vyādhi व्याधि

Definition: Disease,' occurs several times in Vedic literature. The specific diseases are dealt with under the separate names, but the Vedic texts also mention innumerable bodily defects. The list of victims at the Puruṣamedha (‘human sacrifice’) includes a ‘dwarf’ (vāmana, kubja), a ‘bald ’ person (khalati), a ‘blind’ man (andha), a ‘deaf’ man (badhira),δ a ‘dumb’ man (;mūka),θ a ‘fat’ man (plvan), a ‘leper’ (sidhmala, kilāsa), a ‘yellow-eyed’ man (hary-aksa), a ‘tawny-eyed’ man [ping- āksa), a ‘cripple’ (pitha-sarpin), a ‘lame’ man (srāma), a ‘sleepless’ man (jāgarana), a ‘sleepy’ man (svapana), one ‘too tall’ (ati-dīrgha), one ‘too short’ (ati-hrasva), one ‘too stout’ (ati-sthūla or aty-aηisala), one ‘too thin’ (ati-krśa), one ‘too white’ (ati-śukla), one ‘too dark’ (ati-kγṣna), one ‘too bald’ (ati-kulva), and one 'too hairy' (ati-lomaśa). In the Maitrāyaṇī Saṃhitā the man with bad nails and the man with brown teeth are mentioned along with sinners like the Didhiçūpati. The śatapatha Brāhmana mentions a white-spotted (śtikla), bald-headed man, with projecting teeth (yiklidha) and reddish-brown eyes.’ Interesting is Zimmer’s suggestion that kirmira found in the Vājasaneyi Samhitā means ‘spotty’ as an intermixture of races, but it is only a conjecture, apparently based on a supposed connexion of the word with kr, ‘mix.’ In the Vājasaneyi Samhitā and the Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa various epithets are applied to women, some of which seem to denote disease, and in the Atharvaveda16 the feminine adjectives, ‘ antelope-footed ’ (rśya-padī) and ‘ bulltoothed’ (vrsa-datl), probably refer to bodily defects.


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