Medical Aesthetics in the Twilight of Empire: Lungrik Tendar and The Stainless Vaiḍūrya Mirror

Matthew W. King
2019 Religions  
This article introduces the life and medical histories of the luminary Khalkha Mongolian monk, Lungrik Tendar (Tib. Lung rigs bstan dar; Mon. Lungrigdandar, c. 1842–1915). Well known for his exegesis of received medical works from Central Tibet, Lungrik Tendar was also a historian of the Four Tantras (Tib. Rgyud bzhi; Mon. Dörben ündüsü). In 1911, just as Khalkha Mongolia began separating from a flailing Qing Empire, Lungrik Tendar set out to append the story of Mongolia and of Mongolian
more » ... of Mongolian medicine, political formation, and religious life to the Four Tantra's well-known global histories. In addition, he provided an illuminating summary of how to present the Four Tantras to a popular audience in the twilight of the imperial period. This article introduces the life of Lungrik Tendar and analyzes his previously unstudied medical history from 1911, The Stainless Vaiḍūrya Mirror. On the basis of this understudied text, this article explores ways that monastic medicine in the frontier scholastic worlds of the late-Qing Empire were dependent upon aesthetic representations of space and time and of knowledge acquisition and practice, and how such medical aesthetics helped connect the religious, political, legal, economic, and social worlds of Asia's heartland on the eve of nationalist and socialist revolution and state-directed erasure.
doi:10.3390/rel10060380 fatcat:k7ralqwgtfb5tk7npntpuc2qui