Buddha Amitabha


Buddha Amitabha (who is red in color) is in the western direction. Amitabha is the Buddha of Infinite Light, and he represents the Dharma transforming the afflictions of lust and desire into discriminating wisdom. He is thus the Buddha who purifies the delusion of attachment.

Generally, like all of the five tathagatas, Amitabha sits in the lotus posture, with his hands in the mudra of meditative contemplation; sometimes he holds a begging bowl. He is lord of the Lotus family, and his symbol is the red lotus of compassion. The lotus is a special Buddist symbol, signifying gentleness and purity, and buddhas are always depicted sitting on a lotus flower. Amitabha is probably known Dhyani Buddha.

The paradise of Amitabha is known as the western paradies, or Sukavati (in Tibetan, Dewachen, meaning Great Happiness Pure Land), and it is believed that in accordance with a vow that he made prior to attaining enlightenment, you have only to recite Amitabha's name to be reborn into his realm, thereby attaining enlightenment through what is described as "the light of Amitabha's "great compassion". His element is the all-consuming fire that has the power to burn all of our delusions, and especially the terrible delusion of attachment, his chakra is the throat chakra.

Amitabha Buddha is widely worshipped and revered in China, Korea, and Japan where Pure Land Buddism is practiced. Devotees believe that reciting his mantra will cause their rebirth in the western paradise, where conditions are conducive to the eventual attainment of enlightenment. Here they take teaching from Amitabha himself, and from all the other buddhas who reside in the same paradise land. Two beloved goddesses of Amitabha's Pure Land family are the goddess mercy, Kuan Yin – who is the Chinese form of Compassion Buddha, Chenrezig and Green Tara who is said to have been born from the tears of the Compassion Buddha. There are detailed sadhanas (meditative practices) that are believed by practitioners of Pure Land Buddhism to enable them to visualize the western paradise so vividly that it becomes real.

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