Amitabha Buddha- Bodhisattva of Compassion
Amitabha means boundless light and boundless happiness. Amitabha Buddha is also known as Amita or Amida Buddha. Amitabha Buddha is probably one of the well-known Dhyani Buddha. He is said to reign over “Sukhabatti Bhavan” Land of Ultimate Bliss (Pure Land heaven) in peaceful meditation, where all beings enjoy boundless happiness. Those reborn in the Pure Land experience the joy of hearing Amitabha teach the dharma until they are ready to enter Nirvana.
With the spiritual power of Amitabha Buddha, all beings in this world will understand Buddhism easily and practice diligently, and attain enlightenment eventually. Therefore, by reciting Amitabha Buddha’s name, Buddhist followers hope that they will be born in this Pure Land after their lives on earth. They even worship at times holding a patra on the same posture.
In long-ago time, Amitabha was a king in the remote period of time who renounced his kingdom to become a monk. He was called Dharmakara Bodhisattva which means ‘Treasury of Dharma’, the monk practiced diligently for five eons and realized enlightenment and became a Buddha.
Amitabha Buddha emanates ruby red light. Red symbolizes love and compassion. Like the setting sun, his radiant form warms and pacifies the hearts of all who gaze at him. As head of the Lotus family, he represents gentleness and openness. This reflects his boundless compassion and receptivity enabling one to feel accepted and protected. He exhibits Dhyani mudra with his two palms folded face up on top of the other lying on his lap. His posture is one of composure and stillness. Amitabha sits in the aspect of meditating, encouraging the viewer to follow the essential teaching of the Buddha, “to subdue one’s mind”. There is a serene smile of blissful wisdom on his face. When represented on Stupa he always faces the west.