Amitabha, Buddha — The Enlightened One of Immeasurable Light

Depicted central in this composition, Amitabha is seated in his "The Bliss-endowed Realm." (Tib., bde ba can), the Pureland of Sukhavati.

On a spiritual note, according to Karma Chagme Rinpoche, "if we wish to attain spiritual awakening in a state of joy and happiness, without experiencing suffering, we should pray to be born in the realm of Sukhavati..."

To a collector identifying an unmarked object, Amitabha can be difficult to distinguish from Shakyamuni, as both are given the attributes of a Buddha, but fortunately Amitabha's is often depicted in the "Meditation Mudra" (Dhyan Meditation) while the "Earth-Touching Mudra" is most often reserved for the Buddha Shakyamuni.

To further complicate the identification of Amitabha, most researchers blend Amitabha with Amitayus, by using the two names interchangeably, as if they were discussing the very same subject. While it is true, Amitabha and Amitayus are connected, describing them as one in the same, lacks reference to the "Trikaya System" — the body, speech, and mind of the master, which we discuss in more detail in the exhibit named Amitabha (the Body), Amitayus (the Speech) & (the Mind) i.e., the True Nature of Buddha.


Primary Iconography: Amitabha, Buddha
Tibetan: o pa me, sang gye
English: The Enlightened One of Immeasurable Light
Period: The Enlightened One of Immeasurable Light
Dimensions:
Collection: Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts
Photo: Glenn H. Mullin and B. Batbold

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