Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Amitabha Buddha - Pureland (Sukhavati)

སངས་རྒྱས་འོད་དཔག་མེད། 无量寿佛
(item no. 65785)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Gelug and Buddhist
Material Ground: Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Buddha

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Amitabha Buddha (Tibetan: san gye o pa me. English: the Buddha of Boundless Light) in the pureland of Sukhavati teaching to the eight great bodhisattvas, shravakas and pratyekabuddhas.

Seated in the perfect posture of meditation, red in colour with one face and two hands, blue-black hair in tufts with a red top-knot ornament and the split ears of a prince, he wears the robes of a fully ordained monk. The two hands are placed in the lap in the mudra (gesture) of meditation and hold a black begging bowl. With the two legs folded in vajra posture seated above a pink lotus and peacock supported throne, he is surrounded by a dark blue and orange nimbus and green aureola under a canopy of flowers blossoming above, adorned with hanging jewels. At the sides, heavenly gods on white clouds shower down precious jewels, wishing gems and flower blossoms.

At the sides are the Eight Great Bodhisattvas, 'the heart sons of the Buddha,' each with their own colour: Avalokiteshvara, Maitreya, Kshitagarbha and Samantabhadra, Vajrapani, Manjushri, Akashagarbha and Sarvanivarana-vishkambhin.

Amitabha Buddha resides in the western direction in the pureland called Sukhavati (Tib.: dewa chen. Eng.: Land of Great Bliss). Full descriptions of his iconography and environment are found in the Sukhavati-vyuha Sutra.

At the top left is the Tibetan teacher Tsongkapa and on the right is Chaturbhuja Avalokiteshvara with one face and four hands.

Jeff Watt 10-2007

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Buddhist Deity: Amitabha Buddha Main Page (阿弥陀佛 / འོད་དཔག་མེད།)
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Buddhist Deity: Amitabha Buddha (Sukhavati Circular Format)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Mongolia