History of the Medicine Buddha Meditation Practice

The Medicine Buddha meditation practice is the heart of Tibetan Medicine. Buddha, at Bodhisattva Manjushri’s invitation, taught the source of the Medicine Buddha Sutra of 800 verses. The tradition was transmitted to the Tibetan people by the esteemed Indian Buddhist master, Abbot Shantarakshita in the 8th century.  The meditation practice was given to the Tibetan King Trisong Deutsan to foster health, avoid illnesses, defend against black magic, and to protect the ecological system from natural disasters.

Present-day Tibetan doctors depend on Medicine Buddha for their healings. Steady practice with the Medicine Buddha also empowers one to heal others. The first doctor — Medicine Buddha, formally known as Bhaisajyaguru Vaidurya Prabharaja — empowers you to heal. Bhaisajyaguru means “Master of Healing,” “Azure Radiance,” “Master of Medicine,” and “King of Lapis Lazuli [Blue] Light.”

Also known as “The Supreme Healer,” Medicine Buddha alleviates dukkha (suffering) using the remedy of his wisdom.

The Sutra of the Master of Healing (commonly called the Medicine Buddha Sutra) reveals that when the Medicine Buddha became a Bodhisattva, “he made Twelve Great Vows to grant all beings with whatever they pray for.”

Medicine Buddha is an enlightened being who has compassion for all sentient beings. He safeguards living beings from physical and psychological sickness and other perils and obstructions and helps them to dissolve the three forms of poison – attachment, hatred, and ignorance – which are the source of all diseases and danger.  

Medicine Buddha Healing

If we put our pure faith in Medicine Buddha we will surely receive the blessings of these fulfillments.

Medicine Buddha is prominent not just for healing, but for his capability to neutralize past negative karma, his capacity to bring good fortune to those in need, his ability to support us on the path to enlightenment, as well as his vows to free remorseful inmates.

It is written in the Sutras that if one says the name of the Medicine Buddha in the ears of a dying animal or human, they will be assured a good rebirth irrespective of their past karma.

Simply by seeing the image of the Buddha of Medicine and his mantra showers us with blessings. And merely hearing Medicine Buddha’s name will also have some healing influence on the ones who heard his name.

Medicine Buddha Mantra

The Medicine Buddha mantra is a beautiful, transformational practice that not only cures the person who is the focus of attention, but also the practitioner. The practice is most efficient when the person suffering is involved in the application, meaning they are also practicing the healing mantras to invite the healing in. It helps immensely to visualize the radiant Lapis Lazuli blue-colored Medicine Buddha.

One type of practice based on the Medicine Buddha is done when one is afflicted by the disease. The patient is to recite the long Medicine Buddha mantra 108 times over a glass of water. The water is then thought to be blessed by the potency of the mantra and the blessing of the Medicine Buddha, and the patient is to drink the water. This practice is then repeated daily until the sickness is healed.

Medicine Buddha Short Mantra

The Medicine Buddha’s short mantra is as follows:

TADYATHA OM BHEKANDZYE BHAKANDZYE MAHA BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZE RADZA SAMUGATE SOHA. 

Medicine Buddha Long Mantra

The Medicine Buddha’s long mantra is as follows:

OM NAMO BHAGWATE BHEKANDZYE / GURU BEDURYA PRABHA RADZAYA TATAGATAYA / ARHATE SAMYAKSAM BUDDHAYA / TADYATHA OM BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE / MAHA BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE / RADZA SAMUGATE SOHA

Medicine Buddha Imagery

In Tibetan images of the Medicine Buddha, the left hand classically holds a myrobalan plant. This plant is the only herb in Tibetan medicine that can assist in healing all three diseases: attachment, hatred, and ignorance. The arrangement of his right hand and the arura, which he holds (an extraordinary mystical plant that is believed to blossom just once every 3,000 years), symbolizes the elimination of suffering, including sickness. He is typically depicted as seated on a lotus wearing a traditional Buddha robe.