In Mahayana Buddhism, Medicine Buddha is very highly venerated as the Buddhist doctor. However, it is not traditional medicine that will provide the cure to his devotees. Instead, it is devotion to the accumulation of good karma and diligent practice that will cure any illness. Additionally, Buddhist medicine can cure any spiritual, mental or physical ailment.
Although our Medicine Buddha Tibetan Thangka painting depicts him holding the stem of the myrobalan plant in his right hand. This is a traditional herb used in ancient India that is still effectively used today. Medicine Buddha is also depicting the Varada or “gift giving” mudra with the same right hand. This is because Medicine Buddha gave the gift of medicine to sentient life.
A properly done Medicine Buddha Tibetan thangka painting always depicts him in his traditional lapis lazuli color. The semi precious stone called lapis lazuli radiates with the cure all deep blue color of Medicine Buddha. Additionally, the pure land of Medicine Buddha is built on lapis lazuli stone and the buildings are made of the seven treasures. Medicine Buddha glows with the healing blue light which will illuminate the world and overcome the darkness of ignorance. Medicine Buddha vows to save those who are overcome with evil, if they simply say his name or recite his mantra.