The Chapter on Medicines

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The Chapter on Medicines (Skt. Bhaiṣajyavastu; Tib. སྨན་གྱི་གཞི།, Wyl. sman gyi gzhi) is the sixth and longest chapter in Tibetan translation or second longest in Sanskrit among seventeen chapters of the Vinayavastu, “The Chapters on Monastic Discipline,” which is one of the four divisions of the Mulasarvastivada Vinaya.

Although it is concerned with rules about medicines to be used and foods to be eaten by monastics this comprises only about twenty per cent of the chapter. The rest of the text is filled with narrative stories about the Buddha and other characters, and stories of their former lives.[1]


The Tibetan translation can be found in the Discipline/Vinaya section of the Derge Kangyur, Toh 1-6.

It has many parallels to the sutras and so opens a number of doors to another canonical corpus, the Sutrapiṭaka of the Mulasarvastivadins, most of which is lost today.[2]


  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.
  2. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.