Bhaisajyaguru is described by his devotees as a type of doctor who is able to offer cures for suffering sentient beings, with the medicine used being his teachings.
The original mention of the First Doctor is found in a Mahayana sacred text called the Bhaisajyaguruvaiduryaprabharaja Sutra, or more frequently known as the Medicine Buddha Sutra.
Sanskrit manuscripts of this medicine sutra dating no later than the 7th century have been found in Afghanistan and Pakistan, both countries were once part of the Buddhist kingdom of Gandhara.
Mantra lyrics in Tibetan:
Tayatha om bekandze bekandze maha bekandze radza samudgate soha.
Medicine Buddha mantra translation:
By this virtue, may I quickly accomplish Medicine Buddha. May I establish all sentient beings with no exception in that state.
Medicine Buddha mantra meaning:
Tayata means gone beyond (beyond Nirvana and Samsara).
Om means jewel holder, auspicious, wish-fulfilling one.
Bhekandze Bhekandze means calling to the Medicine Buddha, twice.
Maha Bhekandze means Greatness of Medicine Buddha.
Randza Samungate means perfectly awakened or completely liberated.
Soha means dissolve in me.
Ancient Tibetan medicine recognizes 3 basic types of illness, the root causes of which are the conflicting emotions: aggression, passion, and ignorance. Ignorance generates many different negative states of mind such as desire, hatred, jealousy, and pride. Such destructive emotions drive our mental health, and our bad mental health contributes to our everyday suffering.
“The principal cause of illness is the 3 poisons – aversion, attachment, and delusion. The reason we call the Bhaisajyaguru by this name is that while physical illnesses can be mended and cured by worldly physicians, the main cause needs some kind of special or even supreme medicine.”
His Holiness the Karmapa continued – ”It is never said that practice of dharma can cure all physical illness or solve all of one’s problems.
But while many physical illnesses can be treated and others cannot, we at least perceive physical illness as such. However, we mostly fail to recognize our fundamental mental illness, the 3 poisons of aversion, attachment, and delusion, as illnesses. Therefore, one function of the Bhaisajyaguru’s powerful teachings is to point out that these are a kind of disease.” – His Holiness the Karmapa.
Medicine Buddha practice:
„Visualize Bhaisajyaguru on the crown of your head or in front of you. Nectar beams emit from the Buddha and enter your own mind and body like water. It pushes away all the dirty things, like pouring healing water into a glass pipe; all the dirty water flows out the top.
All the disease, spirit harm, obstacles, hindrances, and negative karma are completely purified.
Also, think that all sentient beings are in your heart on a moon disc, specifically people who have cancer. Think that the nectar is purifying the 4 things (disease, spirit harm, negative karma, and obstacles). All are purified, including your disease.
If you are doing this spiritual practice for someone else, visualize is the same except that you visualize the Buddha above their heads.” – Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s quote.
Image source – meditationinmadison.org