The Medicine Buddha (Bhaisajyaguru Buddha) is the Buddha of the Pure Land of Lapis Lazuli (Light in the East.) When Medicine Buddha practices in his Bodhisattva ways, he made twelve great vows, wishing to relieve sentient beings from suffering and let them have sufficient capacities to enter liberation. Those who follow his vows in the practice of Buddhahood can reborn in his Lapis Lazuli Pure Land.
The Medicine Buddha Dharma Service is held every year at the end of the ninth lunar month to celebrate Medicine Buddha’s Birthday. All merits from the service will be dedicated to worldwide health, peace and harmony.
Medicine – We can obtain medication from drug stores, pharmacies, etc. to heal our sickness. However, we need the Buddha’s teaching to cure our mental and emotional problems. Therefore, this ‘medicine’ is even more important than those in the drug store.
Lapis Lazuli – It is one of the seven precious substances. In the world, there are physical treasures, such as gold and silver, pearls, agate, cornelian, etc. However, in relation to the Medicine Buddha, the lapis lazuli represents the spiritual treasure of his wisdom. It refers to a kind word or a Buddhist book to liberate us from afflictions. Thus, it is even better than worldly treasures. We should also be like the lapis lazuli for others, to help them and render happiness. We all have within each of us an inner treasure. We can help others not just with money but with our effort, our words and deeds.
Light – In the Dharma assembly of Medicine Buddha, many lamps are lit. Why are they lit? It is because light can break through the darkness and give us warmth, like the fire in the stove. Is there anything comparable to light in the world? Yes, only Buddha. The Buddha’s light is illuminating. Our mind is opened up when we recite Buddha’s name. It gives us warmth and support.