Medicine Buddha is the healing aspect of enlightenment.
The practice centres around the Buddha called Medicine Guru King of Vaidurya Light (Bhaisajya Guru Vaidurya Prabha Rajaya), but also includes six other Buddhas with vast vows whose Pure Lands are in the east.
There are two sutras which the practice is based on – the condensed Sutra of the Merit and Virtue of the Past Vows of Medicine Guru Vaidurya Light Tathagata and the extensive Sutra of the Merit and Virtue of the Past Vows of the Seven Buddhas, Medicine Guru Vaidurya Light. In the former Buddha taught the practice of Medicine Buddha while in the other, he taught the practice of the seven Medicine Buddhas.
Manjushri requested these teachings about the names and vows of Buddhas through which the results of non-virtuous actions can be eliminated, especially for the sentient beings in the degenerate age of dharma (our time).
These Buddhas made great vows when they were bodhisattvas, so that when they had accumulated infinite merits and attained enlightenment, the vows they made became fulfilled. Within the laws of causality, people must create a cause to receive the result of an action. The Medicine Buddhas made their vows and dedications in such a way that the simple cause of even hearing or reciting their names gave rise to the results of enjoying the benefits of their vows and merits. They made vows related to healing, but their vows cover the wants and needs of sentient beings so vastly that the practice has innumerable benefits.
From the sutra:
The third great vow: 'I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I will by means of limitless, unbounded wisdom and skill-in-means, enable all sentient beings to obtain an inexhaustible supply of material necessities so they are without the slightest want.'
The sixth great vow: 'I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, if there are sentient beings whose bodies are inferior and whose faculties are imperfect, who are ugly, dull, blind, deaf, mute, deformed, paralyzed, hunch backed, or afflicted with skin disease, insanity or various other sicknesses and sufferings, upon hearing my name they shall all become endowed with upright features, keen intelligence and perfect faculties and they shall be free of sickness and suffering.'
The seventh great vow: 'I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I shall cause sentient beings who are oppressed by many illnesses and who are without aid, without a place to turn, without a doctor, without medicine, without relatives and without a family, who are poverty stricken and filled with suffering to be cured of their sicknesses upon having my name pass by their ear, so they are peaceful and happy in body and mind. They will have a family and relatives and acquire an abundance of property and wealth and even realize unsurpassed Bodhi.'
"Ananda, it is difficult to obtain a human body. It is also difficult to have faith in and to revere the Triple Jewel. It is even more difficult to be able to hear the name of the World Honoured One, Medicine Guru Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Ananda, Medicine Guru Vaidurya Light Tathagata possesses boundless bodhisattva practices, limitless skilful expedients, and immeasurably vast, great vows. If I were to speak extensively of those for an eon or more, the eon would soon end, but that Buddha's practices, vows, and skilful expedients have no end!"
Lama Zopa Rinpoche briefly condensed the benefits into the following: "Medicine Buddha practice is so precious. You can do Medicine Buddha puja for any purpose, any problem, anything!"
For more detailed benefits and a short sadhana,
Trashi Ganden Choepel Ling
40 Waverley Ave. Glenfield
North Shore City 0629
Auckland New Zealand
Phone: +64 (0)9 444 8886