Deities › Amitābha
Courtesy of Himalayan Art Resources
In the realm of Sukhāvatī, you turn the wheel of Dharma,
Gazing on living beings with all your compassion,
And acting for their benefit, just as you vowed—
To you, Amitābha resting in meditation, I pay homage!
Texts related to Buddha Amitābha ('od dpag med), ‘Boundless Light’:
These verses of aspiration to take rebirth in Amitābha's pureland of Sukhāvatī are extracted from the author's longer compilation of practices called The Easy Route to the Supreme Realm (zhing mchog bgrod pa'i bde lam).
A short prayer of invocation and aspiration addressed to Amitābha, the Buddha of Limitless Light, and Avalokiteśvara, the embodiment of compassion. The prayer concludes with the mantra oṃ amitābha hrīḥ.
This brief prayer of aspiration to accompany the offering of a butter lamp (mar me'i smon lam) is part of the feast offering (tshogs mchod) for the Accomplishing the Land of Great Bliss (bde chen zhing sgrub) cycle of practices based on the original Namchö (gnam chos) revelation of Tertön Mingyur Dorje (1645–1667).
This prayer to be reborn in Sukhāvatī draws upon the Array of Amitābha Sūtra (amitābhavyūhasūtra, Toh 49) for its elaborate descriptions of the blissful realm. As with many of Jigme Lingpa's writings, the text is beautiful yet opaque in places, and the translation thus relies upon Rigdzin Gargyi Wangchuk's (1858–1930) commentary entitled Gateway to the Realm of Great Bliss (bde chen zhing gi 'jug ngogs).
This short prayer of aspiration for rebirth in Buddha Amitābha's pure-land of Sukhāvatī incorporates the so-called 'seven branches' (saptāṅga; yan lag bdun) of paying homage, offering, confession, rejoicing, requesting the turning of the wheel of Dharma, exhortation to remain, and dedication of virtue.
Part of the Namchö (gnam chos) revelation, this extremely popular prayer of aspiration for rebirth in Sukhāvatī derives from a vision in which Buddha Amitābha appeared to Tulku Mingyur Dorje, when the latter was just twelve years old, in 1657.
Sometimes classified as a Sukhāvatī aspiration (bde smon), this well-known prayer for the dedication of virtue (dge ba bsngo ba) is attributed to Buddha Amitābha, who spoke to Tulku Mingyur Dorje in a vision in 1657.
Sakya Paṇḍita provides the outline of a very simple meditation on Amitābha for the moment of death, summarizing the preliminaries, main part, conclusion and benefits of the practice according to the oral tradition of his uncles and their father.
Following some lines of the Prayer of Good Actions (bzang spyod smon lam), Sakya Paṇḍita here offers a simple visualisation centred upon Buddha Amitābha, to be practised each day before falling asleep in order to secure rebirth in the Sukhāvatī pure-land.
Here Jamyang Khyentse adapts and expands upon A Means of Purifying Negativity through Amitābha ('od dpag med kyi sgo nas sdig pa sbyong ba'i thabs) by Chögyal Pakpa Lodrö Gyaltsen (1235–1280), which is contained in the Sakya Kabum (sa skya bka' 'bum).
- Liberation Through Training in the Realm of Amitābha, Boundless Light by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
This concise ritual for cultivating the pure realm of Amitābha was arranged by Jamgön Kongtrul based on Chokgyur Lingpa’s Amitābha sādhana from the Essence Manual of Oral Instructions (zhal gdams snying byang). The practice forms the sixth of eleven modes of liberation in Kongtrul's Wondrous Ocean: An Elucidation of the Application of the Eleven Modes of Liberation of the Sambhogakāya, Tamer of Beings (longs sku 'gro 'dul gyi las rim grol ba bcu gcig gi lag len gsal byed ngo mtshar rgya mtsho).
- The Chariot Bound for Sukhāvatī, the Blissful Realm: The Liturgy for Cultivating Buddha Amitābha’s Pure Realm by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
According to the colophon, this elaborate ritual for cultivating the pure realm of Amitābha was compiled by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo at the passing of Chokgyur Lingpa’s mother, Tsering Yangtso. Taking Chokgyur Lingpa’s treasure Amitābha sādhana from the Essence Manual of Oral Instructions (zhal gdams snying byang) as a basis, Khyentse Wangpo added further instructions and verses, primarily from The Array of Amitābha Sūtra (Toh 49, 'od dpag med kyi bkod pa) and The King of Aspiration Prayers (bzang spyod smon lam).
This simple practice of the transference of consciousness, or phowa ('pho ba), in the form of a prayer was written by Dezhung Tulku Ajam and is also preserved within the collected writings of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö (1893–1959).