- “Sowa-Rigpa” commonly known as Tibetan system of medicine is one of the oldest, Living and well documented medical tradition of the world.
- It has been originated from Tibet and popularly practice in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia and Russia. The majority of theory and practice of Sowa-Rigpa is similar to “Ayurveda” .
- The first Ayurvedic influence came to Tibet during 3rd century AD but it became popular only after 7th centuries with the approach of Buddhism to Tibet. There after this trend of exportation of Indian medical literature, along with Buddhism and other Indian art and sciences were continued till early 19th century.
- India being the birth place of Buddha and Buddhism has always been favorite place for learning Buddhist art and culture for Tibetan students; lots of Indian scholars were also invited to Tibet for prorogation of Buddhism and other Indian art and sciences.
- This long association with India had resulted in translation and preservation of thousands of Indian literature on various subjects like religion, sciences, arts, culture and language etc. in Tibetan language.
- Out of these around twenty-five text related to medicine are also preserved in both canonical and non-canonical forms of Tibetan literatures.
- Many of these knowledge were further enriched in Tibet with the knowledge and skills of neighboring countries and their own ethnic knowledge.
- “Sowa-Rigpa” (Science of healing) is one of the classic examples of it. rGyud-bZhi (four tantra) the fundamental text book of this medicine was composed by Yuthog Yonten Gonpo who is believed to be the father of Sowa Rigpa. rGyud-bZhi which is based on indigenous medicine of Tibet enriched with Ayurveda, Chinese and Greek Medicine.
- The impact of Sowa-Rigpa along with Buddhism and other Tibetan art and sciences were spread in neighboring Himalayan regions. In India, this system is widely practice in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling (West Bengal), Dharamsala, Lahaul and Spiti(Himachal Pradesh) and Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir.