Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Medicine Buddha (Prajnaparamita)

Medicine Buddha Iconography

Subject, Topics & Types:
- Prajnaparamita Substitution Description (below)
- Prajnaparamita Figure
- Folio Text
- Confusions
- Others...

- Medicine Buddha, 1
- Medicine Buddha, 2
- Medicine Buddha Mandalas

A large number of Medicine Buddha mandala compositions substitute the Buddha figure in the central location with a figure of Prajnaparamita with one face and four arms. Textually, Medicine Buddha is placed at the center with the other seven Medicine Buddha Brothers and the female goddess, personification of wisdom, Prajnaparamita in the immediate surrounding circle.

Alternately the goddess can be represented at the center of the mandala by a folio text. The folio text is popular with Mongolian and Northern Chinese versions of the mandala. In either case the Medicine Buddha figure takes a position in the immediate surrounding circle. This practice of substitution appears to be an artistic convention rather than derived from a textual tradition.

Jeff Watt [updated 9-2020]