Amitabha Buddha Buddhist Deity

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Amitabha Buddha

In layman’s English, Amitabha Buddha literally means “fully conscious infinite light.” He is the principal Buddha of Mahayana Buddhism . Praying to him at least ten times will lead to being reborn in his Pure Land or Land of Ultimate Bliss called Sukhavati in Buddhism .

According to the Mahayana Buddhist sutra , Amitabha used to be a king who renounced his throne to become a Buddhist monk inspired by the teachings of Lokesvaraja Buddha. He was then named as Dharmakara which literally means “treasury of Dharma.” He attained Enlightenment and Buddhahood after doing good deeds in his lifetime and subsequently creating the forty eight great vows that illustrates his compassion towards sentient beings. His Eighteenth Vow encompasses his promise that those who recite his name ten times with sincerity and faith that he will be reborn in the Pure Land, will therefore be reborn.

Amitabha Buddha is usually seen either holding a lotus which is his famous emblem that symbolizes openness, gentleness and purity, or with his bare left hand extended downwards with thumb and forefinger touching, and the right hand facing outward with the thumb and forefinger on the same position. This mudra means that wisdom can be attained by anyone even the lowest beings as symbolized by the right hand pointing outward. The left hand symbolizes that Amitabha prioritize the lowest beings because they are the ones who cannot save themselves.

Usually, Amitabha is dressed in red as the color of love, compassion and emotion . Since the Pure Land is said to be located in the West, Amitabha is also symbolized by the red setting sun. He is also seen as the energy of nature on earth, thus he is highly accessible to all sentient beings.

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