Mandala of the Medicine Buddha

Palace of Buddha Bhaisajyaguru, Master of Remedies
Large image (183 kb)

This is the first painting in the series of medical training paintings that provide illustrations for the basic Tibetan medical text, the "Blue Beryl" tantras. In this painting, Bhaisajyaguru, the Medicine Buddha, indirectly teaches the science of healing to his followers. The dieties in the upper section are representations of the lineage of medical teachings, including the 5th Dalai Lama, the eight Buddhas of Medicine, and several medical scholars.

This central palace of the Mandala of the Medicine Buddha is the site where the science of medicine is taught. Shakyamuni Buddha, as Bhaisajyaguru, the Medicine Buddha, sits on a throne engraved with gems at the center of the palace, at the center of Sudarsana, the city of medicine. In attendence are gods of the devaloka, hermit scholars, Hindu dieties, and Buddhist followers, including bodhisattvas and devout students. While holding his seat on the central throne, Bhaisajyaguru also manifests as the four sibling hermit scholars who instruct all types of students at the same time. 
Each class of students receives teachings appropriate to their own level of understanding of the fundamental nature of reality and the lives of beings.

The Dharmapala Centre School of Thangka Painting site in Germany offers another version of this painting, which includes detailed descriptions of various aspects of the painting and eighteen pages of enlarged details with descriptive text.  Several other Medical Thangkas are offered as well.

A very different, quite beautiful image of a Medicine Buddha Mandala is available from a Web site in Finland. The Dharmapala Centre School of Thangka Painting site in Germany offers another version, with two pages of pages of enlarged details.


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Revised on January 9, 2001
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