Introduction to Sowa-Rigpa

Sowa-Rigpa is a system of medicine that is one of the oldest medical traditions across the world. The term Sowa-Rigpa means Knowledge of Healing and derives its meaning from the Bhoti Language. This system was reinforced in the Trans-Himalayan region and is popular in the Himalayan societies such as Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh (Spiti and Lahoul), Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal (Darjeeling), Arunachal Pradesh, and Sikkim.

Sowa-Rigpa has been recognized and promoted by the Government of India as a traditional medical system. Just like the spread of Buddhism, the Sowa- Rigpa has also established its influence in various parts of the world. Also known as the Amchi System of medicine, it is practiced in some parts of China, the Himalayan regions of India, Mongolia, Nepal, Russia, and Bhutan. Sowa- Rigpa is perceived to be similar to Ayurvedic Philosophy. More than 75 percent of the Sowa-Rigpa tests have been derived from the Ashtanga Hridaya; a famous exposition of Ayurveda. Many medicines of the Indian-origin such as Ashwagandha, Guggulu, Triphala, Ashok, Haridra, etc. are used in the Sowa-Rigpa system for treatment purposes.

India had been a learning hotspot for Buddhist art and culture and attracted a lot of Tibetan Students. Also, many Indian scholars were invited to prorogate Buddhism and other art and sciences of India. This association resulted in the translation and preservation of Indian Literature on art, culture, language, science, and religion in the Tibetan language. These texts were further enhanced in Tibet and are now preserved in Tibetan Literatures, both in Canonical and Non-Canonical forms. Sowa-Rigpa or the Science of Healing is an example of the same. Gyud-Zi or four tantra was the fundamental textbook of this form of medicine that was translated from India and was then enriched in the region of Tibet.  The principles of Sowa-Rigpa, its do’s and don’ts, pulse examination, and dietary guidelines are some factors that indicate its proximity within India.

Last updated on June 2nd, 2021 at 09:02 pm