Carpe Diem – Medicine Buddha


February 6, 2014 by petrujviljoen

Kristjaan Panneman hosts Carpe Diem. This time, a haiku about healing:

My own Feminist Point of View, picking no. 8 of the list below as the departure point.

Medicine Buddha

Bhaisajyaguru is described in the so called Medicine Buddha Sutra in which his 12 great vows are mentioned. These 12 vows are:

The Twelve Vows of the Medicine Buddha upon attaining Enlightenment, according to the Medicine Buddha Sutra are:
1.    To illuminate countless realms with his radiance, enabling anyone to become a Buddha just like him.
2.    To awaken the minds of sentient beings through his light of lapis lazuli.
3.    To provide the sentient beings with whatever material needs they require.
4.    To correct heretical views and inspire beings toward the path of the Bodhisattva.
5.    To help beings follow the Moral Precepts, even if they failed before.
6.    To heal beings born with deformities, illness or other physical sufferings.
7.    To help relieve the destitute and the sick.
8.    To help women who wish to be reborn as men achieve their desired rebirth.
9.    To help heal mental afflictions and delusions.
10. To help the oppressed be free from suffering.
11. To relieve those who suffer from terrible hunger and thirst.
12. To help clothe those who are destitute and suffering from cold and mosquitoes

Blue plastic Buddha

notion of man as ideal –

woman insists on Self

25 thoughts on “Carpe Diem – Medicine Buddha

  1. I reacted to this too… but my choice was to go for the general spirit, and see this as an outdated view… but I think that it points to that most religions are oppresive to woman.. and for anyone religious one need to reconsider old writings… great point though

    • Thanks for a kinder response to my over the top reaction to the post. I’ve had to deal with being a ‘mere’ female from all sorts of quarters for the best part of a year and it was a case of the smallest thing then that blew my top. To be confronted with something as outdated as a Medicine Buddha advocating ways to be reincarnated from female to male and not offer the same choice to the male remains, quite frankly, outrageous.

  2. Your comment on Carpe Diem’s page shocked me. Frankly this makes Feminism totalitarian. You chose a completely undeserving target. And your decision to splash that attack into this post is unadulterated nastiness. I suggested you reflect more on this. If you have issues with the theme you need to write to the Dalai Lama directly or other Buddhist representative. That was a cheap shot.

  3. What a great post pviljoen … and your haiku is very well crafted and great in choice of words. I understand from your comment at my weblog that in someway you have experienced the post on Mdecine Buddha as offending. That was certainly not what it had to do. I mentioned these 12 vows as being part of the Medicine Buddha. Vow 8 isn”t anymore of this time and I think that in Buddhism this thought of reincarnating of females into males isn”t either. I am a believer of reincarnation, but I also belief that every human is both female and male.
    I am sorry that I maybe have offended you with this post and if that has happen … I apologize for that and I hope to see you again at Carpe Diem … you”re always welcome to visit and participate …. feel free ….


    • I actually think I over reacted. I’ve had a lot of flack lately from various quarters and one can get over sensitive to external influences that didn’t have the intention to offend. The two subsequent ‘points on the journey of the sacred temples’ largely rectifies the Medicine Buddha point of view, but if followed so quickly one on to the other that my bad mood didn’t have time to catch up. I apologise for my over the top reaction.

    • No problem Petrujviljoen … I can imagine that sometimes other businesses occuring in someone’s life can give a heated reaction.
      Apologies accepted … feel free to visit Carpe Diem, you’re always welcome 🙂

  4. julespaige says:

    I think that precept was from an unenlightened time – as was it only possible for most ‘ancient’ men to have the benefits of education and allowed the time to gift back to studies.
    So to perhaps read number 8 as: “To help everyone (especially women) attain the equal rights and abilities to achieve enlightenment. If one of the views is that we can see the beginning of all life from our navels than we ought to give women equal if not more respect as they are the ones that give birth.

    Thank you for your visit to my CD 392 on my blogspot site. ~Jules (JulesPaige)

    • I’m of the school of thought that women deserve equal respect not merely because we are able to give birth, but because our intellectual powers deserve respect. I think with my brain, not my womb.

      • julespaige says:

        There are also more of us…;)

        Yes, I agree 100% with your words. But at the time those tenets were written I think that might have been the only way to extend equality to women was to offer them rebirth as males.
        Historical context can be tricky in modern times.

  5. Andrea Tyrrell says:

    Very interesting … I love your haiku – choosing Self rather than any dualistic alternative. Profound and enlightened.

  6. yes, it got me too, ‘women who want to be reborn a man’!

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