Bhaishajya-guru (Bhaishajya-guru-vaidurya-prabha-raja, ‘Supreme Healer and King of Lapis Lazuli Light’), is the Buddha of healing. Commonly referred to as the “Medicine Buddha”, he is described as a doctor who cures suffering with the medicine of his teachings.
In the Bhaiṣajyaguruvaidūryaprabharāja Sūtra, the Healing Buddha is described as having entered into a state of deep meditation called “Eliminating All the Suffering and Afflictions of Sentient Beings.” From this samadhi state, He spoke the Healing Buddha Dharani:
namo bhagavate bhaishajyaguru
vaiduryaprabharajaya tathagataya arhate samyaksambuddhaya
tadyatha om bhaishajye bhaishajye
mahabhaishajya raja-samudgate svaha
The Tibetan version of the (concise) Healing Buddha mantra is perhaps the best known and most frequently practiced:
tayatha om bhekandze bhekandze
maha bhekandze radza samudgate so’ha
The practice of Healing Buddha, the Supreme Healer (Tib. Sangye Menla) is a very powerful method for healing and increasing healing capacity for oneself and others. It also increases the ability to overcome the inner sickness of attachment, aversion, and indifference. It heals physical and mental illnesses, and purifies negative karma.
One form of practice is to recite the Sangye Menla mantra 108 times over a glass of water. The water is now imbued with the power of the mantra and the blessing of the Healing Buddha, and the patient is to drink the water. This practice is repeated each day until the illness is cured.
There are also practices to imbue oil, powder, and other substances with the blessings of Sangye Menla, as well as proximate and distant healing through His ‘touch’.
Sangye Menla appears both in the sutra and tantra branches of Mahayana Buddhism. In the Bhaisajyaguru Sutra, Buddha Sakyamuni explains that Sangye Menla took twelve special vows during his path to enlightenment to benefit beings through healing physical, emotional and mental illnesses.
- To illuminate countless realms with his radiance, enabling anyone to become a Buddha just like him.
- To awaken the minds of sentient beings through his light of lapis lazuli.
- To provide the sentient beings with whatever material needs they require.
- To correct wrong views and inspire beings toward the path of the Bodhisattva.
- To help beings follow the ethical precepts.
- To heal beings born with deformities, illness, or other physical sufferings.
- To help relieve the destitute and the sick.
- To help those currently in undesirable births to attain their desired rebirth.
- To help heal mental afflictions and delusions.
- To help the oppressed be free from suffering.
- To relieve those who suffer from hunger and thirst.
- To help clothe those who are destitute and suffering from cold and environmental distress.
Due to the power of these vows, upon attaining enlightenment, His wisdom mind continuously manifests its compassion to remove illness. Anyone who establishes a connection with Sangye Menla can benefit from this manifestation of healing energy.