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Sed Gyued Monastery

Amitabha Mantra (Om Amideva Hrih)

Amitabha Mantra (Om Amideva Hrih)

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Om Amideva Hrih

Amitabha (his name means infinite radiance) is an archetypal Buddha who is supremely important in far eastern Buddhism. He represents love and compassion, and he is pictured as being the rich, warm color of the setting sun.

Amitabha is one of the so-called Dhyani-Buddhas, a set of five non-historical, symbolic figures who are arranged in a mandala. The other Buddhas in this set are Vairocana (center), Akshobhya (East), Ratnasambhava (South), and Amoghasiddhi (North).

He sits on a lotus throne decorated with his sacred animal, the peacock. In Indian folklore it is said that the peacock’s brilliant colors come from the poison of the snakes they eat. These poisons are transmuted into beauty, and likewise Amitabha’s practice turns the poison of greed into love. The connection between greed and love may not be immediately obvious, but one only has to think of the contrast between lust (desiring another person in order to gratify our appetites) and true love (valuing the uniqueness and the potential of another as a person in their own right) to appreciate the symbolism.


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