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Snapshot

English

Japanese

Chinese

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Korean

Tibetan

Snapshot Overview of This Deity

Buddha of
Limitless
Light & Life;
Pure Land Lord

Amida Nyorai
 阿弥陀如来

Āmítuó Fó
阿彌陀佛
Amituo
A-mi-t'o

Amitabha
Amitābha
Amitāyus

Amita
Amit'a
아미타

O-pa-me
Ö-pa-me
Wopakme
Od dpag med

AMIDA CATALOG
Click any image for details,
photos, and buy options.

WHO IS AMIDA BUDDHA
Lord of Infinite Light & Life
Lord of the Beyond / Afterlife

Main Deity of Pure Land Sects

Welcomes the Dead into
Land of Ultimate Bliss

Patron: Zodiac Dog & Boar Years

See Background Notes Below

Amida Nyorai, Protective Amulet
Amida Buddha Protective Amulet = $85

Miniature Amida Buddha (purchased without Zushi)
Mini Amida = $99
Without Zushi (Tabernacle)

See adjacent image with
Amida inside zushi.

Miniature Amida Buddha inside Zushi (tabernacle, box)
Amida with Zushi = $174

ZODIAC PATRON TO
THOSE BORN IN YEARS
OF THE DOG & BOAR


Dog Years
1922, 1934, 1946, 1958
1970, 1982, 1994, 2006

Boar Years
1923, 1935, 1947, 1959
1971, 1983, 1995, 2007

See Zodiac Page for Details

Large Statue of Amida Buddha, Sitting, Wood
Large = $199

Amida Zodiac Amulet, Boxwood Statuette from Japan
Amida Zodiac Amulet = $45

Large statues of
Amida carved from
cypress (Jp. = Hinoki)
 

Amida Sitting in Meditation, Circular Pedestal, Wood = White Fir
Amida Buddha, 50% OFF = $90

Large Statue of Amida Buddha, Sitting, Wood
Large 2 = $170


Background Notes on Amida Nyorai (Buddha)


Sanskrit Seed Syllable for Amida Nyorai (Buddha) in Japan
Sanskrit Seed Syllable
for Amida Buddha


Pronounced
Kiriiku in Japan

spacer1Amida, which means Infinite Light or Infinite Life, is one of the loftiest savior figures in Japanese Buddhism, and Amida faith is concerned primarily with the life to come. Amida is also one of the Five Buddha of Wisdom (see Learn More section). The world-famous Big Buddha statue in Kamakura, around 15 meters in height, is Amida Buddha.

Before attaining Buddhahood, Amida was known as Hozo Bodhisattva (Sanskrit = Dharmakara). Hozo made 48 Vows which serve as the basis for the modern vows taken by lay followers, monks, and nuns in Tibet, China, and Japan. In the 48 Vows, Hozo pledged that, upon attaining Buddhahood, he would create the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss (the Japanese terms Jodo = Pure Land, and Gokuraku = Land of Ultimate Bliss, refer to the same realm). Hozo guaranteed rebirth there to anyone who recites his name with utmost sincerity, even those on their death bed. Hozo fulfilled the vows and thereafter became Amida Buddha. The Pure Land Sects devoted to Amida Buddha are even today among the most popular of all Buddhist sects in Japan. To followers, Amida has eclipsed the Historical Buddha as the most popular divinity in Japan's Mahayana tradition.

spacer1Amida Nyorai (Buddha)Sanskrit, Chinese, & English Names for Amida Buddha

  • Sanskrit: Amitābha or Amitāyus
  • Chinese Spelling: 阿彌陀 or 阿彌陀佛
  • Chinese Pronunciation (PY): Āmítuó or Āmítuó fó
  • Chinese Pronunciation (WG): A-mi-t'o or A-mi-t'o fo
  • Buddha of Limitless Light 無量光佛 (Amitābha)
  • Buddha of Limitless Life 無量壽佛 (Amitāyus)
  • Amida's Western Paradise: Sukhāvatī (Sanskrit)
  • 48 Vows of Dharmakāra (Amida): 四十八願
  • Pure Land School: 淨土宗
  • Sutra of Infinite Life: 無量壽經
  • Amitābha Sūtra: 阿彌陀經
  • Amrta 甘露 (甘露王)
    Known as the "Sweet-Dew King" among Esoteric Sects
  • Two Assistants
    Avalokiteśvara 觀音 (Jp. = Kannon); appears on Amida's left
    Mahāsthāmaprāpta 勢至 (Jp. = Seishi); appears on Amida's right
  • Other Translations
    Boundless Light or Life, Immeasurable, Infinite Qualities

Japanese Readings & Spellings

  • Amida: 阿弥陀
  • Amida Nyorai: 阿弥陀如来 (Amida Tathagata)

Buddhism for the Common Folk of Japan. Three deities -- Amida Buddha (this page), Kannon Bodhisattva, and Jizo Bodhisattva -- are intimately connected with Japan's popular Pure Land sects, which came to prominence among the common folk during the Kamakura period (1185 - 1333 AD). All three remain the bedrock of folk Buddhism in modern Japan -- Amida for the coming life in paradise, Kannon for salvation in earthly life, and Jizo for salvation from hell. Both Kannon and Jizo serve Amida. The three, along with Fudo Myo-o, are perhaps the most widely venerated Buddhist deities in Japan, and statues of all four, in stone or wood or plastic or ceramic, are found throughout the Japanese islands.


MUDRA (HAND GESTURES) OF AMIDA BUDDHA IN JAPAN

  • Welcoming Mudra of Amida Buddha (Jp. = Raigou-in)
    Below text courtesy of JAANUS (Japanese Architectural & Art Net Users System)
    Literally "Welcoming Mudra." A mudra or hand gesture in which the forefinger, middle finger or occasionally third finger is joined to the thumb; it is formed with both hands, with the right hand raised and the left hand pendent. Its name derives from the fact that it was believed to be the mudra displayed by Amida Buddha when he came to welcome the dead into his Pure Land (Jp. = Joudo) called "Utmost Bliss" (Jp. = Gokuraku; Skt. = Sukhavati). Hence this mudra name is not applied to similar mudras used with deities other than Amida. With the growing popularity of the Pure Land faith in Japan during the late Heian and Kamakura periods, great numbers of images of Amida displaying the Raigou-in Mudra were produced, and many of them are still extant. The Raigo-in mudra is closely associated with the "Mudras of the Nine Grades of Amida" (Jp. = Amida Kubon-in). According to Japanese lore, Amida greets the deceased in nine different ways, and this in turn depends on the type of life led by the departed. There are three grades (Skt. = varga), called the upper, middle, and lower. Each of these is subdivided into three more categories, giving a total of nine. The systematization of the various forms of the Raigou-in during Japan's Edo period resulted in the following three popular types from among Amida's nine mudras.

     
    • Mudra of the upper grade, lower birth (joubon geshou-in; thumb/forefinger joined)
    • Mudra of the middle grade, lower birth (chuubon geshou-in; thumb/middle finger joined)
    • Agmudra of the lower grade, lower birth (gebon geshou-in; thumb/third finger joined)
       
  • Welcoming Mudra - Reverse Form. In addition to the Welcoming Mudra (Jp. = Raigou-in) with Amida's right hand raised and the left hand pendent, there are also examples of the reverse form, and this is known as the "Reverse Raigou" (Jp. = Gyakuraigou or Sakate Raigou). This form developed under the influence of Chinese images of Amida dating from the Song dynasty, and examples are found in Japan from the Kamakura period onwards. In images of Amida in China and along the Silk Road, on the other hand, it is this "reverse" form that predominates, and from that point of view it is rather the Japanese Raigou-in that ought to be termed "reverse." But these terms have already won wide currency in Japan. 

     
  • Meditation Mudra of Amida Buddha (Jp. = Mida-no-Jouin; also Amida-no-Jouin)
    This mudra of Amida in meditation is found almost exclusively in Japan, and is associated only with Amida Buddha. In China, this mudra is rarely seen. Outside of Japan, Amida is mostly portrayed with the ordinary meditation mudra (Jp. = Zenjouin, the Hokkaijouin). In Japan, however, the ordinary meditation mudra was not used for images of Amida Buddha. Instead, the Mida-no-Jouin was used exclusively for Amida Buddha to help differentiate between Dainichi Buddha and Amida Buddha. [end abridged and adapted text from JAANUS

     
  • Standing Amida Statue in this eStore. The standing Amida statue in our eStore displays the Welcoming Mudra of the Upper Grade, Lower Birth. These various grades stem from the concept of the Six Levels of Existence, known more commonly in the West as the "Wheel of Life" or the "Cycle of Suffering." We are all born into one of the six levels (beings in hell, hungry ghosts, animals, bellicose beings, humans, deva). When we die, we are reborn (reincarnated) again, either into a higher or lower level. Where we are reborn depends on the kind of life we have led while still living. See the Six Levels of Existence for many more details (outside link). For a review of the most important Mudra (Hand Gestures), please see our sister site (outside link).

Japanese Mantra for Amida Buddha (Nyorai)
Japanese Mantra for Amida Buddha
 On Amiritadeisei Karaun

LEARN MORE ABOUT AMIDA BUDDHA AT
THE A-TO-Z PHOTO DICTIONARY (Sister Site)

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