King of Lapis Lazuli Radiance: The Medicine Buddha

Apr 13, 2020 | Art & Symbolism, Blog, Small Acts, Tibetan Buddhist Images

The Great Physician

This contemporary pointillist painting depicts a traditional composition of the Medicine Buddha. This piece was inspired by images from the iconography of Tibetan Buddhism.  Let’s take a moment to look more deeply at the meaning and symbolism of this work.

We will begin with a reflection on the full image of the painting:
This painting is a traditional depiction of the blue Buddha of healing from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Each image within the extensive Buddhist pantheon is understood to be a living presence, communicating the qualities of the Enlightened mind and reminding each of us of our own potential for awakening.

The Medicine Buddha, is one of the most honored figures in Tibetan Buddhist pantheon and is referred to as a great physician. As we gaze upon this image, you are invited to imagine healing blessings radiating in all directions with the intention of offering healing to one’s self and all living beings.

This original painting was a commission created in the style of pointillism, each dot a prayer to heal the sufferings of the world.

I invite you to take a moment and sit with these images. Imagine a perfect balance of the male and female energies of our world, a world healed through a balance of understanding, kindness and empathy.

Now or a closer look at some of the details:
Blue color of the skin:
The Medicine Buddha is a deep, rich blue, the color of lapis lazuli. Lapis lazuli has long been associated with a power to bring balance and heal. In many traditions lapis lazuli is believed to provide protection and shield one from negative influences.  In many religious traditions it is a symbol of the heavens and a spiritual life.

The bowl of fruit held in his: In the Buddha’s left hand he holds a medicine jar containing the fruit of the Myrobalan tree. This wild forest fruit is often called the ‘elixir of life,’ and regarded as the highest of medicines. It is, therefore, a symbol of the healing power of the Buddha.

Open hand: The Buddha’s right hand is extended in the gesture of giving. He holds a stem of the medicinal healing plant called myrobalan or aruna fruit. This symbolizes his vow to offer healing to all beings equally.

Sun and Moon: The sun and moon are often depicted as part of sacred art in the Tibetan tradition. The sun represents Wisdom and is considered a masculine energy. It’s bright fiery light energizing and clarifying, dispelling the darkness of ignorance. Ignorance in this context is understood to mean our ignorance to the truth of our Divine nature. The moon represents Compassion and is considered a feminine energy, It reflects a lunar glow, a pacifying energy bringing the clarity of a stable, Compassionate mind. Together the sun and moon, symbols of the masculine and feminine, represent Wisdom and Compassion and speak to the fundamental aspects of the awakened mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for sharing your time and attention. By this effort may all beings know healing, may all beings know Peace ❤️

If you would like to know more about collecting this piece for yourself or another, please follow this link:
Medicine Buddha limited edition giclee print on canvas signed and numbered ed/108
Medicine Buddha open edition framed print on watercolor paper


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