Tibetan Medicine is a comprehensive medical science that is holistic
in its philosophy, providing most of the fundamentals necessary
for a physiologically and psychologically successful role in any
society. Tibetan Medicine places great importance on the harmony
of the body, the mind and the spirit. This state of harmony is
achieved by maintaining positive mental attitudes balanced with
virtuous behaviour and by disciplining oneself with regard to
dietary habits, which must be kept well proportioned. rLung, mKrispa
and Badkan are the three main energies the functional balance
of which is influenced greatly by both harmony and disharmony.
Without harmony, both the body and the mind will soon enter a
state of disturbance. The body is composed of five elements represented
by these three energies.
And it becomes disturbed when we begin to practice certain behaviours
— such as when we subject our bodies to an improperly balanced
diet or when we allow ourselves to develop poor social attitudes.
Disturbances can also arise from the influence of evil spirits.
These four factors, combined with general feelings of negativity,
give rise to disease. Tibetan Medicine prescribes four main forms
of treatment viz.: eating the right food, intelligent behaviour,
medicine and additional surgery or other therapies may be advised
by the Physician. In addition to numerous health issues, Tibetan
Medicine explains extensively the cultivation of socially agreeable
attitudes, which must be rigidly adhered to if one is to live
harmoniously and successfully in a community in particular or
within society in general.
The next chapter attempts to present an overview of leadership
styles, according to Tibetan Medicine, with the aim of helping
those in need. Tibetan Medicine describes the existence of seven
traits (4) viz. rLung, mKhrispa, Badkan, rLung-mKhrispa, Badkan-mKhrispa,
Badkan-rLung, and rLung-mKhrispa-Badkan.
1. rLung People: These people possess a bent and thin body.
They have less weight, they do not enjoy good sleep, have a
propensity for psychological instability and their bodies reflect
a bluish hue. They have short life span, are of low height and
they have dried and cracked skin. They are talkative, sensitive
to cold and are poor managers of financial resources. Belligerence
and quarrelsome natures are a hallmark and they are socially
disagreeable. Paradoxically, they are fond of singing and dancing
and they are also noisy walkers. Their food preferences are
for those with sweetness, pungency and sourness.
2. mKhripa People: They have a frequent thirst and a virtually
insatiable appetite. They have a yellowish colour of the body,
are highly intelligent and are conspicuously proud. They perspire
profusely, a foul odour accompanies them, and they are of average
height and wealth. Their preference is for sweet, bitter and
astringent tastes and they have a preference for cool foods.
3. Badkan People: They have a whitish, cool body with poorly
defined appendage joints. They are obese with an unbent body,
and are tolerate of hunger, thirst and suffering. They enjoy
longevity, good sleep and above average wealth. They are very
even tempered and are undisturbed by anger. Badkan people are
patient individuals who are well meaning and natured. They prefer
pungent, sour and astringent tastes and rough foods.
4. rLung-mKhripa People: Combine : rLung and mKhrispa traits.
5. Badkan-mKhrispa People: Combine: Badkan and mKhrispa traits.
6. Badkan-rLung People: Combine : Badkan and rLung traits.
7. rLung-mKhrispa-Badkan: Combine the three traits of rLung,
mKhrispa and Badkan.
Tibetan Medicine stresses that past karmic imprints, behaviours
(i.e. changes in lifestyle) and dietary habits of a pregnant woman
during the gestation period all contribute to trait predisposition.
Tibetan Medicine explains the following leadership styles, which
assist an individual in being highly successful in their chosen
career and also to acquire positions of authority.
1. Persistence and Consistency: Agreements should be reflected
in actions. Promises made must be kept and implicit trust should
be the result. Any factors of time, money, position etc. should
not in any way influence his honesty or integrity. Forethought
and due consideration are essential prior to committing any
action in order to avoid failure or disappointment which could
lead to potentially serious regret.
2. Ethics: A Guide to Bodhisattava's Way of Life says: "By
committing only wholesome acts, which are in the mind, wherever
I go shall be rewarded with the fruit of my effort and merits".
One should avoid indulging in meaningless, worthless or unproductive
behaviour, be physically active, and anything said or thought
should be of high merit and virtuous. And foresight and wisdom
are necessary in order to be able to discern if an action or
words will have a long-term deleterious effect. Vision and wisdom
are paramount. The Jewel of Garland says: "Non-virtues
result in suffering, And likewise bad migrations. Virtues result
in happy migrations, And pleasure at all times."
3. Seek the Truth: Being judgemental of others if the evidence
is gossip or unAs it is hard to find this boat again, This is
no time to sleep, you fool."
4. Careful usage of words. Words, are they windows or they
are walls? One should carefully consider the effects before
speaking. The use of harsh words can be counter productive and
avoiding the company of crude or bad-mannered people is wise.
5. Flexibility: One should be adaptable to different situations
or people of different backgrounds without letting oneself be
adversely influenced by them. Belief in the Buddhist concept
of impermanence, that is, to accept changing times and other
variables, is of paramount importance.
6. Monetary Control and Satisfaction: One should not use money
lavishly without proper reason. Nevertheless, one should utilise
any wealth gained when there is due cause, as to hoard anything
without good reason is non-virtuous. And when wealth, sufficient
to provide for contingencies, has been found, to continue to
strive for more un-needed assets is sinful as there is no use
for the additional wealth. Provided your own needs have been
met, excessive accumulation of possessions is sinful as it is
probably denying others their fair and just needs. And if, after
achieving sufficient wealth, one becomes unexpectedly impoverished,
it is sinful to covet the possessions of others.
7. Power of Work: One should carry out work at the first available
opportunity unless serious difficulties prevent the work from
being done. Things which can be done today should not be put
off until tomorrow. A Guide to Bodhisattava's Way of Life says:
"Relying upon the boat of a human (the body), Free yourself
from the great river of pain! As it is hard to find this boat
again, This is no time to sleep, you fool."
8. Be Secretive: One should not reveal one's secrets to others.
Nor is it wise to give time or credence to ill-mannered, poorly
respected or narrow minded people.
* Dr. Tsering Dhondup is a physician and a teacher of Tibetan
Medicine based in New York. He is the author of How to Study
Tibetan Medicine: A Commentary on the Root Tantra and Tibetan
Medicine: A Unique & Comprehensive Amalgamation of Science,
Art & Philosophy.