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Medicine Buddha-Men Lha

Medicine Buddha

The Medicine Buddha is the Buddha of Healing-- the manifestation of the healing energy of all enlightened beings..  He wears monastic robes and sits on a lion throne.  The color of his body is dark blue and he holds a bowl in his left hand having a medicinal plant called arura.  He holds a stem of the arura plant in his right hand.

The Medicine Buddha is the supreme physician and is probably founded upon the legend of a metaphysical Bodhisattva, the Medicine King Bheshajaraja who is mentioned as a dispenser of spiritual medicine.

When positive or  joyous feelings and attitudes pass through each organ and circulate through our whole system, our physical and chemical energies are transformed and balanced.  Even more important than the capability of mantra to heal the body is its power to heal the mind.  Mantra gently opens and transforms emotional states, helping us to deal with any situation clearly and directly.  It promotes peace, calm, and tranquility in your heart.  The happiness you experience is transmitted to others.  Thus, you benefit them as well.

The mantra of the Medicine Buddha is

Ta-Ya-Tha Om Beka Zey Beka  Zey Ma Ha Beka Zey Beka Zey Raja Samudgate Ye Svaha

The Mandala of the Medicine Buddha

A Brief Description of the Mandala of the Medicine Buddha

This Mandala, constructed here from colored sand particles, represents the residence of Medicine Buddhas. It is in the unique design of Namgyal Monastery’s tradition, which has been preserved through many generations, along with studies and practices according to different traditional lineages. The Namgyal Monastery’s sand Mandala is flat, very colorful and catches many people’s eyes with its beautiful designs. Just to glimpse this Mandala creates a positive impression on the mind stream of the observer, who for a moment is in touch with the timeless ideal of all-encompassing compassion.

The inner surface of the four directions of the Mandala are blue in the east, yellow in the south, red in the west, green in the north and white in the center. There are three circles of lotus petals inside the Mandala. The Medicine Buddha is in the center on the moon disk and is surrounded by another Eight Medicine Buddhas, who are seated on those intermediate circles of sixteen petals on moon cushions. The ten guardians (Phyons-skyong bCu) of the ten directions and the twelve Yaksha-princes (gNod-sByin) are seated on the petals of the outer lotus circle. The ten guardians are on a rock mountain cushion (phyogs-sKyon) and the twelve principle demons (gNod-sByin) are on the silk cushions. The four Guardian-Kings are at the four gates of the Mandala on moon discs. The principle Medicine Buddha is blue in color. In his right hand he holds universal medicine (a-ru-ra-myrobalan) in the gesture of giving supreme attainment. His left hand is in the gesture of meditative equipoise holding an alms bowl.

On the inner eight petals: to the Southeast are golden yellow Buddha Sakyamuni, right hand is in the earth-touching mudra (earth witness or touching the earth) to call the earth goddess and left hand is in the meditative equipoise mudra. In the South is yellow medicine Buddha with a wish-granting jewel in his right hand, which is in the mudra of bestowing protection generosity and his left hand, is in the mudra of concentration. On the Southwest petal is yellow Drayang Gyalpo with his right hand in the mudra of expounding the Dharma and his left hand in the mudra of concentration. In the Western petal, yellow Buddha Serzang with his hands is in the mudra of expounding the Dharma. In the Northwest is Buddha Nyangen Maychokpal in pink color with both hands in the mudra of concentration. In the North is Buddha Chodrag Gyatso-yang with a pale pink body and hands in the mudra of expounding the Dharma. In the Nothewest is Buddha Ngonkyen Gyalpo in red colored with his right hand in the mudra of sublime realization and his left hand in the mudra of concentration. In the East is the Great Mother (Prajnaparamita) in golden color with one face and four arms. First two hands are holding a Vajra and a scripture. The next two hands are in the mudra of concentration and adorned with precious ornaments. All the Buddhas are adorned with minor and major marks and wearing Sham-thab (undergarment of monk), and an upper yellow robe in the form or aspect of an emanation body.

The sixteen levels of petals are divided into four petals in each of the four quarters.

On the four eastern petal are: Yellow Boddhisattva Manjushri with his right hand holding the wisdom sword and in his left a blue water lily supporting a scripture; White Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara with lotus in one hand; blue-green Vajrapani holding vajra in one hand; and an orange colored Ni-Snan with a sun in his hand.

On the four Southern petals are: White Dawa-Snan with a moon disc in the hand; great Yellow bLo-gros holding an eye in one hold; Yellow Maitreya holding dagger stick and vase; White sKyags-grol holding in his right hand a Dharma treasure and in the left hand held above the left thigh in the mudra of ‘the half closed fist vajra.

On the West four petals are: White sPobs-po brtsegs-pa holding an incense burner in the hand; green-blue rNam-pa gnon-pa with a sword in one hand and the white lotus in another hand; White blTa-sdug with a scripture in the hand; White Mun-pa tham-cad ne-par with a precious stick in hand.

On the North four petals are: White sMas-ba legn-par sem-pa holding a vase filled with nectar in the hand; White lhun-po brtseg with a half moon on lotus in one hand; blue sNa-sna po’l dbyans holding blue lotus with a Vajra in one hand; White lhun-po chen-po holding a vase filled with nectar. All are adorned with silk and precious ornaments.

On the twenty-two petals of the outer lotus circle are the twelve YAKSHA-princes (gNog-sByin); each holding a jewel-spitting mongoose in the left hand, like their King Namthosa. They are placed between the guardians of the ten directions, (Phyogs skyong bCu) i.e. the four cardinal points, the four intermediate directions, Zenith and the Nadir, thus illustrating the spherical concept of the picture. These ten guardians are: in the east are yellow Brahman, white Indra, the red god of fire, blue yama, cannibal demons (dark red), the god of water (white), the god of wind (dust color), gnod-sbyin demons (yellow), dwan-Idan (white), the god of earth (yellow).

Towards the left row: ‘Jigs-pyed yellow in color with a red Vajra sword in one hand; rGyan hzin, yellow in color with; gzha-hzin, light blue in color; raun-hzin with reddish color; gns-bcas ddha-ka dbn-hzin reddish in color; gtun-hzin, yellow in color; smr-hzin, pinkcolored; bsm-hzin, yellow in color; gyo-b hzin, blue in color; rzogs-byed, reddish colored. These all short and fat with large bellies. Retinues of seven thousand surround each of these demons.

The four gates of this Mandala are protected by the four Guardian-Kings of the cardinal points. On the Eastern gate is Yul-hkor bsru in white color with guitar in his hands. In the Sourthern door is hpgs-skyes-po in blue color with a sword in one hand. On the Western gate is spyn-mi-bzn in reddish color with snake lasso and a stupa of the great enlightment in his hands. In the Northern door is rNam-thos-sras, holding cylindrical banner aloft and grasps a jewel-spitting mongoose. These four Guardian Kings are surrounded by their queens and attendants.

A long time in the past, the eight medicine Buddha made extremely powerful wishes, out of great compassion, in order to be able to always help sentient beings to be free from the three poisons, from the obstructions and confusion due to previous karma, suffering from different types of diseases, sorrow and troubles. The truth and power of their prayers and blessings are incomparable. While the Buddha was teaching the seven medicine Buddha’s sutra, the Bodhisattvas, the great beings in this Mandala such as Munjushri, son of the Buddha sKyab-grol, phyag-n-rdo-rje (Vajra Pani) and so on gathered and greatly praised it promising to protect future practitioners and sutra itself for the purposes of the sutra remaining as leader and helper of all sentient beings.

As the great assembly of Buddhas the ten Gaurdians of the directions and four gate keepers made an oath that they would protect this great sutra, and its practitioners and Cativari parisadyah. Also at this great assembly all the twelve principle demons (Noi-Jin) in this Mandala as well made a promise to protect respectfully make offerings to it.

There are several different ways to represent the Medicine Buddha and his retinue- with medicine Buddha himself in the center as the main bestower of healing, the other eight medicine Buddhas, sixteen Bodhisattvas, ten guardians of the directions, twelve Noi-Jin and four guardians of the gates. In some cases, heaps of the sand are used to represent them, in others there are painted imanges of the deities or syllables (Tibetan or Sanskrit) to represent them. Namgyal Monastery monks mostly draw just the hand implements of the deities with colored sand, which stand to symbolize them.

Files: For Printout and for Making Transparencies

Medicine Buddha Descriptive Overlay
Medicine Buddha Mandala with Overlay




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