Patience and Patients: Jain Rules for Tending the Sick
The Śvetambara Jain rules for the conduct of monks in the Bṛhatkalpasūtra contain detailed instructions for the care of sick monks. This paper examines a selection of these rules. Some rules highlight the importance of taking into consideration the temperament and mental state of the patient; others deal with the practical concerns of summoning a doctor and paying for his services or transporting the patient to where he can get expert care. The discussions are remarkably honest about the foibles of patients, doctors, and the care-giver monks, all of whom emerge as familiarly human actors in a time of crisis.
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