File:A Medical Thangka - Root of Health and Disease.jpg

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Summary[edit]

Description
English: This thangka introduces the four tantras, which all the medical paintings are based upon. The first is the Root Tantra, which gives an overview of treatments, principles and the main topics in Tibetan medicine. Since this Thangka, along with the following three paintings are illustrations of the Root Tantra, they provide general overviews of Tibetan medicine as a whole. These paintings create a framework to organise all the related topics contained in the practice of Tibetan medicine.

The second is the Exegetical Tantra, which elaborates on the principles covered in the Root Tantra through eleven topics ranging from conduct to diagnosis. The third tantra is the Instructional Tantra, which is concerned with explaining the practical application of various treatments. The fourth tantra is the Subsequent Tantra, which goes into much greater detail than the Instruction Tantra on the practical techniques, including the making of medicines, the reading of pulse and the practice of bloodletting. In total, there are 156 chapters contained in the four tantras.

The thangka depicts the first of the three roots of medicine outlined in the Root Tantra: the basis of health and disease. The painting introduces the central concept in Tibetan Medicine of the three humors: rlung (pronounced "loong"), mkhris-pa ("treeba") and bad-kan ("baygan.") All disorders of the body are produced by imbalance of these three humors.

Once again, the medicine Buddha is depicted in the left-hand corner of this painting along with three monks who are greeting the Buddha and learning the teachings of the Root Tantra. The two flowers to the right represent longevity (top) and health (bottom.)

Sources and Further Reading: Dorje & Meyer: pg 19-20

Jingfeng: pg 59-64
Date between 1653 and 1705
date QS:P,+1500-00-00T00:00:00Z/6,P1319,+1653-00-00T00:00:00Z/9,P1326,+1705-00-00T00:00:00Z/9
Source Gyurme Dorje
Author Sangye Gyamtso

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