Amitabha Buddha's Festive Day  


e birthday of Amitabha Buddha is celebrated by his devotees
on the 17th day of the 11th lunar month. On this day many Pure
Land Buddhists spend the entire day in `nien-fwo', sutra-reading,
and contemplating on the vows of Amitabha Buddha. In the
absence of temples dedicated to him most people will make their
ways to Kuan Yin Temples to offer prayers and donations, some
will set free animals and birds while others visit orphanages or
old folks homes. On this day too many will observe the precepts
and refrain from eating meat.
e picture of Pure Land (Sukhavati) gives one an impression of
the grandeur of the paradise where one is able to enjoy the sights
of Amitabha and his two principal assistants, Ta-Shih-Chi P'usa
and Kuan Shih Yin P'usa, known to all as the "ree Sages"
(San-Sheng). Surrounding them are other heavenly beings
each of whom stands upon a lotus flower. In front of Amitabha
Buddha are seen numerous lotus flowers which are awaiting be-
ings to be reborn from them as there are no womb born creatures
in the Pure Land. e full description on this paradise can be
read from existing scriptures such as the Amitabha Sutra which
is easily available to those who sincerely seek for them. As one
practises his daily `nien-fwo' this picture could be placed before
him as an aid to visualisation or to keep the mind concentrated
instead of being distracted by nearby surrounding objects.
Many people find it difficult to find notes on Ta-Shih-Chi P'usa
(Mahasthamaprata Bodhisat va) although she is one of the two