Scientific Contributions[or glories] of Ancient Tamils"/Part:09

"The Ancient Tamil Poetry & Science/Emergency Medical care"

It is evidence from ancient tamil sangam poems and kamba ramayanam  that ancient Tamils knew about trauma care, disaster handling, rehabilitative support and acute emergency management,For example,vivid description of four herbs in a Tamizh kaappiyam,kamba ramayanam, attracts our attention in Yudha Kandam,Maruthu malai Padalam[23]

‘மாண்டாரை உய்விக்கும் மருந்து ஒன்றும்,
      உடல் வேறு வகிர்களாகக்
கீண்டாலும் பொருந்துவிக்கும் ஒரு மருந்தும்,
     படைக்கலங்கள் கிளைப்பது ஒன்றும்,
மீண்டேயும் தம் உருவை அருளுவது ஓர் மெய்ம்
     மருந்தும் உள; நீ, வீர!
ஆண்டு ஏகி, கொணர்தி’ என அடையாளத்தொடும்
     உரைத்தான், அறிவின் மிக்கான். 
Related imageThat Jambavan   who is greatly wise   said  , There  is one medicine   which brings back,
Dead people to life  , one medicine which joins all  cut limbs of the body  ,
Another which throws   out all weapons  inside the body and cures all wounds  ,
And another   medicines which gives you , the original form of the person  .
You go and bring them, “he said along   with their identification.

8730.‘இன்ன மருந்து ஒரு நான்கும், பயோததியைக்
      கலக்கிய ஞான்று, எழுந்த; தேவர்
உன்னி அமைத்தனர்; மறைக்கும் எட்டாத
       பரஞ்சுடர், இவ் உலகம் மூன்றும்
தன் இரு தாள் உள் அடக்கிப் பொலி போழ்தின்,
       யான் முரசம் சாற்றும் வேலை,
அன்னவை கண்டு, உயாவுதலும், தொல் முனிவர்

       அவற்று இயல் எற்கு அறிவித்தாரால்; 
“All these great medicines appeared  when the ocean  of milk   was churned,
Devas thinking about their future use   preserved   them   in that mountain  ,
When Lord Vishnu who  is beyond the  Vedas  measured the   three worlds  in two steps,
I  was playing    the drum of victory  and when I asked about that   medicine ,
Some very ancient sages    told me about their properties.”

The four medicines are:One to enliven the dead—,One to refix body parts that Are torn and shred---,One to remove weapons---,And another redeem the original form---
Jaambavaan urges Hanuman to rush to the Sanjeevi hill and bring forth the herbs, so that all the fallen and slain Vaanaraa[monkey] warriors (of course, including the human Lakshmanan) could be revived.Hanuman leaps out northward to a long journey, searching all the while for the Sanjeevi hill and One who read this passage will definitely surprised at the kind of TRAUMA MANAGEMENT that the ancient Tamizh-s practised.A key factor in the lives of ancient Tamizh-s was ‘battle' and performance therein.Heroic deeds were hailed in toto, and the Sangam literature has numerous such deeds to enumerate.Running parallel to deeds of heroism, is the undercurrent of bedside and emergency medical practice.
Image result for புறநானூறு 281
Purananuru talks of fresh wounds and wounds that had bits of weapons stuck in themselves.These wounds were treated with viscous applications (similar to ointments of today) and were stuffed with soaked cotton.When wounds were many, the individual was made to lie on terracotta stretches that were smeared with emulsions.For example,Purananuru 281,explains the treatment of chest wounded warrior by his wife with her girl-friends.

தீங்கனி இரவமொடு வேம்பு மனைச் செரீஇ
வாங்கு மருப்பு யாழொடு பல் இயம் கறங்கக்
கைபயப் பெயர்த்து மை இழுது இழுகி
ஐயவி சிதறி ஆம்பல் ஊதி
இசை மணி எறிந்து காஞ்சி பாடி
நெடு நகர் வரைப்பின் கடி நறை புகைஇக்
காக்கம் வம்மோ காதல் அம் தோழீ
வேந்து உறு விழுமம் தாங்கிய
பூம் பொறிக் கழல் கால் நெடுந்தகை புண்ணே
Put in the thatched roof of the house entrance some leaves of Mango tree and Neem tree.
Let us play yazh sting-instrument and other drums.
Image result for யுத்த காண்டம்Apply us hands gently on his body to remove pain.
Apply some creams.
Apply some mustard-oil on the wound.
Let us play flout-music.
Ring the bell with lullaby song to make him sleep.
Make entire room fill with fragrant smell.
This is the way, we have to treat him.
You, my friends, please co-operate with me.
He is hero who saved the king the attack of the opponent.

A particular warrior who had been helping the king is now wounded. He has been brought to the camp by some women.They are aware of his strength and courage. It is their duty and desire to give him necessary medical help.And so, what do they do? They nurse his wound with an emulsified paste. They disperse tiny seeds of white mustard with stalks of lilies.They burn incense at a comfortable distance inside the dwelling. They have already kept bunches of leaves of neem and jasminus, in the sills and shades of the tent.To the background of harmonious music from instruments, they also sing.The tent should probably be made a model of combination therapies. Why so? Because it offered 

Medical and surgical treatment – in terms of trauma care
Supplementary therapy – in terms of incense and cologne
Preventive measures – in terms of disinfectants
Mental rejuvenation – in terms of music and support

It is not any exaggeration,It is just true translation of Purananuru 281!

Seevaga Chinthamani,one of the five perunkaappiyam also speaks wounds treatment .Pathitruppathu is a book on the Chera kings. It consists of hundred verses, sung by ten poets ( ten verses each) and is in praise of ten Chera kings.As the book talks about the valour of the kings, information on their battle-field strategies and wound management are also found.The fifth part runs thus:

"இரும் பனம் புடையல் ஈகை வான் கழல்
மீன்தேர் கொட்பின் பனிக்கய மூழ்கிச்
சிரல் பெயர்ந் தன்ன நெடுவெள்ளூசி
நெடுவசி பரந்த வடுவாழ் மார்பின்
அம்பு சேர் உடம்பினர்ச் சேர்ந்தோர் அல்லது" – பதிற்றுப்பத்து 5: 2:1-5
[நீரிலுள்ள மீனைக் கொத்துவதற்காக நீரில் பாய்ந்து, அடுத்த நொடியில் நீரைவிட்டு மேலே பறந்து செல்லும் சிரல் பறவையைப் போல, நெடிய வெள்ளூசி புண்ணுக்குள் நுழைந்து வெளியே வருகிறது என்கிறது. வெள்ளூசி என்பது வெள்ளியால் செய்யப்பட்ட தையல் ஊசி]

This particular king had gone to the battle-field earlier; and there, had sustained injuries on his chest. One such injury was long and deep. It was  sew together.In the process of keeping the borders of the wound together, a needle that shone like silver (or a silver needle) was put in and drawn out. The movements of the needle being taken up and down, looked like a like cunning sharp-beaked kingfishers that dive again and again into cold ponds in search of fish.The description is awesome. It talks of the instrument used; of the type of treatment accorded; the style of implementing the treatment (or method); the speed and technique by which it was carried out.‘Velloosi' could probably indicate that the needle was shiny, but also can mean that the needle was made of silver. As the fish cut through the stretch of water, the sharp edged needle did so.

[Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]


Part:10 will follow.
 

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