Discussion of the fifth religious tradition of Tibet.
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Because we know in Bon the Medicine Buddha, we have also a tradition of this Medicine Lineage which go back to the Bon Buddha, Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche.
There is also the daily ritual for benefitting medicine and patients.
Medicine Buddha, Men Lha, is a manifestation of Tonpa Shenrab, the original Bon Teacher and Enlightened One.
The history of the Medicine Buddha teaching comes from the sutra of ‘Healing Method for Sickness of Affliction and Ignorance’ from the ‘Mandala of King of Medicine and Ritual Ceremonies for Enlightenment’ text. Importantly medicine is associated here with wellness as enlightenment.
Tonpa Shenrab became aware of the suffering of people living to the north of ancient Olmo Lung Ring on a little island called Dawa Ruting. This island was dominated by the evil deeds of the Prince Drachen Korlo, whose actions caused disturbances, sickness and suffering for the people. Tonpa Shenrab gave this teaching to eliminate their suffering, and heal them from temporal difficult conditions, to purify negative karmic deeds and to free them from the five inner poisons based on ignorance, and to harmonize and restore peace to the region.
It was at the request of the kings of the island of Dawa Ruting that Tonpa Shenrab first gave the teachings of the Medicine Buddha.
They were then transmitted through:
Chadbu Trishe, one of Tonpa Shenrab's eight sons and the source of all healing tradition of Tibetan Medicine lineage according to Bön. Gradually it was passed through masters in a continuous lineage down to the founder of the original Menri Monastery, Nyammed Sherab Gyaltsen,
and all the subsequent holders of that lineage and has been preserved unbroken to the present day.
While Tonpa Shenrab was in the process of giving teachings, his body began to turn blue, the special color of Menlha, the Bön Medicine deity. Menlha possesses the perfect body (dzo ku). He sits resplendent in his ceremonial robes and lotus crown on a lotus throne supported by two white elephants. Menlha’s right hand holds a Yung Drung Chakshing. His left hand is in a meditation posture holding the Arura (principle seed of healing) still in use today. He sits in the Vajra cross-legged position and gazes toward the west. All beings receiving the blessings of these teachings shall be healed.
OM NA MA SE LA AMITA SE GYER DUN PUNG
OM A HUNG RAM DZA SAMAYA TITA LHEN
(In order to receive the best healing from any medicine or supplement, it is helpful to believe in the ability of the medicine to provide healing power. One may repeat this mantra many times before taking the medicine.)
THOUGH A MAN BE LEARNED
IF HE DOES NOT APPLY HIS KNOWLEDGE
HE RESEMBLES THE BLIND MAN
WHO WITH A LAMP IN THE HAND CANNOT SEE THE ROAD
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What is he holding in his right hand? It doesn't look like the usual medicinal plant in the iconography of the other traditions. It doesn't look like he's holding a bowl of medicines in his left hand, either. Can you tell us more about the iconography?
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