In Tibetan Buddhism, it is believed that Buddha gave the knowledge of medicine to mankind. As a result, Medicine Buddha is believed to be the healing attribute of Shakyamuni. The inspiration behind these Medicine Buddha statues is mostly preemptive and focused on eliminating defilements.
Following the teachings of the Buddha will heal both external ailments as well as internal. In fact, Buddhists believe that internal ailments (defilements) such as attachment, hatred and ignorance are in fact the root cause of all external or physical ailments. Therefore, curing the inner impurities will be effective in eliminating the outer ailments such as disease.
Buddhist Meditation Is The Cure
Spiritual health is enhanced by practicing Buddhist meditation. As a result, devotees become much stronger mentally and are able to resist the defilements. Therefore, it is easier to live your life according to the Buddhist precepts and many of the outer physical ailments will not come to be.
Although a Medicine Buddha statue should be perceived as inspiration and it is not a magic cure for physical ailments or diseases that already exist. However, living a clean lifestyle will ironically result in better health. As a result, it will not be necessary to ask for any miracles.
Lapis Medicine Nectar
Medicine Buddha is also known as Bhaisajyguru which translates as “King of the Medicine Master and the Lapis Lazuli Light”. Our Medicine Buddha statues are depicted in the full lotus pose. Additionally, the Buddha is holding a small bowl of medicine in the palm of his left hand which is resting on his lap. However, this is not modern pharmaceutical medicine. But instead it is the symbolic Lapis medicine nectar used to cure defilements.
Wish Granting Mudra
In his right hand, between the index finger and thumb Bhaisajyguru is holding the stem of the myrobalan plant which is still widely found in Nepal and India. The leaves and nuts from the myrobalan are believed to have healing properties which the Buddha gave to mankind. Additionally, the right hand has the palm facing outwards in the open “charity” of “wish granting” mudra. This indicates that the Buddha is granting knowledge of the cure to mankind.
Noble One, you should think of yourself as someone who is sick,
Of the Dharma as the remedy,
Of the Buddha as a skillful doctor,
And of your diligent practice as the way to recovery.
12 Vows of Compassion
Bhaisajyguru is also renown for his 12 vows of compassion. Therefore, there is no doubt that Medicine Buddha genuinely endeavored to assist the destitute and relieve the suffering of all sentient beings. The Buddha wanted all of sentient life to be able follow the path of the bodhisattva and eventually receive awakening as a full Buddha.