Amitabha Buddha is being portrayed as Shakyamuni Buddha but usually, he is often depicted seated in meditation mudra while earth touching mudra is reserved for a seated Shakyamuni Buddha alone. In Tibetan Buddhism, Amitabha is red in color (red being the color of love, compassion, and emotional energy). He is being known to protect beings from the negative emotions of attachment his unique emblem is the lotus. He is thus associated with the attributes of the lotus: gentleness, openness, and purity.

Amitabha as Amitayus

Amitabha is known as the red Buddha of the west and the most ancient among the Five Dhyani Buddhas of the Vajrayana tradition. Amitabha means infinite light and he is also known as “Amitayus” or Buddha of the infinite life.

 Amitabha was a king who renounced his throne to become a monk. He took the name of Dharmakara Bodhisattva and after accumulating great merit over countless lives finally achieved enlightenment and became a Buddha. Buddha Amitabha now reigns over “Sukhavati”, the western paradise also called “the Pure Land”.
 Amitabha has red skin and dressed in monk’s robes sitting in lotus position. His hands are folded and facing up in meditation mudra (samadhi) holding a bowl containing the nectar of immortality. Amitayus is the emanation of Amitabha and he is depicted with fine clothes, jewels, and a five-pointed crown.
 Amitabha is the symbol of comprehensive love, longevity, and wisdom. He is associated with the third “skandha” of perception and the technique of visualization of the surrounding world as a paradise. Practicing tantric meditation on Amitabha is an antidote against greed and desire.

About sadiksha

Namaste! I am a Nepali Art Dealer specialized in Mandala and Thangka paintings. I love to write articles about the monastic culture of the Himalayas. If you like this post or have any question please leave me a comment or use the contact page to reach me.

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