Dharmapala Thangka CentreSchool of Thangka Painting

8.79 Medical Thangka No. 80 of the Blue Beryll

Thirteen famous Tibetan Physicians

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The Medical Thangkas of the Blue Beryl are created at the end of the 17thcentury to illustrate a Tibetan medical text of Yuthog Yontan Gampo who lived during the eigth century. 79 Thangkas were created. A Tibeto Chinese edition [1986] and a Tibeto English [1988] version of "Tibetan Medical Thangkas of the four medical Tantras contains 80 paintings. Two of these eighty paintings have a particular status because they do not refer, like all the others, to the text of the Blue Beryl. The last 80th medical Thangka was created during the twentieth of the 20th century.

The 13th Dalai Lama Tubten Gyatso [Thub-bsdan rGyamtsho, 1876 - 1933] established in 1916 a second institution of medical teaching and treatment in Lhasa, the Mentsikhang School of Medicine and Astrology [sMan rtsis khang], with Khyenrab Norbu [mKhyen rab Nor bu, 1883 - 1962] as its head. Khyenrab Norbu added an 80th painting which represented 13 great masters of he Tibetan medical tradition. This Thangka demonstrates the famous Tibetan physicians:

  1. The 5th Dalai Lama Losang Gyatso [Nga-dbang-bLhobzang], 1617 - 1683. he was called "The Great Fifth". He built the magnificent Potala Palace in Lhasa. He set up a unique new form of government, employing monastic and layofficials to work side by side. He gave the order to illustrate the medical book "The Blue Beryll".
  2. gDer-sdon Grwa-pa mNgon-zhes
  3. Padma Sambhava [Guru Rinpoche, nag.dbang.blo.dzang.kya.mco], An Indian Buddhist Great Adept from Uddiyana [Swat, Pakistan], he was invited in the late 8th century to Tibet to help convert the Tibetns to Buddhism. A major culture hero of all Tibetans, th teachings of him are central in the practice of the Nyingmapas.
  4. The 13. Dalai Lama Tubten Gyatso [Thub-bsdan rGyamtsho 1876-1933]. He lived in exile in India for almost nine years and declared Tibet independent in 1913, but subsequently failed to secure this sovereignty internationally. Instead, Tibet sealed itself off almost completely from the outside world. The 13th Dalai Lama's attempts at reform largely failed due to the resistance of the high clergy in Tibet.
  5. Lotshawa Vairocana [Lo.chan.bai.ri.cha.nai.mtsha] and is considered one of the first authors of Blue Beryl, which he probably translated on the basis of an Indian Sanskrit text. The Indian text has not yet been found. At the beginning of the 13th century, there was a great invasion of India by the Mughal rulers from the West. The Muslim commander and usurper Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji destroyed the monastery, which was not rebuilt. In the process, nearly all unique Buddhist texts were irretrievably destroyed.
  6. Gyu-thog-Yon-tan mGon-po he lived during the 8th century too and together with Vairocana No. 5.] is considered a co-author of Blue Beryl.
  7. Palden Tsoche [dPal-ldan´Tsho-byed], he belongs to the lineage of the innermost spirituality of theYuthokpa He is also depicted in the head of the medicine thangka No. 6 as the 5th master. He was a famous physician: in the 13th century. He is the author of 18 medical works. The most famous of them: "Miraculous History of Medicine" [Khog-'bugs Shes-by Rab-gsal], "The Bright Lamp of Anatomy" [Byang-khog-gi Thig-'grems gSal-sron], "Atlas of the Preparation of Medicines of the Explanatory [Second] Tantra [Phy-rgyud sMan-sbyor dPe'uris], "Exact Explanations on the Root -Tantra [rTsa-rgyud-kyi 'Grel-bo rGyud-don Rab-gsal]. Palden Tsoche was a specialist of human anatomy and for illustrating the summary of Tibetan Materia Medicine.
  8. Namgyel Dagsang [rNam-rgyal Grags-bzhang]. Master and founder of the Jang pa School [the Northern School] and teacher of Sangye Gyamtso, author of Blue Beryl. He lived from 1394 to 1475, author of Precious Medicine Container [sMan-gzang Rin-chen sGrom-bu], Origin of Nectar, detailed explanation of the descriptive mantra [bShad-rgyud kyi rGya-chher rgrel-ba bDud-rtsi'i Chhu-rgyun] and "The Need and the Goal - Notes on the Four Tantras [Phyi-ma-rgyud-kyi 'n dKa' -'grel dGos-'dod 'Byung-ba].
  9. Jarpo Panchen [Byar-bo Pan-chen] a great master of the lineage of the text entitled "Ten Million Relics". He is also depicted in the head of the medicine thangka No. 9 as the 12th master.
  10. Zurkar Nyamnyi Dorjee [Zur-mkhar mNyam-nyid rDorje, - also shown in the head of the medicine thangka No. 6 as the 11th master. He belongs to the masters of the Yuthogpa.
  11. Sara Rig-po-´dzin [sDe-srid Sangs-rgyas rgya-mtsho]
  12. mKhyen-rab Nor-bu [1883 - 1962], head of medical teaching and treatment in Lhasa, the Mentsikhang School of Medicine and Astrology [sMan-rtsi-Khang], he added this thangka as the 80th scroll painting to the previous 79 panels of the Blue Beryl. It shows great masters of Tibetan medicine from various periods.
  13. Zang-blon rDor-rje bDud-´dul
Additional information at Rubin Museum, New York

Measurements: 29.1 x 35.4" | 74 x 90 cm
Price: on request
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany or Nepal
Color: Color Version
Material: Natural Stone Colors