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Medicine Buddha

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Nearly every evening before bed for the past year I've been practicing the Medicine Buddha mantra, which in its Tibetan form is Tayatha Om Bekhanze Bekhanze Maha Bekhanze Ranza Samudgate Soha.

 

 

Also at least once a week I've been listening to or reading the Medicine Buddha sutra, which is incredibly deep.

 

 

 

Like my practice of the Mani mantra which I wrote about here I've been mulling writing something about the Medicine Buddha for a while here but wanted to get some practice time under my belt first. As Garchen Rinpoche says here, Medicine Buddha may be particularly relevant now in the time of the coronavirus:

 

Personally, Medicine Buddha practice has the feeling of helping me wipe the slate clean at the end of the day, returning my mind to a more righteous and moral state. 

 

According to Chan master Yong Hua that may be part of the way that the Medicine Buddha helps guard against illness, by leading you away from habits and thoughts that generate karma.

 

 

According to the sutra itself, Medicine Buddha practice has the following benefits.

 

Quote

1. I vow that my body shall shine as beams of brilliant light on this infinite and boundless world, showering on all beings, getting rid of their ignorance and worries with my teachings. May all beings be like me, with a perfect status and character, upright mind and soul, and finally attaining enlightenment like the Buddha.

 

2. I vow that my body be like crystal, pure and flawless, radiating rays of splendid light to every corner, brightening up and enlightening all beings with wisdom. With the blessings of compassion, may all beings strengthen their spiritual power and physical energy, so that they could fulfill their dreams on the right track.

 

3. I vow that I shall grant by means of boundless wisdom, all beings with the inexhaustible things that they require, and relieving them from all pains and guilt resulting from materialistic desires. Although clothing, food, accommodation and transport are essentials, it should be utilized wisely as well. Besides self-consumption, the remaining should be generously shared with the community so that all could live harmoniously together.

 

4. I vow to lead those who have gone astray back to the path of righteousness. Let them be corrected and returned to the Buddha way for enlightenment.

 

5. I vow that I shall enable all sentient beings to observe precepts for spiritual purity and moral conduct. Should there be any relapse or violation, they shall be guided by repentance. Provided they sincerely regret their wrong-doings, and vow for a change with constant prayers and strong faith in the Buddha, they could receive the rays of forgiveness, recover their lost moral and purity.

 

6. I vow that all beings who are physically disabled or sick in all aspects be blessed with good health, both physically and mentally. All who pays homage to Buddha faithfully will be blessed.

 

7. I vow to relieve all pain and poverty of the very sick and poor. The sick be cured, the helpless be helped, the poor be assisted.

 

8. I vow to help women who are undergoing sufferings and tortures and seeking for transformation into men. By hearing my name, paying homage and praying, their wishes would be granted and ultimately attain Buddhahood.

 

9. I vow to free all beings from evil thoughts and its control. I shall lead them onto the path of light through inculcating them with righteousness and honour so that they will walk the Buddha way.

 

10. I vow to save prisoners who have genuinely repented and victims of natural disasters. My supreme powers will bless those who are sincere and be freed from sufferings.

 

11. I vow to save those who suffer from starvation and those who committed a crime to obtain food. If they hear my name and faithfully cherish it, I shall lead them to the advantages of Dharma and favour them with the best food and eventually lead a tranquil and happy life.

 

12. I vow to save those who suffer from poverty, tormented by mosquitoes and wasps day and night. If they come across my name, cherish it with sincerity and practice dharma to strengthen their merits, they will be able to achieve their wishes

 

 

 

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Really beautiful and profound. May all sentient beings be benefitted by the Light of the Medicine Buddha and all negative karmas purified. 

 

Thank you for sharing @Vajra Fist. Garchen Rinpoche's video made tears fill my eyes with the compassion radiating from his heart and all the Buddhas. 

 

Much love. :) 

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For those doing the Medicine Buddha practice, the efficacy and power will be increased by doing the Vajrasattva purification ritual prior. (ie chanting of the 100 syllable mantra & visualization practice sequence). 

 

For those who may not be familiar with the full version, or have difficulty chanting it due to its lengthiness, there's also a condensed 6-syllable mantra: OM BENZA SATTVA HUM. Alternatively, one can always access youtube, let the mantra gently suffuse the space around you, and do alternate visualizations with quiet, relaxed sitting. 

 

Here's the mantra in full: 

OM BENSATTVA SAMAYA MANUPALAYA / BENZASATTVA DENOPA TITHA / DIDO ME BHAVA / SUTO KAYO ME BHAVA / SUPO KAYO ME BHAVA / ANURAKTO ME BHAVA / SARVA SIDDHI ME PRAYATSA / SARVA KARMA SU TSAME / TSITTAM SHRIYAM KURU HUM / HA HA HA HA HO / BHAGAVAN SARVA TATHAGATA / VAJRA MAME MUNTSA / VAJRA BHAVA MAHA SAMAYA SATTVA AH.... (optional "HUM PHET")

The meaning of the mantra: You, Vajrasattva, have generated the holy mind (bodhicitta) according to your pledge (samaya). Your holy mind is enriched with the simultaneous holy actions of releasing transmigratory beings from samsara (the circling, suffering aggregates). Whatever happens in my life-happiness or suffering, good or bad-with a pleased, holy mind, never give up but please guide me. Please stabilize all happiness, including the happiness of the upper realms, actualize all actions and sublime and common realizations, and please make the glory of the five wisdoms abide in my heart.

 

 

Alternate version: 

 

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Posted (edited)

There is also medicine buddha dharani, which (if I remember correctly) protects from falling into lower rebirths if it is recited 7 times a day. However, I cannot find the detail nor where it came from. What is definitely great thing to do, is also recite the sutra from time to time.

Edited by Miroku
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Miroku said:

There is also medicine buddha dharani, which (if I remember correctly) protects from falling into lower rebirths if it is recited 7 times a day. However, I cannot find the detail nor where it came from. What is definitely great thing to do, is also recite the sutra from time to time.

 

Dharani Bhaisajyaguru 

 

Namo bhagavate
Bhaiṣajyaguru
Vaidūryaprabharājāya
Tathāgatāya
YaArhate
Samyaksambuddhāya
 Tadyate Oṃ
Bhaiṣajye
Bhaiṣajye
Bhaiṣajya-samudgate svāhā.
Namo bhagavate
Bhaiṣajyaguru
Vaidūryaprabharājāya
Tathāgatāya
YaArhate
Samyaksambuddhāya
Tadyate Oṃ
 
 
_/\_ 
Edited by C T
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On 22/03/2020 at 12:11 PM, C T said:

 

Dharani Bhaisajyaguru 

 

Namo bhagavate
Bhaiṣajyaguru
Vaidūryaprabharājāya
Tathāgatāya
YaArhate
Samyaksambuddhāya
 Tadyate Oṃ
Bhaiṣajye
Bhaiṣajye
Bhaiṣajya-samudgate svāhā.
Namo bhagavate
Bhaiṣajyaguru
Vaidūryaprabharājāya
Tathāgatāya
YaArhate
Samyaksambuddhāya
Tadyate Oṃ
 
 
_/\_ 

 

This is the full dharani from the sutra. The Tibetan mantra is derived from this.

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Is the Medicine Buddha mantra useful to get difficult people out of one's life? Or would another mantra be more suitable?

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14 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

Is the Medicine Buddha mantra useful to get difficult people out of one's life? Or would another mantra be more suitable?

 

Another mantra. Try this Vishnu one, but only have pure intent as it will backfire if you have malintentions. 

 

Narasimha Ta Va Da So Hum. 

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40 minutes ago, Earl Grey said:

 

Another mantra. Try this Vishnu one, but only have pure intent as it will backfire if you have malintentions. 

 

Narasimha Ta Va Da So Hum. 

 

Thank you for the recommendation. Can you tell me a little about this mantra please?

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1 minute ago, dmattwads said:

 

Thank you for the recommendation. Can you tell me a little about this mantra please?

 

It's a protective mantra as strong as a Chamundi mantra. You can read about it in Healing Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Farrand. One use was it helped someone who had noisy neighbors discover after 40 days of chanting that they moved away of their own volition.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, dmattwads said:

Is the Medicine Buddha mantra useful to get difficult people out of one's life? Or would another mantra be more suitable?

 

For stubborn obstacles, the invocation of the wrathful aspect of Vajrayana deity Singdoma the lion-faced dakini is recommended. Her mantra is supreme in the face of evil oppression (both as protection, and also as a form of exorcism prayer), and can also be adapted for assuaging difficult situations in general. 

 

 

Opening the practice: 

Glorious adamantine Goddess,
Wrathful female with lion’s face,
Whose fire of Gnosis emanates light-rays,
Lion-faced Goddess – to You I bow.

 

Mantra:

AH KHA SAMA-RANZA SHANDA-RASA MARAYA PHAT

 

Prayer:

Wrathful Singdoma!

Because of the force and power of the recitation of your Mantra,
Let enemies who torment us teachers, pupils and attendants,
hindering spirits who harm us, obstructive conditions, and in short,
every enduring inauspiciousness, be turned back!

Host of blazing wrathful females!
Smash into dust-motes the body and speech
Of all the nature of hindering foes,
And release their consciousness in Dharma-Dhatu!

Through recitation of your mantra,
Let me quell all injury,
Achieve my aims just as I wish,
And spread the Doctrine in teaching and practice!

 

 

*PHAT pronounced 'Putt' 

 

 

 

Edited by C T
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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, C T said:

 

For stubborn obstacles, the invocation of the wrathful aspect of Vajrayana deity Singdoma the lion-faced dakini is recommended. Her mantra is supreme in the face of evil oppression (both as protection, and also as a form of exorcism prayer), and can also be adapted for assuaging difficult situations in general. 

 

 

Opening the practice: 

Glorious adamantine Goddess,
Wrathful female with lion’s face,
Whose fire of Gnosis emanates light-rays,
Lion-faced Goddess – to You I bow.

 

Mantra:

AH KHA SAMA-RANZA SHANDA-RASA MARAYA PHAT

 

Prayer:

Wrathful Singdoma!

Because of the force and power of the recitation of your Mantra,
Let enemies who torment us teachers, pupils and attendants,
hindering spirits who harm us, obstructive conditions, and in short,
every enduring inauspiciousness, be turned back!

Host of blazing wrathful females!
Smash into dust-motes the body and speech
Of all the nature of hindering foes,
And release their consciousness in Dharma-Dhatu!

Through recitation of your mantra,
Let me quell all injury,
Achieve my aims just as I wish,
And spread the Doctrine in teaching and practice!

 

*PHAT pronounced 'Putt'

 

Thanks for the clarification because I was struggling a bit to work out the pronunciation of your earlier prayer and especially what appeared to be your favourite mantra:

 

On 4/7/2020 at 11:56 AM, C T said:

coochy coo 

you're so cute when whining

Oh look! You dropped your rubber nipple.. 

No wonder you're such a cockwombler 

(thats actually a word. look it up lol) 

Edited by gatito

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7 minutes ago, gatito said:

 

Thanks for the clarification because I was struggling a bit to work out the pronunciation of your earlier prayer and especially what appeared to be your favourite mantra:

 

Ya, stubborn stains need stronger detergents. 

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2 minutes ago, C T said:

Ya, stubborn stains need stronger detergents. 

 

 

Nice1!

 

Glad to see also that phat doesn't necessarily rhyme with twat:

 

8 hours ago, C T said:

*PHAT pronounced 'Putt' 

 

Peace,

 

g

 

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Posted (edited)

As of lately my primary chant has been Nam myoho renge kyo as that had seemed to have a good effect upon my mind.

Lately however I'm finding Amitofu to be increasingly effect.

 

I seem to go through phases where at times one chant does it for me and then after some time goes by not as much but then another does.

 

The very first one I loved was Om mani padme hum. I then spent a significant amount of time doing Zhunti mantra, but that one usually made me feel bad.

Edited by dmattwads

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Posted (edited)
On 08/04/2020 at 11:54 PM, dmattwads said:

Is the Medicine Buddha mantra useful to get difficult people out of one's life? Or would another mantra be more suitable?

 

The sutra actually mentions difficult people:

 

“Moreover, Manjusri, there are sentient beings who love to quarrel, create schisms and engage in legal disputes"

 

And how the mantra removes the conflict:

 

“However, if the victims succeed in hearing the name of the Medicine Buddha, none of these evil practices can harm them. Moreover, everyone concerned will develop compassionate minds, endeavoring to benefit and bring peace and joy to others.

 

“They will abandon their harmful thoughts and their angry, spiteful minds and all parties will be happy and satisfi ed with what they have.

 

“They will cease to encroach upon others but will instead seek to benefit one another."

 

I actually had this very early on in my practice. There was a work colleague who I couldn't stand and she couldn't stand me. The tension in the office made everyone miserable. Things changed gradually. She ended up leaving the job but we stayed in touch and are now pretty good friends. One of the many benefits I've noticed from Medicine Buddha practice is that I have far fewer conflicts like that. 

Edited by Vajra Fist
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Posted (edited)

Vajra Fist thank you, excellent!! 😌.

 

As a follow up question, I think I heard before that Medicine Buddha mantra is useful for success and obstacle removal in general?

Edited by dmattwads

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5 hours ago, dmattwads said:

Vajra Fist thank you, excellent!! 😌.

 

As a follow up question, I think I heard before that Medicine Buddha mantra is useful for success and obstacle removal in general?

 

 

I'd say so. The sutra mentions several times that people who hear it will be freed of karmic obstacles. It's also part of the name of the sutra:

 

Buddha Sakyamuni replied to Ananda: “This teaching is called the ‘Past Vows, Merits and Virtues of the Medicine Buddha’ or the ‘Dharani of the Vows of the Twelve Yaksa Generals to Benefit Sentient Beings’ or ‘Eradicating of All Karmic Obstacles’. You should uphold it as such.”

 

I know you started the zhunti thread here a few years ago which has become one of my favourite in this section. I actually tried quite a while ago and had a similar experience to you, with quite noticeable sudden karma elimination, with people all around me suddenly giving me a hard time and lots of minor sicknesses appearing. It seems to work in a similar way to how things used to go when I practiced Falun Gong, where major karma gets brought out, chopped up into small manageable chunks and inserted into your daily life to be borne and eliminated.

 

I've noticed that the vajrasattva mantra also has a similar effect. Encouraging you to bear and eliminating karma. (Since its Easter I've always thought the reason Christians say Jesus died for their sins, was because he bore and eliminated the karma of his followers through extreme suffering during his crucifixion).

 

Call me weak and wanting to run away from what I owe, but that way is not for me. As I understand it, the Mani mantra and to a certain extent the Medicine Buddha too work in a different way, where you accumulate vast good karma which effectively tip the scales toward good fortune and causes in both this life and the next. You can end up being reborn in a pure land with still some karma but the conditions and - crucially - the time to be able to work it off gradually. Also part of the reason why I love the pure land tradition. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Vajra Fist said:

 

 

I'd say so. The sutra mentions several times that people who hear it will be freed of karmic obstacles. It's also part of the name of the sutra:

 

Buddha Sakyamuni replied to Ananda: “This teaching is called the ‘Past Vows, Merits and Virtues of the Medicine Buddha’ or the ‘Dharani of the Vows of the Twelve Yaksa Generals to Benefit Sentient Beings’ or ‘Eradicating of All Karmic Obstacles’. You should uphold it as such.”

 

I know you started the zhunti thread here a few years ago which has become one of my favourite in this section. I actually tried quite a while ago and had a similar experience to you, with quite noticeable sudden karma elimination, with people all around me suddenly giving me a hard time and lots of minor sicknesses appearing. It seems to work in a similar way to how things used to go when I practiced Falun Gong, where major karma gets brought out, chopped up into small manageable chunks and inserted into your daily life to be borne and eliminated.

 

I've noticed that the vajrasattva mantra also has a similar effect. Encouraging you to bear and eliminating karma. (Since its Easter I've always thought the reason Christians say Jesus died for their sins, was because he bore and eliminated the karma of his followers through extreme suffering during his crucifixion).

 

Call me weak and wanting to run away from what I owe, but that way is not for me. As I understand it, the Mani mantra and to a certain extent the Medicine Buddha too work in a different way, where you accumulate vast good karma which effectively tip the scales toward good fortune and causes in both this life and the next. You can end up being reborn in a pure land with still some karma but the conditions and - crucially - the time to be able to work it off gradually. Also part of the reason why I love the pure land tradition. 

 

 

 

Again an excellent response thank you.

 

What's your opinion assuming you have one about nam-myoho-renge-kyo? This is another one I use extensively.

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1 hour ago, dmattwads said:

 

Again an excellent response thank you.

 

What's your opinion assuming you have one about nam-myoho-renge-kyo? This is another one I use extensively.

 

I don't really know much about it. My father-in-law is Nichiren, but I haven't really had a chat with him about it before. Have heard various warnings about Soka Gakkai though. How is it working out for you? 

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Just now, Vajra Fist said:

 

I don't really know much about it. My father-in-law is Nichiren, but I haven't really had a chat with him about it before. Have heard various warnings about Soka Gakkai though. How is it working out for you? 

 

Yeah I'm not in SGI but I do like nam-myoho-renge-kyo. My intuition is that it does a similar thing and has a similar effect as the zhunti mantra but it seems to be a little more gentle. 

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Posted (edited)

From a subjective point of view here's a summary of my experience with various mantras:

 

Zhunti: to me this is the nuclear-powered pulling out all the stops really blasting karma mantra. Effective for rapid change but can also be extremely unpleasant in the process.

 

Nam myoho renge kyo: seems to have a more gentle karma changing affect then zhunti mantra and seems to help one get what was their intention for chanting. 

 

Amitofu: this one seems to be very soothing and calming.

 

Manjurshri: after doing this for a while I tend to get more nerdy and turn into more of a bookworm. 🤓

 

Om mani padme hum: this was the first one to ever get my attention and I found a very soothing and calming. But that was a long time ago since then I don't seem to notice that much from it.

 

Atanatiya parita: reciting this sutta seems to be very helpful if I feel that I'm being messed with by exterior malevolent entities.

 

I think one observation I've made ever since I began practicing karma changing and karma purging mantras and practices is that the states of my life become much less permanent. This would make sense as the karma that would bring one into a situation would tend to keep one in that situation as long as that karma exists but if one is actively attempting to change their karma then at a point the karma that brought them into a situation is no longer relevant then change happens. I've noticed this with jobs, relationships, and other life situations in general. Ever since I began karma changing mantras these things don't tend to last nearly as long but when one ends something better tunrns up to follow it. I tend to be amazed now that people can remain in a life situation for so long at this point in my life.

Edited by dmattwads
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Cool! I have always been interested in it since I remember reading somewhere it's like the only thing you need. Always been put off though by it being a non-sutra tradition. Have you tried Eric Isen before? He could probably give you a good account of the effect of a mantra on you.

 

Also, out of curiosity do you have any good book recommendations on Nichiren? I'd like to know a bit more about it too.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Vajra Fist said:

Cool! I have always been interested in it since I remember reading somewhere it's like the only thing you need. Always been put off though by it being a non-sutra tradition. Have you tried Eric Isen before? He could probably give you a good account of the effect of a mantra on you.

 

Also, out of curiosity do you have any good book recommendations on Nichiren? I'd like to know a bit more about it too.

 

 

 

If you're referring to nichiren Buddhism it is a very sutra based tradition as the chant nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the title of the lotus sutra which they've venerate as the most perfect and complete sutra in all of Buddhism. 

 I actually don't know much about nichiren Buddhism and couldn't recommend any books about it. All I do know is that nichiren believed that we were in the third stage of Dharma decline and that earlier techniques such as meditation we're no longer effective and that for this current age the chanting of nam-myoho-renge-kyo was the most effective way to achieve Awakening. And now I've told you pretty much everything I know about nichiren Buddhism LOL.

Edited by dmattwads
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