His left-hand rests in his lap in meditation mudra. There is a begging bowl filled with medicinal nectar and fruit.
His right hand is in granting mudra, holding a stem of a myrobalan plant (Terminalia chebula).
He is the king of all medicines in treating both mental and physical diseases.
In Medicine Buddha thangka, he is shown along with seven other Medicine Buddhas. One of the Buddha is Shakyamuni himself.
And while depicting him on the eastern buddha realm of Pure Lapis Lazuli, he is accompained by the two bodhisattvas. They are Suryaprabha and Chandraprabha, all-pervading Solar and Lunar Radiance.
The Lapis Lazuli of Medicine Buddha
The most unique feature of Medicine Buddha is his deep blue color of lapis lazuli. This precious stone considered precious in many Asian and European cultures for ages. Relatively, its ornamental value is compared with that of the diamond.
An aura of mystery surrounds this gemstone. Its principal mines are found in the remote Badakshan region of northeast Afghanistan.
This beautiful stone symbolizes purity and rarity. It posses a curative effect on those who wear it. Its natural smoothness allows a high degree of reflectivity. The deep blue light has a healing effect on those who use it in visualization practices.
Relation Between Medicine Buddha and the Ancient Tibetan Healing Techniques
In Tibet, Medicine Buddha is considered to be the source of the healing arts. His teachings embody the Four Medical Tantra which is the basis of Tibetan medicine.
Once in an assembly of great sages, physicians, Worldly deities and the Bodhisattvas, Medicine Buddha addressed their unspoken wishes and delivered the explanation of mental and physical ailments, their treatment, and the maintenance of health originated.
As per the Four Tantras, the main causes of every disease are three poisonous delusions-ignorant, attachment, and hatred. They occupy the center of samsaric existence. These three roots lead to imbalances in the three parts (phlegm, wind and bile). They also effect the various bodily constituents (blood, flesh, bone, etc.) and waste products, or impurities (excrement, urine, and perspiration). All of these are analyzed in twenty-five divisions.
Only if, all these divisions are in balance along with the three factors of the (1) tastes, (2) inherent qualities of food, and (3) behavior, our health will flourish. Attachment, hatred, and bewilderment cause the imbalances of wind, bile, and phlegm. The other four factors (time, spirits, food, and behavior) cause the humor to increase and decrease~ the Root Tantra
This imbalance when spread over the skin, increases in the flesh, moves along the vessels. They meet the bones and descends upon the solid and hollow organs.
Treating diseases and maintaining sound health is crucial to balance all these elements of the body. And this is achieved through four progressive types of treatment.
The first two are the changes in the type of food we eat and the behavior we engage in. When these changes no longer bring effect, then the physician prescribes medicines. And when this also fails, external forms of treatment such as cauterization are performed. However, without spiritual transformation, none of these effects will last. If ignorance and delusions still fester inside us, they will surely rise to diseases. And they cause the miseries of cyclic existence.
The following prayer to the Lapis Healing Master:
"I beseech you, Blessed Medicine Guru, Whose sky-colored, the holy body of lapis lazuli Signifies omniscient wisdom and compassion
As vast as limitless space,Please grant me your blessings.I beseech you, compassionate Medicine Guru,Holding in your right hand the king of medicinesSymbolizing your vow to help all the pitiful sentient beingsPlagued by the four hundred and twenty-four diseases,Please grant me your blessings.I beseech you, compassionate Medicine Guru,Holding in your left hand a bowl of nectarSymbolizing your vow to give the glorious undying nectar of the dharma Which eliminates the degenerations of sickness, old age, and death, Please grant me your blessings."