses using the theme of poison as simile:-
One poet composed a verse saying that what is poison for whom.
Anabhyaasena visham saastram
Agiirne bhojanam visham
Daritrasya visham goshti
Vrddasya tarunii visham
That is scriptures are poison to an idiot; food is to a person suffering from indigestion; donation of a cow to a poor and giving a young woman for an old man in marriage. All these are like poisons.
Another poet said that poison kills only one person who took it. But those steal a Brahmin’s property will be destroyed for seven generations:-
Na visham vishamiyaahu brahmasvam vishamucyate
Visham ekaakinam hanti brahmasvam putr pautrakam
SANSKRIT SAYINGS ON POISON
Following are some of the Sanskrit sayings on Poison (Visham); taken from the book Suktisudhaa, Chinmaya Interational Foundation:-
Duskaram visam ausadhii kartum – Mrccakatikam
It is an arduous task to convert poison into potion
Dvesaakhyaanam visam bhavet – Brhat katha kosa
Scandal mongering is lethal
Na hemakumbhe visam amrutam bhavet – Kahavatratnakar
Poison in a golden goblet will not turn into nectar
Visam visameva sarvakaalam
Poison remains Poison alone at all times
Visasya visam ausadham -– Kahavatratnakar
Venom is the antidote for venom
Sarvaange durjane visam – Canakya Niti
The whole body of the wily is venomous
Sva hasto api visadigdhah chedyah -– Canakya Niti Sastram
The poisoned hand, though your own, deserves to be amputated
The above proverbs may be compared with English proverbs:
Poison is poison though it comes in a golden cup
One drop of poison infects the whole tun of wine
One poison drives out another (Read the Story of Bhima above)
Scorpion has poison in its sting but bad people has poison all over the body
Scorpion has poison in its sting but a whore has poison all over her body (Iniyvai Naarpathu verse 38)
One drop of poison spoils the whole pot of milk
Singaravelu Mudaliyar in his Tamil Encyclopaedia ‘Abidhaana Chintaamani’ has listed all the plant poisons and antidotes as well.
Who do the Hindus feed the crows first?
Hindus used to feed the crows first just before eating. Some used to fee the dogs in the street. If there is any poison in the food they react immediately. In the olden days due to unhygienic conditions or deliberate poisoning, food poisoning was common. Even kings used some animals to test theiir food first.