Sowa Rigpa; Tibetan Medicine is one of the foremost renowned medical sciences among the four prominent medical systems of the world. It originated from where Tibetans originated. In accordance to the brief Sutra of the Buddha, this world where big water bodies flow, varied medicinal flowers and plants, dense forest grows and exists due to the Naga kings and lords, indirectly represents the power of the Naga king. Likewise the teachings of the Sravaka and Boddhisattvas for the benefit of all the sentient beings are taught by the power of the Buddha. Like these two similar cases described by the Buddha, Tibetan Plateau located at the roof of the world exist with landscapes of Mount Kailash, Manosarovar Lake and Himalayan ranges. Indian Vedic studies of Offering and Administration, Ancient great gods like Lord Shiva, Goddess Uma and many other great sages also exists in this land. These have inherent powers to benefit this planet and all the major rivers and seas of this world also originates from rivers like Brahmaputra, Ganga, Gyalmo Ngyulchu, Yang tse, Machu that resides on this land (Tibet).
It is clearly mentioned in our history that the inhabitants and civilization of Tibet flourished thousands of years ago. Modern archaeologists after making intensive analysis on the ancient objects and fossils in the land of Tibet testified that its civilization was not transferred from any other land; in fact it is the civilization of its own unique inhabitants and culture.
In the long history of its flourishing civilization, the religion and varied fields of study for the welfare of its people and society also progressed. Along with those progressions, the only methodology for healing of people’s suffering (illness) through knowledge of medical treatment and Science of Medicine also widely flourished. Detail researches on the sources of healings through self experience and other’s experience gradually gathered as an ocean formed through collection of each single water droplet. And this gave birth to the ancient Science of Medicine which led to the existence of the modern Tibetan Science of Medicine and Practice.
According to the history of Tibetan Science of Medicine, Toenpa Sherab Meo Che (the great Bon master) was born in around 10,000 B.C. in present Toe Ngari, Central Tibet. His explicit teachings contain “The nine vehicles and 84,000 means of expressions”, that guided the sentient beings in undertaking virtuous deeds and refraining from non-virtuous deeds. His teachings on the methodologies of prevention and healing collated in the text “Bum-bZhi” by his disciple, Che Bu Tri Shed is confirmed to be an undeniable work on Tibetan Science of Medicine.
Through the changes in the history of Tibet, the military power and economic condition rose and became competent to India and China when the rule of one king for all started in Tibet. The powerful regimes of great Tibetan kings gradually incorporated trade and economy, religion and culture from Taksik, India, China and other neighboring countries.
Most importantly the great scholars on medicine from these neighboring countries were invited to the land of Tibet. Their science and practice were made to be taught to some intelligent Tibetan children. Their science and practices were translated into Tibetan language and stored in the national treasure houses. The law of teaching the three major systems together and 13 statements were established thereby leading to the innovation of the modern Sowa Rigpa system that consisted of Sowa Rigpa’s own comprehensive study and practice.
Though there had been varied changes in the administration and political status of Tibet, but the invaluable wisdom and courage of Tibetan people have succeeded in preserving the practice and study of Tibetan Science of Medicine so consistently. Even in this 21st century of highly developed Science and Technology and globalization it has been able to be of service to enhance both mental and physical wellbeing of the sentient beings. It has become the basis of research of number of intellectual scientists and researchers, the basis of study of various university students and has acquired legal recognition from various countries like; India, China, Mongol, Nepal, Bhutan etc, thereby becoming an amazing living Science of Life for all.
This kind of Science of Medicine is a universal possession and we must be aware that every Tibetan has the assigned responsibility to preserve and enhance this Science of Medicine through research and analysis in accordance with the requirement of the modern people’s state of mind.
Under the kind guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, our prime purpose is to be able to work for the happiness of all the sentient beings of the entire world by collaborating all our intelligence and ability.
Dr. (Prof.) Lobsang Tenzin Rakdho
1st September 2016