Monday, October 20, 2008

Fleas In The Hospital

The passage below is from Reginald Heber’s Narrative of a Journey Through the Upper Provinces of India from Calcutta to Bombay, 1824-25. Incidentally, Heber’s book is still a great read 180 years after it was written.
‘At Broach is one of those remarkable institutions which have made a good deal of noise in Europe as incidences of Hindoo benevolence to inferior animals. I mean hospitals for sick and infirm beasts, birds and insects. I was not able to visit it, but Mr. Corsellis described it as a very dirty and neglected place, which, though it has considerable endowments in land, only serve to enrich the Brahmins who manage it. They have really animals of several different kinds there, not only those which are accounted sacred by the Hindoos, as monkeys, peacocks, etc, but horses, dogs and cats, and they have also, in little boxes, an assortment of lice and fleas. It is not true, however, that they feed those pensioners on the flesh of beggars hired for the purpose. The Brahmans say that insects, as well as the other inmates of their infirmary, are fed with vegetables only, such as rice etc. how the insects thrive I did not hear, but the old horses and dogs, nay the peacocks and apes are allowed to starve, and the only creatures said to be in any tolerable plight are some milch cows, which may be kept for from other motives than charity.’

5 comments:

Justin Choo said...

Bhante,

Nothing about fleas.

Wonder whether you have received my email sent to you a few days ago. Grateful if you would reply.

Bow,

Justin Choo

Shravasti Dhammika said...

The passage mentions little boxes containing 'an assortment of lice and fleas.' No, I didn’t get your email. Please try again. Kind regards
Bhante

Justin Choo said...

Bhante,

Never mind. I reproduce my message here:

Bhante,

I am now going thru all your posts again with a view of compiling all the Tipitaka quotations that you cited. This will serve me good in my study and also in my answers.

There is an often comment by me that "the Buddha advised us to use our human intelligence and common sense to analyze his teachings". After reading thru your post @
http://sdhammika.blogspot.com/2008/04/misquoting-buddha.html, I am now feeling very uneasy about my statement. If I am not mistaken, I think Chief Reverend used to say that, but then again I may have formed this idea by myself in my own mind. Can you please advise whether I have committed a mistake. Is there anywhere that the Buddha might have said that?

Thank you for your advice in advance. Hope you reply.

Bow.

Justin Choo

[Postscript: Rev Kovida is now in Canada and he was kind to send me an email.]

Shravasti Dhammika said...

Dear Justin,
If you say, 'Use your human intelligence and common sense to analyze the Buddha's teachings' I think this is a statement fairly well reflects a sensible approach to the Buddha's teachings and indeed to any teaching and it is in harmony with the spirit of the Kalama Sutta. If you say, 'The Buddha said, "Use your human intelligence and common sense to analyze my teaching" ' then this would certainly is not a quote from the Buddha.
Glad to hear that you are compiling some of the quotes I am using. Keep me informed.

Justin Choo said...

Bhante,

Thank you for your confirmation. That was my contention as well. Just like to have your learned opinion to keep track with my learning process.

My current assignment of compiling your quotes is a very practical and convenient approach. I have gone through the main books of the Tipitaka, but somehow missed or couldn't find the appropriate quotes/topics. To add to the problem, my memory is not that good. I have written down the more important references throughout the years; but nothing compares with having you as my source of Tipitaka knowledge.
Thank you very very much, Bhante.

Now having some fun corresponding with Rev Kovida and even put up a link and a post on him in my blog.

By the way my head looks like yours since yesterday, although for another reason. Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!!
Take a look:
http://blackandwhite999.blogspot.com/2008/10/botak-from-today-for-rpk.html

(I was going to give up hope after no reply from you for so long! Unwholesome thoughts have begun creaping in my mind. Thanks for
answer. It means a lot to me!)

(Another thing, I have made arrangement to print 1000 copies of your booklet, GQGA in memory of my mother, thru Sukhi Hotu.)

Bow,

Justin Choo