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Reformulating Ingredients: Outlines Of A Contemporary Ritual For The Consecration Of Medicines In Ladakh

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concerns a ritual for the consecration of medicines. It describes not only the sequence and significance of the actions performed by the participants, but also the place of the ritual in the social landscape of 21st century Ladakh. Any analysis of the Tibetan medical system in Ladakh must take into account the ubiquity of development projects targeting the amchi. The medical system of Tibet was probably introduced into Ladakh in around the tenth or eleventh century. Located in one of the settled zones of the Changtang region, Nyi is the only village in Ladakh where a temple dedicated to Sangye Smanla, the Buddha Master of Remedies, is said to be found. The amchi were gathered night and day for more than a week, during which period they recited esoteric formulae, read religious texts and prayed.

Keywords: amchi; Buddha Master; Changtang region; Ladakh; medicines; Sangye Smanla; Tibetan medical system



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