Bhaisajyaguru, or "Medicine Master and King of Lapis Lazuli Light", is the Buddha of healing and medicine in Mahayana Buddhism. “Bhaisajya” means “curativeness” or “healing efficacy,” while “guru” means “teacher” or “master.” Commonly referred to as the "Medicine Buddha", he is described as a doctor who cures dukkha (suffering) using the medicine of his teachings.
On achieving Buddhahood, he became the Buddha of the Eastern Pure Land of Vaiduryanirbhasa (Pure Lapis Lazuli).
The Medicine Buddha is associated with the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli. Lapis is an intensely deep blue stone that often contains gold-colored flecks of pyrite, creating an impression of the first faint stars in a darkening evening sky. In Vajrayana Buddhism, the deep blue color of lapis is thought to have a purifying and strengthening effect on those who visualize it. The color lapis is nearly always incorporated into the image of Bhaisajyaguru. Sometimes Bhaisajyaguru himself is lapis,or he may be a gold color but surrounded by lapis.
Medicine Buddha is typically depicted seated, wearing the three robes of a Buddhist monk, holding a lapis-colored jar of medicine nectar in his left hand and the right hand resting on his right knee, holding the stem of the Aruna fruit or Myrobalan between thumb and forefinger. In the sutra, he is also described by his aura of lapis lazuli-colored light. In Chinese depictions, he is sometimes holding a pagoda, symbolising the ten thousand Buddhas of the three periods of time.
Due to greed, hatred and stupidity, there are 84000 types of worries and troubles, and these worries cause 404 types of sicknesses. Medicine Buddha made twelve vows upon attaining Enlightenment, according to the Medicine Buddha Sutra. Most of the vows are for helping people away sickness.
In Sutra of the Vows of the Medicine Buddha, the Medicine Buddha is described as having entered into a state of samadhi called "Eliminating All the Suffering and Afflictions of Sentient Beings." From this samadhi state he spoke the Medicine Buddha Dharani. Based on the sutra, one should chant this mantra 108 times along with a cup of water or food. Afterward, one should let the patient drink the blessed water or eat the blessed food, which may help the patient recover faster.
Furthermore, much like the path of chanting Amitabha's name, the name of Medicine Buddha is also recited for the benefit of being reborn in the Eastern Pure Land, though this is deemphasized in favor of the Medicine Buddha's role for the living.
The practice of veneration of the Medicine Buddha is also popular in China, as he is depicted as one of the trinity of Buddhas, the others being the founder Sakyamuni and Amitabha. He can also be viewed as the healing attribution to Sakyamuni, as he is often called the "Medicine King" in sutras.