King Buddhadasa

King Buddhadasa had been a great rule and ruled Sri Lanka from 341-370 A.D, The King was not only good at his kingship but also had been a good doctor.

The king had a great devotion to Buddhism and he was popular as a very pious king. The King was not only a great ruler but also a very skilful doctor. It had been a practice of the King to carry all his medical equipment whenever he is on the street.

The king was prepared to help the people as well as always ready to help whoever needs medical attention. The King Buddhadasa ruled the country from Anuradhapura, which was the first capital of Sri Lanka and the cradle of Sri Lankan civilization.

Today, Anuradhapura is not the capital of Sri Lanka, however, it is visited by tens of thousands of tourists every year, due to its historical value. The historical temple of Anuradhapura hides many UNESCO world heritage sites and it is home to many thousands of crumbling ancient structures. Some of the monuments are dating back to 3rd century BC. Click here and learn more about this fascinating historical city.

The King had carried out an operation to remove a tumour of a snake and heal it. It is a very popular story, and it is heard even today. One day, when King was on his way to the Tissawewa (Tissawewa tank) on the state elephant, in order to have his regular bath and perform water sports. The king spotted a snake that was stretched out on a huge white anthill.

The snake was not making any movement and seemed suffering from some kind of ailment. The King had immediately ascended from the elephant and talked to the snake gently.

“I see that thou art suffering and I would like to help thee if thou wert not inclined to bite me in thy sudden attacks of rage. How do I touch thee and not being attacked by thee?”. The snake had understood the King and obeyed the king’s words. The snake put his head into the anthill and lay quite still making it possible for the king to take his instruments out, open the snake’s body, take out the diseased part, and applies some healing ointment; thus the snake was cured.

According to the historical information, the snake gave a precious gem to the king to show its gratitude. Later the gemstone was set in an eye of a statue built at Abhyagiri temple.

According to the historical pieces of evidence, again that he cured a monk who was so afflicted with rheumatism that he was quite crippled. No physician had been able to treat the monk successfully and cure him. Later the fellow monks of the temple took the monk to teg King and in a short time period of time the sickness disappear with the treatments of King Buddhadasa.

The Mahawamsa, an ancient chronicle of Sri Lanka includes many stories that depict the skillfulness of the King Buddhadasa. In one such story, the king had opened the head of a man and took out a frog that was trapped in the head.

According to the Mahawamsa, once a man had swallowed some frog spawn with the water which drank from a pond and one of the frog’s eggs had entered his nose and had got up into his head.

The eggs hat hed hatched in the head and a frog was born, during the rainy days, the frog was croaking and gnawing in the man’s head. The king had carried out an operation successfully and took the frog out of the head.

The King of Buddhadasa had carried out many similar kinds of operations with great success. The reputation of this skilful doctor spread far and wide making more and more sick people started to flick around his palace.

So in his good-heartedness and because he could not possibly attend to everybody, he built hospitals and taught and employed medical men in all the larger villages. The King had visited the hospitals very often and supervised the activities in each place on his own.

There are many important literary works carried out by King Buddhadasa and “Sarathasngrahaya” considered being the most important book written by the King on medical science. Sarathisanghraha was written in an ancient script known as Sanskrit. the book was widely used the ancient doctors, in fact, the book is still being used by the doctors who practice indigenous medicine.