Our Medicine Buddha thangka painting shows him sitting as he would be found in his eastern pure land of “Lapis Jewel” or “Pure Lapis Lazuli”. The words “Lapis Lazuli” are very significant in Buddhism. It is because they are the deep blue color of moral perfection. As a result, we see the color of his medicine on display. This is the medicine of moral purity, also known as the pali term “sila”. Buddhists believe that immorality is the cause of all mental and physical suffering. Therefore, diligent practice of morality and meditation will cure all ailments.
This Medicine Buddha Tibetan Thangka depicts him sitting in full lotus pose. Additionally, he is holding his bowl of Lapis nectar on his lap. This sacred bowl contains 3 nectars that will cure the three poisons of hatred, greed and delusion. The Lapis bowl rests in the palm of his left hand which is portraying the Dhyana mudra, also known as meditation mudra.
His right hand is displaying the Varada or “gift giving” mudra. As a result, he is giving the gift of medicine to his devotees. An additional and very important symbol is the myrobalan plant which grows up his right forearm. This was an herbal remedy used in ancient India that is still used today.
Upon closer inspection you can observe the fine detail in our Medicine Buddha Tibetan Thangka. The fine detail is best displayed by the right turning hair coils. As a result, we can reflect on the right turning nature of the stars and planets in our universe. It is an important metaphor that indicates the teachings of the Buddha are in perfect harmony.