Iconography of Amitabha our Father in Heaven

Amitabha   Amitabha is the King of Sukhavati, a “spiritual heaven” in human terms. In Wayism and Mahayana Buddhism, those spiritual beings who are destined to and hail from Sukhavati are referred to as the Lotus Family, of which Amitabha is the Father.

Humility, Simplicity and Compassion are the three central qualities of Wayism. Amitabha Father displays all three these qualities. The King’s simple clothing and lack of adornements, the colour of compassion (red) glows in his aura, and the meditation mudra, hair tied in a bun on top of the head, sometimes with an unja showing, and seated on a lotus throne—all these are the iconographic elements reserved for Amitabha. This combination of iconographic elements is not shared with another deity in Mahayana. 

To the above essential iconographic elements one may add a begging bowl to illustrate non-attachment, and a Ajna chakra symbol between the eyebrows, a halo.

Theravadin adaptions

Amithaba is not prominent in Theravada. In SE Asia, Theravadins often use iconography of Amitabha to also depict Gautama Buddha. Another, more legitimate usage is when they use the exact same iconographic depiction but with the right hand touching the floor, in the mudra of Gautama Buddha calling the Earth to Witness.

Avalokiteshvara the Saviour of Humankind and his co-worker Mahasthamaprapta

Often seen with Amitabha are the two figures of Avalokiteshvara on the Lord’s right and Mahasthamaprapta on the Lord’s left. This Heavenly Trinity is the Wayist Trinity. It forms the foundation of the Wayist cosmology in that it depicts what we understand about the purpose of life, the process of enlightenment, the future existence as spiritual beings and the ministry of Iesous (Jesus in Roman language).

Avalokiteshvara is the spiritual being who is the so-called 2nd coming of Iesous as Saviour of the World in c.78CE, a Sanskrit title bestowed on Avalokiteshvara in Mahayana scripture.



This page is in need of content, references and editing


Contributors to this page: admin .
Page last modified on Tuesday December 6, 2016 05:01:09 CST.
List Slides