Ekottarikāgama 21.7

Medicines

Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying in Śrāvastī, at Jetṛ’s Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park. Then the Exalted One said to the monks:

“There are three kinds of severe affliction. Which are the three? There are the severe afflictions caused by a) the windy humour of the body, b) the phlegmatic humour and c) cold. These are, O monks, the three kinds of severe affliction.

“But there also are available three kinds of effective medicine for the three severe afflictions. Which are the three? When somebody is affected by windy humour of the body, an effective medicine will be ghee; what one does in this case is to take ghee. When somebody is afflicted with the phlegmatic humour, an effective medicine will be honey; what one does … ; and when somebody is afflicted with cold, an effective medicine will be sesame oil; what one does in this case is to take sesame oil. These are, bhikkhus, the three kinds of severe afflictions and their respective cures.

“Similarly, monks, there are the following three kinds of severe affliction. Which are the three? a) Covetousness/attachment, b) hatred/aversion and c) ignorance/delusion; these, monks, are the three kinds of severe affliction.

“But there are also available three kinds of effective medicine for the three severe afflictions. Which are the three? When there is covetousness and attachment, one should have recourse to repulsiveness as a remedy by way of reflecting on what is repulsive. When one is afflicted with hatred or aversion, one should have recourse to friendliness as a remedy by way of cultivating friendliness as remedy by way of cultivating friendliness in one’s heart. When one is afflicted with ignorance and delusion, one should have recourse to wisdom as a remedy by way of insight into dependent origination. These are, monks, the three kinds of severe afflictions and their respective cures.

“Accordingly, monks, you should aspire to skill in means to avail yourselves of the three kinds of remedy. Thus, monks, you should train.”

After listening to the Buddha’s words, the monks were pleased and respectfully applied themselves to practice.