Jizhai’s Preface in English

CASE 2:  Medicine and Childbirth


How to Read It: PREFACE

Treatise on Successful Childbirth
Original Preface by Lay Buddhist Jizhai
(Translated excerpts from Wen Huide woodblock edition, 1830)

Preface of the Jizhai medical text

Preface page

Childbirth is not an affliction, but difficult childbirth is something with which humans are afflicted. When human afflictions cannot be eradicated, then people blame the matter on Heaven. But why should Heaven be blamed? [The cause of difficult birth] is only to be sought in the doings of humans.

This book was especially compiled to address the matter of difficult childbirth…If people can read it until it is familiar and conscientiously practice [its teachings], then in all cases their children will be born with miraculous ease. In this way, human afflictions will cease and the virtue of Heaven will be assisted….Anyone who values life and sees this book should widely disseminate this book. Those who have the resources should have woodblocks made [for printing] for easy and rapid circulation, those who lack such resources should copy several volumes by hand or transmit it verbally to several people, each according to his abilities. It is not something with which we Confucian scholars should refrain from being involved.

My heart’s desire is to bring benefit [to others], and it is not my intent to seek good fortune [for myself]. But accumulating good works and creating a surplus of felicitations must have profound returns, allowing one to attain Heaven’s virtue. [The things in] this book have been examined and verified, and they are things that cannot be doubted. So when reprinting [this book] or making handwritten copies, you do not need to change or rearrange [anything]. And it is especially unnecessary to supplement it by adding medicinal formulas and drugs, for this will produce contradictions [among the remedies].

Kangxi yiwei year [1715], fifth day of the fifth month. The Lay Buddhist Jizhai records this in the Western Hall of the government offices in Nanchang Commandery.

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