Our gold gilded Medicine Buddha statue sits in classic pose. He is holding the stem of the Myrobalan plant between the thumb and index finger of his right hand. Additionally, he has the bowl of Lapis nectar in the palm of his left hand. These are the tell tale signs that it is indeed a Bhaisajyguru statue (Medicine Buddha).
However, this statue has an additional element. On the palm of the right hand, you will see the intricate engraving of a diamond. The diamond is known as the “vajra” in Sanskrit. The inclusion of this symbol indicates that the statue sits on a foundation of indestructible virtue.
The Myrobalan plant is an ancient herbal remedy that is associated with Medicine Buddha. As a result, this plant was widely used at the time of Shakyamuni in the 6th century BCE. However, in Buddhism it has a symbolic meaning rather than being used as a natural remedy. This is because Buddhists believe that the defilements are at the core of all affliction. Therefore, perfected wisdom is the cure for all human suffering.
Bowl of Lapis Nectar
In the palm of the left hand our Medicine Buddha statue holds the bowl of Lapis nectar. This medicine is not the kind found in a pharmacy or herb. The Lapis medicine is the cure for all defilements. However, this medicine can only be acquired through diligent meditation practice and following the prescribed precepts. If done properly, the Lapis nectar will act preemptively and prevent all affliction.
Deer Park at Sarnath
Tibetan Buddhists believe that the original Buddha gave the gift of medicine to sentient life. As a result, Medicine Buddha represents the healing attribute of Shakyamuni Buddha. Therefore, as reference to the day the Buddha gave this gift to sentient beings we find the deer and Dharmachakra engraved on the rear base of the statue. This is a tribute to the day the Buddha gave his first Dharma sermon in the deer park at Sarnath.