Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Medicine Buddha - Main Form

སངས་རྒྱས་སྨན་ལྷ། 药师佛
(item no. 7768)
Lineages Gelug and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Buddha

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Medicine Buddha (Sanskrit: Bhaishajyaguru) (Tibetan: sang gye men la. English: the Buddha - Guru of Medicine).

Tibetan: Sang gye men la

The depicted forms and ritual practices of Medicine Buddha are derived from the Bhaishajyaguru Sutra (Vaidurya Prabha Raja, the 'King of Sapphire Light') and according to Buddhist Tradition were taught by Shakyamuni Buddha. In Vajrayana Buddhism this sutra is classified as Tantra literature and belonging to the Kriya classification. Many works under the Kriya classification are understood as being both sutra and tantra texts at the same time. Medicine Buddha imagery and practice is common to all of Tibetan and Himalayan Buddhism and particularly important to the Tibetan medical schools and traditions.

Jeff Watt [added 2-2020]

Reverse Inscription
Although the victors are of one nature with the expanse of great bliss,
With marvelous compassion for degenerate migrators,
All eight companions, exalted blissfully departed ones
dwell here. May beings, the patron, and so forth
Have the complete conditions of accompolishing the holy dharma,
རིང་མིན་ཟུང་འཇུག་ངེས་པ་ལྔ་ལྡན་པའི་། ངེས་པ་དོན་གྱི་བཅོམ་ལྡན་སྨན་པའི་རྒྱལ་།
Before long, the ultimate meaning of the state of union (of bliss and emptiness) endowed with the five certainties. Blessed king of medicine,
I ask you to bestow the joyful celebration of realization.

ཅེས་པ་འདི་ནི་དད་བརྩོན་རྣམ་དཔྱོད་ལྡན་པ་རྗེ་བཙན་མ་བློ་བཟང་སྒྲོལ་མ་ནས་བདེ་བར་གཤེགས་པ་ མཆེད་བརྒྱད་གྱི་སྐུ་ཐང་གསར་དུ་བཞེངས་པའི་རྒྱབ་ཡིག་སྨོན་ཚིག་འདི་ལྟ་བུ་ཞིག་དགོས་ཞེས་བསྐུལ་པའི་ངོར་གོང་མ་ཆེན་པོའི་ལུང་གིས་ཞྭ་སེར་བསྟན་པའི་གསལ་བྱེད་་་ཨ་ཆི་ཐུ་ནོ་མོན་ཧན་དུ་འབོད་པས་སྦྱར།

(As for this prayer, it was written behind the newly created thangka of the eight blissfully gone companions by the highest of the yellow hat’s supreme luminary of teachings Achi Tunomonhan in response to the faithful, devoted, and discerning Jetsunma Lobsang Drolma).

Laura A. Weinstein, 2-2020

Samten Chhosphel, "The Fifty-Fourth Ganden Tripa, Ngawang Chokden [1677-1751]," Treasury of Lives, accessed March 18, 2015, http://www.treasuryoflives.org/biographies/view/Trichen-54-Ngawang-Chokden/6526.

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Buddhist Deity: Medicine Buddha Main Page
Collection of Chazen Museum of Art
Buddhist Deity: Medicine Buddha (Eight)