There are many ancient mandalas and images of enlightened
Buddhas, but among all of the images of the Buddhas, that of Amitabha Buddha is
the most important for transcending your consciousness into The Pure Land
(Sukhavati in Sanskrit). The mandala of Amitabha represents the home of
Amitabha Buddha and has the power to guide people to the Pure Land. Amitabha
means Infinite Light, and he is one of the five Dhyani Buddhas. The
Dhyani Buddhas also include Akshobhya, Ratnasambhava, Amoghasiddi, and
Vairochana. The five Dhyani Buddhas are the antidote to the five negative
emotions: attachment, anger, negative pride, ignorance, and jealousy. Within
the Amitabha Mandala, the five Dhyani Buddhas are also a reflection of Amitabha
himself and in each direction of the mandala these facets of the Amitaba Dhyani
Buddhas can be found.
In the center of the mandala is Amitabha, who is red in
color, represents the fire element and cures attachment.
Amitabha Akshobhya is
found in the east, is blue in color, represents the space element and cures
Amitabha Ratnasambhava is found in the south, is yellow in color,
represents the earth element, and cures negative pride. Amitabha Vairochana is
in the west, is white in color, represents the water element, and cures ignorance.
Amitabha Amoghasiddhi is to the north, is green in color, represents the air
element, and cures jealousy.
Creating or viewing the Amitaba mandala and
reciting the mantra is said to offer great benefits in this lifetime, as well
as future lives.
Amitabha’s Mantra is Om Ami Deva Hri, which is a
request to Amitabha to bring an end to rebirth in Samsara (cyclic existence)
and transcend into the Pure Land.
There are many levels of meaning, but this mantra is most
commonly understood as:
Om = Enlightened Body,
Speech, and Mind
Ami = Amitabha Buddha
Deva = the Deva Realms,
six Desire Realms, and Brahma Realms
Hri = the seed syllable
Amitabha was and a king, who existed many aeons ago. He
renounced his throne and became a monk at which time, he received the name
Dharmakara (Treasury of Dharma) and studied the teachings of the Buddha of that
time, Lokesvaraja Buddha. Dharmakara made forty-eight great vows for saving
sentient beings, of which the Eighteenth Vow is the basis of the Pure Land for which
he is best known. In the Eighteenth Vow he states, “If upon the attainment
of Buddhahood all sentient beings in the ten quarters who aspire in sincerity
and faith to be reborn in my land, recite my name up to ten times and fail to
be born there, then may I not attain the Perfect Enlightenment.” After five
aeons of self-cultivation, Dharmakara attained Enlightenment and became the
Buddha Amitabha, and the paradise known as Pure Land or Sukhavati came into