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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 5(2); 1996 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 1996;5(2): 197-214.
삼국시대의 불교교학과 치병활동의 관계
Buddhism and Medicine in Three Kingdom Period
In Sok Yeo
National Institute of Environmental Medicine, Korea.
Religion has a close relationship with medicine. We find it much stronger as we go back to the ancient times. In Three Kingdom Period, Buddhism was a dominant religion. It had deep influences upon literature, arts, philosophy, rituals and medicine of that time. Buddhism had many schools. Different schools flourished in each Kingdom and their impacts were reflected in healing practices in each Kingdom. Madhyamika was the ruling school in Kokuryo(BC 37 - AD 668). Madhyamika was based on the philosophy of Nagarjuna(AD 100-200). In fact Nagarjuna was not only a philosopher, but also a great scientist well acquainted with Indian astronomy, calendar and medicine. As his writings, including medical writings, were widely read in Kokuryo, his medical theories might have had some influence on medicine in Kokuryo. In Paek-jae(? - AD 660), Vinaya school was popular. Vinaya school was a teaching about regulating religious activities. It formulated every activities which were to be kept in Buddhist communities and do's and don'ts of Buddhist monks' everyday life. What is interesting is that it contained many sanitary regulations. These are about keeping body clean and diets. In terms of medicine, its major concern was rather preventive medicine than therapeutic medicine. As Vinaya school was popular in Paek-jae, it is probable that sanitary concepts were introduced in Paek-jae. Among many Buddhist schools in Shin-la(? - AD 935), Mantrayana school was of importance in Buddhist healing practice. Mantrayana school had somewhat mystic character. It believed that the incantation has magical power of healing. Although Mantrayana school had never become dominant one in the history of Korean Buddhism, it remains the base of Korean Buddhism.
Key Words: Religion, Buddhism, Medicine, Three Kingdom Period
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