Four Medical Tantras

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The Four Medical Tantras (Tib. རྒྱུད་བཞི་, gyü shyi, Wyl. rgyud bzhi or Wyl. gso dpyad rgyud bzhi) were compiled by Yuthok Yönten Gönpo in the ninth century and then rediscovered by Drapa Ngönshé in the eleventh century. They are:

  1. Root Tantra (Wyl. rtsa rgyud)
  2. Explanatory Tantra (Wyl. bshad rgyud)
  3. Instructional Tantra (Wyl. man ngag gi rgyud)
  4. Subsequent Tantra (Wyl. phyi ma'i rgyud)

The Four Medical Tantras is a native Tibetan text incorporating the Indian, Chinese and Greco-Arab medical systems. The text was greatly influenced by the Ayurvedic tradition, which is often respectfully referred to as the mother of Tibetan medicine, and in particular by Vagbhata's Astanga Hridaya, which seems to have been one of the only great medical texts that found its way in the Tengyur.

Further Reading

  • The Quintessence Tantras of Tibetan Medicine, translated by Dr. Barry Clark (Ithaca: Snow Lion 1995)