Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Amitabha/Amitayus Buddha

Amitabha Buddha Page | Amitabha Outline Page

Database Search - Amitabha/Amitayus: All Images | Painting | Sculpture | Mandala

Subjects, Topics & Forms:
- Amitabha Definition (below)
- Amitayus Buddha Page
- Amitabha (without ornaments, Nirmanakaya)
- Amitabha (with ornaments, Sambhogakaya)
- Amitabha (with the Five Tantric/symbolic Buddhas)
- Amitabha (Tattvasamgraha Tantra)
- Amitabha (Sarvadurgati Parishodhana Tantra)
- Amitabha (Charya & Yoga Tantras)
- Amitabha (with consort)
- Amitabha, Standing
- Amitabha seated in Sukhavati
- Amitabha seated in Sukhavati with the Eight Great Bodhisattvas
- Amitabha seated in Sukhavati with the Sixteen Great Bodhisattvas, etc.
- Amitabha surrounded by lineage teachers and/or various deities
- Amitabha included with the Five Symbolic Buddhas of the Tantra System
- Amitabha Textiles
- Amitabha Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

Amitabha in Sukhavati: All Images | Square Format | Circular Format | Namcho Tradition | Buddha Realms & Purelands

There are many different Buddhas represented in Buddhist art. Following after the many images of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni the next most common Buddha form to appear in art is likely to be Amitabha (immeasurable light). His popularity is based in the Mahayana Sutra literature of which there are many texts devoted to him. In art depictions Amitabha has two appearances and two names that differentiate those appearances. When referred to as Amitabha he has the appearance of a standard buddha form, although red in colour, wearing the traditional patchwork robes of a monk. In his other appearance he has a different name, Amitayus (immeasureable life), and wears the clothing and jeweled adornments of a peaceful heavenly god according to the classical Indian system of divine aesthetics.

There are two main types of Amitabha:
- Buddha Appearance Amitabha
- Peaceful Appearance Amitabha

In the Mahayana Tradition of Buddhism a buddha is described as having three bodies: a form body (nirmanakaya), an apparitional body (sambhogakaya) and an ultimate truth body (dharmakaya). Amitabha and Amitayus are the same person, the first is the form body and the second the apparitional body. The ultimate truth body is without description.

The important iconographic difference between the two, Amitabha and Amitayus, is almost always Amitabha has Buddha Appearance and Amitayus has Bodhisattva Appearance.

Buddha Topics: Buddhas, Who Are They? | Tantric Buddhas | Amitabha Buddha (Masterworks)

Five Buddhas: Charya & Yoga Tantras:
1. Vairochana | 2. Amitabha | 3. Akshobhya | 4. Ratnasambhava | 5. Amoghasiddhi

Jeff Watt 10-2008 [9-2011]