The “Altangerel,” sutra has been passed down respected and regarded as a superior shrine to the Mongols, a translation of one of the Buddha’s teachings. About 1000 years ago the 21st, 29th, and 31st chapters of the “Altangerel,” sutra were translated into Chinese, Uigur, Tibetan and the Japanese languages in a brief and detailed manner and then disseminated. The scientists and scholars who knew these respected teachings which had gone into the hearts of many thousands of people
could stay aside; they tried to learn more about the magic of this book. For instance: a Mongolist from Finland P. Alto (in 1950), our famous scientist Ts. Damdinsuren (in 1979), Sh. Bira (in 1994), and Inner Mongolians D.Tumur and B.Jigmed (in 2002) had written research papers on this text. During the famous translator Sharavsenge’s first time in Mongolia he translated 29 chapters of the “Altangerel” sutra into Mongolian in the 1330s. This was disseminated in handwriting at first and later in 1584 it was printed with wooden printing blocks and distributed. He didn’t translate it from the original Sanskrit, but from Tibetan comparing it with Uigur and Chinese (Sh.Bira, 2001).
At the end of the 14th century 29 chapters of the holy book “Altangerel” were translated by Geshe Dambadorj, then 21 chapters of “Altangerel” were also translated by Zaya bandida Namhaijamts between 1650-1662 and printed with wooden blocks and the Mongolian Tod alphabet67.
“Altangerel,” is one of the holy sutras included in Ganjur-Buddha’s teachings. The language, wording and types of writing are quite different from present Mongolian. It is written in the peculiar classical way of Eastern countries with the form of questions and answers. Another peculiarity of the sutra was mentioned in S.Bagchi’s preface of the original Sanskrit publishing of “Altangerel,” in 1967: “This sutra is famous not due to reflecting the philosophical thoughts. It is quite different from sutras praising Buddha or other Bodhisattvas good deeds. It is famous as it says and figures out with all efforts about accumulation of the world’s prosperity, progress, becoming happy and living a long life free of suffering and getting rid of illness (Sh.Bira, 2001).”
Our studies cover the 24th chapter of the “Altangerel,” sutra named “All illnesses are healed for long living,” and directed at detailed explanation of contents and some terminology of it. In the studies we have used and compared different kinds and translations of the “Altangerel,” sutra in Mongol, Tod Mongol and Tibetan scripts in manuscripts or some printings by wooden blocks, and have chosen “Altangerel,” with 29 chapters as the main book.
The meaning of this chapter is the following: “Daughter of heaven, cause of trust in god was bom many thousand years ago. Daughter of Heaven was feeding the people by the Heaven powered bright teachings and never did bad things. Daughter of Heaven at that time and moment had known Chadiladary, the wise man in healing. His son Chalavahani
was a handsome man, good in sutra teachings, which had learned wisdom from books and has got ill and in order to relieve many people from illness, has gained a compassionate mind for the sake of people. He told that his father was good in healing but became old aged and is walking with a stick around the cities and palace. In order to relieve many people suffering from diseases I went to my father Chadiladary, approached to his leg and prayed with joined palms.”
This part is the preface to explain the main content of the chapter. The Daughter of Heaven mentioned in the first chapter of the “Root of Origin,” that the “Four Medical Tantras,” may have the same name with the Holy water of the Daughter of Heaven, as they both are engaged in Health science activities. The first chapter of the “Root of origin,” says that when Buddha was incarnated into the “life creator” as the healing lama Benderyan, his friends as heaven, surrounded him forever inside and outside. The colleagues of Heaven were the rulers of all human beings, Heaven’s healer Ashuvani, the God of rain and thunder, holy watered Indra Tara led all the followers and they sat down together. It was described by Lunrig Dandar, as his preacher who was incarnated into a teaching healer, the four Maharanz holding in his hand a bowl with the best medicine pills as directed by the Daughter of Heaven.
“Deva Indra,” was translated into Mongolian as “The host of the light of Heaven.” Maybe it is one of the names of a Godess, which was identified in the role of Khan in this chapter. However Chadiladary was a trader, he had been a good healer knowing the “Eight passes of life in the original vedic sastra.” This sastra became an “Aurved,” system in the year 1500 before century to the year 700 of this century and it is a tradition of ancient Indian Ayurvedic medicine divided into 8 branches.
Chalavahani asked his father Chadiladary about the wise deeds of spiritual teachings, which can nourish the body:
- How will the organs of the body be broken?
- How will the original body be broken?
- When will the features of illness come into existence?
- How the regimed and non regimed diet will influence health?
- What will be the reason or cause of disappearing internal poisons?
- How to heal the illness caused by heat, jaundice and saliva?
- When will the toxic gas be raised in the body?
- When will jaundice arise?
- When will the cancer of saliva arise?
Chadiladary taught his son Chalavahani how to become wise through verses:
Summer consists of 3 months
Autumn consists of 3 months ,
Winter consists of 3 months
Spring consists of 3 months, there are 6 times and a year is divided into 12 months. 3 months make a season. Time consists of 2 cycles of the moon and food will be digested according to the seasons.
A year is divided equally into four cycles according to the organs and elements of the body. When the organ arrives at disorder, the disease is occurring. The cycle has 3 months; it runs 6 times (meaning 12 hours) and to the six extremities of the body. Foodstuff and medicines should be taken accordingly.
Mental diseases revoke in summer,
Shar increases greatly in autumn,
Chronic diseases recur in winter,
Disease of saliva increases in spring.
It is better to eat oily, warm, salted and sour food in summer; oily, tasty and fresh food in autumn; tasty, oily and sour food in winter; and hard and hot food in spring.
The saliva disease is from overeating,
Jaundice is cured during the food digestion,
Mental illness is increased after digestion.
Mental diseases from the 3 elements of the body are healed by antitoxins. Jaundice will be purified by moving away the stool, and when saliva comes down, pills for vomiting should be given. Mental disease and jaundice diseases are revealed when saliva is discharged in quantity.
While Chadiladary’s son, Chalavahani, had toiletries, he had asked how to become wise, and then overcoming obstacles he completely penetrated the original eight verses of mind training or “vedic sutra.”
At that time for this cause the original goddess of Heaven and Chadiladary’s son Chalavahani went around many countries of the light kingdom of Heaven. Castles and palaces of king where he had seen great numbers of people suffering from all kinds of illness said that he was a healer.
While the illustrious goddess of heaven had heard Chadiladary’s son Chalavahani’s expression, all beings and people became very happy.
The main meaning of this part of the 24th chapter is that Chalavahani completely learned everything from his father Chadiladary, i.e. how to heal and prevent diseases, which was included in the origin of the eight verses of Vedic sutra and in this way he helped many thousands of people. We clarified some terminology comparing it with the Tibetan original. We found out that Chalavahani had learned medical science by asking 9 questions from his father and by receiving the answers of those questions. The basic concept of the Mongolian and Tibetan traditional medicine was translated as mental disease, jaundice and cancer. The ancient tradition of this chapter originated from “Charaka Samhitia,” the basic book of Aurvedic medicine. It is evident that there is an essential motivation for inclusion of this particular part as the 24th chapter of “Altangerel,” sutra. It is considered that the meaning of the following antidotes as foodstuff, drinks, medicines and adornment are expressed in the short poems. External energy factors of the human body balance and are divided into 12 months, 4 seasons, 6 times and the extremities of the body. Therefore if you will be fed appropriately, digestion will be good and if food is not appropriate, different kinds of illness will occur. It is written here clearly that mental disorder, jaundice and cancer will occur according to food digestion, so the food should be administered in an appropriate way. The balancing energy of the body is also briefly described, if the balance is broken, some illness can occur, so the instructions for adornment are also described. Finally, it is mentioned that if mental disease, jaundice and cancer occur, first of all it should be managed with foods. This chapter of “Altangerel,” was reflected in the “4 foundations of Medical Science,” and is the main content of the 3rd and 4th chapter of the “Original basis,” and 14th chapter of “Basics of teachings.”