Bhaisajguru, the Medicine Buddha (Chinese: Yao Shi Fo; Japanese: Yakushi; and Tibetan: Sangye Menla) was a Bodhisattva who made 12 great vows. On achieving Buddhahood, he became the Buddha of the eastern pure land of Vaiḍūryanirbhāsa “Pure Lapis Lazuli”. There, he is attended to by two Bodhisattvas symbolizing the light of the sun and the light of the moon respectively: Suryaprabha (Chinese: 日光遍照菩薩; rìguāng biànzhào púsà) and Candraprabha (Chinese: 月光遍照菩薩; pinyin: yuèguāng biànzhào púsà)
The Twelve Vows of the Medicine Buddha upon attaining Enlightenment, according to the Medicine Buddha Sutra are:
- To illuminate countless realms with his radiance, enabling anyone to become a Buddha just like him.
- To awaken the minds of sentient beings through his light of lapis lazuli.
- To provide the sentient beings with whatever material needs they require.
- To correct heretical views and inspire beings toward the path of the Bodhisattva.
- To help beings follow the Moral Precepts, even if they failed before.
- To heal beings born with deformities, illness or other physical sufferings.
- To help relieve the destitute and the sick.
- To help women who wish to be reborn as men achieve their desired rebirth.
- To help heal mental afflictions and delusions.
- To help the oppressed be free from suffering.
- To relieve those who suffer from terrible hunger and thirst.
- To help clothe those who are destitute and suffering from cold and mosquitoes
The Medicine Buddha’s birthday is celebrated on or near the thirtieth day of the ninth lunar month each year.