Medicine Master Sutra

Discuss and learn about the traditional Mahayana scriptures, without assuming that any one school ‘owns’ the only correct interpretation.
zengen
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Re: Medicine Master Sutra

Post by zengen » Sat May 09, 2015 7:24 pm

Boomerang wrote: Perhaps hearing his name is the cause of a future event that happens sometime before a being's next rebirth (i.e. in the bardo state) that results in said being never suffering an evil birth again. Some people attain enlightenment simply by hearing a Buddha's words, without meditating once in their lives, and that's possible because the event of hearing "activates" past stores of merit or something like that.
Maybe the person will be reborn in a pure land? That'd be really good.
There is no meaning to cyclic existence.

cjdevries
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Re: Medicine Master Sutra

Post by cjdevries » Sun May 17, 2015 9:07 pm

I think this is something my teacher addressed a few months ago in a lecture. He said that when we read things like "if you print this mantra in gold you will be reborn in a pure land for 1000 kalpas" it is not meant literally. It is like an aspiration, or symbolic. That printing this mantra for all to see in gold has the potential to bring great benefit. So my view is that when these sutras talk about the power of reciting the Buddha's name one time or even hearing it, I don't know if it's literal- though it may be. It would probably depend on one's past karma as well. I know I've read that it is possible (according to one abbot's account) for one to be reborn in Sukhavati even if they were not particularly kind or benefitting others but it would mean that their karma from other lives was very good. The idea was that one unhappy life does not cancel out all the benefit one did in previous lives.
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Malcolm
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Re: Medicine Master Sutra

Post by Malcolm » Sun May 17, 2015 9:22 pm

cjdevries wrote:I think this is something my teacher addressed a few months ago in a lecture. He said that when we read things like "if you print this mantra in gold you will be reborn in a pure land for 1000 kalpas" it is not meant literally.
Sure it is.

jmlee369
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Re: Medicine Master Sutra

Post by jmlee369 » Mon May 18, 2015 5:21 am

Just to clarify a couple of things that've come up:

Regarding the prevention of birth in the lower realms, I cannot find the exact source of Lama Zopa's interpretation in the shorter Medicine Buddha Sutra (There are two Medicine Buddha Sutras, one that speaks of only Bhaisajya Guru which is widely circulated in East Asia, but also a longer one that speaks on the realms and vows of six other Buddhas), but the closest things require the condition that beings who fall into the lower realms remember the name as they heard it in their previous life as humans.
At the end of their lives, such beings will be reborn among the hungry ghosts or animals. If they heard the name of that Buddha, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, in their former human existence, and they recall that Tathagata's name for the briefest moment while they are in the evil destinies, they will immediately be reborn in the human realm.
and
Moreover, Manjushri, if there are sentient beings who harbor stinginess, greed, and jealousy, who praise themselves and disparage others, they will fall into the three evil destinies for countless thousands of years where they will undergo intense suffering [...] If such beings, in their former lives as humans, heard the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, and by this good cause, are able to remember it and sincerely take refuge with that Buddha, then, by means of the Buddha's spiritual power, they will be liberated from all sufferings.
As for the relationship between Medicine Buddha and Amitabha's Sukhavati, Medicine Buddha's practice acts as a back up for people who were unable to be reborn in Sukhavati:
Moreover, Manjushri, there may be those among the fourfold assembly of Bhikshus, Bhikshunis, Upasakas and Upasikas, as well as other good men and women of pure faith, who accept and uphold the eight precepts either for one year or for three months, practicing and studying them. With these good roots, they may vow to be born in the Western Land of Ultimate Bliss where the Buddha of Limitless Life dwells, to hear the Proper Dharma, but their resolve may not be firm. However, if they hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, then as the end of their lives draws near, before them will appear eight great Bodhisattvas, whose names are: Manjushri Bodhisattva, The Bodhisattva Who Observes the Sounds of the World, Great Strength Bodhisattva, Inexhaustible Intention Bodhisattva, Jeweled Udumbara Flower Bodhisattva, Medicine King Bodhisattva, Medicine Superior Bodhisattva, and Maitreya Bodhisattva. Those eight great Bodhisattvas will appear in space to show them the way, and they will naturally be born by transformation in that land, amid precious flowers of a myriad colors.


As for Medicine Buddha's own land, the sutra states mantra recitation will do the trick:
If this person has a wish, he should recite this mantra with utmost sincerity. Then he will obtain whatever he wished for, and his life will be prolonged and free from illness. At the end of his life, he will be reborn in that Buddha's land. He will become irreversible and will ultimately attain Bodhi.
There are indeed a fair number of practices where people aspire to be born in Medicine Buddha's land.

In terms of Akshobhya and Medicine Buddha, they both have relams in the East, but it's not like there's only one realm in each direction, there are countless Buddha realms in all directions.

EDIT: all sutra translations courtesy of the Buddhist Text Translation Society.

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Medicine Master Sutra

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:15 pm

Here is a translation with helpful Introduction:

Medicine Buddha Sutra.pdf
(894.27 KiB) Downloaded 34 times
Recitation of and meditation on this sutra are of great help during this present pandemic panic.
May all seek, find or follow the Path of Buddhas.

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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Medicine Master Sutra

Post by Könchok Thrinley » Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:17 pm

Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:15 pm
Here is a translation with helpful Introduction:


Medicine Buddha Sutra.pdf

Recitation of and meditation on this sutra are of great help during this present pandemic panic.
Thank you Nicholas! I was looking for this. :twothumbsup:
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.

Fortyeightvows
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Re: Medicine Master Sutra

Post by Fortyeightvows » Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:19 pm

Boomerang wrote:
Sun May 03, 2015 1:35 am
The sutra implies that his pure land is equal to Amitabha's in every way, so why isn't there a big community of people aspiring to go there like there is for Sukhavati? It seems like if you recite Bhaisajyaguru's mantra you get to choose either pure land when you die, but Bhaisajyaguru specifically promises to help devotees with worldly problems as well. I feel like Medicine Buddha devotees should be more numerous than they are. Am I missing something?
Medicine buddha's cult was larger in the past, it has been largely supplanted by the cult of amitabha.

The thing to keep in mind is that the later the sutra, the greater the efficaciousness it claims. Similarly, we will find that the later we go, the easier it becomes to go to the pureland (this becomes even more pronounced in 13th century Japan) (on the other hand, we can compare the tachings of tibetan teachers in the 1800- 1900's https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Sukhavati)
Boomerang wrote:
Sat May 09, 2015 2:19 pm
Some people attain enlightenment simply by hearing a Buddha's words, without meditating once in their lives, and that's possible because the event of hearing "activates" past stores of merit or something like that.
This makes it seem like merit is the cause of enlightenment...
So then does enlightenment have causes ?
Is the buddha made up of parts?

There is a difference between cause and condition.
the contemplation sutra says that people who wish to be reborn in the pureland need to cultivate 3 conditions
https://purelanders.com/2009/11/11/caus ... pure-land/

Another view-
Many Buddhists misinterpret the three essentials listed in the 18th Vow—faith, aspiration, and practice—as being “conditions” for rebirth in the Land of Bliss. But they are actually Amitabha’s free “gifts” contained in the six-character great Name (Na-Mo-A-Mi-Tuo-Fo), for all aspirants to rebirth in the Pure Land (for further details, please refer to my previous article).

Still, some Buddhists would like to change the conversation from Amitabha Buddha’s great compassion to sentient beings’ diligence and effort in the success of rebirth in Amitabha’s Land of Bliss. Instead of considering the “conditions of rebirth,” they argue that there must be a “cause of rebirth” produced by a Pure Land aspirant.
https://www.buddhistdoor.net/features/w ... d-of-bliss

Also, :good: to Heterodox Garden's question and PorkChop's response :good:

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Medicine Master Sutra

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:37 pm

YouTube has at least three recitations in English. Two of them are from the translation given in pdf above. Search YouTube for Medicine Buddha sutra in English. All three are around one hour.

Here is another one that has both text and recitation. It is from the BTTS of Master Hua's disciples:

May all seek, find or follow the Path of Buddhas.

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juexing
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Re: Medicine Master Sutra

Post by juexing » Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:58 pm

I've seen it suggested that rebirth in Medicine Master Buddha's land is not possible--and the passage where eight great Bodhisattvas appear to show the way to rebirth does seem to refer to aiding rebirth in Amitabha's land. But one passage obviously seems to refer to rebirth in Medicine Master Buddha's Eastern Pure Land. After introducing Sunlight and Moonlight Bodhisattvas, and immediately after naming Medicine Master Buddha, the sutra reads: 諸有信心善男子、善女人等,應當願生彼佛世界 ("all faithful men and women should vow to be born in that Buddha's land/world"). While earlier in the same passage it is mentioned that the merit of the Eastern Pure Land is equal to the Western, when the passage quoted above says 彼佛 ("that Buddha"), it's clearly referring to Medicine Master Buddha and not Amitabha.

http://ntireader.org/taisho/t0450_01.html , [0405b29]

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