The research unit of the institute has undertaken the publication of the following dictionaries which will be useful for anyone willing to conduct research on Buddhist Āyurvedic aspects.
• Āyurvedic Sinhalese Dictionary
• Āyurvedic Sanskit-Sinhala Dictionary
• Āyurvedic Pāli-English Dictionary
• Pāli-English Dictionary
Bhesajjamanñjusā, the one and only medicinal book written in Pāli, 15th century A. D. is a complete Āyurvedic text including more than 3000 verses. It consists of sixty chapters which instruct and recommend behavioral and prescriptions of medicine applicable to almost all illnesses to the mental and physical. This work has been compiled by a Buddhist monk and it says that treatments to mental illnesses should be done in accordance with the teaching of the Buddha.
The Buddha’s feelings are mentioned with the term “Āgama” which is used in Chinese translations to introduce the four nikāyas of the canon. Further, more than 80 original sources have been consulted to compile this work and among them a considerable number of Mahāyāna sources are mentioned. Identification of those Mahāyāna sources will be a great contribution to the Buddhist literature and Sri Lankan relationship with Mahāyāna Buddhism which existed in the early period. According to the details that we get through this work as well as from the other Sri Lankan sources it becomes clear that Sri Lankan Āyurvedic tradition is a blend of Mahāyāna Buddhism and local medicine. Further this fact is confirmed by the ancient archeological evidence found in ancient cities in Sri Lanka. In Anuradhapura and other periods of history the Buddhist monasteries had been identified including two main sectors as Theravāda and Mahāyāna. The Āyurvedic ruins such as hospitals and medical instruments have been found in the Mahāyāna sections of the monasteries.
Further this text includes valuable instruments and prescriptions to eliminate various illnesses both mental and physical. It is my considered opinion that this work and the research related to it, will make a great contribution to the Buddhist medical tradition and specially for Mahāyāna Buddhism in ancient Sri Lanka.