In the year 1982 when Ven.Dhammananda was still Dr.Chatsumarn Kabilsingh teaching at Thammasat University, she translated the Medicine Buddha Sutra into Thai for the first time.
In 1994, while still a layperson, she saw the Medicine Buddha in her meditation. The Buddha was huge carved out of solid rock, there was an entrance on his right knee. People were seen going inside through this entrance to be blessed by the Buddha for healing.
She sketched what she saw and forgot all about it.
In 2001 after her ordination, 7 years after that vision, she recalled the Medicine Buddha again and realized that that was possibly the mission that the Medicine Buddha wanted her to do.
She spent one year travelling to various countries to see if there was such Medicine Buddha. Finally she decided to have it casted in Thailand, a country well known for lost wax technique of casting images. She was particular about the facial expression and the lost wax technique would allow her to have the closest look of the Buddha which she saw in her vision.
The statue was ready in 2005 and placed on the first floor of the unfinished Vihara, which itself was completed in 2008 when Ven.Ta Tao Fa Tzu or Ven.Grandma’s centenary is celebrated. Since the commencement of the project, the monastics recite 108 rounds of the Buddha mantra every week on the 8th and 15th day of both waxing and waning moon. Tibetan Rimpoche Sonam from the Riwoche Temple also came to ‘break the ground’ (literal act of striking the ground with a hoe) before the building took place and when the Vihara was completed the Rimpoche also came to bless both the Medicine Buddha and the Vihara.
People come and ask for the Buddha’s blessing particularly for healing.
The Thanka on the right of the Buddha was painted by Chatthakur Kabilsingh.
The Vihara style was the work of Dr. Wanchai, and the interior decoration and many suggestions were given by Khun Anchalee Sirisamatthakarn.
The artist Mr. Somchit, who also worked for Ven. Grandma, created the wax image of the Buddha according to the sketch given to him by Ven. Dhammananda.
The statue is 3.25m. high and the width at the knees is 108 inches, auspicious and popular number. The lotus seat is 50cm. high and the throne, made with a special technique, is one meter high. When the statue was casted, people added 486.4 grams of gold into the melting caldron.