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Rêsi Caraka

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In the picture above, we can see Rêsi Caraka. Caraka, in Sanskrit, means ‘a wanderer’, ‘an ascetic’, as well as a ‘medicinal plant’.  It can, however, also mean ‘a spy’, though often the word ‘cāraka‘ is used to indicate this particular meaning. In Javanese, too, ‘caraka‘ means ‘a messenger’, which indeed is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘cāraka‘. But actually, in this context, the meaning of this word should be interpreted as ‘one who is loyal to and trusted by someone’.

Rêsi Caraka

Yet a more relevant meaning is expressed by the meaning the word ‘cêraki‘, which in Javanese, means a ‘herbalist healer’, ‘medicine man’, ‘pharmacist’ , and from which we can also make ‘cêrakèn‘ (herbs, medicine; medicinal herbs). Still more likely, is that Caraka is the name of the rêsi who composed the Carakasaṃhitā, i.e. the ‘Compendium of Caraka’; the oldest encyclopedia of ancient Indian medicine. Whatever may be the correct linguistic derivation, it should be clear that Rêsi Caraka is an ascetic specialized in herbal healing.

Ṛṣi Jivaka

In Buddhism, Rêsi Caraka is called Ṛṣi Jivaka, the medical doctor of Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha. Ṛṣi Jivaka is considered to be the founder of the ancient Indian medical system known as the Āyurveda (Sanskrit: ayus: life; veda: knowledge). He is, therefore, considered to be the grandmaster of all traditional massage and healing practitioners.

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