Sutra: Medicine Sutra
Bhaisajyaguru, or "Medicine Master and King of Lapis Lazuli Light", is the Buddha of Healing and Medicine in Eastern Pure Land. Commonly referred to as the "Medicine Master Buddha", he is described as a doctor who cures suffering individuals with his teachings.
Medicine Master Buddha is usually depicted as one of the trinity of Buddha, along with Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, and Amitabha, the Buddha in the Western Pure Land.
Medicine Master Buddha is associated with “Medicine Master Sutra”, and the full title is “Sutra of the Merit and Virtue of the Past Vows of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata”.
“Medicine Master Sutra” first starts with the twelve big vows made by Medicine Master Buddha on relieving sentient beings from any physical illnesses and disasters when he practiced the path of Bodhisattva in his past life.
1) Having a brilliant body with thirty-two major marks and eighty minor marks
2) Showing the dawn to living beings that are in darkness
3) Limitless wisdom
4) Eliminating defilements
5) Assisting sentient beings to follow precepts
6) Curing all kinds of physical disabilities of all sentient beings
7) No illness in this world
8) Preaching Dharma and liberating living beings from ignorance
9) Assisting beings to live within the “Noble Eightfold Path”
10) Liberating sentient beings from the suffering of lawsuits and prisons
11) Releasing sentient beings from hunger
12) Liberating and satisfying the needs of the poor living beings
Practicing “Medicine Master Sutra” would keep sentient beings away from dangers imposed by demons, monsters, beasts, robbers, poison, nightmare, fire, and flood. It can also prevent one from having nine kinds of unfortunate death, which are due to mishap of illness, quarrels, falsely execution by the ruler, evil spirits possession, murdering by the robbers, fire and flood, vicious beasts, misleading practices that are demonic related, and inappropriate medicine.
“Medicine Master Sutra” also provides method to improve the health and longevity of a sick being. The first method is that a sick person’s relatives should fast for seven days and seven nights, light forty-nine lamps, chant the sutra forty-nine times, place five-colored divine banners, and release forty-nine kinds of living creatures. Another method is to make a five-colored knot with one’s name on it. When the knot is untied, the patient will be recovered from his disease. Chanting "Medicine Master Mantra" by 108 times over a glass of water is another powerful tool for healing one’s physical illness and purifying negative karma. After the patient has drunk the purified water, his mental, physical and spiritual sicknesses will be cured gradually.
Believing in Medicine Master Buddha will also prevent one from becoming an animal, ghost or in hell at his next life. Chanting Medicine Master Buddha’s name with concentration before death will receive guidance from Eight Bodhisattvas into Eastern Pure Land. Upholding, reading, reciting, explaining and coping “Medicine Master Sutra” can also gain great merits and eventually attain supreme enlightenment.
This sutra also reveals that there will be Twelve Great Yaksa Generals protecting Buddhists who practice the Dharma of Medicine Master Buddha.
The practice of Medicine Master Buddha is a powerful method for healing and overcoming inner sickness due to attachment, hatred, and ignorance. The simple and explicit writings of “Medicine Master Sutra” also help Medicine Master Buddha to gain popularity and wide acceptable in the mainstream of Buddhism from the past to the present.