Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Hồng Như chuyễn Việt Ngữ
“To the Bhagawan with equal compassion for all
Whose name when just heard dispels lower realms’ suffering
Dispeller of disease and the three poisons
I prostrate to Medicine Buddha Lapis Light.”
The Fifth Dalai Lama explains that the first verse expresses what Medicine Buddha is and talks about the qualities. Bhagawan means “Destroyer Qualified Gone Beyond One” or Chom Den De in Tibetan.
“Destroyer” means not only destroyer of one’s own gross and subtle defilements, the delusions, but also destroyer of other sentient beings’ delusions and defilements. “Qualified” refers to six qualities.
“Gone Beyond” means gone beyond the oceans of samsaric suffering.
“With equal compassion for all” means Medicine Buddha’s compassion is equal towards all sentient beings, there are no discriminating thoughts. Buddha doesn’t just help those who have faith in him. Medicine Buddha has compassion to every single living being, equally-and that includes us. Then, “Whose name when just heard dispels lower realms’ suffering”.
Any living being who hears the name of Medicine Buddha never gets reborn in the lower realms-that’s the benefit, the power of just hearing the name, the mantra.
Buddha asked his attendant Ananda: “Do you believe this?” and Ananda replied, “Yes I believe what the Buddha says.”
Then Buddha said “Why?”
Ananda replied, “Because Buddha has inconceivable qualities, therefore I have no doubt.”
Then Buddha said, “Even animals who hear Medicine Buddha’s name from that time on will never be reborn in the lower realms.”
This is such an easy way to save living beings from heavy suffering. There’s no question about animals having faith in Medicine Buddha’s power-so how can there be any doubt that human beings who hear Medicine Buddha’s mantra will never again be reborn in the lower realms, whether they have faith or not? Just hearing the name is enough, so when people are dying one of the best things to do is to recite the name loudly in the ear, then you save the person from the suffering of the lower realms for many aeons. The reason there is so much power is due to Medicine Buddha’s compassion. In the past when he was a bodhisattva he made so many prayers and dedications with strong compassion for his name to be wish fulfilling, to bring happiness. When he became enlightened, one of the ten powers of a Buddha is the power of prayer – that means that all the prayers that have been made get fulfilled. So it is extremely important in our daily life to practice Medicine Buddha and to chant his name for the animals. It’s an unbelievably easy way to liberate yourself and to help others too.
If you eat meat, recite the mantra of Medicine Buddha and blow over the meat. This way the animal’s negative karma gets purified. No matter how far away the consciousness is it receives the effect and helps the animal to a higher rebirth. Also, if you find insects in the house, by reciting the mantra and blowing on them it purifies their negative karmas and helps them to have a good rebirth. That fulfils the purpose of them coming into your house, into your room. It makes their life meaningful and since you are able to benefit them it makes your life meaningful also.
Some years ago I did retreat in Big Sur in America, in a cabin near the water. Many ants used to come into the kitchen. So I sent three tsa-tsas (images of Buddha) to the cooks and told them each time they found ants or insects in the house to put them in a plastic bag – don’t seal it – or container, then hold the tsa-tsa in one hand and with the other hand circumambulate the bag clockwise at the same level as the tsa-tsa. With each circumambulation all the ants create the cause for enlightenment, and by the way the cause for liberation from samsara and by the way the cause for all the happiness of future lives for hundreds of thousands of lifetimes.
This is such an easy way to help them, to liberate them. Since that time whenever we see insects in the house we try to take them around holy objects a few times. By coming into the house they make us do the best practice – helping others. They make our lives meaningful and we make their lives meaningful. We help each other.
Medicine Buddha practice also purifies any broken vows, like Pratimoksha vows, or precepts. It is very powerful for purification and for healing sickness.
Normally people think that Medicine Buddha is for healing but it’s not only that, it’s also very powerful for purifying negative karma and very powerful for success. When I was in Germany I read the Medicine Buddha Sutra and actually the Medicine Buddha practice is so precious. It seems that you can do Medicine Buddha Puja for ANY purpose, ANY problem, ANYTHING. You can use the Medicine Buddha practice for any kind of problem, for court cases, to stop wars, to stop violence, anything. It is very good for business, for mothers who are pregnant to give birth successfully, anything.
The practice can be done for anything. It is very powerful for success and of course the most important success is to have the realizations of the Lam Rim, the path to enlightenment: to realize emptiness, develop wisdom, bodhicitta and guru devotion – to be able to give extensive benefit to other sentient beings.
Many of the Dharma kings in Tibet who did great benefit to preserve and spread the Dharma practiced Medicine Buddha on every 8th day of the Tibetan month (that’s the same as Tara day) and also on the fifteen special days of the Buddha performing miracles
(the first fifteen days of the first Tibetan month).
Recently I read a detailed explanation by the Fifth Dalai Lama on the Medicine Buddha practice, both sutra and tantra, and the biographies of the lineage lamas. Each one was able to give so much benefit to sentient beings and the teachings of Buddha and had
great realizations by doing Medicine Buddha practice.
For example, Lha Lama Yeshe Oe, the Dharma king who invited Lama Atisha to Tibet did Medicine Buddha practice as a main deity and was able to establish many monasteries with extensive listening, reflection and meditation practice. He sacrificed his life to spread pure Dharma in Tibet by inviting Lama Atisha. When he went to look for gold as an offering, he was captured and put in prison near Nepal where he passed away. When they offered fire to his holy body rainbow lights were emitted and there were rainfalls of flowers for seven days. Then a Medicine Buddha, the size of a thumb, appeared from his heart and went to Pure Land. The sky was filled with the sound of music and there were so many wonderful signs.
All the lineage lamas of Medicine Buddha did Puja on the 8th of every month, had incredible realizations and when they passed away there were wonderful signs like this king Lha Lama Yeshe Oe.
“Dispeller of disease and the three poisons” – the three poisons are ignorance, hatred and attachment, the sicknesses of the mind from which come the physical sicknesses-cancer, depression, etc.
“I prostrate to Medicine Buddha Lapis Light.”
Medicine Buddha’s mantra is: tayatha om bekandze bekandze maha bekandze radza samudgate soha.
Tayatha – means “like this”. Om – is composed of the three pure sounds A U and MA, which signifies one’s own body, speech and mind that get transformed into the vajra holy body, speech and mind.
Then bekandze bekandze -“eliminating pain, eliminating pain”. What eliminates pain is medicine. This pain is not ordinary pain – even animals do not want to experience that.
The first eliminating pain is true suffering, the second is the true cause of suffering. The medicine that eliminates pain is first the graduated path of the lower capable being, and second the graduated path of the middle capable being. Then maha bekandze -“the great eliminating pain” is the graduated path of the higher capable being, which eliminates the subtle defilements. So bekandze bekandze maha bekandze contains the whole path to enlightenment, the ultimate (6) medicine. Radza – is king. Samudgate. Soha – to establish the foundation in the heart, the blessing, the devotion from which the realization comes.
By actualising the meaning of the path contained in bekandze bekandze maha bekandze, the whole Lam Rim, you cease the defilements, gross and subtle, and purify the ordinary body, speech and mind into the vajra holy body, speech and mind. After this you are able to do perfect works for other sentient beings.
Edited and condensed from a talk during Medicine Buddha Puja by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Land of Medicine Buddha, 28 July 2001
Original text can be found at:
Vietnamese translation by Hong Nhu Thupten Munsel in 10/2003.
Reviewed in 04/2006.
Published by Viet_Vajra Foundation in 09/2006 for free distribution.
All errors and omissions are the sole responsibilities of the translator.
All merits are dedicated to all sentient beings in the six realms.