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Preliminary Investigations Into New Oral And Textual Sources On Byang Lugs – The 'Northern School' Of Tibetan Medicine

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Chapter Summary

This chapter sheds light on the history of Byang lugs, the so-called 'Northern School' of Tibetan medicine, which flourished alongside with Zur lugs, or 'Southern School', in the 15th and 16th centuries. It presents a preliminary overview of the history of the Byang lugs lineage, its oral transmission and the texts its proponents wrote in order to situate Byang lugs in its historical, political, and geographical context. The chapter revises most of the literature published on Byang lugs, including the famous and influential Gso rig sman gyi khog 'bugs by Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho and three other Tibetan sources. Then, it compares these textual accounts with the oral history on Byang lugs collected during fieldwork in Ngam ring in 2003. The chapter addresses the question: whether Byang lugs continued to be practised after it supposedly became unified with Zur lugs in the late 17th and early 18th century.

Keywords: Byang lugs lineage; Northern School; oral transmission; Tibetan Medicine



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