On the History of the Murals in the Medical College at Labrang Monastery

in Asian Medicine

Abstract

In the inner courtyard of the medical college at Labrang Monastery the visitor finds 19 murals depicting the contents of the first two parts of the Four Tantras (Gyüshi), the well-known treatise on Tibetan medicine. The origins of these murals raise questions about a number of substantial differences in style and structure of the ‘tree metaphor’ that exist between them and the famous medical thangka illustrations based on the important commentary on the Gyüshi, the Blue Beryl. The physician and teacher Tsangmen Yéshé Zangpo was the first principal of the medical college at Labrang Monastery. But whether he also created this particular tree metaphor on the murals at Labrang is uncertain. A text written by the Lhasa-based scholar, Lozang Chödrak, explains the structure of the second part of the Gyüshi in such a similar way, that it can be concluded that his written instructions served as the template for the Labrang murals. This reveals that the design of the mural paintings, which have been repainted at least two times, can be dated back to the beginnings of the first medical college at Chakpori.1

Abstract

Abstract

In the inner courtyard of the medical college at Labrang Monastery the visitor finds 19 murals depicting the contents of the first two parts of the Four Tantras (Gyüshi), the well-known treatise on Tibetan medicine. The origins of these murals raise questions about a number of substantial differences in style and structure of the ‘tree metaphor’ that exist between them and the famous medical thangka illustrations based on the important commentary on the Gyüshi, the Blue Beryl. The physician and teacher Tsangmen Yéshé Zangpo was the first principal of the medical college at Labrang Monastery. But whether he also created this particular tree metaphor on the murals at Labrang is uncertain. A text written by the Lhasa-based scholar, Lozang Chödrak, explains the structure of the second part of the Gyüshi in such a similar way, that it can be concluded that his written instructions served as the template for the Labrang murals. This reveals that the design of the mural paintings, which have been repainted at least two times, can be dated back to the beginnings of the first medical college at Chakpori.1

Introduction

The depiction of the use of images for Tibetan medical teachings became well-known via the illustrations of the Blue Beryl compiled by Desi Sangyé Gyatso (Sde srid Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho, 1653–1705). The Blue Beryl is one of the most famous medical texts and the main commentary on the central classical treatise in Tibetan medicine, the Gyüshi (Rgyud bzhi). At least three ‘historical’ copies of this remarkable set of thangkas exist. They have been described and analysed by a number of authors.2 In another treatise on the history of Tibetan medicine authored by Sangyé Gyatso, called the Mirror of Beryl: A Historical Introduction to Tibetan Medicine, with its short Tibetan name Khokbuk (Khog ’bugs) and translated by Kilty,3 one can find information about the original thangka set. However, the age, origin, and exact use of the available sets remain unclear. One set was brought to Buryatia, where it arrived at the Museum for the History of Buryatia in Ulan Ude4 after the turbulent years of the ‘Stalin purges’. Some of the illustrations, notably the paintings of demons in chapter thirty-one of the second part of the Gyüshi, were referenced in another context in Tuva.5

The murals in the medical college at Labrang Monastery depict the clinical and preclinical aspects of the first two parts of the Gyüshi, namely the Root Tantra or Tsagyü (Rtsa rgyud) and the Tantra of Explanation or Shégyü (Bshad rgyud). In a nutshell, it can be said that the murals were created for teaching medical students and focus on central medical subjects such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, and therapeutic skills in the form of the metaphorical structure of an unfolded tree called dongdrem (sdong ’grems). In contrast, the Blue Beryl thangkas present subjects from all four parts of the Gyüshi with a tendency to emphasise the philosophical or religious aspects of the treatise. Although the thangkas are meant as a memory aid for medical students, they were also used to represent medical achievements to the general public. The Labrang paintings differ substantially from the Blue Beryl thangkas in terms of style as well as content and they show interesting, even complementary aspects. A detailed analysis of the murals, their content, and inscriptions as well as their history in the form of a monograph is in preparation.6

In this paper I will concentrate on the history of these murals, which have been repainted at least twice. The life of the physicians involved in the design and teaching of the paintings will be portrayed. The following three time periods will be distinguished: first, the period of the life of Lozang Chödrak (Blo bzang chos grags, 1638–1710); second, the life of Tsangmen Yéshé Zangpo (Gtsang sman Ye shes bzang po, 1707–1785?); and third, the modern period characterised by the revitalisation of Tibetan medicine after the Cultural Revolution, lasting from 1966–1976. The historical background of the Labrang Medical College presented here is derived from various publications written by Western and Tibetan scholars. Also from my photo-material and a number of interviews including one with the physician and painter of the last two versions of the murals, Menpa Nyingchak Jamzer (Sman pa Snying lcags byams zer, born in 1950)—resulting from trips to Labrang which I undertook in 2001, 2004, 2005, and 2011.

The Life of Darmo Menrampa Lozang Chödrak and the foundation of Labrang

The design of the murals with regard to their content is not simply a regional feature of northeastern Tibet or Amdo, but dates back to the time of the establishment of the first Tibetan medical college at the Iron Hill in Lhasa, called Chakpori (Lcags po ri), located just opposite Potala Palace. Lozang Chödrak, head of this ground-breaking institution, wrote a text on Unfolded Trees of the Explanatory Tantra which forms the basis of the murals.7 Various titles and names are associated with this famous physician, including Darmo Menrampa (Dar mo Sman rams pa), Mengyel Lozang Chödrak (Sman rgyal Blo bzang chos grags), Lopön Rinpoché Lozang Chödrak (Slob dpon Rin po che Blo bzang chos grags), and Darmo Tsojé Lozang Chödrak (Dar mo ’tsho byed Blo bzang chos grags).8 As Taube has already discussed, it is not clear whether another physician with the name Lozang Chödrak might have lived at that time and he argues that it would be conspicuous if the outstanding personality Darmo Menrampa were only known by his monk name Lozang Chödrak.9 It has not been proven whether Lopön Rinpoché Lozang Chödrak is another name for Darmo Menrampa Lozang Chödrak but the additional name Lopön Rinpoché indicates that this person was a respected master. Regardless, the personality associated with the text, which forms the basis of the murals in the Medical College at Labrang Monastery, is the physician Darmo Menrampa Lozang Chödrak. He was born in 1638 in Darmo, a locality southeast of Lhasa. According to Tibetan sources he received his education at a location with some medical facility called Lubukling (Klu sbug gling) and the medical college located in Drépung (’Bras spung) from various teachers.10 He became an instructor at the medical schools Lhawangchok (Lha dbang lcog) alias Sharchenchok (Shar chen lcog) at one of the towers of Potala palace. He adopted the surgical method shekchö (gsheg bcos) to cure cataracts, from the Indian physician called Manaho (Rma na ho), a famous eye specialist. Due to his ability in conducting eye surgery, Lozang Chödrak became a personal physician to the Fifth Dalai Lama.11

Lozang Chödrak was an author and compiler of various books. Among others, he edited the biography of Yutok Yöntan Gönpo (G.yu thog Yon tan mgon po) and revised and completed the famous commentary by Lodrö Gyelpo (Blo gros rgyal po 1509–1579), the Mes po’i zhal lung.12 Some of his books were even translated into Mongolian. He stood in various lines of direct transmission listed in the Thob yig of Jaya Paṇḍita, from Mongolia (1642–1708).13 This scholar is also known by the Tibetan name of Lozang Trinlé (Blo bzang ’phrin las) and he was a student of Lozang Chödrak. The treatise was translated and analysed by Taube. According to Taube it was Lozang Chödrak who supported Sangyé Gyatso in the compilation of the Blue Beryl.14 He appears to have had a sharp mind and did not tire in his demands for preclinical knowledge as described in the Shégyü. Schaeffer translated one of these statements about ‘insightful’ physicians as follows:

Even though some physicians do not understand [the Four Tantras], they rashly think that understanding is easy. Some [on the other hand], see the [medical treatises] as difficult to understand, while others become frightened by the mere sight of a book.15

A special area of interest was physical anatomy. Lozang Chödrak attended the dissection of four human bodies, both male and female, in order to find the 360 human bones which are mentioned in the Shégyü.16 The Shégyü only summarises the number of bones: describing only that there are 360 small bones, 12 larger joints, and 210 smaller ones.17 In Lozang Chödrak’s text all the bones are listed by their individual names resulting in a total of 622 bones and joints.18 He did the same with sinews, ligaments, and the channels mentioned in the Gyüshi. The result of his naturalistic approach to human anatomy is well reflected in the corresponding mural at the medical college at Labrang. He was also a specialist in Tibetan pathology, respectively nosology. Although the murals depicting these chapters appear to be the most beautiful ones—their full value can only be realised in combination with the text written by Lozang Chödrak, which exceeds the description in the Gyüshi and its commentaries in many cases.19

In his capacity as one of the personal physicians of the Fifth Dalai Lama and head of the Chakpori Medical College he was integrated in the inner circle of the Gelugpa in Lhasa, but it seems that his relation to Sangyé Gyatso was not without friction. In the autobiography of the Regent, which is part of Sangyé Gyatso’s Historical Introduction to Tibetan Medicine mentioned above, Lozang Chödrak is rarely mentioned. In one brief passage, Sangyé Gyatso emphasised that he would have been able to cure people who had been abandoned by the famous court-physician Lozang Chödrak.20 Divergences between the two personalities can also be found in a dispute over the origins of the Gyüshi. The Northern school Jangluk (Byang lugs) was in support of Sangyé Gyatso’s view that the Gyüshi are the words of Buddha. Adherents of the rival school Zurluk (Zur lugs), however, under their famous proponent Lodrö Gyelpo thought after some careful consideration that it was the original work of a remarkable Tibetan scholar.21 Lozang Chödrak is mainly associated with Zurluk, which had different views on pharmacological aspects, too.22 However, it is to the credit of the Regent that the diverging opinions of these schools were united. With the establishment of the Chakpori Medical College and the making of the thangka illustrations of the Blue Beryl a new period of Tibetan medicine began.

The end of the seventeenth century represents a highlight in the development of Tibetan medicine supported by Sangyé Gyatso. The period is also known as the ‘birth of classical orthodoxy’ and is of decisive importance in the ‘canonisation and institutionalisation of Tibetan medical traditions’.23 Nevertheless the Regent was confronted with internal and external political difficulties. It is well known that Sangyé Gyatso concealed the death of the Fifth Dalai Lama for fifteen years and that he died violently in 1705. Only four years after the death of Sangyé Gyatso the first Jamyang Zhépa (’Jam dbyangs bzhad pa), born in Amdo under the secular name Ngakwang Tsöndrü (Ngag dbang brtson ’grus, 1648–1721),24 accepted the invitation of the Khoshut Mongol Prince Erdeni Jinong and went back to Amdo in 1709 to establish a monastery which was supported by the local Mongolian aristocracy.25 Legend has it that Lozang Chödrak followed the entourage,26 which would mean that he lived at least until 1709. No information is available about the exact time of his death or when he wrote the text, which was the template for the murals.27 No other painting illustrating the Shégyü using the tree metaphor has been found at the Chakpori or anywhere else in Lhasa.28 One can find modern illustrations, which use the tree metaphor to describe aspects of all Four Tantras, but these depictions do not follow the complex description of those by Lozang Chödrak.29 In sum it can be stated that Lozang Chödrak was one of the most important proponents at the time of the establishment of the Chakpori Medical College in terms of practical skills such as surgery, scientific progress in Tibetan anatomy as well as the creation of didactic tools to teach Tibetan medicine. His treatise, Unfolded Trees on the Explantory Tantra mentioned above, is the written basis of the murals at Labrang Monastery. Therefore his work is of crucial significance for the development of Tibetan medicine, in general, and for these murals, in particular.

During the rule of the first Jamyang Zhépa, the Labrang Monastery grew quickly and owing to the unstable political situation in Central Tibet the unique decision was made, from within the Gelugpa, that certain degrees of the curriculum should be achieved in Labrang independently from Lhasa.30 Moreover, although the territory of Labrang was nominally under the control of the Beijing authorities Labrang developed territorial power through a delicate religious as well as political balancing act.31 Nonetheless the establishment of the Medical College at Labrang had to wait until the reign of his successor, the second Jamyang Zhépa.

The Life of Tsangmen Yéshé Zangpo and the establishment of the Medical College

There are a number of field reports and travelogues on Labrang,32 a collection of works by Könchok Jikmé Wangpo (Dkon mchog ‘Jigs med dbang po, the second Jamyang Zhépa 1728–1791),33 and an outstanding classical chronicle on Labrang Monastery, which includes ten pages about the medical college.34 Also, Yonten Gyatso wrote a detailed work on the monastery in Tibetan.35 Nevertheless, very little is known about the development and curriculum of this institution. Besides the fieldwork of Li An-Che on the curriculum in Labrang and certain aspects of its medical college, a short article by Yonten Gyatso and Buffetrille,36 which is based on historical literature, is still the only publication available in a European language that describes life in the medical college at Labrang. Even Nietupski’s thorough analysis of the history of Labrang Monastery only mentions certain aspects of this institution.37 Unfortunately, the murals are not mentioned in any of these publications. Many researchers and adventurers travelled to Labrang Monastery and left interesting photo-documentations.38 Nietupski’s evaluation of the Griebenow estate gives a wonderful portrayal of Labrang in the 1920s, including many photos but unfortunately it does not portray life at the medical college. Joseph Franz Rock presented a completely different and lugubrious atmosphere at the monastery. Even in his huge photographic collection, which is stored in large part at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, I could not find any pictures of the medical college or the murals. In sum it can be stated that we do not know much about the history of either the medical college or the murals.

Fig. 1.

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Fig. 1.
The Medical College at Labrang in 2005.

Citation: Asian Medicine 7, 2 (2012) ; 10.1163/15734218-12341257

The Labrang Medical College was established in the late eighteenth century. At that time Tibetan medicine was spreading in an institutionalised form from the medical college at Chakpori in Lhasa to Kham, Amdo, Mongolia, and even to Beijing, as Thupten Tsering, the last director of the historical institution,39 wrote in his article:

For the personal physician of the saviour Rje-btsun Dam-pa of Khal-kha in Mongolia, physician Blo-bzang Chos-phel and Skal-bzang Yar-’phel of Lcags-po-ri were sent one after another. Similarly, many wise physicians were sent to Mongolia. In the same way Ta-lama ’Jam-dbyangs Mkhas-grub of Lcags-po-ri was sent to act as the personal physician of Lcang-skya Rolpei Rdor-je the royal Guru of the Emperor of China.40

In 1784 the Medical College in Labrang, formally known as Menpa Dratsang Sorik Zhenpenling (Sman pa grwa tshang gso rig gzhan phan gling), was established under Könchok Jikmé Wangpo.41 With the help of the sponsorship of the Mongol prince Tendzin Wangchuk (Bstan ’dzin dbang phyug), an elder associate of the young religious throne holder, construction of the medical college buildings began.42 In the first half of the following century, the work was completed by Lozang Tupten Jikmé Gyatso (Blo bzang thub bstan ’Jigs med rgya mtsho 1792–1855), the second successor or third incarnation of the Jamyang Zhépa.43 He became famous for his ascetic practices and stable state of meditation. He did not enlarge the monastery44 but is supposed to have reformed the monastic rules in the medical college.45 Originally the medical college was modelled on the Chakpori in Lhasa.46 According to Thupten Tsering for this purpose and. . . .

. . . on the request of the learned ’Jigs-med Dbang-po, the 2nd incarnation of ’Jam-dbyangs Bzad-pa [sic.] of Bkra-shis ’Khyil monastery and the minister Ching-Wang Bstan-’dzin Wang47 to H.H. Skal-bzang Rgya-mtsho, the 7th Dalai Lama, the physician Gtsang-sman Ye-shes Bzang-po was sent to act as the principal for the monk medical institute of Bkra-shis ‘Khyil.48

Who was this eminent scholar and physician and when did he go to Labrang? We know that the Seventh Dalai Lama was already dead in 1758.49 Tsangmen Yéshé Zangpo was born in 1707, two years after the death of Sangyé Gyatso and two years before the foundation of Labrang Monastery. In 1724 he was enrolled at the medical college at Chakpori.50 Like Lozang Chödrak, the scholar Tsangmen Yéshé Zangpo was a personal physician to the Dalai Lama—in his case the Seventh Dalai Lama. According to Gerl’s enquiries Tsangmen Yéshé Zangpo was also director at the Chagpori.51 Jampa Trinlé (Byams pa Phrin las) has discovered that already in 1743, at the age of 36,52 Tsangmen Yéshé Zangpo was asked to go to the eastern Tibetan region Kham and around Qinghai-Lake called Tsongön (Tib. Mtsho sngon, Mong. Kokonor, in the Amdo region) to become the personal physician to the Mongolian prince Tendzin Wangchuk who was mentioned above and supported the later establishment of the medical college at Labrang Monastery. Tsangmen Yéshé Zangpo taught at different places such as at Shachyung (Bya khyung) Monastery and Rongwo Gomchen (Rong po Dgon chen) while at Labrang Monastery he taught the Tsagyü and Shégyü with the help of unfolded trees.53 Jampa Trinlé states that from the very beginning a medical classroom was installed close to the Kalachakra College and a medical curriculum was introduced.54 The Kalachakra College was established in 1763.55 The Mongolian scholar of medicine Emchi Lozang Dargyé (Sog po mer rgan Am chi chung ba Blo bzang dar rgyas) was one of his most important students.56 According to the information given by the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, Tsangmen Yéshé Zangpo died shortly after the foundation of the medical college at Labrang Monastery.57 Many of his books are supposed to have remained at other places.58 The Arura Group in Xining has published a collection of Tsangmen Yéshé Zangpo’s texts including one text59 describing the unfolded trees of the Tsagyü extensively but his statement on the Shégyü and the following parts of the Gyüshi is very brief and cannot be compared with Lozang Chödrak’s elaborate text which forms the written basis of the murals. Another text of Tsangmen Yéshé Zangpo’s included in this collection deals with Tibetan Anatomy or néluk (gnas lugs).60 The author refers to different older anatomical texts on the subject including Lozang Chödrak’s treatise but in general he retains the orthodox view described in the Blue Beryl and does not follow the more naturalistic anatomical description based on human dissection written by Lozang Chödrak, which is still present on the murals. In summary, it can be concluded that Tsangmen Yéshé Zangpo was important for the foundation of the Labrang Medical College but that the medical knowledge represented in the murals reflects the work of Lozang Chödrak.

Although Labrang is one of six leading Gelugpa monasteries it is well known for integrating the thoughts of other religious groups. Various incarnations of the Jamyang Zhépas are known for their connections to the older Buddhist traditions of the Nyingmapa.61 According to Nietupski the medical college was in close contact with the Tantric college of ngakpa (sngags pa) near Labrang as well as to the Kirti Monastery in modern Sichuan.62 Today these relations seem to be of less importance, but during our conversation some of the monks explained that Labrang was regarded as the ‘mother monastery’ of over hundred smaller monasteries and many educated physicians from the medical college at Labrang taught medicine in various smaller monasteries.

Labrang Monastery became famous for the high level of its scholarship, not only in Lhasa and Amdo but also among scholars and physicians in Mongolia and Buryatia. The Buryat Monastery ‘Tshugol Datsang’ (Tib. Bkra shis chos ’phel gling), founded in 1826, followed the school of Buddhist philosophy Tsennyi (mtshan nyid) at Labrang and many Buryat monks went to Tibet or Mongolia to complete their studies. Monks from the monastery at Aga (Tib. Bkra shis lhun grub gling) usually went to Labrang for this purpose.63 According to Bolsokhoyeva, the medical college of ‘Tshugol Datsang’ followed the curriculum of the Chakpori but the medical college at Labrang played an important role in the establishment and development of the medical schools of Tshugol and Aginsk. The medical college of Aginsk was founded in 1884,64 exactly one hundred years after the foundation of the one at Labrang. During a personal conversation with the Buryat historian, Natalia Bolsokhoyeva, she told me that one major influence on Buryat’s curriculum was probably Labrang’s pharmacology, because the flora in Amdo was similar to local Buryat plant resources. All interviewed physicians explained that the medicinal substances would have been used in strict accordance with classical texts such as the Gyüshi or the famous pharmacopoeia called the Shelgong Sheltreng (Shel gong Shel phreng). However, oral medical knowledge of plants would have been transmitted from teacher to students as well and would have been based on what was locally known. Many monk physicians have modern pharmacopoeia standing on their bookshelves, which would suggest the possibility for substitutes. This does not necessarily contradict the classical texts as the orthodox view still allows for the substitution of many traditional ingredients. This does not necessarily contradict the classical texts as the orthodox view still allows for the substitution of many traditional ingredients growing plants that grow in the rich flora of the huge regional grasslands, plants that can be found in Mongolia and Buryatia, too.65

Use and development of the murals

The use of the unfolded tree metaphor to illustrate the Shégyü is still alive and in use in the medical culture at Labrang. In 2000 the small museum inside the hospital exhibited small painted copies of the murals and a physician told me that he painted the trees, copying out the murals, during his own education. In 2005 monks at the Medical College showed me some plastic leaves, which can be used as a didactic tool and are prepared especially in the shape of the leaves on the murals. With the help of these tools a certain topic can be discussed—a little wooden twig symbolises the main content and the leaves are attached during the explanation to demonstrate certain topics. I was told that the system is also used during examinations similar to what we know about the use at the Chagpori Medical College.66 The unfolded tree metaphor is mainly employed during the earlier stages of medical education and, in the early spring, when theoretical aspects are discussed. Later on during the year, students receive practical teaching about medical plants in the grasslands.

Fig. 2.

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Fig. 2.
The courtyard with some of the new murals. Along the bottom one can see the drainage, which made the repainting necessary.

Citation: Asian Medicine 7, 2 (2012) ; 10.1163/15734218-12341257

Yet it is not clear when the first version of the murals was painted and who authorised them. The eighteenth-century chronicle on Labrang Monastery does not mention the murals or the concept of the unfolded tree in the Medical College. The colophon of the famous illustrated materia medica by the Mongolian scholar Jampel Dorjé (’Jam dpal rdo rje)67 indicates a connection between the treatise and the Medical Colleges at Labrang and Kumbum Monastery, but no unfolded trees on the Shégyü are depicted in this treatise.68 The unfolded trees illustrate the contents of the Tsagyü as they are already well known through the illustrations of the Blue Beryl in a different style. The illustrated materia medica is interesting in itself but it does not show any structural connections to any of the Labrang murals.

The renovation of the murals after the Cultural Revolution

The murals were repainted in around 1985 when Labrang Monastery was renovated after the destruction during the Cultural Revolution. In 2007 another renovation of the murals was required due to drainage problems of rainwater in the courtyard. A drainage system was installed and the teaching gallery, where the murals are located, was lifted. Interestingly, the same artist who painted the previous murals also did the new version. The painter, Nyingchak Jamzer, and some monks who received parts of their education at the Labrang Medical College explained that with the help of the supervision of the painter’s late medical teacher, Akhu Tenpa Gyatso Tsang (A khu Bstan pa Rgya mtsho Tshang), it was possible to restore the previous design. I was informed that in order to renovate the murals correctly Akhu Tenpa Gyatso Tsang was advised by a group of traditional physicians. According to Jampa Trinlé, the venerable monk physician Akhu Tenpa Gyatso Tsang, was born in 1925 and entered the monastery at the age of eight. Later he received his education in Lhasa, and was famous for his knowledge and teachings on Tibetan pharmacology and introduced advanced pharmaceutical production and external applications in the 1950s. With the military takeover of Labrang in 1958 things changed dramatically. At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, he not only had to endeavour to protect his old books but also his life.69

In the early eighties, during the era of ‘open door politics’ a revitalisation of Tibetan culture and medicine took place. By 1979 a new hospital had already been built inside the monastery and a few years later the murals were renovated. The secular painter and physican, Nyingchak Jamzer, born in Kangtsa (Rkang tshwa) near Tsö (Tib. Gtsos, Chin. Hezuo), executed the restoration. He began his education with some basic biomedical training, and then learned traditional painting and medicine at Labrang with his teacher Akhu Tenpa Gyatso Tsang. For most of his life, he worked in a hospital. The repainting of the murals took a few months to finish in both cases because he had to work as a medical doctor at the hospital and was only able to paint the new versions at the medical college during his free time. Now he is retired and serves with his knowledge at the monastery of his birthplace.

He explained that neither his teacher nor anyone else could tell him the exact details of the murals’ history or the original painter. He told me that he had travelled to various monasteries in Sichuan and around Lhasa but he had never seen any depictions like the unique assemblage of the tree metaphor on the murals in Labrang. Another physician, an old monk, told me that he had heard the original murals dated back to the time of Tsangmen Yéshé Zangpo.

The differing versions of the Labrang murals and the Shégyü

Both documented versions of the Labrang murals contain a total of 385 different branches, which can be regarded as identical in relation to content (there are some grammatical differences, e.g., one branch shows a different number of leaves and another is painted in a different style while still depicting the same information). In comparison with Lozang Chödrak’s text, one branch is missing in both of the Labrang versions and vice versa. In the first documented version of the Labrang murals, 15 branches showed a different number of leaves from that in Chödrak’s text.70 Interestingly, most of these branches show signs of correction: either retouched or with leaves added whereas in other parts there are hardly any visible corrections. In many cases these corrections show diverging or additional aspects to Lozang Chödrak’s text. The new murals do not exhibit these tracks. In the following analysis the character of these corrections will be shown with the help of some examples:

Branch II.2. in Fig. 3, in the middle of the magnified mural, illustrates the classification of female disorders as described in chapter twelve of the Shégyü. The leaves indicate 32 pathogenic categories (three thin leaves which count for ten diseases and two larger ones, which each count for one disease, makes 32). This is the number specified briefly in the Shégyü over three verses.71 In the corresponding chapter Lozang Chödrak’s text lists 36 female disorders instead of 32 and each of them are named.72 Looking closer at the image, one can see clearly that this branch used to have 36 leaves, as four leaves have been retouched. It appears that the information depicted in the murals switched from Lozang Chödrak’s text back to the classical text, the Shégyü. Interestingly, all 36 female disorders can be found in both important commentaries of the Gyüshi but in a different sequence.73 In contrast, Thangka 19 of the illustrations to the Blue Beryl on pathology has only a single figure as a sort of placeholder for all the female diseases mentioned in the Shégyü.74 A similar situation can be found with branch II.5.4.ii. on the same tree. The branch deals with lesions (rma); Lozang Chödrak lists 16 lesions while the Shégyü lists only 15.75 The correlating branch at Labrang shows 15 leaves and signs of a retouched 16th one.76

Fig. 3.

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Fig. 3.
The branch at the bottom symbolises only 32 categories of female disorders. Four leaves have been retouched. The branch in the upper part of the painting shows another retouched leaf.

Citation: Asian Medicine 7, 2 (2012) ; 10.1163/15734218-12341257

Another interesting adjustment occurs in the tree that depicts chapter 28 of the Shégyü, which covers the specifics of therapeutic intervention. Branch I.3. on skills characterised as sending a ‘wild horse into a race’ (rta rgod dkyus ’jug) has nine leaves while Lozang Chödrak’s text describes only eight leaves. The ninth leaf in the mural is a little bit darker in an offset position and the number is still eight.

Fig. 4.

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Fig. 4.
The tracks are still visible in the mid-eighties version.

Citation: Asian Medicine 7, 2 (2012) ; 10.1163/15734218-12341257

The same situation can be found regarding branch I.8. on the same tree. This branch on ‘conflict resolution through the most important’ (gtso pos ’khrugs zlum) gives information about specific medicinal substances for certain symptoms or diseases. It shows 28 leaves, but the last two leaves again look slightly different and are positioned a little to the side. Again the branch carries the original number, namely 26, which correlates to the text. Other branches on the murals show similar corrections. Another topic that should be discussed is the number of leaves on the three branches on the stem of the materia medica. The corresponding Shégyü chapter (chapter 20) explains the value of different pharmacological substances. In both texts, the Shégyü as well as Lozang Chödrak’s text, 99 ‘tree-medicines’ or shingmen (shing sman), ‘mucilaginous-medicines’ or tsimen (rtsi sman), and ‘liquid medicines’ or tangmen (thang sman)77 are listed but neither text says which substance belongs to which group. In the Medical College at Labrang Monastery, the branches show clear numbers for each group, 51 shingmen, 20 tsimen, and 28 tangmen. No connection could be found between these numbers and the Four Tantras and their three commentaries: Bye ba ring bsrel, Mes po’i zhal lung, and Vaiḍūrya sngon po.78 The famous 18th-century pharmacopoeia of Tendzin Püntsok (Bstan’dzin phun tshogs, 1673–1743), the Shel gong Shel phreng,79 and the associated illustrated treatise by Jampel Dorjé,80 classify these substances clearly but the number of leaves does not correspond with these treatises.81 Lozang Chödrak wrote a pharmacological work specifically about the 20th chapter of the Shégyü, too.82 Although it includes all categories of substances, still he does not distinguish precisely between the substances and groups of ‘tree—’, ‘mucilaginous—’, and ‘liquid medicines’. In the case of these frequently used medicinal substances the responsible authority has chosen a yet unknown classification. Possibly this variation should be seen in light of the period of modernity and the related revitalisation of Tibetan medicine. The late Akhu Tenpa Gyatso Tsang not only worked untiringly in his efforts to preserve the heritage of Labrang medical culture, but also he is well-known as a specialist on ‘modern’ Tibetan pharmacology.83 It was perhaps him who classified the pharmacological groups, while the total number originated in the Shégyü. This is one possible hypothesis.

The ornamentation of the murals is another interesting feature. The didactic structures of the trees, namely the stems, branches, and leaves symbolising a certain number of items, all look more or less the same. In contrast to this, the ornamented images in each mural show beautiful landscapes with gentle ranges of hills, sometimes surrounded by rocky mountains encircled by tender clouds. Waterfalls spring forth from the rocks or little rivers babble through the grasslands looking similar to the countryside around Labrang. No animal is depicted in any of the murals but botanical features are placed in the foreground. These plants are part of the local flora such as Gentiana sp., Plantago sp. or Aconitum sp. No plant has been depicted twice. The ornamentation of the Labrang murals illustrating the Shégyü is even more elaborate than those illustrating the Tsagyü. The illustrated plants in the 2007 version of the murals appear to be the same species and they are painted even more thoroughly than in the mid-eighties execution. Although the new murals show the chapters in a different sequence from the previous version,84 in some cases, the depicted botanical plants are always connected with the original chapter. The painter did not explain the meaning of these plants or why certain species have been chosen but timidly explained that the murals would not be complete, in terms of the materia medica of the Shégyü as well as in terms of their botanical depiction. He said that he had painted all the plants of the treatise including their blossoms, leaves, and roots for the museum of the old Labrang Hospital that I visited in 2001.

Interestingly, a set of smaller copies of the murals in the museum showed completely different ornamental details. In some landscapes, there are peacocks, musk deer, elephants, and even whales splashing around the water. The original meaning of these depictions is not clear. Within the content of the Shégyü there is nothing which explains these features, although the first chapter of the Tsagyü describes the landscape around the mythical medical city Tanaduk (Lta na sdug).85 Peculiarly, chapter one and six of the Tsagyü are not illustrated in the murals, even though chapter six of the Tsagyü describes the metaphor of three unfolded trees in every detail and therefore forms the conceptual basis of the murals. Nobody could explain why chapter one is neglected86 but it looks like that the ornamentation somehow symbolises a regional interpretation of the medical city and its region. The animals painted in the museum are part of the description in the Tsagyü87 but none of the mentioned costly medicines such as special herbs, fruits, or spices are depicted either in the museum or in the murals. If the intention was to portray an analogue to the mythical medical city then the painting of the local flora and landscape could indicate that the authorities of the medical college regarded the region around Labrang as the centre of medical thinking. It would also emphasize the tradition of Lodrö Gyelpo on the origin of the Gyüshi as a treatise written by a Tibetan scholar. The murals also reflect the life of the sage, Yutok Yöntan Gönpo the elder, who would have received instruction on the Shégyü from Padmasambhava with the help of an unfolded tree during his journey to Oḍḍiyāna. The famous biography was edited by Lozang Chödrak, the central personality for the design of the murals.88 Nowadays nothing can be found in Labrang that indicates thoughts like this but in a small monastery, called Kangtsa Gönpa (Rkang tsha dgon pa), the birthplace of the painter Nyingchak Jamzer, he depicted many details of the description of the first chapter of the Tsagyü. This includes the above-mentioned animals—peacocks, musk deer, and elephants—and fruits, such as pomegranate (se ’bru) and myrobalan (a ru ra). Interestingly, although this monastery is quite small in size his mentor, the famous Akhu Tenpa Gyatso Tsang, was throne holder of its medical college.89

Fig. 5.

Download Figure

Fig. 5.
Ornamentation to the mural depicting Chapter 31: the healing physician.

Citation: Asian Medicine 7, 2 (2012) ; 10.1163/15734218-12341257

Fig. 6.

Download Figure

Fig. 6.
Painting by Nyingchak Jamzer at Kangtsa Gönpa depicting the general structure of the Gyüshi and many of the animals living near the mythical medical city as described in the first chapter of the Tsagyü.

Citation: Asian Medicine 7, 2 (2012) ; 10.1163/15734218-12341257

Although there are a few aberrations among these 385 branches it can be stated that the new murals preserve the content of Lozang Chödrak’s text, but unfortunately the painting-style of stems, branches, and leaves is less elaborate and, sadly, the substratum of the walls shows severe damage in many cases. The painter told me that the quality of the colours available was quite different to that of the colours he had used in the former version. In the case of the first version, he received some traditional pigments from an old monk whereas, in the case of the second version, he used some kind of synthetic colour.

Conclusion

With the establishment of the medical college at Labrang Monastery, supported by the sponsorship of the Khoshut Mongol aristocracy, a prominent centre of Tibetan medicine was created in Amdo. The intellectual property of the murals can be attributed to Lozang Chödrak, associated with the Chakpori Medical College in Lhasa. His biography is a good example of how Tibetan medicine expanded to Amdo and Mongolia but his work is clearly connected with the Zurluk medical tradition and the political leaders of Lhasa in the 17th century. Some specific aspects, such as the demand for preclinical knowledge as described in the Shégyü, or the controversial discussion about contents of the first chapter of the Tsagyü regarding the history of Tibetan medicine, are still reflected in the murals. To understand the diverging aspects of Tibetan materia medica as shown in the corresponding mural further research will be necessary. It is still not clear when the first or original version of the murals was painted. The earliest time would be the late 18th century, in the time of the teachings of Tsangmen Yéshé Zangpo, but obviously he did not create them. It is not clear what the original murals looked like because the documented material only shows their history in the time of the revitalisation of Tibetan medicine and after the murals were destroyed in the Cultural Revolution. This period is clearly connected to the life of the late instructor of the medical college at Labrang, Akhu Tenpa Gyatso Tsang, and the educated secular painter and physician, Nyingchak Jamzer.

1 This article is derived from my research project supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF project: 22965 G21). My gratitude goes first of all to the monks at Labrang Monastery who supported me in the documentation of the murals and provided good food while I was taking a rest. Special thanks goes to the painter and physician Nyingchak Jamzer, also to Natalia Bolsokhoeva and Nikolay Tsyrempilov from Ulan Ude for discussing historical aspects. Thanks go to Michael Balk for his general support and patience.

2 Emmerick 1993, pp. 56–81; Wang Lei 1994, 2000a, pp. 846–50; Meyer 1992, pp. 2–13; 1998 pp. 21–31; Parfionovitch et al. 1992; Bolsokhoyeva 1998, 2007b; Jampa Trinlé and Cai Jingfeng 2000, pp. 866–71.

3 Kilty 2010.

4 See Parfionovitch et al. 1992; Bolsokhoyeva 2007b, 1998.

5 See Schwieger 2009; Interestingly, these demons which occupy about half of the thangka depicting information on chapter 31 of the Shégyü can not be found in this text.

6 FWF project: 22965 G21. A preliminary comparison of these differences and their relation to the text they are based on is to be published soon (Sabernig. ZAS 42, in press 2013). The paper was presented at the 12th IATS seminar in Vancouver 2010: Sabernig ‘Tibetan Medical Paintings illustrating the Bshad rgyud’.

7 Lozang Chödrak, Bshad rgyud kyi sdong ’grems, 2005.

8 See Taube 1981, pp. 6, 73. Unkrieg (2002, p. 12, [1953: XXII]) writes Dharma sman rams pa translating this with Dr. theol. et med. but Darmo refers to his place of birth and has nothing to do with ‘dharma’.

9 Ibid., p. 6.

10 See Jampa Trinlé, 2000b, p. 314. Among them the Fifth Dalai Lama and famous physicians like Lozang Tenpa Dargyé (Blo bzang Bstan pa Dar rgyas) or Kyépé Lozang Zöpa (Kye dpe Blo bzang Bzod pa). See Taube 1981, p. 5 f., pp. 78–83.

11 See Jampa Trinlé 2000b, pp. 315 f.; Meyer 2003, p. 110; Schaeffer 2011, p. 293.

12 Lodrö Gyelpo, Mes po’i zhal lung, 1985 [ca. 16th century]. More on this remarkable scholar and physician: Gerke 1999; Gerke and Bolsokhoeva 1999; Schaeffer 2003; Czaja 2006a.

13 According to Taube he stood in lines of transmission as follows: Gyu thog snying thig, Sman gyi lha mo’i rjes gnang gi brgyud pa, Cha lag bco brgyad kyi lung yongs su rjogs pa thob pa’i brgyud pa, (snying po bsdus pa) Legs par thob pa’i brgyud pa, Bye ba ring bsrel yongs rdzogs kyi lung thob pa’i brgyud pa, (nyams yig brgya rtsa) Thob pa’i brgyud pa (Taube 1981, pp. 66, 71, 78 f.).

14 Taube 1981, p. 73; Czaja 2007, p. 357.

15 Schaeffer 2003, p. 630.

16 Meyer 2003, p. 110; Gyatso 2011, p. 311.

17 For the section on bones and joints in the Shégyü: Dash 1994, p. 42 f.; Clark 1995, p. 55 f.; Yutok Yöntan Gönpo, Bdud rtsi snying po yan lag brgyad pa, 1992. pp. 21/16–22/1. In the Blue Beryl commentary and the corresponding Thangka illustrations this section is explained in more detail as in the Shégyü but it is still less informative than in Lozang Chödrak’s text: see Parfionovitch et al. 1992: Thangka 7+8; Sangyé Gyatso, Bai ḍūr sṅon po, 1973, ff. 145/6–149/1.

18 Lozang Chödrak, Bshad rgyud kyi sdong ’grems, 2005, pp. 12/23–16/2.

19 Nosology: Lozang Chödrak, Bshad rgyud kyi sdong ’grems, 2005, pp. 58/5–63/16.

20 Kilty 2010, p. 488.

21 For a detailed discussion see: Czaja 2006.

22 Taube 1981, pp. 63–66; Pasang Yontan 1988, pp. 118–121, 123; Czaja 2007, p. 350.

23 See ‘The six Temporal Foci’, in Blezer et al. 2007, p. 430 f.

24 Tsyrempilov 2003, p. 441. Tsyrempilov translated the biography of this scholar into Russian, including a remarkable introduction (2008).

25 The prince’s name in Chinese: Henan Qinwang, in Tibetan Sokpo Gyelpo (Sog po rgyal po, see: Nietupski 1999, p. 21). The Monastery’s formal name is dga’ ldan bzhad sgrub dar rgya bkra shis g.yas su ’khyil ba’i gling (Wallenböck 2006, p. 155). According to Nietupski the Monastery was founded in 1709 indeed, accurately timed with the 300-year anniversary of the foundation of Ganden Monastery (dga’ ldan dgon pa) in Central Tibet, but this ceremony took place at Tsékhok (Rtse khog), in the Southeast of Qinghai. In 1710 the first building was installed at its actual position (Nietupski 2011, p. 19).

26 Jampa Trinlé 2000b, pp. 319/7–8.

27 Kilty dates the year of his death as 1710 (2010, p. 2), Schaeffer around 1700 (2003, p. 638 f.). According to information provided by the Arura-Group in Xining, the modern publisher of his text Unfolded Trees on the Explantory Tantra he could have lived until 1712.

28 Later the eminent scholar Khyenrap Norbu (Mkhyen rab Nor bu 1883–1962) wrote a book describing all Four Tantras with the help of the tree metaphor (Khyenrap Norbu and Jampa Trinlé 1987, see also Jampa Trinlé 1996). Interestingly, illustrations on the Shégyü are missing whereas the other parts are well depicted. Even earlier Losel Wangpo Péma Karpo (Blo gsal Dbang po Pad ma Dkar po) wrote a text which deals with the Shégyü in the form of unfolded trees with the Tibetan name Rgyud bzhi’i ’grel ba gzhang la phan pa’i gter (2007 [sixteenth century]) but their structure does not fit to the murals’ inscriptions. Meyer mentioned an interview with Tendzin Chödrak (Bstan ’dzin Chos grags) where he explained that Khyenrap Norbu was in Labrang in order to complete the missing thankas of the Lhasa set in the 1920s of the last century. If this information is true, it would indicate that at that time there was a complete set of thankas in Labrang as well as that he knew of the existence of the murals. Unfortunately, neither Meyer nor I could find any written sources about this issue (Meyer 1996, p. 7). Monks from the Medical College at Labrang Monastery told me that it is said that there were some older thankas but that they may have been destroyed during the Cultural Revolution.

29 For example, in the new hospital for Tibetan medicine in Labrang-district (Bsang chu rdzong bod lugs sman khang) there is a huge wall painting that shows some trees on all Four Tantras but those on the Shégyü differ substantially from the murals in the Medical College at Labrang Monastery.

30 Tsyrempilov 2003, p. 448.

31 Nietupski 2002, p. 122 f., 2011.

32 See Baradin 2002 [1924]; Fürholzer 1942; Li An-Che 1994; Wallenböck 2006; Makley 2007.

33 Könchok Jikmé Wangpo, ’Jam dbyangs bzhad pa, 1971 [ca. 18th century].

34 Tenpa Rapgyé (Bstan pa Rab rgyas), Mdo smad chos ‘byung, 2005 [1801], pp. 532–43; Vostricov 1994, pp. 88, 170.

35 Yonten Gyatso, Cho sde chen po, 1987.

36 Yonten Gyatso and Buffetrille 1987, pp. 7–10.

37 Nietupski 2011, 1999.

38 Nietupski 1999 has evaluated and documented the Griebenow estate, see also Fürholzer 1942; Rock 1956 (Rock in Walravens 2003); Buchwald-Ernst 2005.

39 Gerl and Aschoff 2005, p. 21.

40 Thupten Tsering 2005, p. 63. The original Tibetan version appeared in 1986 (see Gerl and Aschoff 2005, p. 21).

41 Most publications date to the foundation of the college in 1784 (e.g., Li An-Che 1994, p. 149; Meyer 1997, p. 118; Jampa Trinlé 2000b, pp. 363/12; Nietupski 2011: p. 21), only Yonten Gyatso and Buffetrille date to the year 1763 (1987, p. 7).

42 Nietupski 2011, p. 130. According to Nietupski, the Mongol prince also started the Labrang printing house (2011, p. 30). The Annotated Catalogue of the collection of Mongolian manuscripts and xylographs M1 of the Institute of Mongolian, Tibetan, and Buddhist studies of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences shows that many treatises from the Labrang Printing house have been brought to Buryatia: Tsyrempilov (Compiler), Vanchikova (Editor) 2004.

43 Li An-che 1989, p. 125; Nietupski 1999, p. 22.

44 Nietupski 1999, p. 22. (?) Nietupski mentions in the same context a record that includes ‘Mongol Sponsorship for the later renovation of the Medical college’s Meeting hall’ (Nietupski 2011, p. 21).

45 Bla brang bkra shis ’khyil. 2007 [?], p. 6.

46 See Meyer 1997, p. 118; Bolsokhoyeva 2007a, p. 339.

47 In the Tibetan version of this text, the name is written as Ching lang [sic.] Bstan ’dzin Wang is probably an error.

48 Thupten Tsering 2005, p. 63.

49 More on the history of the Dalai Lamas: Schulemann 1958, p. 314.

50 http://www.tbrc.org. 28.05.2013 16:44.

51 Gerl and Aschoff 2005, p. 105.

52 Jampa Trinlé (2000b, pp. 362/14) writes 37 (sum cu so bdun) in accordance with the Tibetan way of reckoning the age of an individual.

53 Jampa Trinlé 2000b, pp. 363/4.

54 Jampa Trinlé 2000b, pp. 363/5–11.

55 Li An-Che 1994, p. 149. This might be the reason why the establishment of the Medical College was dated back to that year by Yonten Gyatso and Buffetrille (1987, p. 7) but most probably their western date is just a mistake because the mentioned wood-dragon year would be 1784 and 1763 is a water-sheep year.

56 Jampa Trinlé 2000b, pp. 365/13.

57 http://www.tbrc.org. 28.05.2013 16:44.

58 Jampa Trinlé 2000b, pp. 363/13–21. Yet it is not known which of his works have survived the Cultural Revolution but over the last three decades respectively since the beginning of the revitalisation of Tibetan medicine many books have been republished.

59 Tsangmen Yéshé Zangpo, Gtsang sman sdong ’grel ṭīkkā mun sel, 2007.

60 Tsangmen Yéshé Zangpo, Bshad pa’i rgyud kyi gnas lugs, 2007.

61 Nietupski 2011, pp. 31–36, 141; The newly built residence of the living sixth Jamyang Zhépa is located just beside the Nyingmapa temple.

62 For this rather complex issue see Nietupski 2011, pp. 32–36.

63 Vanchikova 2003, p. 451; Tsyrempilov 2003, p. 441.

64 Bolsokhoyeva 2007a, p. 339 f.; Bolsokhoyeva and Gerasimova 1998, p. 34.

65 More on substitution of certain ingredients: Sabernig 2011.

66 See also: Gerl; Aschoff 2005, p. 152.

67 Jampel Dorjé, Dri med shel phreng nas bshad pa’i sman, 1971, pp. 24/1/5.

68 Thanks to a hint from Stacey van Vleet, who is working on the history of Tibetan medicine’s spread into Amdo, I went to see the colophon on some aspects of the unfolded trees and Tibetan materia medica but no direct connection could be found.

69 Jampa Trinlé 2000, pp. 488/1–93/10.

70 A deeper analysis of the relationship between the text and the murals can be found in the article: ‘Tibetan medical paintings illustrating the Bshad rgyud’ and general aspects on The Medical Murals at Labrang Monastery in another short article (Sabernig: 2014).

71 Dash 1994, p. 154; Clark 1995, p. 89; Yutok Yöntan Gönpo 1992, pp. 42/4–5.

72 Lozang Chödrak, Bshad rgyud kyi sdong ‘grems, 2005, pp. 46/18–47/6.

73 Sangyé Gyatso, Bai ḍūr sṅon po, 1973, f. 289/1–3; Lodrö Gyelpo, Mes po’i zhal lung 2005, pp. 430/19–431/2.

74 Parfionovitch et al. 1992, p. 209, No. 106. This small figure shows the existence of 32 women-diseases as mentioned Shégyü, so the number seems to be more a question of classification.

75 Yutok Yöntan Gönpo, Bdud rtsi snying po yan lag brgyad pa 1992, pp. 45/8–11; Lozang Chödrak, Bshad rgyud kyi sdong ’grems, 2005, pp. 57/3–11; Dash 1994, p. 176 f.; Clark 1995, p. 96.

76 In both commentaries rlig blug is mentioned but not neccessarily counted as a wound on its own: Sangyé Gyatso, Bai ḍūr sṅon po, 1973, pp. 301/1; Lodrö Gyelpo, Mes po’i zhal lung, 2005, pp. 455/7–9, 455/19–21. The thangka-illustrations do not mention the category of wounds in the Shégyü at all.

77 The translation of these types of medicinal substances differs from publication to publication and the discussion on the correct translation and meaning is still going on. It would go beyond the scope of this article commenting these terms in detail but some examples should be given here. The group of shingmen is often translated as ‘wood-medicines’ (Parfionovich et al. 1992, p. 219) or ‘tree-medicines’ (Yuthok Yonten Gonpo 2008, p. 205; Clark 1995, p. 139). The survey of the most famous Tibetan pharmacopoeia (Tendzin Püntsok, Shel gong Shel phreng 1994) and the illustrated Tibeto-Mongolian materia medica of Jampel Dorjé (Dri med shel phreng nas bshad pa’i sman, 1971) reveals a clearer classification of the categories: but this group covers different parts of a tree such as leaves, blossoms, fruits, nuts, roots, barks, resins, and wood. The group tsimen is commonly translated as ‘nectar-medicines’ (Parfionovich et al. 1992, p. 219) or ‘exudates and secretions’ (Tendzin Püntsok, Shel gong shel phreng, 1994; Jampel Dorjé, Dri med shel phreng nas bshad pa’i sman, 1971; Dash 1995, p. 134) and contains substances of animal origin such as bile of a bear (dom mkhris) or musk (gla rtsi), aromatic fruits such as cardamum (sug smel), or cloves (li shi), and mineral substances such as mineral pitch (brag zhun). The group tangmen is sometimes translated as ‘medicines from the plains’ or ‘plateau’ (thang means plain or steppe, see Parfionovich et al. 1992, p. 219) or ‘decoctions’ and ‘boiled extracts’ (Tendzin Püntsok, Shel gong shel phreng, 1994; Jampel Dorjé, Dri med shel phreng nas bshad pa’i sman, 1971; Dash 1995, p. 134 f.). Different types of plants belong to this group, such as frequently used liquorice (shing mngar) or toxic thorn-apple (thang phrom). Sometimes they are also called ‘shrub-medicine’ (Yuthog Yonten Gonpo 2008, p. 205) because this group includes many shrubs or annual vegetables. The Tibetan-Chinese dictionary Bod rgya tshigs mdzod chen mo emphasises the liquid character of this type of medicinal substance (BGT 1985, pp. 1142–43). However, in many cases the biological specification of Tibetan medical terms varies and ingredients are often substituted (see Sabernig 2011).

78 Although the Vaiḍūrya sngon po shows hints of some classification of these three groups it does not help to identify all the substances (Sangyé Gyatso, Bai ḍūr sṅon po, 1973: f. 413/4 f.).

79 Tendzin Püntsok, Shel gong shel phreng, 1994.

80 Jampel Dorjé 1971.

81 These treatises include more ingredients or different versions of a specific substance but even if these aspects are taken in consideration there cannot be found any connection to the given numbers.

82 Lozang Chödrak, Bshad pa’i rgyud kyi le’u nyi shu pa, 2007.

83 See Jampa Trinlé 2000, pp. 488–93.

84 Today, chapters 1–12 follow the exact sequence of the Shégyü while the chapters 13–31 follow the old sequence of the previous murals.

85 According to Dash this mythical city has been ‘variously identified as Varanasi (presently in Uttar Pradesh) and Bodha Gaya (presently forms part of Bihar)’ (Dash 1994, p. 3). Others tend to locate this place in the Land Oḍḍiyāna or near Mount Meru (see Parfionovitch et al. 1992, p. 17).

86 The standard-answer was that the Tsagyü is not that important within the scope of the murals where the Shégyü is the focus.

87 Translation by Dawa et al.: ‘Peacocks, Shang-Shang, parrots or other birds sing melodiously at the top of the medicinal forest, while elephants, bears, musk deer and others who have good medicinal value dwell on the ground’ (2008, p. 6). See also Yutok Yöntan Gönpo, Bdud rtsi snying po yan lag brgyad pa, 1992 pp. 2/15–7; Dash 1994, p. 13; Clark 1995, p. 24 f. The first Thangka of the illustrations to the Blue Beryl shows the plants and animals mentioned in this chapter in a little different and enlarged arrangement (Parfionovitch et al. 1992, pp. 18, 173).

88 Jampal Kunzang translated the text written by Lhündrup Trashi (Lhun grub Bkra shis) into English: Jampal Kunzang 2001; and see Lhündrup Trashi 2005.

89 See Jampa Trinlé 2000, pp. 488/1–93/10.

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  • LozangChödrak(Blo bzang chos grags [Dar mo sman rams pa]) Bshad rgyud kyi sdong ’grems legs bshad gser gyi thur ma in Legs bshad gser gyi thur ma bka’ phreng mun sel sgron me 2005 Pe cin (Beijing) Mi rigs dpe skrun khang 1 143 (Bod kyi gso ba rig pa’i gna’ dpe phyogs bsgrigs dpe tshogs)

  • YutokYöntan Gönpo(G.yu thog Yon tan mgon po) Bdud rtsi snying po yan lag brgyad pa gsang ba man ngag gi rgyud. 1992 Lha sa Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang

  • YuthogYonten Gonpo(G.yu thog Yon tan Mgon po) Bdud rtsi snying po yan lag brgyad pa gsang ba man ngag gi rgyud las rtsa ba’i rgyud dang bshad pa’i rgyud ces bya ba bzhugs so 2008 Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India Dawa [Publisher] (The Basic Tantra and The Explanatory Tantra from the Secret Quintessential Instructions on the Eight Branches of the Ambrosia Essence Tantra) translated into English by the translation department Men-Tsee-Khang; Chief Translator: Dr. Thokmay Paljor Assistant Translator: Dr. Passang Wangdu Dr. Sonam Dolma)

Secondary Sources

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  • BanzragchP.GerkeB. ‘Some Notes on the Famous Mongolian Pharmacologist Jambal Dorje’ AyurVijnana 2002 6 34 39

  • BaradinB. Zhisn’v Tangutskom monastyre Lavran: dnevnik buddiiskogo palomnika (1906–1907) [Podgot. k publ. predisl. i kommentarii C.P. Vanchikovoj. Nauchnyj red. S. Chojmaa] 2002 [1924] Ulan Ude Izdat. Buryatskogo Nauchnogo Tsentra

  • BGT Bod rgya tshig mdzod chen mo. 1985 Pe cin (Beijing) Mi rigs dpe skrun khang

  • BlezerH. SchrempfM. ‘Brief Outlook: Desiderata in the Study of the History of Tibetan Medicine’ Soundings in Tibetan Medicine: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives 2007 Leiden/Bosten Brill 427 438 (PIATS 2003: Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the Tenth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies Oxford 2003)

  • BolsokhoevaN. ‘Medical Faculties of Buryat Buddhist Monasteries’ AyurVijnana 1999 6 3 9

  • BolsokhoevaN. ‘Tibetan Medical Schools of the Aga Area (Chita Region)’ Asian Medicine 2007a 3 335 346

  • BolsokhoevaN. ‘Tibetan Medical Illustrations from the History Museum of Buryatia, Ulan Ude’ Asian Medicine 2007b 3 347 367

  • BolsokhoyevaN.GerasimovaK. AvedonJ. ‘The Atlas of Tibetan Medicine: Treasures from The History Museum of Buryatia’ The Buddha’s Art of Healing: Tibetan Paintings Rediscovered 1998 New York Rizzoli 33 60

  • Buchwaldt-ErnstB. von Monlam in Labrang: Gebetsfest in Klein Tibet 2005 Zürich Offizin

  • CaiJingfeng JinmeiApei Awang[Ngag dbang ’Vigs med] ‘Comparative Study on Different Editions of Tibetan Medical Thangkas’ Anthology of 2000 International Academic Conference on Tibetan Medicine 2000 866 871

  • CzajaO. ‘Zurkharwa Lodro Gyalpo (1509–1579) on the Controversy of the Indian Origin of the rGyud bzhi’ The Tibet Journal 2006 Winter & Spring 30 4 131 152 31(1) 2005/2006

  • CzajaO. SchrempfM. ‘The Making of the Blue Beryl: Some Remarks on the Textual Sources of the Famous Commentary of Sangye Gyatso (1653–1705)’ Soundings in Tibetan Medicine: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives 2007 Leiden Brill 345 371 (PIATS 2003; Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the Tenth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies)

  • EmmerickR. ‘Some Tibetan Medical Tangkas’ Bulletin of Tibetology: Aspects of Classical Tibetan Medicine 1993 56 81 (special volume 1993)

  • FürholzerE. Arro! Arro!: So sah ich Tibet. 1942 Berlin Wilhelm Limpert Verlag

  • GalbaabadraaL. Ulamzhlalt anagaakh ukhaand suralsagsdyn garyn avlaga 2005 Ulaanbaatar Shambal Niigemleg (Ulamzhlalt anagaakh ukhaany tsuvral) (A Reference Book for Learners in Traditional Medical Science)

  • GerkeB. ‘On the History of the Two Tibetan Medical Schools Janglug and Zurlug’ AyurVijnana 1999 6 17 25

  • GerkeB.BolsokhoevaN. ‘Namthar of Zurkha Lodo Gyalpo (1509–1579): a brief biography of a Tibetan physician’ AyurVijnana 1999 6 26 38

  • GerlR.AschoffJ. Die Medizinhochschule Tschagpori (lcags po ri) auf dem Eisenberg in Lhasa: Geschichte-Fakten-Zeitzeugen 2005 Ulm Fabri Verlag

  • GyatsoJ. PollockSheldon ‘Experience, Empiricism, and the Fortunes of Authority: Tibetan Medicine and Buddhism on the Eve of Modernity’ Forms of Knowledge in Early Modern Asia: Explorations in the Intellectual History of India and Tibet 1500–1800 2011 Durham and London Duke University Press 311 335

  • JampaTrinlé(Byams pa ‘phrin las) Byams pa ’phrin las gsung rtsom phyogs bsgrigs (Collection of Writings of Jampa Trinlé) 1996 Pe cin (Beijing) Krung go’i bod kyi shes rig dpe skrun khang

  • JampaTrinlé(Byams pa ‘phrin las) JinmeiApei Awang(Ngag dbang ’jigs med) ‘A Brief Account of Full and Clear Annotations on Eighty Pieces of Colour Hanging Paintings for Illustrating Four-Volume Medical Tantras’ Anthology of 2000 International Academic Conference on Tibetan Medicine 2000a 846 850

  • JampaTrinlé(Byams pa ‘phrin las) Gangs ljongs gso rig bstan pa’i nyin byed rim byon gyi rnam thar phyogs bsgrigs (Collection of Biographies of the Successive Suns of Teaching [i.e., Eminent scholars] of Tibetan Medicine) 2000b Pe cin (Beijing) Mi rigs dpe skrun khang

  • JampaTrinlé(Byams pa ’phrin las)WangLei JingfengCai Bod lugs gso rig rgyud bzhi’i nang don bris cha ngo mtshar mthong ba don ldan (Tibetan Medical Thangka of the Four Medical Tantras 1994 Lha sa Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang translated into English

  • JampalKunzang Tibetan Medicine: Illustrated in Original Texts 2001 Delhi Sri Satguru Publications [revised and enlarged edition]

  • LiAn-che ‘The Buddhist Symbolism of the protectors of Labrang Monastery’ Tibet Studies: Journal of the Tibetan Academy of Social Sciences 1989 1 125 150

  • LiAn-che History of Tibetan Religion: A Study in the Field 1994 Beijing New World Press

  • MakleyC. The Violence of Liberation: Gender and Tibetan Buddhist Revival in Post-Mao China 2007 Berkeley University of California Press

  • MeyerF. ParfionovitchY.DorjeGyurmedMeyerF. ‘Introduction: The Medical Paintings of Tibet’ Tibetan Medical Paintings: Illustrations to the ‘Blue Beryl’ Treatise of Sangs rgyas Rgya mtsho (1653–1705) 1992 vol. 1 London Serindia Publications 2 13

  • MeyerF. AvedonJ. ‘The History and Foundations of Tibetan Medicine’ The Buddha’s Art of Healing: Tibetan Paintings Rediscovered 1998 New York Rizzoli 21 32

  • MeyerF. PommaretF. SolversonHoward ‘The Golden Century of Tibetan Medicine’ Lhasa in the Seventeenth Century: The Capital of the Dalai Lamas 2003 Leiden/Boston Brill 99 117 Lhasa Lieu du Divin

  • NietupskiP. Labrang: A Tibetan Buddhist Monastery at the Crossroads of Four Civilisations, Photos from the Griebenow Archives, 1921–1949 1999 Ithaca, New York Snow Lion Publications

  • NietupskiP. BuffetrilleK.DiembergerH. ‘Sino-Tibetan Relations in Eighteenth-Century Labrang’ Territory and Identity in Tibet and the Himalayas 2002 Leiden Brill 121 133 (PIATS 2000: Tibetan Studies: Proceeding of the Ninth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies Leiden 2000)

  • NietupskiP. Labrang Monastery: A Tibetan Buddhist Community on the Inner Asian Borderlands, 1709–1958 2011 Lanham Lexington Books/Rowman and Littlefield Publishers (Studies in Modern Tibetan Culture)

  • ParfionovitchY.GyurmeDorjeMeyerF. Tibetan Medical Paintings: Illustrations to the ‘Blue Beryl’ Treatise of Sangs rgyas Rgya mtsho (1653–1705) 1992 London Serindia Publishers

  • PasangYönten Bod kyi gso ba rig pa’i lo rgyus kyi bang mdzod g.yu thog bla ma dran pa’i pho nya 1988 Leh, India Yu thog Institute of Tibetan Medicine (Treasury of the History of Tibetan Medicine [Called] Messenger Remembering Lama Yutok) [men ram pa] (Pa sangs Yon tan [Sman rams pa])

  • RockJoseph Franz The Amnye Ma chhen Range and Adjacent Regions: A monographic Study Serie Orientale Roma 1956 Roma Is.M.E.O

  • SabernigK. ‘The substitution of rare ingredients in traditional Tibetan medicine on the basis of classical Tibetan texts, their use in modern formularies and a case study from Amdo/Qinghai’ Curare 34 (1+2): 83–96 2011 (New Trends in Ethnobotany and Ethnopharmacology: Selected Contributions of 6th European Colloquium of Ethnopharmacology / 20th conference ‘Ethnomedicine’ / Medical Anthropology at Leipzig 8th to 10th November 2007)

  • SabernigK. ‘Tibetan Medical Paintings illustrating the bshad rgyud: A comparison of the classical thangka set and murals in the Medical College in Labrang Monastery’ Zentralasiatische Studien 42 2013 In press

  • SabernigK. ‘Medical Murals at Labrang Monastery’ Bodies in Balance—The Art of Tibetan Medicine Forthcoming 2014 New York and Seattle Rubin Museum of Art and University of Washington Press

  • SangyéGyatso(Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho sDe srid) Bai ḍūr sṅon po: being the text of “Gso ba rig pa’i bstan bcos sman bla’i dgoṅs rgyan rgyud bźi’i gsal byed Bai ḍūr sṅon po’i ma lli ka”: Sde-srid Saṅs-rgyas-rgya-mtsho’s detailed synthetic treatise on the Rgyud-bźi, The Fundamental Exposition of Tibetan Ayurvedic Medicine Lha sa lcags po ri rig byed ‘gro phan gling 1973 Leh, India T.Y. Tashigangpa 4 vols reproduced from a print of the 1888–1892 blocks preserved in the

  • SchaefferK. ‘Textual Scholarship, Medical Tradition, and Mahayana Buddhist Ideals in Tibet’ Journal of Indian Philosophy 2003 31 5–6 621 641

  • SchaefferK. PollockSheldon ‘New Scholarship in Tibet, 1650–1700’ Forms of Knowledge in Early Modern Asia: Explorations in the Intellectual History of India and Tibet 1500–1800 2011 Durham and London Duke University Press 91 310

  • SchulemannG. Die Geschichte der Dalai Lamas 1958 Leipzig Harrassowitz

  • SchwiegerP. PommaretF.AchardJ.-L. ‘Tuvinian Images of Demons from Tibet’ Tibetan Studies in Honor of Samten Karmay 2009 133 136

  • SükhbatShagdarzhavynBuyandelgerGürzhavyn Mongol anagaakh ukhaan 2006 Ulaanbaatar Sodpress

  • TaubeM. Beiträge zur Geschichte der medizinischen Literatur Tibets 1981 Sankt Augustin VGH Wissenschaftsverlag

  • TendzinPüntsok(Bstan ’dzin phun tshogs) Shel gong shel phreng 1994 Dharamsala Tibetan Medical & Astro Institute

  • TenpaRapgyé(Bstan pa rab rgyas) Mdo smad chos ’byung/brag dgon pa dkon mchog bstan pa rab rgyas kyis brtsams, Rig gnas myur skyob dpe mdzod khang. 2005 [1801] (No publisher indicated)

  • ThuptenTsering[Thub bstan tshe ring] GerlandR.AschoffJ. C. Gangs ljongs sman pa’i grong khyer lcags ri ’gro phan rig byed gling gi byung rabs brjod pa gsal ba’i sgron me [1986 Lha sa]: History of the Medical City of Tibet: The Spot Benefiting Sentient Beiings, Called clear Lamp translated into English by Rabgay [1996]’ 2005 Ulm Fabri Verlag 22 78 Die Medizinhochschule Tschagpori (lcags po ri) auf dem Eisenberg in Lhasa: Geschichte-Fakten-Zeitzeugen

  • TsangmenYéshé Zangpo(Gtsang sman Ye shes Bzang po) Gtsang sman sdong ‘grel ṭīkkā mun sel gsal ba’i sgron me’ Gtsang sman pa’i sman yig phyogs bsgrigs 2007 132 154

  • TsangmenYéshé Zangpo(Gtsang sman Ye shes bzang po) Bshad pa’i rgyud kyi gnas lugs le’u’i vgrel bshad rag tho dam pa snga ma’i zhal rgyud’ Gtsang sman pa’i sman yig phyogs bsgrigs 2007 155 181

  • TsyrempilovN. ‘Some Notes on the Biography of the First ’Jam dbyangs Bzhad pa’ Archiv Orientalni: Quarterly Journal of African and Asien Studies 2003 71 451 464

  • TsyrempilovN. Povestvovanie o zhizni vsevedushchego Chzham’yan-Shadbiy-Dorchzhe mogushchestvennogo uchenogo i siddkha nazyvayushcheesya Brod vedushchiy k udivitel’no blagomu udelu 2008 Ulan-Ude Izdatel’stvo Buryatskogo Nauchnogo Tsentra (Narrative on the Life of the Omniscient Jamyang Zhépé Dorjé the Mighty Scholar and Siddha Called Ford [Crossing] Leading to Amazing Benefits of Fate)

  • TsyrempilovN. VanchikovaT. Annotated Catalogue of the Collection of Mongolian Manuscripts and Xylographs M1 of the Institute of Mongolian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies of Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences CNEAS Monograph Series No.17 2004 Sendai Center for Northeast Asian Studies: Tohoku University

  • UnkriegW. A. von Korvin-KrasinskyC. ‘Vorwort’ Die Tibetische Medizinphilosophie: Der Mensch als Mikrokosmos 2002 [1953] Zürich Origo Verlag [reprinted in AyurVijnana 8: 10–23] [1953]

  • VanchikovaT. Rnam thars of the First Abbots of the Buryat Tsugol Monastery’ Archiv Orientalni: Quarterly Journal of African and Asien Studies 2003 71 451 464

  • WallenböckU. GingrichA. ‘Labrang: ethnischer und kultureller Schmelztigel an der östlichen Peripherie Tibets’ Der Rand und die Mitte: Beiträge zur Sozialanthropologie und Kulturgeschichte Tibets und des Himalaya 2006 Vienna Austrian Academy of Sciences Publications 153 163

  • WalravensH. Joseph Franz Rock: Expedition zum Amnye Machhen in Südwest-China im Jahre 1926: Im Spiegel von Tagebüchern und Briefen 2003 Wiesbaden Harrassowitz Verlag

  • WangLei The Medical History of Tibet 1994 Shanghai Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press

  • YontenGyatso(Yon tan rgya mtsho) Cho sde chen po bla brang bkra shis ’khyil 1987 Paris (No publisher indicated)

  • YontenGyatso(Yon tan Rgya mtsho)BuffetrilleKatia ‘Labrang—Tibetan Medicine: the medical college of Labrang Monastery’ Newsletter of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine 1987 7 10

  • 2

    Emmerick 1993pp. 56–81; Wang Lei 1994 2000a pp. 846–50; Meyer 1992 pp. 2–13; 1998 pp. 21–31; Parfionovitch et al. 1992; Bolsokhoyeva 1998 2007b; Jampa Trinlé and Cai Jingfeng 2000 pp. 866–71.

  • 3

    Kilty 2010.

  • 7

    Lozang ChödrakBshad rgyud kyi sdong ’grems2005.

  • 8

    See Taube 1981pp. 6 73. Unkrieg (2002 p. 12 [1953: XXII]) writes Dharma sman rams pa translating this with Dr. theol. et med. but Darmo refers to his place of birth and has nothing to do with ‘dharma’.

  • 9

    Ibid. p. 6.

  • 10

    See Jampa Trinlé 2000bp. 314. Among them the Fifth Dalai Lama and famous physicians like Lozang Tenpa Dargyé (Blo bzang Bstan pa Dar rgyas) or Kyépé Lozang Zöpa (Kye dpe Blo bzang Bzod pa). See Taube 1981 p. 5 f. pp. 78–83.

  • 11

    See Jampa Trinlé 2000bpp. 315 f.; Meyer 2003 p. 110; Schaeffer 2011 p. 293.

  • 14

    Taube 1981p. 73; Czaja 2007 p. 357.

  • 15

    Schaeffer 2003p. 630.

  • 16

    Meyer 2003p. 110; Gyatso 2011 p. 311.

  • 20

    Kilty 2010p. 488.

  • 21

    For a detailed discussion see: Czaja 2006.

  • 22

    Taube 1981pp. 63–66; Pasang Yontan 1988 pp. 118–121 123; Czaja 2007 p. 350.

  • 24

    Tsyrempilov 2003p. 441. Tsyrempilov translated the biography of this scholar into Russian including a remarkable introduction (2008).

  • 26

    Jampa Trinlé 2000bpp. 319/7–8.

  • 30

    Tsyrempilov 2003p. 448.

  • 31

    Nietupski 2002p. 122 f. 2011.

  • 35

    Yonten GyatsoCho sde chen po1987.

  • 36

    Yonten Gyatso and Buffetrille 1987pp. 7–10.

  • 37

    Nietupski 20111999.

  • 39

    Gerl and Aschoff 2005p. 21.

  • 40

    Thupten Tsering 2005p. 63. The original Tibetan version appeared in 1986 (see Gerl and Aschoff 2005 p. 21).

  • 42

    Nietupski 2011p. 130. According to Nietupski the Mongol prince also started the Labrang printing house (2011 p. 30). The Annotated Catalogue of the collection of Mongolian manuscripts and xylographs M1 of the Institute of Mongolian Tibetan and Buddhist studies of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences shows that many treatises from the Labrang Printing house have been brought to Buryatia: Tsyrempilov (Compiler) Vanchikova (Editor) 2004.

  • 43

    Li An-che 1989p. 125; Nietupski 1999 p. 22.

  • 44

    Nietupski 1999p. 22. (?) Nietupski mentions in the same context a record that includes ‘Mongol Sponsorship for the later renovation of the Medical college’s Meeting hall’ (Nietupski 2011 p. 21).

  • 46

    See Meyer 1997p. 118; Bolsokhoyeva 2007a p. 339.

  • 48

    Thupten Tsering 2005p. 63.

  • 51

    Gerl and Aschoff 2005p. 105.

  • 53

    Jampa Trinlé 2000bpp. 363/4.

  • 54

    Jampa Trinlé 2000bpp. 363/5–11.

  • 55

    Li An-Che 1994p. 149. This might be the reason why the establishment of the Medical College was dated back to that year by Yonten Gyatso and Buffetrille (1987 p. 7) but most probably their western date is just a mistake because the mentioned wood-dragon year would be 1784 and 1763 is a water-sheep year.

  • 56

    Jampa Trinlé 2000bpp. 365/13.

  • 58

    Jampa Trinlé 2000bpp. 363/13–21. Yet it is not known which of his works have survived the Cultural Revolution but over the last three decades respectively since the beginning of the revitalisation of Tibetan medicine many books have been republished.

  • 59

    Tsangmen Yéshé ZangpoGtsang sman sdong ’grel ṭīkkā mun sel2007.

  • 60

    Tsangmen Yéshé ZangpoBshad pa’i rgyud kyi gnas lugs2007.

  • 61

    Nietupski 2011pp. 31–36 141; The newly built residence of the living sixth Jamyang Zhépa is located just beside the Nyingmapa temple.

  • 63

    Vanchikova 2003p. 451; Tsyrempilov 2003 p. 441.

  • 64

    Bolsokhoyeva 2007ap. 339 f.; Bolsokhoyeva and Gerasimova 1998 p. 34.

  • 66

    See also: Gerl; Aschoff 2005p. 152.

  • 69

    Jampa Trinlé 2000pp. 488/1–93/10.

  • 71

    Dash 1994p. 154; Clark 1995 p. 89; Yutok Yöntan Gönpo 1992 pp. 42/4–5.

  • 79

    Tendzin PüntsokShel gong shel phreng1994.

  • 80

    Jampel Dorjé 1971.

  • 82

    Lozang ChödrakBshad pa’i rgyud kyi le’u nyi shu pa2007.

  • 83

    See Jampa Trinlé 2000pp. 488–93.

  • 89

    See Jampa Trinlé 2000pp. 488/1–93/10.

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On the History of the Murals in the Medical College at Labrang Monastery

in Asian Medicine

Sections

References

ClarkB. The Quintessence Tantras of Tibetan Medicine 1995 Ithaca, New York Snow Lion Publications

DashVaidya Bhagwan Encyclopaedia of Tibetan Medicine: Being the Tibetan Text of Rgyud Bźi and Sanskrit Restoration of Amṛta Hṛdaya Aṣṭāṅga Guhyopadeśa Tantra and Expository Translation in English 1994–2001 Delhi, India Sri Satguru Publications Indian Medical Science Series No.-23 7 vols.

JampelDorjé LokeshChandra Dri med shel phreng nas bshad pa’i sman gyi vkhrungs dpe mjos mtshad mig rgyan ces bya ba bzhugs so An Illustrated Tibeto-Mongolian Materia Medica of Ayurveda 1971 New Delhi International Academy of Indian Culture (’Jam dpal rdo rje [of Mongolia]) (from the collection of His Holiness Z.D. Gomboev with a foreword by E. Gene Smith)

KhyenrapNorbu(Mkhyen rab nor bu)JampaTrinlé(Byams pa phrin las) Gso rig rgyud bzhi’i sdong ’grems ’dod ’byung norbu’i mdzod. 1987 Pe cin (Beijing) Mi rigs dpe skrun khang

KiltyG. GyatsoDesi Sangye KiltyGavin Mirror of Beryl: A Historical Introduction to Tibetan Medicine The Library of Tibetan Classics 2010 vol. 28 Boston Wisdom Publications

KönchokJikmé Wangpo The Collected Works of Dkon-mchog-’jigs-med-dbaṅ-po, the Second ‘Jam-dbyaṅs-bźad-pa of La-braṅ bKra-śis-’khyil 1971 New Delhi Ngawang Gelek Demo (Dkon mchog ’Jigs med dbang po) [Jamyang Zhépa (’Jam dbyangs bzhad pa)]

LhündrupTrashi(Lhun grub bkra shis) G.yu thog gsar rnying gi rnam thar. 2005 Pe cin (Beijing) Mi rigs dpe skrun khang

LodröGyelpo(Blo gros rgyal po) Rgyud bzhi’i ’grel pa mes po’i zhal lung 2005 Pe cin (Beijing) Mi rigs dpe skrun khang (Bod kyi gso ba rig pa’i gna’ dpe phyogs bsgrigs dpe tshogs)

Péma KarpoLosel Wangpo(Blo gsal dbang po Pad ma dkar po) Rgyud bzhi’i ‘grel ba gzhang la phan pa’i gter 2007 Pe cin (Beijing) Mi rigs dpe skrun khang (Bod kyi gso ba rig pa’i gna’ dpe phyogs bsgrigs dpe tshogs 52)

LozangChödrak(Blo bzang chos grags [Dar mo sman rams pa]) Bshad pa’i rgyud kyi le’u nyi shu pa sman gyi nus pa bstan pa’i tshig gi don gyi ’grel ba mes po’i dgongs rgyan 2007 Pe cin (Beijing) Mi rigs dpe skrun khang 1 200 (Bod kyi gso ba rig pa’i gna’ dpe phyogs bsgrigs dpe tshogs)

LozangChödrak(Blo bzang chos grags [Dar mo sman rams pa]) Bshad rgyud kyi sdong ’grems legs bshad gser gyi thur ma in Legs bshad gser gyi thur ma bka’ phreng mun sel sgron me 2005 Pe cin (Beijing) Mi rigs dpe skrun khang 1 143 (Bod kyi gso ba rig pa’i gna’ dpe phyogs bsgrigs dpe tshogs)

YutokYöntan Gönpo(G.yu thog Yon tan mgon po) Bdud rtsi snying po yan lag brgyad pa gsang ba man ngag gi rgyud. 1992 Lha sa Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang

YuthogYonten Gonpo(G.yu thog Yon tan Mgon po) Bdud rtsi snying po yan lag brgyad pa gsang ba man ngag gi rgyud las rtsa ba’i rgyud dang bshad pa’i rgyud ces bya ba bzhugs so 2008 Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India Dawa [Publisher] (The Basic Tantra and The Explanatory Tantra from the Secret Quintessential Instructions on the Eight Branches of the Ambrosia Essence Tantra) translated into English by the translation department Men-Tsee-Khang; Chief Translator: Dr. Thokmay Paljor Assistant Translator: Dr. Passang Wangdu Dr. Sonam Dolma)

Anon ca. Bla brang Bkra shis ’khyil 2007 (A Brief History of Labrang Monastery). No publisher given

BanzragchP.GerkeB. ‘Some Notes on the Famous Mongolian Pharmacologist Jambal Dorje’ AyurVijnana 2002 6 34 39

BaradinB. Zhisn’v Tangutskom monastyre Lavran: dnevnik buddiiskogo palomnika (1906–1907) [Podgot. k publ. predisl. i kommentarii C.P. Vanchikovoj. Nauchnyj red. S. Chojmaa] 2002 [1924] Ulan Ude Izdat. Buryatskogo Nauchnogo Tsentra

BGT Bod rgya tshig mdzod chen mo. 1985 Pe cin (Beijing) Mi rigs dpe skrun khang

BlezerH. SchrempfM. ‘Brief Outlook: Desiderata in the Study of the History of Tibetan Medicine’ Soundings in Tibetan Medicine: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives 2007 Leiden/Bosten Brill 427 438 (PIATS 2003: Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the Tenth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies Oxford 2003)

BolsokhoevaN. ‘Medical Faculties of Buryat Buddhist Monasteries’ AyurVijnana 1999 6 3 9

BolsokhoevaN. ‘Tibetan Medical Schools of the Aga Area (Chita Region)’ Asian Medicine 2007a 3 335 346

BolsokhoevaN. ‘Tibetan Medical Illustrations from the History Museum of Buryatia, Ulan Ude’ Asian Medicine 2007b 3 347 367

BolsokhoyevaN.GerasimovaK. AvedonJ. ‘The Atlas of Tibetan Medicine: Treasures from The History Museum of Buryatia’ The Buddha’s Art of Healing: Tibetan Paintings Rediscovered 1998 New York Rizzoli 33 60

Buchwaldt-ErnstB. von Monlam in Labrang: Gebetsfest in Klein Tibet 2005 Zürich Offizin

CaiJingfeng JinmeiApei Awang[Ngag dbang ’Vigs med] ‘Comparative Study on Different Editions of Tibetan Medical Thangkas’ Anthology of 2000 International Academic Conference on Tibetan Medicine 2000 866 871

CzajaO. ‘Zurkharwa Lodro Gyalpo (1509–1579) on the Controversy of the Indian Origin of the rGyud bzhi’ The Tibet Journal 2006 Winter & Spring 30 4 131 152 31(1) 2005/2006

CzajaO. SchrempfM. ‘The Making of the Blue Beryl: Some Remarks on the Textual Sources of the Famous Commentary of Sangye Gyatso (1653–1705)’ Soundings in Tibetan Medicine: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives 2007 Leiden Brill 345 371 (PIATS 2003; Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the Tenth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies)

EmmerickR. ‘Some Tibetan Medical Tangkas’ Bulletin of Tibetology: Aspects of Classical Tibetan Medicine 1993 56 81 (special volume 1993)

FürholzerE. Arro! Arro!: So sah ich Tibet. 1942 Berlin Wilhelm Limpert Verlag

GalbaabadraaL. Ulamzhlalt anagaakh ukhaand suralsagsdyn garyn avlaga 2005 Ulaanbaatar Shambal Niigemleg (Ulamzhlalt anagaakh ukhaany tsuvral) (A Reference Book for Learners in Traditional Medical Science)

GerkeB. ‘On the History of the Two Tibetan Medical Schools Janglug and Zurlug’ AyurVijnana 1999 6 17 25

GerkeB.BolsokhoevaN. ‘Namthar of Zurkha Lodo Gyalpo (1509–1579): a brief biography of a Tibetan physician’ AyurVijnana 1999 6 26 38

GerlR.AschoffJ. Die Medizinhochschule Tschagpori (lcags po ri) auf dem Eisenberg in Lhasa: Geschichte-Fakten-Zeitzeugen 2005 Ulm Fabri Verlag

GyatsoJ. PollockSheldon ‘Experience, Empiricism, and the Fortunes of Authority: Tibetan Medicine and Buddhism on the Eve of Modernity’ Forms of Knowledge in Early Modern Asia: Explorations in the Intellectual History of India and Tibet 1500–1800 2011 Durham and London Duke University Press 311 335

JampaTrinlé(Byams pa ‘phrin las) Byams pa ’phrin las gsung rtsom phyogs bsgrigs (Collection of Writings of Jampa Trinlé) 1996 Pe cin (Beijing) Krung go’i bod kyi shes rig dpe skrun khang

JampaTrinlé(Byams pa ‘phrin las) JinmeiApei Awang(Ngag dbang ’jigs med) ‘A Brief Account of Full and Clear Annotations on Eighty Pieces of Colour Hanging Paintings for Illustrating Four-Volume Medical Tantras’ Anthology of 2000 International Academic Conference on Tibetan Medicine 2000a 846 850

JampaTrinlé(Byams pa ‘phrin las) Gangs ljongs gso rig bstan pa’i nyin byed rim byon gyi rnam thar phyogs bsgrigs (Collection of Biographies of the Successive Suns of Teaching [i.e., Eminent scholars] of Tibetan Medicine) 2000b Pe cin (Beijing) Mi rigs dpe skrun khang

JampaTrinlé(Byams pa ’phrin las)WangLei JingfengCai Bod lugs gso rig rgyud bzhi’i nang don bris cha ngo mtshar mthong ba don ldan (Tibetan Medical Thangka of the Four Medical Tantras 1994 Lha sa Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang translated into English

JampalKunzang Tibetan Medicine: Illustrated in Original Texts 2001 Delhi Sri Satguru Publications [revised and enlarged edition]

LiAn-che ‘The Buddhist Symbolism of the protectors of Labrang Monastery’ Tibet Studies: Journal of the Tibetan Academy of Social Sciences 1989 1 125 150

LiAn-che History of Tibetan Religion: A Study in the Field 1994 Beijing New World Press

MakleyC. The Violence of Liberation: Gender and Tibetan Buddhist Revival in Post-Mao China 2007 Berkeley University of California Press

MeyerF. ParfionovitchY.DorjeGyurmedMeyerF. ‘Introduction: The Medical Paintings of Tibet’ Tibetan Medical Paintings: Illustrations to the ‘Blue Beryl’ Treatise of Sangs rgyas Rgya mtsho (1653–1705) 1992 vol. 1 London Serindia Publications 2 13

MeyerF. AvedonJ. ‘The History and Foundations of Tibetan Medicine’ The Buddha’s Art of Healing: Tibetan Paintings Rediscovered 1998 New York Rizzoli 21 32

MeyerF. PommaretF. SolversonHoward ‘The Golden Century of Tibetan Medicine’ Lhasa in the Seventeenth Century: The Capital of the Dalai Lamas 2003 Leiden/Boston Brill 99 117 Lhasa Lieu du Divin

NietupskiP. Labrang: A Tibetan Buddhist Monastery at the Crossroads of Four Civilisations, Photos from the Griebenow Archives, 1921–1949 1999 Ithaca, New York Snow Lion Publications

NietupskiP. BuffetrilleK.DiembergerH. ‘Sino-Tibetan Relations in Eighteenth-Century Labrang’ Territory and Identity in Tibet and the Himalayas 2002 Leiden Brill 121 133 (PIATS 2000: Tibetan Studies: Proceeding of the Ninth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies Leiden 2000)

NietupskiP. Labrang Monastery: A Tibetan Buddhist Community on the Inner Asian Borderlands, 1709–1958 2011 Lanham Lexington Books/Rowman and Littlefield Publishers (Studies in Modern Tibetan Culture)

ParfionovitchY.GyurmeDorjeMeyerF. Tibetan Medical Paintings: Illustrations to the ‘Blue Beryl’ Treatise of Sangs rgyas Rgya mtsho (1653–1705) 1992 London Serindia Publishers

PasangYönten Bod kyi gso ba rig pa’i lo rgyus kyi bang mdzod g.yu thog bla ma dran pa’i pho nya 1988 Leh, India Yu thog Institute of Tibetan Medicine (Treasury of the History of Tibetan Medicine [Called] Messenger Remembering Lama Yutok) [men ram pa] (Pa sangs Yon tan [Sman rams pa])

RockJoseph Franz The Amnye Ma chhen Range and Adjacent Regions: A monographic Study Serie Orientale Roma 1956 Roma Is.M.E.O

SabernigK. ‘The substitution of rare ingredients in traditional Tibetan medicine on the basis of classical Tibetan texts, their use in modern formularies and a case study from Amdo/Qinghai’ Curare 34 (1+2): 83–96 2011 (New Trends in Ethnobotany and Ethnopharmacology: Selected Contributions of 6th European Colloquium of Ethnopharmacology / 20th conference ‘Ethnomedicine’ / Medical Anthropology at Leipzig 8th to 10th November 2007)

SabernigK. ‘Tibetan Medical Paintings illustrating the bshad rgyud: A comparison of the classical thangka set and murals in the Medical College in Labrang Monastery’ Zentralasiatische Studien 42 2013 In press

SabernigK. ‘Medical Murals at Labrang Monastery’ Bodies in Balance—The Art of Tibetan Medicine Forthcoming 2014 New York and Seattle Rubin Museum of Art and University of Washington Press

SangyéGyatso(Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho sDe srid) Bai ḍūr sṅon po: being the text of “Gso ba rig pa’i bstan bcos sman bla’i dgoṅs rgyan rgyud bźi’i gsal byed Bai ḍūr sṅon po’i ma lli ka”: Sde-srid Saṅs-rgyas-rgya-mtsho’s detailed synthetic treatise on the Rgyud-bźi, The Fundamental Exposition of Tibetan Ayurvedic Medicine Lha sa lcags po ri rig byed ‘gro phan gling 1973 Leh, India T.Y. Tashigangpa 4 vols reproduced from a print of the 1888–1892 blocks preserved in the

SchaefferK. ‘Textual Scholarship, Medical Tradition, and Mahayana Buddhist Ideals in Tibet’ Journal of Indian Philosophy 2003 31 5–6 621 641

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2

Emmerick 1993pp. 56–81; Wang Lei 1994 2000a pp. 846–50; Meyer 1992 pp. 2–13; 1998 pp. 21–31; Parfionovitch et al. 1992; Bolsokhoyeva 1998 2007b; Jampa Trinlé and Cai Jingfeng 2000 pp. 866–71.

3

Kilty 2010.

7

Lozang ChödrakBshad rgyud kyi sdong ’grems2005.

8

See Taube 1981pp. 6 73. Unkrieg (2002 p. 12 [1953: XXII]) writes Dharma sman rams pa translating this with Dr. theol. et med. but Darmo refers to his place of birth and has nothing to do with ‘dharma’.

9

Ibid. p. 6.

10

See Jampa Trinlé 2000bp. 314. Among them the Fifth Dalai Lama and famous physicians like Lozang Tenpa Dargyé (Blo bzang Bstan pa Dar rgyas) or Kyépé Lozang Zöpa (Kye dpe Blo bzang Bzod pa). See Taube 1981 p. 5 f. pp. 78–83.

11

See Jampa Trinlé 2000bpp. 315 f.; Meyer 2003 p. 110; Schaeffer 2011 p. 293.

14

Taube 1981p. 73; Czaja 2007 p. 357.

15

Schaeffer 2003p. 630.

16

Meyer 2003p. 110; Gyatso 2011 p. 311.

20

Kilty 2010p. 488.

21

For a detailed discussion see: Czaja 2006.

22

Taube 1981pp. 63–66; Pasang Yontan 1988 pp. 118–121 123; Czaja 2007 p. 350.

24

Tsyrempilov 2003p. 441. Tsyrempilov translated the biography of this scholar into Russian including a remarkable introduction (2008).

26

Jampa Trinlé 2000bpp. 319/7–8.

30

Tsyrempilov 2003p. 448.

31

Nietupski 2002p. 122 f. 2011.

35

Yonten GyatsoCho sde chen po1987.

36

Yonten Gyatso and Buffetrille 1987pp. 7–10.

37

Nietupski 20111999.

39

Gerl and Aschoff 2005p. 21.

40

Thupten Tsering 2005p. 63. The original Tibetan version appeared in 1986 (see Gerl and Aschoff 2005 p. 21).

42

Nietupski 2011p. 130. According to Nietupski the Mongol prince also started the Labrang printing house (2011 p. 30). The Annotated Catalogue of the collection of Mongolian manuscripts and xylographs M1 of the Institute of Mongolian Tibetan and Buddhist studies of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences shows that many treatises from the Labrang Printing house have been brought to Buryatia: Tsyrempilov (Compiler) Vanchikova (Editor) 2004.

43

Li An-che 1989p. 125; Nietupski 1999 p. 22.

44

Nietupski 1999p. 22. (?) Nietupski mentions in the same context a record that includes ‘Mongol Sponsorship for the later renovation of the Medical college’s Meeting hall’ (Nietupski 2011 p. 21).

46

See Meyer 1997p. 118; Bolsokhoyeva 2007a p. 339.

48

Thupten Tsering 2005p. 63.

51

Gerl and Aschoff 2005p. 105.

53

Jampa Trinlé 2000bpp. 363/4.

54

Jampa Trinlé 2000bpp. 363/5–11.

55

Li An-Che 1994p. 149. This might be the reason why the establishment of the Medical College was dated back to that year by Yonten Gyatso and Buffetrille (1987 p. 7) but most probably their western date is just a mistake because the mentioned wood-dragon year would be 1784 and 1763 is a water-sheep year.

56

Jampa Trinlé 2000bpp. 365/13.

58

Jampa Trinlé 2000bpp. 363/13–21. Yet it is not known which of his works have survived the Cultural Revolution but over the last three decades respectively since the beginning of the revitalisation of Tibetan medicine many books have been republished.

59

Tsangmen Yéshé ZangpoGtsang sman sdong ’grel ṭīkkā mun sel2007.

60

Tsangmen Yéshé ZangpoBshad pa’i rgyud kyi gnas lugs2007.

61

Nietupski 2011pp. 31–36 141; The newly built residence of the living sixth Jamyang Zhépa is located just beside the Nyingmapa temple.

63

Vanchikova 2003p. 451; Tsyrempilov 2003 p. 441.

64

Bolsokhoyeva 2007ap. 339 f.; Bolsokhoyeva and Gerasimova 1998 p. 34.

66

See also: Gerl; Aschoff 2005p. 152.

69

Jampa Trinlé 2000pp. 488/1–93/10.

71

Dash 1994p. 154; Clark 1995 p. 89; Yutok Yöntan Gönpo 1992 pp. 42/4–5.

79

Tendzin PüntsokShel gong shel phreng1994.

80

Jampel Dorjé 1971.

82

Lozang ChödrakBshad pa’i rgyud kyi le’u nyi shu pa2007.

83

See Jampa Trinlé 2000pp. 488–93.

89

See Jampa Trinlé 2000pp. 488/1–93/10.

Figures

  • View in gallery
    The Medical College at Labrang in 2005.
  • View in gallery
    The courtyard with some of the new murals. Along the bottom one can see the drainage, which made the repainting necessary.
  • View in gallery
    The branch at the bottom symbolises only 32 categories of female disorders. Four leaves have been retouched. The branch in the upper part of the painting shows another retouched leaf.
  • View in gallery
    The tracks are still visible in the mid-eighties version.
  • View in gallery
    Ornamentation to the mural depicting Chapter 31: the healing physician.
  • View in gallery
    Painting by Nyingchak Jamzer at Kangtsa Gönpa depicting the general structure of the Gyüshi and many of the animals living near the mythical medical city as described in the first chapter of the Tsagyü.

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