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By Minh Thanh, P.D. Leigh, Hsuan Jung

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B . Please note the crucial combination of self-help (good roots and practice on the part of the cultivator) and other-power (the assistance of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas). B . In Mahayana sutras, the word “parents” refers to all sentient beings, as throughout the aeons of time in Samsara, all beings have been our fathers or mothers at one time or another. Thus, to be unfilial is to transgress against any sentient being (Brahma Net Sutra, Secondary Precept ). B . This passage shows that all karma, even the heaviest, can be dissipated through concentrating on the Medicine  Buddha and cultivating merits and virtues.

B . According to the sutra, the efficacity of the Medicine Buddha’s name is absolute. All karma, even Fixed Karma, or the heavy karma created by the Five Cardinal Sins, is erased through concentration on the Medicine Buddha. B . The notion that a ghost or demon can be invoked through an evil mantra is by no means limited to Asia: In the soil beneath a mango tree, Eliezer, one of Zohar’s sons and the author’s father, draws the outline of a human figure and tries to conjure a golem out of the ground.

The full name of the Medicine Buddha (Bhaisajyaguru) is rendered in this text as Medicine Buddha Lapis Lazuli Radiance Tathagata. Please note other variants occurring in the literature: Healing Buddha Azure Radiance Tathagata Master of Healing Vaidurya Light Tathagata Master of Medicine Beryl Radiance Tathagata. Moreover, many popular books use the Japanese name Yakushi. According to V. de Visser (Ancient Buddhism, vol. II), most of the Bodhisattvas in the Medicine Buddha’s Assembly are also depicted surrounding Amitabha Buddha, in paintings of Amitabha’s descent to welcome the faithful (Raigo).

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Sutra of the Medicine Buddha by Minh Thanh, P.D. Leigh, Hsuan Jung

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