A cure for what ails ya!

(Not universally applicable, unfortunately.)


Literally: answer – disease – give – medicine

Alternately: Just what it says on the tin: giving someone medicine appropriate to the illness they are suffering from at the time. By extension, teaching people the lessons they need (especially moral lessons, or in a Buddhist context, Buddhist teachings) in a way appropriate to their personal character, aptitude, and situation in life.

Notes: This compound may also be given the Japanese-style reading 病に応じて薬を与える (yamai ni oujite kusuri wo ataeru). It has a number of synonyms, including 対症下薬 (taishou kayaku, “giving medicine against the symptoms”) and 因機説法 (inki seppou, “teaching (Buddhist) law based on the opportunity”).

Most of my sources are silent on the origins of this phrase, but one attributes it to our friend, the Saṃyukta Āgama (Japanese 『雑阿含経』= Zou agon kyou).


[Insert joke about doctors’ handwriting]

About Confanity

I love the written word more than anything else I've had the chance to work with. I'm back in the States from Japan for grad school, but still studying Japanese with the hope of becoming a translator -- or writer, or even teacher -- as long as it's something language-related.
This entry was posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s