Lama Zopa Rinpoche giving a Medicine Buddha initiation in Vienna, Austria, September 2017. Photo by Ven. Lobsang Sherab.

In the Medicine Buddha sadhana published by FPMT Education Services, Lama Zopa Rinpoche offers advice on doing Medicine Buddha practice. Mantra recitation as part of the practice is very powerful, as Rinpoche explains:

The Medicine Buddha encompasses all the buddhas. This means that when we practice the seven-limb prayer and make offerings with the seven limbs, we receive the same merit as we would if we had made offerings to all the buddhas. Similarly, when we recite the mantra of Medicine Buddha, we collect unbelievable merit just as when we offer the seven-limb practice to Medicine Buddha.

To recite the Medicine Buddha mantra brings inconceivable merit. Manjushri requested the eight tathagatas (Guru Shakyamuni Buddha and the seven Medicine Buddhas) to reveal a special mantra that would make the prayers they (the eight tathagatas) made in the past (prayers to be able to actualize the happiness of sentient beings by attaining the path to enlightenment and pacifying various problems, to be able to see all the buddhas, and for all wishes to be quickly realized) to quickly come to pass, especially for those sentient beings born in the time of the five degenerations who have small merit and who are possessed and overwhelmed by various diseases and spirit harms.

During that time, all the eight tathagatas, in one voice, taught the Medicine Buddha mantra. Therefore, if you recite the mantra every day, the buddhas and bodhisattvas will always pay attention to you, and they will guide you. Vajrapani, owner of the secrets, and the four guardians will always protect and guide you. All your negative karmas will be pacified, and you will never be born in the three lower realms. Even just hearing a recitation of the names of the eight tathagatas pacifies all diseases and spirit harms—even spirit harms that arise as a condition of disease—and all your wishes are fulfilled.


Lama Zopa Rinpoche circumambulates the Medicine Buddha statue at Buddha Amitabha Pure Land, Washington, US, August 2016. Photo by Ven. Lobsang Sherab.

This is just a brief explanation of the benefits of the Medicine Buddha practice. This practice is especially beneficial if you are helping others, especially if you are doing healing work. It helps you to be more accurate and beneficial. You will receive much support, not only from the eight tathagatas, but from the four clairvoyant devas as well. These devas can help you to diagnose and understand the right method to heal, as they are associated with the eight tathagatas.

Excerpted from Medicine Buddha Sadhana by Ngawang Losang Tenpa Gyältsän, translated by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, and prepared by Ven. Thubten Gyatso. Published by FPMT Education Services. Students can find the practice and mantra in this sadhana:

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