Amitābha (T. 'od dpag med འོད་དཔག་མེད་ / snang ba mtha' yas སྣང་བ་མཐའ་ཡས་; C. Amituo fo; J. Amida butsu; K. Amit'a pul 阿彌陀佛), "the Buddha of Limitless Light," is widely worshiped in East Asian and Tibetan Buddhism. According to tradition, Amitābha manifested and presides over the buddha field of Sukhavati.
According to the Longer Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra, many eons ago, a monk named Dharmakara vowed before Avalokiteshvara to follow the bodhisattva path to buddhahood. As part of his vows, Dharmakara resolved to establish the pure buddha field of Sukhavati, and further vowed that anyone who recited his mantra as least ten times would be reborn in his buddha field.
Amitābha is sometimes referred as Amitāyus, the "Buddha of Limitless Life." In the Longer Sukhavati Sutra, for example, Amitābha and Amitāyus are both used as epithets for the same buddha. However, in some instances within Tibetan Buddhism, the name Amitāyus is used to refer to a distinct form of Amitābha.
- Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. Amitābha.
- Buswell, Robert E.; Lopez, Donald S. (2014), The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, Princeton University
- Harvey, Peter (2013), An Introduction to Buddhism (Second ed.), Cambridge University Press, Chapter 6, section "The Mahayana pantheon"