Medicine Buddha question

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Medicine Buddha question

Post by catmoon » Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:50 am

Do the seven Buddhas of MB sadhana represent a chronological order? If not, then how are they related exactly?
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Re: Medicine Buddha question

Post by kirtu » Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:03 pm

catmoon wrote:Do the seven Buddhas of MB sadhana represent a chronological order? If not, then how are they related exactly?
Well, you know, in the thread "Benefits of Medicine Buddha Mantra" by phantom59 it is stated there that the seven Medicine Buddhas are the past 6 Buddhas + Shakyamuni Buddha together blessing Medicine Buddha (so presumably the Arya Bodhisattva who became Medicine Buddha). In this case this isn't actually chronological but involves the blessings of previous Buddhas. Except for Shakyamuni, the names aren't the usual received names of previous Buddhas but Mahayana isn't restricted to a small set of 7-16 previous Buddhas.

Rereading that except, maybe these are seven previous Medicine Buddhas.

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"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
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Re: Medicine Buddha question

Post by catmoon » Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:38 pm

I happened to mention to a friend that I thought of the Medicine Buddhas as proceeding forward in time from Glorious Renown of Excellent Signs down to Medicine Buddha himself, and was surprised when she said she thought of Medicine Buddha as the "old man" and the rest as his successors. Neither one of us has a reason, we just made opposite assumptions. Hence the question. I'm not even sure if they all appeared here on Earth, or even in this universe.
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Re: Medicine Buddha question

Post by Sheila » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:29 pm

I think this may answer the OP's question...adapted from Lama Zopa Rinpoche:

Manjushri requested the eight tathagatas--Guru Shakyamuni Buddha and the seven Medicine Buddhas--to reveal a special mantra that would make their past prayers quickly come to pass, especially for those sentient beings born in the time of the five degenerations who have small merit and who are possessed and overwhelmed by various diseases and spirit harms.

The prayers these eight tathagatas had made in the past were prayers to be able to actualize the happiness of sentient beings by attaining the path to enlightenment and pacifying various problems, to be able to see all the buddhas, and for all wishes to be quickly realized.

In response to Manjushri's request, then, all the eight tathagatas--Guru Shakyamuni Buddha and the seven Medicine Buddhas--taught the Medicine Buddha mantra, in one voice. ... an04ba.pdf" onclick=";return false;

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Re: Medicine Buddha question

Post by JKhedrup » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:17 am

The specific vows of each of the Medicine Buddhas can be found here: ... Itemid=196

1) Medicine Buddha Renowned Glorious King of Excellent Signs (Supari Kirti Tanama Sri Raja)
Of glorious renown; of glorious features; gold in colour, in the mudra of giving protection.
For the benefit of those tormented by disease, epidemics, pressured by killers, by the living dead and by fears of all kinds
For those struck by blindness, deafness, madness, skin disease and all vicious illnesses
For the deluded by desire, hatred and ignorance, who have committed the five heinous acts, those who have abandoned dharma.
For those fallen into poverty, without food, drink, cloths, money, grain, bedding, incense, garlands, and all necessities of life
For those beaten, bound, cast into prison, tormented by an array of weapons
For those tormented by heat, cast among lions, tigers, bears and snakes in fear of their lives
For those involved in the terrors of war, fights and conflicts
For those lost at sea, thrown into the waves of the ocean, uttering cries of despair

2) Medicine Buddha King of Melodious Sound, Brilliant Radiance of Skill, Adorned with Jewels, Moon and Lotus (Sva Ragosa Raja)
Master of melodious sound; yellow in colour, in the mudra of granting the supreme
For the benefit of those whose love of business and commerce has led them to distraction, away from the Bodhi mind
For those tormented by cold, heat, hunger and thirst
For women whose bodies are tormented by pain and for those who suffer at birth
For those tormented by death, enemies and isolation
For parents, families and friends lost in grief
For those wandering in the darkness, persecuted by demons
For those of little intelligence, confused and attracted to base things
For those who, at the end of the aeon, when the world burns, suffer alone without protection

3) Medicine Buddha Stainless Excellent Gold, Great Jewel Who Accomplishes All Vows (Suvarna Bhadra Vimala)
Of the best and purest of gold; of the colour of the golden waters of the Jambu; in the mudra of teaching Dharma
For the benefit of those who have killed and are destined to suffer much illness, a short life, to be killed by water, poisons, weapons, fire and disease
For those who have stolen and are destined to live in poverty, plagued by hunger, thirst and lack of clothes
For those who fight and kill each other with minds of hatred
For those blinded by desire, hatred and ignorance, who are devoid of morality and live evil lives

4) Medicine Buddha Supreme Glory Free from Sorrow (Asokot Tamas Sri Raja)
Of the glory that is freedom from pain. Pale red in colour; in the mudra of meditative equipoise
For the benefit of those in grief, suffering, sad and troubled
For those reborn or to be reborn in the blackness of the great hells
For those who stole and were reborn in poor families, devoid of clothing, food, drink, bedding and ornaments, tormented by heat, cold, hunger and thirst
For those persecuted by demons, spirits and ghosts that rob them of their health

5) Medicine Buddha Melodious Ocean of Proclaimed Dharma (Dharma Kirti Sagara)
Proclaimer of Dharma, ocean of melodious sound. Pink in colour; in the mudra of teaching Dharma
For those born into families of wrong views, with no faith in the three Jewels
For those who have not heard the sounds of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha; born in distant lands under the influence of wrong teachings
For those bereft of clothing, ornaments, incense, garlands, ointments, bedding and medicine, and who live lives of non virtue
For those who, by the force of ripening karma, argue, fight and harm each other with weapons

6) Medicine Buddha Delightful King of Clear Knowing, Supreme Wisdom of an Ocean of Dharma (Abkijya Raja)
Supreme in knowledge; of the colour of coral; in the mudra of granting the supreme
For those working in the fields and in business who argue and fight
For those who have taken the path of the ten non virtues and are to be reborn in hell
For those under the oppression of others, punished, bound and beaten, thrown into prisons and condemned to death
For those of a short life who commit many wrongs

7) Medicine Buddha Guru King of Lapis Light (Bhaisjya Guru)
The light of Lapiz the guru of medicine. Blue in colour, in the mudra of granting the supreme
To be adorned by the 112 signs and marks of an enlightened being
For those on wrong paths and on lesser paths
For those with deformed bodies, senses impaired, of mottled and bad skin, crippled limbs, hunchbacked, blind, deaf, dumb, insane and struck by illness
For those tormented by illness, without refuge or guide, lacking the necessities of life, medicine and the support of friends
For those who, condemned by the fires of hunger and thirst, commit many wrongs in their pursuit of sustenance
For those without clothes, living in poverty, persecuted day and night by the heat, flies and wasps

8) Shakyamuni Buddha
The mighty prince of the Sakya clan: of the colour gold; in the mudra of pressing the earth who gave the Medicine Buddha mantra and promised that those who supplicated the seven tathagata Medicine Buddhas and recited the mantra 8’000 times would be freed from all obscurations formed by past deeds, would not be struck down by illness, would enjoy a long life with no untimely death, free from the harms of death, enemies, arguments, fighting and separation; and would not fall into the hands of oppressors and that all wishes would come true.

Translated by Gavin Kilty, 2001.

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Re: Medicine Buddha question

Post by catmoon » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:52 am

Side note, that puzzles me - where the above reads "in the mudra of granting the supreme" my sadhana reads "in the mudra of meditative equipoise" each time. I wonder where the difference comes from.

But the question is at least partially answered. It seems these Buddhas were contemporaries, in some sense. Of course in Nirvana one has to wonder if all Buddhas are contemporaries. Is there any chronology of their manifestations? Any ideas on how the came to be in the sadhanas in the particular order they are?
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Re: Medicine Buddha question

Post by Blue Garuda » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:07 am

Guess we can regard them as contemporaries for the purposes of the practice. They are all sugatas now ,so it doesn't really matter when they attained Buddhahood.

We can also regard them as appearing in that form in order to help us remember, differentiate and internalise the differing aspects of the Medicine Buddha in terms of qualities, vows etc.

As all Buddhas are inherently perfect and contain all the qualities ascribed to each of the sugatas, I can make the case that it is for that purpose, especially as they all dissolve into MB before entering us.

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Re: Medicine Buddha question

Post by jmlee369 » Sat Aug 04, 2012 6:06 am

Based on the Korean translation of the Chinese "Sutra of the Original Vows (aspirational prayers, monlam) and Merit of the Medicine Guru Vaidurya Light Seven Buddhas Tathagatas", each Buddha had been practising the bodhisattva path and generating their specific vows. Having accomplished Buddhahood, they are now fulfilling their vows and residing in their respectives Buddha realms at this very moment. Thus, when the audiences listening to the sutra raised doubts, the Buddhas appeared before them. These Buddhas will eventually come to pass into parinirvana. As for the successor to Medicine Guru Vaidurya Light Buddha, my best guess would be the Universal Shining Sunlight Bodhisattva, followed by Universal Shining Moonlight Bodhisattva, in much the same way that Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattas will be Amitabha Buddha's succesors in guiding the beings of Sukhavati.

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