Amitabha, also Amitayus or Amida, is the Buddha of Boundless Light, belonging to the lotus family (one of the 5 Buddha families).
The Amitabha Sutra tells us that many eons ago, as the monk Dharmakara, he generated bodhicitta (enlightenment-mind) in the presence of the Lokeshvara Buddha.
Then, he made 51 vows to lead all beings to his pure realm of Sukhavati.
On a deeper level, as Sogyal Rinpoche says, Buddha Amitabha „represents our pure nature and symbolizes the transmutation of desire, the prevalent emotion of the human realm. More intrinsically, Amitabha Buddha is the limitless, luminous nature of our mind.”
Amida Buddha is also known in Mongolia, Tibet, and other regions where Tibetan Buddhism is practiced.
In the Highest Yoga Tantra class of the Tibetan Vajrayana Buddha Amitabha is viewed as one of the Five Dhyani Buddhas (together with Amoghasiddhi, Aksobhya, Ratnasambhava, and Vairocana), who is associated with the western direction and the skandha of saṃjna, the aggregate of recognition and the deep awareness of individualities. His consort is Paṇḍaravasini.
His realm is called either Dewachen (Tibetan) or Sukhavati. His 2 main disciples are the Bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani, the former to his right and the latter to his left. In Tibetan Buddhism, there exist many famous prayers for taking rebirth in Dewachen (Sukhavati).
The first known epigraphic evidence for Buddha Amitabha is the bottom part of a statue found in Govindnagar, Pakistan and now located at the Mathura Museum.
The statue is dated to „the 28th year of the reign of Huviska” (i.e., sometime in the latter half of the 2nd century CE, during the period of the Kusaṇa Empire), and was apparently dedicated to ” Buddha Amida” by a family of merchants.
The first known sutra mentioning Amida Buddha is the translation into Chinese of the Pratyutpanna Sutra by the Kusaṇa monk Lokaksema around 180 CE. This work is said to be at the origin of Pure Land practice in China.
Buddha Amitayus mantra – Om Amideva Hrih benefits:
It is known to defend against all dangers and obstacles and overcome all hindrances to your prosperity.
The mantra of Amitabha Buddha enhances your compassionate and loving nature bringing incredible blessings each time you recite it.