Hi Dhamma friends,
Firstly let me just say that I’m not an expert on anatomy at all since I’ve only done the “Anatomy I” class in College before I dropped out of Biomedical Science in order to fully pursue my Buddhist path
But it seems that in ancient/classical India they had a really good understanding of anatomy, at least for that time, in order to know the existence of body parts/fluids such as the bile, synovial fluid, etc:
Furthermore, a mendicant examines their own body, up from the soles of the feet and down from the tips of the hairs, wrapped in skin and full of many kinds of filth. ‘In this body there is head hair, body hair, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, undigested food, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, snot, synovial fluid, urine.’
(passage is extracted from Bhante Sujato’s translation of MN10)
So I wonder why didn’t the Buddha include body parts such as the brain, the eyeballs, the genitals and even certain nerve bundles that can be seen with the naked eye?
Either the Buddha didn’t know them or didn’t include them for a specific reason.
In the case of the brain, maybe if one was exclusively observing the stages of decay of a corpse you would not see it since because the organ would already be completely decomposed before the skull started to fall part? BUT certainly someone would have seen the aftermath of a battle and on the fresh bodies there would be one with a fractured skull. Looking at it someone would have to wonder “What’s that inside it”??
And in the case of the genitals, maybe the Buddha didn’t include them because this contemplation would lead to lust. BUT there’s an opposite argument to be made: if you contemplate the genitals completely separated from the body it would look really disgusting and one would realize that it has no inherent attraction/beauty to it.
What do you think?