Buddha Amitabha Mantra

amitabha amitabha mantra buddha of light infinite light Feb 26, 2024

The tale and genesis of Buddha Amitabha, intertwined with the essence of his very name, are profoundly woven into the fabric of Buddhist lore, especially amid the vast expanse of the Mahayana tradition. Known as the Buddha of Boundless Luminescence, Amitabha reigns as a celestial figure within the Mahayana scriptures. He stands at the heart of the Pure Land tradition, a distinctive path within Buddhism that embraces the vocal invocation of Amitabha's name in aspirations of rebirth within the blissful realms of Sukhavati. Here, in this sanctified haven, the promise of enlightenment awaits all.

The name "Amitabha" is derived from the Sanskrit words "amita," meaning "infinite," and "abha," meaning "light." Therefore, Amitabha translates to "Infinite Light," reflecting his association with the light that illuminates the entire universe, symbolising wisdom, compassion, and purity without bounds. His name means "infinite light" - amita (unmeasured, boundless, infinite) + ābha (splendour, light; colour, appearance, beauty - related to bha : light, lustre, splendour.

Within the sacred scrolls of Buddhist wisdom, such as the "Larger Sutra of Immeasurable Life" and the "Amitabha Sutra," unfolds the enchanting saga of Amitabha Buddha. This narrative traces back to an era when Amitabha, then a sovereign ruling with worldly power, chose the path of renunciation, embracing the monastic life as Dharmakara. Guided by the enlightened Lokesvararaja, Dharmakara embarked upon a profound journey of spiritual commitment, articulating forty-eight vows of immense significance. Among these, the eighteenth vow shines with unparalleled brilliance. It was here that Dharmakara pledged the creation of Sukhavati, a Pure Land free from the tendrils of suffering. In this sanctified realm, sentient beings are afforded the quintessential conditions for pursuing enlightenment. Through aeons spent in the diligent accumulation of merit and wisdom, Dharmakara's transformation into Amitabha Buddha was realised, and with it, the manifestation of the Pure Land—a testament to his unwavering vows.

Amitabha Buddha and the divine Sukhavati form the foundation of Pure Land Buddhism, a spiritual path that shines a guiding light towards enlightenment through the devout chanting of Amitabha's name, leading followers to the prospect of rebirth in the Pure Land. This practice, deeply resonant across a diverse spectrum of adherents, offers a direct and accessible pathway to spiritual awakening, particularly suited to lay followers and those daunted by the rigorous demands of traditional meditation and ethical disciplines. The lore of Amitabha Buddha encapsulates the promise of universal salvation, underscoring the immense power of faith and devotion. By invoking Amitabha with sincere and focused intention, it is believed that one can transcend the cycles of samsara and attain a blissful state of nirvana in the Pure Land, where enlightenment is not just a possibility but an expected outcome, marking a significant step in the seeker's spiritual voyage towards ultimate freedom.


The Mantra


The mantra "Om Ami Dewa Hrih" is a sacred invocation that embodies the essence and blessings of Amitabha Buddha, known for his boundless compassion and the infinite light that he represents. Here is an elucidation of its meaning, inspired by the sources we've explored:

Om: This syllable is a primordial sound, resonating with the essence of the universe. It signifies the embodiment of enlightenment, encompassing the enlightened body, speech, and mind. In our practice, it calls upon the universal energies, inviting the sacred to imbue our endeavour with grace.

Ami: This represents Amitabha Buddha himself, whose name means "Infinite Light". Amitabha's light is boundless, illuminating the darkest corners of existence and guiding beings towards liberation. In chanting "Ami", we invoke his presence, asking for his light to fill our beings, dispelling ignorance and illuminating our path.

Dewa: Symbolising the celestial realms, Dewa connects us to the transcendent qualities Amitabha embodies. It is a reminder of the potential for purity and bliss that lies within us, echoing the promise of rebirth in Amitabha's Pure Land for those who earnestly seek it. This part of the mantra helps us to align with our true nature, aspiring towards a state of divine grace and peace.

Hrih: Known as the seed syllable of compassion, Hrih is the heart of Amitabha's mantra. It embodies the essence of compassion, a fundamental attribute of Amitabha Buddha. Chanting "Hrih" nurtures our innate compassion, encouraging it to blossom fully. It is through compassion that we connect deeply with all beings, sharing in the light of Amitabha and fostering a world of kindness and understanding.

Together, "Om Ami Dewa Hrih" is a powerful mantra that not only invokes the blessings of Amitabha Buddha but also aligns us with the qualities he embodies. By chanting this mantra, we cultivate infinite light and compassion within ourselves, guiding our journey towards enlightenment and aiding in the transcendence of suffering. It is a beacon of hope, illuminating the path to the Pure Land, where peace and bliss prevail.


A Simple Visualisation Practice to Accompany the Mantra

  1. Om: As you chant "Om," visualise a radiant white light descending from the cosmos, enveloping you in a protective and purifying glow. This light represents the essence of enlightenment, connecting you to the universal energies. Feel this light dissolving all obstacles within your heart and mind, clearing the path for healing.

  2. Ami: With the syllable "Ami," imagine the infinite light of Amitabha Buddha shining brightly in the distance, a warm, resplendent red sun. Gradually, this light approaches, enveloping you in its comforting glow. This is the light of wisdom, compassion, and boundless love. Allow this light to penetrate deeply into your being, healing all wounds and filling you with a profound sense of peace.

  3. Dewa: As you utter "Dewa," envision the light expanding in all directions, transforming your surroundings into Amitabha's Pure Land, a realm of ultimate bliss and beauty. In this sacred space, you are free from suffering and negativity. Every element around you radiates joy and tranquillity, reminding you of your true nature and the luminous reality that you are part of.

  4. Hrih: Finally, with "Hrih," see a lotus flower blooming in your heart, its petals unfolding to reveal a radiant jewel that emits a powerful, compassionate light. This light reaches out to all beings, offering healing and liberation from suffering. Feel your connection with all life, as your compassion joins with Amitabha's infinite compassion, creating ripples of love throughout the universe.



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