Amitabha Buddha – The Mercy and Wisdom Buddha

Amitabha Buddha

The Mercy and Wisdom Buddha

(Also known as Meditation Buddha, Cosmic Buddha, Serenity Buddha  and Calming Buddha)

Amitabha Buddha is the best known of the Dhyani Buddhas. Devotion to Amitabha is at the center of Pure Land Buddhism.

Amitabha was a king who renounced his kingdom to become a monk. Called Dharmakara Bodhisattva, the monk practiced diligently for five eons and realized enlightenment and became a buddha.

In this pose, the Buddha is depicted with both hands in his lap, face up, legs crossed, in either double lotus or single lotus pose. Sometimes he is shown with an alms bowl in his lap as well.

Reigning over Sukhavati, the western paradise, also called the Pure Land, Amitabha teaches the dharma until they are ready to enter Nirvana.

Amitabha symbolizes mercy and wisdom. He is associated with the third skanha, that of perception. Tantric meditation on Amitabha is an antidote to desire.

He is sometimes pictured in between the bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara and Mahasthamaprapta.  In this image, Amitabha’s hands are in a meditation mudra.

His symbol is the lotus, representing gentleness and purity