In two-dimensional formats, the Medicine Buddha is often depicted with bright blue skin, testament to the Buddha’s link to the land of Vaiḍūryanirbhāsa, or “Pure Lapis Lazuli”. As part of the Buddha’s journey as a bodhisattva, he made 12 great vows on healing and medical care, uniting ideas about corporeal, mental and spiritual health that remain relevant to this day. Most of the bronzes that remain to us were originally commissioned and dedicated by the wealthy patrons of the various temples where they would have been placed so as to accrue the good karma needed to break the cycle of samsara in the Buddhist religion. In the art of Tibet can be seen also the influences of the nations that surround the region, including Chinese, Indian and Nepalese styles.
To discover more about Tibetan Buddhist artistic production, please visit our relevant blog post: Tibetan Buddhist Bronzes.