The Tibetan word for Dharma is 'chos' which also means to cure or heal. Indeed Tibetans have traditionally taken a deeply spiritual approach towards healing, the potency of which is only now being recognized by the entire world. When they speak of Dharma, what is implied is not just the traditional form and practice of orthodox Buddhism but the heroic effort to progress spiritually out of unconsciousness and into full awareness. The practice of Dharma is an essential means for remedying the mental and emotional obscurations that prevent enlightenment. Verily thus the Buddha of healing is shown here seated on a lotus pedestal. The lotus is a symbol of the total abandonment of samsara, so only those who have entered upon the transcendental path are represented enthroned on a lotus flower.
This smoothly sculpted Buddha is golden-hued, glowing with an inner radiance. Even though the expression on the face is supremely calm and serene, the whole solid body seems to be bursting with a kind of pregnant energy eager to burst forth. The Buddha's drape held in place with the help of the knot at the midriff seems to be the only element restraining this vigor from escaping. This is nothing but the potential healing energy inherent in each of us.
In the highest traditions of Tibetan and Nepalese art, the body of the Buddha is strong and well-formed, but even then there is no trace of hardness or rigidity. Rather there is a fluidity to the whole composition accentuated by the folds and falls of his drape, which collect finally like a stream of nectar at the Great Buddha's feet. The delicate, sensitive fingers too point to the high calibre of the artist.
Tibetan doctors traditionally perform rituals in front of an image of the Medicine Buddha, believing it to grant potency to their medications.