孫思邈(Sūn Sīmiǎo):introduction about his biography and legend,main books and academic thoughts.

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孫思邈(Sūn Sīmiǎo).

  
Brief Introduction
漢語名(Chinese Name): 孫思邈(Sūn Sīmiǎo)Alias: 孫十常(Sūn Shícháng)
Popular name: 妙應真人(Miào Yīng Zhēn Rén)English Name: Sun Simiao, or Simiao Sun(Given/Sur Name)
Nationality: HanBelief:  Taoism
Hometown: Hua YuanDates: about 518 or 541-682 A.D.
Main works: 《老子疏註》(Lao-tzu Shu Zhu, or Annotation on Lao-Tzu), 《莊子疏註》(Chuang Tzu Shu Zhu, or Annotation on Chuang Tzu),《枕中記》(Zhen Zhong Ji, or Records in the Pillow),《千金要方》(Qian Jin Yao Fang, or the Invaluable Prescriptions),《會三教論》(Hui San Jiao Lun, or the Thesis on the three religions),《福祿論》(Fu Lu Lun, or On Fortune),《千金翼方》(Qian Jin Yi Fang, or the Supplement to the Invaluable Prescriptions), etc.
Representative works: 《千金要方》(Qian Jin Yao Fang, or Invaluable Prescriptions),《千金翼方》(Qian Jin Yi Fang, or Supplement to the Invaluable Prescriptions)
Reputation: 藥王(King of Herbs)Star-rating:   

Biography and legends:


 Sun Simiao 孫思邈(Sūn Sīmiǎo, year 518 or 541-682 A.D.) is a prominent physician, and he lived during the Sui Dynasty and the Tang Dynasty, he is native to Hua Yuan of Jing Zhao. He is fond of reading books since childhood, with genuine wisdom when he was a child, he could read over one thousand Chinese characters at seven years old, recite articles over one thousand characters every day, according to records from ancient book Chiu Tang Shu(the Old Book of Tang), minister 獨孤信(Dugu Xin) of the West Wei thought highly of him, and called him "the Saint Child". Sun was aiming for studying medicine at 19 years age, "know it with enlightenment and understandings, helped many patients among relatives and neighbors." Till his 20 years age, Sun could talk about the theory of Laotze and Chuang Tzu with fervor and assurance, know well about classical books of Taoism, he was called "the Holy Kid" by folks and started to treat disease for folks around.

 Since the first year of Kai Huang(year 581 A.D., Kai Huang is the reign title of Yang Jian, the Wen Di Emperor of the Sui Dynasty), Sun Simiao started to live in the Tai Bai mountain. He studied medical books, also collect herbs by himself, read ancient books carefully, and collect popular herb recipes widely, help patients warmheartedly, accumulated many precious experiences.

 ✧Portrait of Sun Simiao Sun Simiao was also a famous Taoist priest and scholar of Taoism, he was a real scholar, he started research of herbs at a very young age, as he proposed: "I suffered from cold chilling since a child, consulted with the doctor for many times, to pay for the fees of medicine nearly exhausting our family property." "Started to know well about medicine since 20 years old, be kind to neighbors who suffer from a disease, helped them.", when the Sui Dynasty ended, Sun Simiao became a hermit and moved to the Zhongnan Mountain, befriend with monk Dao Xuan(596~667). According to ancient literature, even at age 70s, he still looks like a young man, the literature noted that "During the years of Tang Dynasty, WuDe years(about year 618-626 A.D.), Sun Simiao come to the national capital by imperial edict from Tang Taizong(Li Shimin, the 2nd emperor of Tang Dynasty). Tang Taizong caught sight of herbalist Sun Simiao and saw he looks very young although aged, surprised and saying he must have ways, showed respect and gave some rank of nobility, but herbalist Sun refused it.", at year 674 A.D., Sun returned to the mountain with the cause of sickness. Herbalist Sun was a real scholar and all his life living by help patients in the mountain.

Main books and academic thoughts:


 Sun Simiao is the author of the book 《千金要方》(Qian Jin Yao Fang, or the Invaluable Prescriptions)(year 652 A.D.), total 30 volumes, combined 5300 recipes and formulas, and the book 《千金翼方》(Qian Jin Yi Fang, or the Supplement to the Invaluable Prescriptions)(year 682 A.D.), which have been considered compilations of the medical achievements before the 7th century. Except for the famous books, Sun ever wrote some other books, such as 《攝養枕中方》(She Yang Zhen Zhong Fang, or the Health Cultivation Pillow Prescriptions), 《福祿論》(Fu Lu Lun, or On Fortune), 《保生銘》(Bao Sheng Ming, or Inscription about health-preserving), 《存神煉氣銘》(Cun Shen Lian Qi Ming), etc.

 According to ancient book 《舊唐書》(Chiu Tang shu, or the Old Book of Tang), Sun ever wrote "《老子註》(Lao-tzu Zhu, or Annotation on Lao-Tzu), 《莊子註》(Chuang Tzu Zhu, or Annotation on Chuang Tzu), wrote 《千金方》(Qian Jin Fang, or Invaluable Prescriptions) in 30 volumes, 《福祿論》(Fu Lu Lun, or on Fortune) 3 volumes, 《攝生真錄》(She Sheng Zhen Lu, or True records on health regimen), 《枕中素書》(Zhen Zhong Su Shu, or Plain book in the Pillow), 《會三教論》(Hui San Jiao Lun, or Thesis on the three religions) in 1 volume each." Unfortunately, his book 《老子註》(Lao-tzu Zhu, or Annotation on Lao-Tzu) and 《莊子註》(Chuang Tzu Zhu, or Annotation on Chuang Tzu) lost.

 According to ancient book 《耀州誌》(Yaozhou Zhi, or the chronicles of Yao Zhou), Sun ever wrote books:"《老子註》(Lao-tzu Zhu, or Annotation on Lao-Tzu), 《莊子註》(Chuang Tzu Zhu, or Annotation on Chuang Tzu), 《千金方》(Qian Jin Fang, or Invaluable Prescriptions) in 30 volumes, 《千金翼方》(Qian Jin Yi Fang, or Supplement to the Invaluable Prescriptions) in 30 volumes, 《千金髓方》(Qian Jin Sui Fang) in 20 volumes, 《千金月令》(Qian Jin Yue Ling) in 3 volumes, 《千金養生論》(Qian Jin Yang Sheng Lun) in 1 volume, 《養性延命集》(Yang Xing Yan Ming Ji) in 2 volumes, 《養生雜錄》(Yang Sheng Za Lu) in 1 volume, 《养生铭退居志》(Yang Sheng Ming Tui Ju Zhi) in 1 volume, 《禁經》(Jin Jing) in 2 volumes, 《神枕方》(Shen Zhen Fang) in 1 volume, 《五臟旁通道養圖》(Wu Zang Pang Tong Dao Yang Tu) in 1 volume, 《醫家要鈔》(Yi Jia Yao Chao) in 5 volumes, the 《唐書》(Tang Shu, or Book of Tang), 《道藏》(Dao Cang) and《通誌略》(Tong Zhi Lue) also recorded over 20 kinds of book by 孫思邈(Sūn Sīmiǎo)..." As a famous herbalist and also a Taoist, 孫思邈 was respected ever since by schools of Taoist, schools of Confucians, and also by Buddhists, according to various history books, local chronicles, ancient books and records, the Taoist patrology, medical works, tablet inscriptions, and other literature sources, there are over 90 kinds of works ever attributed the authorship to him, but many among them forged the authorship to him for his fame.

 According to identification and corrections from modern historians and biographers, there are 17 kinds of books are from herbalist Sun:《老子疏註》(Lao-tzu Shu Zhu, or Annotation on Lao-Tzu) 9 volumes, 《莊子疏註》(Chuang Tzu Shu Zhu, or Annotation on Chuang Tzu) 7 volumes, 《千金要方》(Qian Jin Yao Fang, or Invaluable Prescriptions) in 30 volumes, 《千金翼方》(Qian Jin Yi Fang, or Supplement to the Invaluable Prescriptions) in 30 volumes, 《攝生真錄》(She Sheng Zhen Lu, or True records on health regimen) 1 volume, 《福祿論》(Fu Lu Lun, or on Fortune) 3 volumes, 《會三教論》(Hui San Jiao Lun, or Thesis on the three religions) 1 volume, 《保生銘》(Bao Sheng Ming, or Inscription about health-preserving),《養生銘》(Yang Sheng Ming, , or Inscription about health-maintenance), 《存神煉氣銘》(Cun Shen Lian Qi Ming), 《四言內丹古詩》(Si Yan Nei Dan Gu Shi), 《神氣養神論》(Shen Qi Yang Shen Lun), 《龜經》(Gui Jing, or Classics of Tortoise), 《太清丹經要訣》(Tai Qing Dan Jing Yao Jue),《孫真人丹經》(Sun Zhen Ren Dan Jing),《明堂經圖》(Ming Tang Jing Tu, or Graphs of the Ming Tang Jing). There are 10 kinds of abridged edition books of his works:《千金食治》(Qian Jin Shi Zhi) 1 volume, 《玄女房中經》(Xuan Nv Fang Zhong Jing) 1 volume, 《孫思邈禁經》(Sun Si Miao Jin Jing) 2 volumes, 《千金方平脈篇》(Qian Jin Fang Ping Mai Pian), 《千金方針灸又千金翼方針灸篇》(Qian Jin Fang Zhen Jiu You Qian Jin Yi Fang Zhen Jiu Pian),《藥錄纂要》(Yao Lue Zuan Yao), 《色脈篇》(Se Mai Pian),《千金方養性篇》(Qian Jin Fang Yang Xing Pian),《醫家藥妙》(Yi Jia Yao Miao),《風藥方論》(Feng Yao Fang Lun), etc.

 Herbalist Sun Simiao is good in internal, gynecology, pediatrics, external and ENT. He attached great importance to the health care of woman and child, ever compiled works 《婦人方》(Fu Ren Fang, or the Prescriptions for Woman) in 3 volumes, 《少小嬰孺方》(Shao Xiao Yin Ru Fang, or the Prescriptions for Young, Child, Kid and Baby) in 2 volumes, these were collected in his book 《千金要方》(Qian Jin Yao Fang, or the Invaluable Prescriptions). He attached great importance to disease prevention, and hold a viewpoint to prevent disease firstly, and treatment with syndrome differentiation, his viewpoint is that if a person is good at health preservation, then he or she could avoid disease. Sun also attached great importance to study the common disease and frequently encountered diseases, such as severe goiter, beriberi, and other diseases, provided effective prevention measures and treatment. During the years staying in the Taibai mountain, he collected herbs and studied properties of herbs by himself, hold a viewpoint that the collection time is very important for herbs, and later clearly gave out proper collect season and time for 233 kinds of TCM herbs according to his rich experiences. He also had some study of acupuncture and moxibustion. Modern scholars calculated and summarized that herbalist Sun had 24 groundbreaking achievements in the history of TCM.

 Sun Simiao Herbalist Sun Simiao hold very precious treatment of morality in ancient time, emphasizing the importance of life, he proposed that "man's life is the most important, and value is higher than 5 kg gold, 1 recipe for help, morality over than saving.", he thinks as a herbalist, firstly, should "know widely about the origin of classics, learn hard and with no lassitude, should not listen to hearsay, then announced that herbal theory already finished.", and second, herbalist should "set saving as purpose,", "when a patient with problems ask for help and saving, should not ask and discriminate by their social position, rich or poor, old or young, appearance beautiful or looks ugly, a Chinese or a barbarian, a wise man or an idiot, all should be treated the same, as one's closest relatives, and should not overcautious and indecisive, considering good or ill luck for self, should take life precious and care about it."

 Sun Simiao Herbalist Sun Simiao pay attention to health preservation, and emphasis that health preservation prompt longevity, he believes in Taoism theory "my life is held in my hand, instead of the heaven.", he proposed that "It's hard to be an immortal, but it is easier to respect the method of nature-cultivation. Thus, those who are good at health preservation should care of a tattoo, care of supplement, thus no afraid of hurt from the heaven within a hundred years of life, before death comes.", know well about both Taoism and Confucianism, Sun thinks the most important for health preservation is nature-cultivation, and it is even more important than supplements, and he stated that "if a person's morality degraded, lifespan could never be extended even he or she takes very precious pills and liquid."

References:
  • 1.孫思邈(Sūn Sīmiǎo):introduction about his biography and legend,main books and academic thoughts.
    • 2.舊唐書列傳第壹百四十壹方伎(Chiu Tang Shu·Lie Zhuan Di Yi Bai Si Shi Yi, or the Old Book of Tang·Biographies 141)

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