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Amitaba - click to enlarge

Gouache and 24-carat gold on canvas
Click to enlarge


The Mantra of Amitaba is OM AMI DEWA HRIH

Amitaba is known as Buddha of infinite light and resides in the pure land of Sukhavati. Amitaba is widely venerated in China, Korea and Japan. Devotees pray to be reborn in Sukhavati where they can develop spiritually until enlightenment without having to suffer death and rebirth. The main requirements to reach Sukhavati, is faith and devotion to Amitaba. Some say that by just reciting his mantra at the time of death one is reborn in his pure land.

A beautiful story describing this simple yet profound devotional practice is told by Jonathon Landaw in "Images of Enlightenment":

A learned monk came across an old woman reciting the mantra of Amitaba as she walked along. "Where are you going?" he asked her, "to Sukhavati" was the reply. "Then tell me, Granny", said the monk in a mocking tone, "where is Sukhavati?" The old woman pointed to her heart and the monk, touched by this simple woman's understanding, bowed to her in respect.

~ Enlightenment is Possible in This Lifetime ~