Who is Amitabha?  


AMITABHA BUDDHA

us the Sakyamuni Buddha described the Buddha Amitabha
to Ananda:
"e Light that issues from Amitabha Buddha is the most bril-
liant, and none is comparable to him. In adoration we cal him:
`e Buddha of Infinite Light,
e Buddha of Immeasurable Light,
e Buddha of Boundless Light,
e Buddha of Inexpressible Light,
and the Buddha whose Light surpasses the Sun
and the Moon'.
Whoever is blessed with the Light will enjoy a calm and
peaceful life which is free of despair and will obtain enlighten-
ment at the end of his life on earth.
e Light of Amitabha is full of splendour and pervades the
entire universe. Not only do I adore His Light, I also adore Him,
if anyone, on receiving the great blessings of His Light, adores
Him incessantly day and night with faith and sincerity in his
heart, he will sure take rebirth into His paradise cal ed the Pure
Land.... Even though I adore the magnificence of Amitabha day
and night, it is impossible for me to describe Him wel ."
Who is mitabha?
According to Mahayana Buddhist sutras he was a king in the
remote period of time. Renouncing his kingdom, he became a


monk and was named Dharmakara, which means `Treasury of
Dharma'. Inspired by the teaching of the then Buddha of that
time, Lokesvaraja Buddha, who taught him the way to supreme
enlightenment many aeons ago, he made forty eight great vows
for the saving of the sentient beings. e Eighteenth Vow, which
is the basis of the Pure Land, ran like this: `If upon the attain-
ment of Buddhahood all sentient beings in the ten quarters who
aspire in sincerity and faith to be reborn in my land, recite my
name up to ten times and fail to be born there, then may I not
attain the Perfect Enlightenment...'.
Since then, the Bodhisat va Dharmakara, after five aeons of
self-cultivation, final y attained the Supreme Enlightenment
and became the Buddha Amitabha. is means that his grand
and infinitely compassionate vow is now a reality, the paradise
known as Pure Land or Sukhavati has been established, suffer-
ing beings must and will be delivered if only they will have the
full faith to call upon his name.
Cal ing the Buddha's name with full faith is known to the
Chinese as `NIEN-FWO' meaning `Prayer-recitation'. e Japan-
ese term for this practice is known as `Nembutsu'. In this practice
three important qualities must be present in the mind: Sincerity,
Faith and Aspiration to be reborn in the Pure Land. e simple
prayer or formula that one needs to repeat is:
"NAMO O-MI-TO FWO"
One may repeat it in Sanskrit `Namo Amitabha Buddha' which
literal y means `Homage to the Amitabha Buddha' or `I seek ref-
uge in the Amitabha Buddha'.

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