The Three Channels in Tibetan Medical and Religious Texts

This article comments on a centuries-old controversy in Tibetan literature: how the complex descriptions of the human circulatory system found in Buddhist tantric contemplative texts can be reconciled with descriptions of the circulatory system in Tibetan medical texts. In an essay translated within this article, the eminent twentieth-century Tibetan scholar of religion and medicine, Tsultrim Gyaltsen, addresses this problem with recourse to texts dating back to some of the earliest periods of Tibetan literary history. Tsultrim Gyaltsen’s voice thus adds a contemporary flavor to an ancient debate. In an introductory section, we contextualize the translation with a brief overview of Tibetan medical and religious views on the human circulatory system.

2008. With Vincanne Adams. The Three Channels in Tibetan Medical and Religious Texts, including a translation of Tsultrim Gyaltsen’s “Treatise on the Three Channels in Tibetan Medicine.” Traditional South Asian Medicine. 8: 86-115.