Good news! The Tibetan medical system, known as Sowa Rigpa or Art of Healing, has officially been recognized by the Government of India. Sowa Rigpa is also practiced in the entire Himalayan belt.
Strangely, the word 'Tibet' or 'Tibetan' does not appear anywhere in the Government of India's release.
It is probably not upset the Chinese, the 'owner' of 'Tibet'?
Recently, I prepared a panel on Sowa Rigpa as part of an exhibition on Tibet. To download it, click here.
Press Information Bureau
September 10, 2009
Amendment of the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 The Union Cabinet today approved The Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2009 for amending the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970.
Sowa-Rigpa commonly known as Amchi is one of the oldest surviving system of medicine in the world, popular in the Himalayan region of India. In India this system is practiced in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling (West Bengal), Lahoul and Spiti (Himachal Pradesh) and Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir.
The theory and practices of Sowa-Rigpa are similar to Ayurveda, and also include few principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The fundamental text book rgyud-bzi of Sowa-Rigpa is believed to have been taught by Buddha himself and is closely linked with Buddhist philosophy.
The Government of India has received representations from various quarters to grant recognition to the System of Sowa-Rigpa to enable it get a legal status. To confer legal status to Sowa-Rigpa amendments to section 2,3,8,9 and 17 of the Indian Medicine Central Council Act 1970, need to be carried out. The proposed amendments shall give effect to the inclusion of Sowa-Rigpa under sections 2,3,8,9 and 17 of the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 thereby recognizing this system legally.
It is expected that the legal recognition of Sowa-Rigpa will lead to the protection and preservation of this ancient system of medicine and will help in its propagation and development. This will also open new vistas leading to collaborative research and scientific validation of the Sowa-Rigpa system, besides conservation and protection of the medicinal plants/minerals used in the system. The recognition of Sowa-Rigpa will also lead to the setting up of a mechanism to regulate the education and practice of Sowa-Rigpa .