Sowa Rigpa institute to come up at Leh

A National Institute of Sowa Rigpa (NISR), a traditional medical system of the Himalayan belt in India, will be set up at Leh in Ladakh.

The Union Cabinet approved the proposal to set up the institute at an estimated cost of Rs 47.25 crore.

Sowa-Rigpa is popularly practiced in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling (West Bengal), Himachal Pradesh, Union Territory of Ladakh and now all over India.

The setting up of the National Institute of Sowa-Rigpa would provide an impetus for the revival of Sowa-Rigpa in the Indian Sub-continent. The Institute will also provide opportunities for students of Sowa-Rigpa not only in India but also from other countries, an official release said.

The Institute will be an autonomous National Institute under Ministry of AYUSH with the mandate to undertake interdisciplinary education and research programmes in Sowa-Rigpa in collaboration with premier national and international Institutes and facilitate integration of different systems of medicine.

After setting up of NISR, the synergy among the existing Sowa Rigpa Institutions – Central University of Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, Varanasi and Central Institute of Buddhist Studies, Leh, Union Territory of Ladakh — which are under the administrative control of Ministry of Culture and NISR will be established.

This will facilitate quality education, scientific validation, quality control & standardization and safety evaluation of Sowa-Rigpa products, standardized Sowa-Rigpa based tertiary health delivery and to promote interdisciplinary research & education of Sowa-Rigpa at undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral levels.

The National Institute of Sowa Rigpa would identify the best Sowa-Rigpa treatment – including their standard procedures-within the framework of traditional Sowa-Rigpa principle and possible co-relation with bio-molecular western medicine in providing health care facilities to the general public.

The main objective is to establish the NISR as an apex Institute for Sowa-Rigpa with aim of bringing a valid and useful synergy between Traditional Wisdom of Sowa-Rigpa and modern science, tools and technology. It will help to promote interdisciplinary research & education of Sowa-Rigpa.

Sowa-Rigpa, commonly known as Amchi system of medicine is one of the oldest, Living and well documented medical tradition of the world. It has been popularly practice in Tibet, Magnolia, Bhutan, some parts of China, Nepal, Himalayan regions of India and few parts of former Soviet Union. Popular Tibetan remedies include caterpillar fungus, dried snow lotus and a heart treatment made from powdered coral.

It employs a complex approach to diagnosis, incorporating techniques such as pulse analysis and urinalysis, and utilizes behavior and dietary modification, medicines composed of natural materials (e.g., herbs and minerals) and physical therapies (e.g. Tibetan acupuncture, moxabustion, etc.) to treat illness.

The medical system is based upon Indian Buddhist literature (for example Abhidharma and Vajrayana tantras) and Ayurveda. It embraces the traditional Buddhist belief that all illness ultimately results from the three poisons: ignorance, attachment and aversion. Tibetan medicine follows the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths which apply medical diagnostic logic to suffering.

It is similar to Ayurveda.


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