The Knowledge of herbs in the Mahapon chapter of VessantaraJataka

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Smai Wannaudorn



The article is part of the research topicVessantaraJataka,Mahapon chapter: The process of enhancing the wisdom of local herbal medicine texts. The aim of this article is to study the of presentation strategies of Mahapon’s story and the knowledge of herbs used in medicine which is mentioned in the Mahapon chapter of VessantaraJataka. Four versions of the VessantaraJataka from four regions of Thailand: the Central, Northern, Northeastern, and Southern Thailand were analyzed and focused on (1) A presentation strategy of content, (2) the similarity, and (3) the difference of herbal medicines of each version. The presentation strategy in the Mahapon chapter of VessantaraJataka from each version is different, although the head topic of each version has the same Palisamon. For example, a Central Thailand version was found that was started with Pali and then followed by the explanation with Thai language. The names of herbs are not mentioned in Pali language was added in part of Thai language. The Northern Thailand version, one chapter or one sentence of Palisamon was presented first, and then followedby the description with North-Thai language and some herbs were added in the contents. The Northeastern Thailand version, ongoing the contents with Pali language and was translated to Thai language by word for word translation and some medicinal herbs were added in contents. The Southern Thailand version was not introduced with Pali but presented with Surangkanang poem with description about herbs and detailed a property of herbs for treatment including a preparation of magic drug. The comparison the name of herbs which mentioned in contents from four versions was found that no herb was mentioned in all versions. While, one of herbs were mentioned in three versions and ten herbs were recognized in two versions. In addition, the Mahapon chapter in the VessantaraJataka of Southern Thailand version was highest mentioned about the herbal medicines and following the North, Central, and North-East Thailand, respectively. Keywords: Herbs, VessantaraJataka , The Mahapon chapter


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Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences