The Medicine Buddha
One of the more intriguing figures in the Mahayana Buddhist pantheon is the Medicine Buddha.
This particular Buddha (Duoc Su in Vietnamese) is credited with special properties of healing, but images of him are reasonably rare in most Mahayana temples.
Within the Tibetan tradition there is a much greater representation of him, in his exquisite Blue form, his skin exuding the very soothing properties of health and wellbeing. These blue Buddhas are among my favourite images. In the Vajrayana there are any number of Medicine Buddha practices, and there is a special mantra attributed to him. At the Khuong Viet Vajrayana Temple in Ho Chi Minh City the focus of practise is entirely on reciting the Medicine Buddha Sutra and chanting his mantra.
There is really very little written on the Medicine Buddha in English, though he is such a popular figure in Buddhist folklore and practise. There is an excellent book by Raoul Birnbaum, and at the moment I am reading quite a fascinating book called In Search of the Medicine Buddha by David Crow, which sets out the system of traditional Tibetan medicine, which of course traces its roots back to the Medicine Buddha.
This is the Medicine Buddha Mantra. I hope that it helps you if you're feeling a little under the weather: