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Amitāyus. (T. tshe dpag med; C. Wuliangshou fo 無量壽佛). A past buddha. His name (meaning “infinite life”) can refer more generally to the buddha associated with longevity and life energy who dwells in the western realm of Sukhāvatī and who is also known as Amitābha (“infinite light”).[1]

The name Amitāyus is often understood as synonomous with Amitābha.

The Princeton Dictionary states:

The names “Amitābha” and “Amitāyus” are often interchangeable, both deriving from the Sanskrit word “amita,” meaning “limitless,” “boundless,” or “infinite”; there are some intimations that Amita may actually have been the original name of this buddha, as evidenced, for example, by the fact that the Chinese transcription Amituo [alt. Emituo] transcribes the root word amita, not the two longer forms of the name. The distinction between the two names is preserved in the Chinese translations “Wuliangguang” (“Infinite Light”) for Amitābha and Wuliangshou (“Infinite Life”) for Amitāyus, neither of which is used as often as the transcription Amituo. Both Amitābha and Amitāyus serve as epithets of the same buddha in the longer Sukhāvatīvyūhasūtra and the Guan Wuliangshou jing, two of the earliest and most important of the sūtras relating to his cult.[2]

Within Tibetan Buddhism, the name Amitāyus is sometimes used to refer to a distinct form of Amitābha.[3] In particular, in Vajrayāna contexts, Amitāyus is sometimes considered a sambhogakāya form of Buddha Amitābha.[4][1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Internet-icon.svg tshe dpag med, Christian-Steinert Dictionary
  2. Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. Amitāyus.
  3. Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. Amitābha.
  4. Sakya Pandita Translation Group 2023, Introduction.