Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mandala of Medicine Buddha

སངས་རྒྱས་སྨན་ལྷ། 药师佛
(item no. 868)
Origin Location China
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Gelug
Size 66.04x48.26cm (26x19in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1999.17.6
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Medicine Buddha Mandala (Sanskrit: Bhaishajyaguru mandala. Tibetan: sang gye men la kyil kor. English: the Buddha, Guru of Medicine). At the center representing the goddess Prajnaparamita is the sutra (text) by the same name.

Tibetan: Sang gye men la

When painting tangkas of Medicine Buddha he sometimes switches places with Prajnaparamita and occupies one of the eight minor positions surrounding the center of the composition. Some paintings actually portray the Goddess herself rather than using the sutra text.

The form and practice of Medicine Buddha is derived from the Bhaishajyaguru Sutra taught by Lord Shakyamuni. In the Vajrayana Tradition this sutra is classified as a Kriya Tantra. Common to all schools of Tibetan Buddhism Medicine Buddha is particularly important to the medical traditions.

Jeff Watt 11-2000

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Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 8
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Buddhist Deity: Medicine Buddha Mandala
Buddhist Deity: Medicine Buddha (Prajnaparamita)
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Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Mandala