Bhaisajyaguru (the Medicine Buddha) and Padmasambhava (below, centre). Distemper painting by a Tibetan painter.

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In the centre is the Medicine Buddha, Bhaishajyaguru (Bhaiṣajyaguru), with his right hand in the earth-touching position. His left hand, in a meditation gesture, holds a lapis lazuli bowl containing three pieces of myrobalan fruit (a species of plum considered to have medicinal properties). To his right a miniature form of the deity, Green Tara, is depicted in a roundel. Below is Padmasambhava, who formally introduced Buddhism from India to Tibet. His two female consorts, Mandarava and Yeshe Tsogyal, flank him on either side. The Medicine Buddha sutras emphasise the value of visualising the Medicine Buddha and chanting the appropriate text, to promote the healing of body, speech and mind



Physical description

1 painting : distemper on sized linen mounted on brocade ; distemper 60 x 44 cm

References note

Robert E. Greenspan, Medicine: perspectives in history and art, Alexandria, Va.: Ponteverde Press, 2006, p. 331 (reproduced)
Tony Gould (ed.), Cures and curiosities: inside the Wellcome Library, London 2007, p. 166
Marianne Winder, Catalogue of Tibetan manuscripts and xylographs, and catalogue of thankas, banners and other paintings and drawings in the Library of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, London 1989, p. 78-79, thankas banners and paintings no. 10
Marianne Winder, 'Two Tibetan thankas', Friends of the Wellcome Institute newsletter, 2000, no. 21, pp. 6-7


Wellcome Collection 47081i

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