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Training and Education

Traditionally, the sMenpa or the Amchis are trained under two types of the traditional education system. Either the training is imparted under the private guru-shishya tradition, or it is passed on under the Gyud-pa system or the lineage system in families, wherein the knowledge is imparted from the father to the son through generations. In order to become a skillful sMenpa, it requires years of theoretical and practical training. After undergoing extensive training, the trainee has to appear for an examination in front of the entire community. This examination has to be given in the presence of a few Amchi experts for the trainee to be conferred with the designation of a sMenpa. In the past, a lot of trainees from the Himalayan region used to study with reputed scholars in various medical colleges in Tibet to attain higher education.

Given the modern educational system, there are a couple of institutions that are imparting education that aligns with the modern system. For instance, the courses are required to be completed within a set duration. At present, the students who have completed their intermediate education are selected for the course on the basis of the entrance test. The duration of this course is six years and is called sMenpa kachupa. This course is considered equivalent to Bachelor of Tibetan Medicine or Sowa-Rigpa. This course is offered by four Indian institutions, which are listed as under:

  • Chagpori Medical Institute, Darjeeling (West Bengal)
  • Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute, Dharamsala, HP, of his Holiness Dalai Lama
  • Central Institute of Buddhist Studies, Leh (under Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India)
  • Central University for Tibetan Studies, Saranath UP (under Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India)

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Last updated on June 2nd, 2021 at 07:59 pm