Medicine Buddha

April 17, 1998

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Geshe la :

In Tibetan Buddhism, regardless of lineage (Galugpa, Nyingma, etc.), Medicine Buddha is common. Medicine Buddha is a different manifestation of the Buddha that is mainly manifested to take on responsibilities of healing of both physical and mental afflictions. Actually there are eight aspects of Medicine Buddha.

The way of healing in relation of Medicine Buddha is the individual can engage in practice of Medicine Buddha as in receiving instructions, transmission, and empowerments. Then through meditation technique and engaging in the visualization of Medicine Buddha. Reciting Medicine Buddhas mantra creates healing energy to rebalance the energy of the five elements. It enhances the energy of these elements, removing the obstacles or negative interference, and reinforces the medicine itself. If we are actually taking medication, it makes it more effective to work directly on, or towards the specific ailment or sickness.

Someone can send this healing energy to somebody who is ill by engaging in the same practices. Some of you might have seen that as some Lamas recite mantra they blow on the physical place of the problem. Through imagination, they bring the problem down and send it out of someone's body. This is very common practice in Tibet.

It is most important when engaging in this healing practice, especially the Medicine Buddha practice to understand that the effectiveness of the healing technique is only possible when the individual has built a strong connection with the Medicine Buddha. Therefore, receiving the empowerment from a qualified master becomes very, very, crucial and important. Receiving the empowerment is the way the individual builds the personal connection with the Medicine Buddha or any other deities. The empowerment permits the individual to engage in the healing practice. So, granting empowerment, and receiving empowerment, means giving or taking permission. One could say empowerment unlocks the door, or gate to get into the healing realm of Medicine Buddha.

In Tibetan tradition, while we make the medicines, collecting the substances herbs etc., while mixing herbs together, there is the ceremony of Medicine Buddha. Then we prepare the medicine and at the end, we again perform healing ceremony to conclude and reaffirm the healing potential of the medicine. Before seeing the patients, Tibetan doctors sit in meditation for a few minutes and recite Medicine Buddha mantra. While taking the medication, the patient recites a certain number of Medicine Buddha mantra before and after they take their medicine.

It is clear that we don't totally rely on the materially made medicine, but combine these inner healing techniques, with the herbal and / or chemical medications. Just taking the medicine alone is not adequate, just as in the story I told last time of the Canadian woman with the wound that was believed to be caused by Nagas.

When someone is very sick, no matter how they have taken medications from various doctors, we take them to the high Lama and receive Medicine Buddha empowerment and Amitayus empowerment as a way to reinforce the energy of medication and to remove negative interferences that stop the medicine from being effective.

Here is the medicine Buddhas mantra:

Om Be Khanzi Be Khanzi Maha Be Khanzi Be Khanzi Raja Samu Gate Soha

This is the mantra. Maybe it will be helpful for you to use and integrate in your healing practices. But it is important to receive oral transmission from someone so that it is all the more powerful when reciting the mantra. Now for questions.

Student : Geshe la, who is qualified to give Medicine Buddha empowerment?

Geshe la : Anyone, man or woman, who has the transmission, the lineage, or blessing and the ones who have done the full retreat on Medicine Buddha, such as one who has recited the limited number of mantras of the Medicine Buddha and having performed fire ritual ceremony and a good understanding of the inner and outer activities of Medicine Buddha. Such a person can give Medicine Buddha empowerment and can give the oral transmission of Medicine Buddha mantra and instructions of Sadhana.

Student : I have a question that is a little off the topic and related to forgiveness. How can we 'forgive' a person like Pol Pot? What is your opinion in healing that understanding?

Geshe la : If someone has genuine compassion, he would feel pity rather than anger for that person because the killer has to undergo serious negative consequences of his actions or Karma in his countless series of future lifetimes. Holding anger about that person in one's mind is totally useless, because it only makes one unhappy, and nothing will change to make a better world.

Student : Geshe la, can I take it that you are opposed to the death penalty?

Geshe la : Yes, yes. Especially fully ordained monks and nuns yes. As well as Buddhists in general. Frankly speaking, the death penalty cannot bring crime down. It doesn't really help resolve the problem unless every individual adheres to a moral life through spiritual practices and guidance or wholesome guidance.

Student : I have never received an empowerment before. I am planning to go to the Chenrenzig empowerment given by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. What can I expect to happen?

Geshe la : According to my understanding, it nourishes your mind and it helps to bring you bring you to a greater awareness of the need for compassion and tenderness in your heart. It plants fresh spiritual seeds in your consciousness to gain higher realizations.

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