With the objective of bringing healing and purification, our Medicine Buddha Healing Festival relies on the blessings of three deities—Medicine Buddha, Vajravidarana and White Umbrella Deity. This weekend event in October offers four special pujas for the benefit of both the living and those who have passed away:
• Extensive Medicine Buddha Puja
Prayers to Medicine Buddha are powerful for bringing about success in all aspects of life, from good health to peace and prosperity. This puja is especially popular with those who pray for illnesses to be healed, to be rid of negative karma, and to overcome a variety of problems. Our extensive Medicine Buddha Puja is performed with a profusion of auspicious offerings. Besides 1,000 sets of offerings, we also offer 1,000 arura fruits, the healing medicinal herb of Medicine Buddha—heaps of offerings that maximise our accumulation of merit for the benefit of our sponsors and members.
• Vajravidarana Ritual for Purifying Sickness and Pollution
The Vajravidarana ritual is aimed at purging heavy karmic pollution that affects one’s body, speech and mind. Anyone can participate in this healing ritual. The mantra of Vajravidarana is recited to bless balls of dough and water. Participants are each given a share of the blessed dough and water. One then meditates that all forms of negativities, illnesses and pollution are absorbed into these substances. Together with the prayers that are recited in the ritual, one prays for health and wellbeing. To receive these healing benefits, one must attend the ritual in person.
• Medicine Buddha Purification Ritual for the Deceased
Combined with Medicine Buddha practice, this jangwa ritual benefits the deceased by purifying their negative karma and transferring their consciousness to a pure land. Through meditation, the consciousnesses of the deceased are hooked onto tablets on which their names have been inscribed. Then a series of purification and offering practices follows, including the reciting of powerful purification mantras, which purifies the negativities of the deceased and enables them to receive a good rebirth.
• White Umbrella Deity Torma Offering for Turning Away Harms
White Umbrella Deity [Sitatapatra in Sanskrit or ‘Dugkar’ in Tibetan] is the Great Expeller with a vajra ushnisha. The White Umbrella Deity Torma Offering is an all-day puja performed for the purpose of turning away a host of harms. In the ritual, 33 tormas with 33 specific substances are offered to 33 guests, from the transcendental to the worldly, including White Umbrella Deity. With these ceremonial offerings, we request the guests to turn away fearful, inauspicious and vengeful harms. With heavy obstacles repelled, the guests grant us peace.
About Medicine Buddha
Our Spiritual Director Lama Zopa Rinpoche has explained: “Doing Medicine Buddha practice is very powerful for success”. This is due to the prayers made by the Eight Medicine Buddhas to fulfil the wishes of all sentient beings.
While they were bodhisattvas, each of the Medicine Buddhas had made strong prayers to be able to save sentient beings from different problems in the future when they achieved Buddhahood. They all achieved enlightenment, endowed with all the perfect qualities of a Buddha including the power of prayer. Through this power, it is certain that whatever prayers they had made in the past are actualised. Therefore just by reciting the names or the mantras of Medicine Buddha, any prayers one makes will be fulfilled.
According to the Medicine Buddha Sutra, one can rely on Medicine Buddha for court cases, to stop wars and conflicts, achieve success in business, and also help pregnant women give birth with ease.
Vajravidarana [Tibetan: ‘Dorje Namjom’] purifies all negativities, including diseases and karmic pollution. The deity can purify pollution from people, houses, monasteries and cities. The pollution brought on by negative thoughts and unethical actions, as well as broken or degenerated samayas [commitments taken during initiations], is so heavy that it contaminates a whole area and brings sickness to many, including contagious diseases.
Relying on the purifying qualities of Vajravidarana can eliminate such pollution and restore health and wellbeing.
About White Umbrella Deity
White Umbrella Deity emanated from the crown protrusion [ushnisha] of Shakyamuni Buddha. A deity of the action [kriya] class of tantra, she combines both peaceful and wrathful aspects, and holds the power to destroy terrifying fears and dangers.
The White Umbrella Deity Torma Offering for Turning Away Harms is performed for the purpose of repelling a host of harms: from spirits, sorcery, inauspicious planetary constellations, untimely death, bad dreams, dangers from poison, weapons, harm doers, thieves, fire, water, illness and infectious diseases, and threats to life and possessions.