True Buddha Dharma-character Treasury - Amitabha
|On Saturday, Dec 24, 2016, 3:00pm, at Taiwan Lei Tsang Temple, True Buddha School Dharma King Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu will preside over a Amitabha Homa Ceremony and bestow empowerment for the Amitabha Personal Deity Practice followed by the discourse of 'Lamdre.' (Live Webcast Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSonbYoE-ip1YaYOVEAu8jw/live or https://tbsec.org/%E6%B3%95%E6%9C%83%E7%B7%9A%E4%B8%8A%E7%9B%B4%E6%92%AD/English )
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【Amitabha Mudra :】
Hold both hands below the navel chakra, with the right hand over the left and palms facing up. Form a circle with the thumb and index finger of the right hand, and form another with the thumb and index finger of the left so that both circles meet.
【Amitabha Seed Syllable :】
Seh (red in color)
【Amitabha Mantra :】
【Amitabha Dharmalakṣaṇa Brief Introduction】
Red ''Amitabha'' wears a kasaya and sits on top of a thousand petal lotus in full-lotus posture. His hands form the Meditation Mudra while holding a nectar-filled bowl. He compassionately looks at all sentient beings.
【Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu Dharma Talk - Amitabha Background and Key Cultivation Formula】
''Amitabha'' is one of the three roots of Dharma King Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu. Amitabha made forty eight great vows and has saved an immeasurable number of beings. He has a reputation of being the ''Amitabha of every family.''
In Vajrayana, ''Amitabha'' is one of the five wisdoms of Vairocana Buddha. He was born in the West of Discriminatory Awareness Samadhi. In the Garbhadhatu Realm, he lies west of the central Eight Petal Hall. In the Vajradhatu Realm, he lies west of the Five Liberation Wheel. He is the Tathagata's wisdom of expedient means.
Amitabha has three names: in Exoteric Buddhism - ''The Buddha of Immeasurable Life,'' ''The Buddha of Infinite Light,'' and in Vajrayana - ''Amrta-raja-tathagata.''
Additional thirteen names of Amitabha are:
''The Buddha of Immeasurable Life, The Buddha of Infinite Light, The Buddha of Boundless Light, The Buddha of Irresistible Light, The Buddha of Incomparable Light, The Buddha of King Yama's Radiance, The Buddha of Pure Light, The Buddha of Joyful Light, The Buddha of Wisdom Light, The Buddha of Uninterrupted Light, The Buddha of Difficult-to-Conceive Light, The Buddha of Ineffable Light, and The Buddha of Surpassing Sun and Moon Light.''
Manjushri is Amitabha's embodiment of the wheel of true dharma, whereas Yamantaka is Amitabha's embodiment of the wheel of injunction. The trinity of Amitabha is Avalokitesvara, Mahasthamaprapta, and Amitabha himself.
''The Great Amitabha Sutra'' that Buddha had referred to has two versions. One was corrected by Jinshi Wang Rixiu of Song Dynasty; and the second is called the Sukhavati-vyuha. (This is also called the Great Amitabha Sutra.)
In the sutra, Buddha spoke of the emanated youth, meaning Padmakumara.
We often recite: ''Namo the 36 trillion 119 thousand and 500 Amitabha Buddhas,'' who also are emanated youths, Padmakumaras. Therefore, Padmakumara is Amitabha.
Amitabha's symbol is the ''Lotus.'' Padmakumara originated from ''Amitabha'' with the name of ''Living Buddha Lian-sheng,'' which means lotus born, or Amitabha.
Among all buddhas, Amitabha has saved the most sentient beings in the Saha World. The Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss consists of three levels and nine classes. As long as one is single-minded and believes in Amitabha's vows, one is able to accomplish rebirth in the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. Even one who has broken precepts, and has committed the ten evil acts and the five heinous crimes can still be delivered to one of the nine lotus born classes in Amitabha's Pure Land and see the magnificent Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss if one recites the name of Amitabha Buddha single-mindedly at the time of passing. That is how transcendental the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss is. Amitabha's vows are tremendously magnificent. He is the Buddha of Immeasurable Life who has saved the most beings.
What's extraordinary about Amitabha's ''Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss'' is that it consists of four pure lands - the Common Land of Ordinary and Holy Beings, the Land of Expedient Means for Beings with Remains, the Solemn Land of Permanent Rewards, and the Land of Externally Quiescent Light. What is special about the Common Land of Ordinary and Holy Beings is that even with karma, one can still be reborn there. This is an expedient means. In such an extraordinary lotus place, it transforms an ordinary being's mind of birth and death into the Bodhicitta of no birth and death.
Why is the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss so well-known? Based on Venerable Yin Shun's study, Indians were more inclined to worship the setting sun; they somehow held sacred the feeling of the moment when the sun is about to set. They appreciated the mixed emotions felt by witnessing the sunset's glory along with their own sadness. It is also testimony that the day is about to pass. They have always worshipped the sun setting in the west. In India, the meaning of buddhas being in the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss is primarily due to their worshipping the setting sun. As a result, the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss has become especially famous. ''Although the setting sun is splendid, it is close to dusk.'' The setting sun has magnificent brilliance, but is also kind of sadness, since it brings on the awareness that the day is about to end.
Once, someone asked Nora Rinpoche, ''What is Vajrayana's most ultimate Dharma?'' He replied, ''Vajrayana's most ultimate Dharma is the 'The Great Dharma of Amitabha.'''
Once, someone asked me (Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu), ''In your entire life, you've practiced Taoism, Exoteric Buddhism, and Vajrayana. What is your goal?''
I answered, ''Western Pure Land.''
''Why Western Pure Land?''
''Among all buddhas, Amitabha has the greatest compassionate vows, and the vows that I've made are just the same as the buddha's vows of saving sentient beings.''
''The Great Amitabha Practice'' of merely chanting ''Amitabha'' is similar to the buddha-name chanting practice of the Pure Land Sect, which is the same as the dharani of buddha's name. Many practice this method. It is also called the ''Easy Path of Practice.'' Generally it is easy for Buddhists to practice. Practice the ''Ten-Chanting Dharma'' daily before leaving home. Inhale one time first before starting to chant, and continue to chant until one is ready to exhale. Inhale the second time and repeat the whole cycle for nine more times. One may leave home upon the completion of the tenth time.
A step further is ''image visualization and buddha-name chanting.'' When in Seattle, Living Buddha Lian-sheng usually leads disciples to circumambulate buddhas. When doing so, I visualize Amitabha as tall as a pine tree right in front of me. I would continuously think of him as I am chanting. This is what the image visualization and the buddha-name chanting is about; thinking of the image of the buddha and chanting his name simultaneously.
If cultivating at a shrine, I visualize a small golden Amitabha emitting light. One of his hands forms the wish-granting mudra, while the other holds a lotus representing the lotus-holding mudra. Visualize the small Amitabha at your forehead where your upper dantian is. One can also visualize that Amitabha is as big as the void. Visualize the buddha's image and chant the buddha's name the same time.
Amitabha is great. Among buddhas, the name of Amitabha is chanted the most by sentient beings because of his supreme power to save sentient beings, infinite light and life, and deepest and heaviest affinity with all sentient beings.
In the ''Nagarjuna Pure Land Text,'' Amitabha has a unique name, ''Namo the 36 trillion 119 thousand and 500 Amitabha Buddhas;'' reciting the name once is equivalent to calling all 36 trillion 119 thousand and 500 Namo Amitabha Buddhas!
Chanting buddha's name is one expedient means. When finished chanting Amitabha, one continues to chant Avalokiteshvara and Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva. One chants ''Om, ma-ni pad-me hum'' for Avalokiteshvara and ''Om, xu-xu, suo, so-ha'' for Mahasthamaprapta. This is how I typically chant buddha's names.
Amitabha Personal Deity Practice
!!Please be aware that before engaging in any True Buddha Vajrayana practices, one must first take refuge and receive the respective empowerment.!!
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