Bhaishajyaguru (Medicine Buddha), Our Complete Spiritual Apothecary - Brocadeless Thangka
The Bhaishajyaguru roopa of the Buddha is distinctive. From the unmistakable azure of His skin to the healing elements in His hands - the sprig of arura (myrobalan), palm facing outward in blessing, the bowl of ambrosia in the other. His complexion comes from His skylike, all-encompassing wisdom. Myrobalan is the primary ingredient of the major part of Tibetan medicinal compounds as expounded in The Four Tantras Of Secret Instructions On The Eight Branches Of The Essence of Immortality (texts of the age-old Tibetan medical tradition). In His bowl are contained three nectars of resurrection from disease and death, of age-reversal, and of knowledge that illuminates the mind.
Seated in the highly characteristic poorna-padmasana, Bhaishajyaguru is surrounded by the lush Tibetan landscape dotted with medicinal plants and petals. A richly coloured lotus pedestal is His throne, and in His mandala are to be found a clutch of peaceful Buddhist deities. At the core of Tibetan medical philosophy lies the tenet that external medicine has limited application to healing and that the root of all illness is one's inattention to the true nature of self. The reason why Bhaishajyaguru, as you see Him on this page, is our complete spiritual apothecary is because His mandala can be penetrated only after one's discovery of the healing forces within oneself.