By Lobsang Wangyal
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 24 March 2016
Men-Tsee-Khang, the Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute, celebrated its 100th anniversary with the Dalai Lama as chief guest in the Tsugla Khang courtyard in McLeod Ganj.
The institute was founded by the 13th Dalai Lama in Lhasa in 1916. Following his escape to India in 1959 after the Chinese invasion of Tibet, the 14th Dalai Lama re-established the institution in Dharamshala, the capital of the Tibetan Diaspora, on 23 March 1961.
The Institute was started with Dr Yeshi Dhonden, who was then the Dalai Lama’s personal physician and an astrologer with ten students in Dharamshala.
At the event, the Dalai Lama felicitated Dr Dhonden with an embrace and presented him a thangka.
The Dalai Lama lauded the achievements of the institute but said that there needs to be more done. “I see many sick and destitute people in the settlements. It is clear that the services of Men-Tsee-Khang have not reached these people.”
He also said that their are clear signs of lack of facilities for taking precautions to prevent disease, and asked the authorities to improve the situation.
The event was attended by Himachal Pradesh forest minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri and Ayurveda minister Karan Singh. Sikyong (Prime Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration) Lobsang Sangay, and Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile Penpa Tsering, were also among the guests.
Director of Men-Tsee-Khang Tashi Tsering Phuri welcomed the guests and introduced the event in front of an audience of thousands of people including students and tourists.
The event also commemorates 320 years of establishment of the Chagpori Medical College in Lhasa, Tibet, by the fifth Dalai Lama, and 55 years of re-establishing Men-Tsee-Khang by the 14th Dalai Lama in Dharamshala.