Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Medicine Buddha Main Page

Medicine Buddha Masterworks

- Art History

- Iconography

- Religious Context

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

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

Tibetan: Sang gye men la

Medicine Buddha Profile:
Identity: Individual deity (not an emanation)
Tantra Class: Kriya Tantra
Source Text: Bhaishajyaguru Sutra
Function/activity: Health & Healing
Metaphor: Healing

Special Characteristics:
Appearance: Buddha appearance
Colour: dark blue
Attributes: arura plant, begging bowl
Consort: None
Mount: lion throne

The depicted forms and ritual practices of Medicine Buddha are derived from the Bhaishajyaguru Sutra and according to Buddhist Tradition were taught by Shakyamuni Buddha. In the Vajrayana Buddhist Tradition 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 texts 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.

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Jeff Watt 5-2007 [updated 10-2014, 5-2017, 8-2018, 12-2019]