Total number of 119 publications has been printed so far by this department, which include large and small sized books in both English and Tibetan languages on seminal texts, commentaries and others. Twenty-five of these are rare and old manuscripts and nineteen are reprints of previously existing publications. There are seven publications in English. So far, seventeen journals have been published. There are twenty-one publications on Tibetan Astrology and the rest of thirty-three are on various topics of Tibetan Medicine and Astrology.
One of these many publications is the ‘Gyueshi’ (rGyud bshi), the seminal text on Tibetan Medicine. ‘Gyueshi’ has had the history of numerous printing sources, known as ‘Printing Blocks’ in ancient times. Scriptures were printed on handmade paper by placing them and tracing the print from the woodblock print. Some of the well-known Tibetan sources are from Narthang, Potala, and Dathang Monastery, established by Surkhar Lodoe Gyalpo in 1564. There is also the Dhege printing block, edited by Tsultrim Rinchen in 1729 and Chakpori or Lhasa Men-Tsee-Khang printing block, edited by Surkhar Nyamnyid Dorji and his disciple Dorje Gyaltsen in 1888, which later was revised by Ugyen Tenzin and Palden Phuntsok in 1892. Other foreign sources include the Khelkha printing block of Mongolia and Peking Syung-chi-see printing in China.
As it is evident from the availability of numerous printing blocks, ‘Gyueshi’ was subjected to few alterations in spelling and sentence structure when reprinted over the years. Those printing blocks were thoroughly examined and edited with reference to its various commentaries. After making few amendments on some of the skipped words and spelling errors, a completely new accessible, handy and user-friendly book form was published by this department.
The 50th anniversary of Men-Tsee-Khang in exile witnessed the launch of another website on Tibetan Medicine and Astrology – www.mentsee.org – by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on 23rd March 2011. The medium of instruction is in Tibetan and it covers various topics on Tibetan Medicine and Astrology. The main tabs of the website are Homepage, Speeches, History, Principle Treatise, Medicine Formulation, Treatment, Astrology, Articles, News, Photo Gallery, Audio/Video Gallery and Comments. As the various tabs available on the website speak for itself, all efforts are made to share the results of the researches and all other products of this institute through this medium. It aims to facilitate students and researchers to have an easy access to Tibetan Medicine and Astrology, and also to give health advice and astrological guidance to the public.
Various sources like the internet and texts are explored and the materials obtained are archived in both printed and digital forms for the purpose of compilation of old manuscripts, and to revive rare and old texts.
Since independent and diverse use of terminologies of Ayurveda, Unani, Chinese Medicine, Allopathic Medicine and Astrological terms, with reference to Tibetan Medicine and Astrology, is creating an inverse effect on the understanding of traditional Tibetan sciences; a serious work is going on for the standardization of terminology by compiling and performing research on meanings, and coverage of the new terms.
To revive and preserve ritual practices in Tibetan Medicine and Astrology, authentic sources like renowned Lamas of various religious sects were approached. Monasteries and libraries are visited where the ritual objects and manuscripts could be obtained. These rituals include fire offering, medicinal benediction, medical point measurements, religious offerings, religious songs and ritual dances.
Compiling first-rate articles on Tibetan Medicine and Astrology which features in various mediums such as magazines, conferences and websites are done. Maintaining drafts on treatment methodologies by experienced Tibetan physicians, who have carried out the treatments on basis of firsthand clinical experience, backed with a proper theoretical credential is an important work done in this department.
Research work is being done on age-old treatises and authentic new articles by contemporary authors. Programs are developed to present those works to the world by means of printed and digital media through the Mentsee website.
A completely new designed catalogue on the existing treatises on Tibetan Medicine and Astrology from our archive is under the process of publication.
As one can find many commentaries on the pulse examination and urine analysis, two most essential diagnostic methods of Tibetan Medicine, written by many eminent scholars; this department is working hard to compile these commentaries and to make it possible that the students, physicians and researchers of Tibetan Medicine can easily catch hold of them.
There are diverse views on the origin of ‘Gyueshi’; some consider it as a teaching of Buddha Shakyamuni while some firmly believe it as a composition by the Senior Yuthok Yonten Gonpo and later edited by the Junior Yuthok Yonten Gonpo. There are also a section who believe that it was translated from Sanskrit text and still others who cling to the view that it was reproduced from ‘Bumshi'(an ancient Bon medical scripture believed to have been taught by the Tonpa Sherap Mevoche). In order to establish the actual origin of this important text, this department is presently undertaking a literary research to this effect.
A rich book shop, located within the premises of Men-Tsee-Khang, Dharamsala, is under the supervision of this department and all books published from this institute are put here for sale to the public. The shop also keeps a good stock of all herbal products which are brought out from the Herbal Products Research Department of this institute.