The Agni Purana

by N. Gangadharan | 1954 | 360,691 words | ISBN-10: 8120803590 | ISBN-13: 9788120803596

This page describes The treatment of the diseases of elephants (gaja-cikitsa) which is chapter 287 of the English translation of the Agni Purana, one of the eighteen major puranas dealing with all topics concerning ancient Indian culture, tradition and sciences. Containing roughly 15,000 Sanskrit metrical verses, subjects contained in the Agni-Purana include cosmology, philosophy, architecture, iconography, economics, diplomacy, pilgrimage guides, ancient geography, gemology, ayurveda, etc.

Chapter 287 - The treatment of the diseases of elephants (gaja-cikitsā)

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Pālakāpya said:

1-3. O Lomapāda! I shall describe to you the characteristics of the elephants and the treatment (of their diseases) [gaja-cikitsāgajalakṣma cikitsāñca]. Those that have long trunks, deep breath and are of enduring type are commended. Those that have twenty or eighteen nails, those that exude rut (even) in winter, those that have an elevated right tusk, those that have wide ears resembling the cloud, with minute dot like (marks) on the skin should be maintained. Those that are short and have bad features should not be maintained.

4-5. (Similarly it is not advisable to capture) the she-elephants that bear the foetus on their sides and those that are stupid. The elephant that has (good) complexion, good nature, strength, appearance, beauty, firmness and speed would conquer enemies in the battle. The elephants add beauty to the army camp and the army.

6a. A king could gain victory by the diligent (employment) of elephants.

6b-7. In the case of all the fevers (of elephants), they should be anointed. Bathing them after anointing them with ghee or oil would remove the wind (in the body). The shoulders should be treated by the kings as indicated in the case of the fevers (of elephants).

8. O Brahmins! Cow’s urine together with ghee and the two varieties of turmeric (are commended) for jaundice. An infusion (with the above remedy) soaked in oil is commended for constipation.

9-10. Vāruṇī (a kind of liquor) mixed with five kinds of salts should be given for drinking. An elephant should be fed with balls of (mixture of) viḍaṅga, the three myrobalans, dried ginger, pepper and long pepper and salt in the case of fainting. He should be made to drink honey and water. The head should be anointed with oil for headache. A sternutatory is also commended.

11. The diseases affecting the legs of an elephant should be treated by anointing with oil. Then it is laid down that they should be cleansed with the paste of sediments of oil.

12. An elephant that is suffering from shivering should be fed with the juice of the flesh of peacock and tittiri (partridge) mixed with long pepper and pepper.

13. A morsel comprising tender bilva, lodhra, dhātakī together with sugar should be given to an elephant suffering from dysentery.

14. Ghee mixed with common salt should be given as sternutatory in the case of numbness of the trunk. (Otherwise) long pepper, dried ginger and the cumin-seed boiled in the rice or barley gruel together with musta grass (could be given).

15-16a. The juice of the flesh of a pig should be given for ear-ache. Oil boiled with the ten kinds of roots, the horse beans, tamarind and kākamācī would remove the pain due to stiffness of the neck caused by fetters.

l6b-17. Ghee mixed with the eight kinds of salts made into a paste should be given for drinking in the case of retention of urine. Otherwise a decoction of the seeds of trāpuṣa (may be given). An elephant should be made to drink a decoction of the bark of neem or vṛṣa.

18-19. Cow’s urine and viḍaṅga are commended for worms in the intestines. Milk boiled with dried ginger, long pepper, grapes and sugar is (an excellent) drink for curing the wounds. The juice of the flesh is also good. Rice and green gram boiled together and mixed with dried ginger, pepper and long pepper is commended for loss of appetite.

20. Oil mixed with trivṛt, dried ginger, long pepper and pepper, agnidanti, arka, śyāmā, milk and bigger variety of long pepper would remedy the enlargement of spleen.

21-22a. All sorts of disorders that arise could be remedied by means of loosening, enema, anointment, application of oil, drinks and oily enemas. One could be given yaṣṭika with śārada (a kind of beans) together with the soup of green gram for drinking.

22b. Besmearing with tender bilva is commended in the diseases (known as) kaṭu.

23. Viḍaṅga, indrayava, asafoetida, sarala and the two varieties of turmeric could be given in the form of balls in the forenoon to remedy all kinds of colics.

24. The main meal for them should be composed of (the rice varieties known as) ṣaṣṭika, vrīhi and śāli. (The meals) consisting of barley and wheat are (considered as) mediocre. The other kinds (of food) are (deemed as) inferior for the elephants.

25. Barley and sugarcane increase the strength of the elephants. Dried barley would derange the humours of the elephants.

26. Drinking of milk is commended for an elephant that is emaciated on account of rutting. The juice of flesh that has been cooked with the substances that are stimulants is good.

27. In the event of severe injury in the war, balls of (flesh of) crows, hens, cuckoos and owls (could be given) mixed with honey.

28. An incense (consisting) of pepper, fish, viḍaṅga, alkaline salt, juice of koṣāiaki and turmeric ensures victory in the battle for the elephant.

29. (A liniment consisting of) long pepper, rice, oil, honey of different kinds applied along the eyelids is commended as sharpening the eyesight.

30-31a. Feces of a sparrow and a pigeon, the resin of the kṣīra tree and the liquor (known as) prasannā are the excellent collyrium. Such a collyrium applied on the eye would make the elephant destructive in the battle.

31b-32a. Blue lotuses, musta and tagara made into a paste with water in which rice has been washed is an excellent cooling agent for the eyes.

32b. (Once in a month) the grown-up nails should be cut. (They) should be bathed with oil once in a month.

33. The bed of an elephant would be powdered dry cow dung. It is commended that (the elephants) should be anointed with clarified butter in the autumn and summer.

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