Tibetan System of Medicines

Tibetan Medicine" In this age made totally dark
By the five great degenarations,
The sentient being constantly tossed
In waves of disease, sorrow and pain.

Thus Buddha, out of great compassion
Emanates at bendurya, the Medicine guru,
To shine as a sun in the skies of the world,
And dry up the waters giving birth to all ills."

A Benediction to the medicine Buddha.

By Gyalwa Kalzang Gyatso.
The Seventh Dalai Lama

Originally, Tibetan medicine dates back to the pre-Buddhist era. During the Bon-period, various healing techniques were devised and practiced. With the coming of Buddhism, medical knowledge became an integral part of religious doctrines and monastic discipline. Buddha's key teaching of the middle way between worldly indulgence and self-denial gave wondering physicians of the period a radically different view of the world and of humankind's place in it; this was further fostered by their intensely meditative discipline. Medicine thus became a part of Buddhism - Providing the means to maintain a healthy bodily state of equilibrium.

Some have suggested that the Buddha's key teaching of the four Noble Truths was based on a medical paradigm, whereby suffering, its cause, its elimination find a parallel in medicine to disease, its cause , health and the remedy. But actually the four-fold division that occurs in Caraka Samhita is different from the four Noble Truths. "The best physician, one fits to treat a king, is he whose knowledge is four fold: (he knows) the Cause (hetu), symptom (linga), cure (prasamana), and non-recurrence (apunarbhava) of diseases. Knowledge of medical theory and practice among the sramanic Buddhist However, is indisputable, and Buddhist sangha, or monastic community where wandering intellectuals would gather and exchange information, soon became the principal vehicle for the preservation, advancement and transmission of medical lore.

Some of this repository of medical lore was confied at these sanghas, thereby giving rise to a Buddhist medical monastic tradition. In the early sangha, membership was quite unrestricted and wanderers joined and left at will. These comings and going increased the volume of new information available. Debates among the temporary residents were common and luckily included topics related to medicine. As fixed Sangha establishment with permanent resident monks became more common, the knowledge discussed and exchanged was gradually accumulated, filtered and codified, eventually becoming Buddhist doctrine. The symbolic relationship between Buddhism and medicine led to the large conglomerate monasteries or viharas.

However, even after the establishment of settled monasteries, medicines requisite in sickness remained among the monk's necessities and constituted one of his four possessions along with a robe, a begging bowl, and a bed.

Tibetan medicine continued to progress due to the efforts of Buddhist monks and emphasis laid on it by religion. In the process, it derived influences from various external sources. In the second century A.D., it was further influenced by the arrival of two Physician Bijay and Gazay. The Brahmin physician Bijay was given the princess Cham-sing-yekyireoja as his bride by King Lha-tho-thori-nyebtsen. Their son, named Thung-ki-thorchok, too became a famous physician.

The development of the Tibetan system got an impetus during the 7th and 8th centuries when physicians from Persia, Greece, India, Nepal, China, Sinking and other neighboring state were invited to Tibet by the king Songster Gampa and Trosogn Detsen, to exchange knowledge with Tibetan scholars and [physicians. Many young Tibetans were enrolled as medical students and nine among them became learned physicians. At this period the great Tibetan translator and scholar, Beru Tsana (vaircana) translated the " Ghyushi" (Four Tantras) teaching given by the Kashmiri scholar Chandranandna (Panchen Dawa Ngoenpa), into the Tibetan language and presented the work to the king.

Besides Beru Tsana, the renowned Tibetan physician,Elder Youthong Youtan Gompo (708-833 A.D.) too received the "Ghyu-shi" teaching from India. It is said that spread of "Ghyu-shi" teaching was not ripe for revelation at that period and Guru Padmasambhava hid the works, until Dapa Ngoenshay revealed this hidden work from top of the Samey Monestery in the eleventh Century.

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Ayurveda, Yoga & Tantra, The Tibetan System of Medicine, The Unani System of Medicine, Homoeopathy, Aromatheraphy, Gem Theraphy

Alternative Medicines » Ayurveda . Yoga & Tantra . The Tibetan System of Medicine
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