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Great bronze Amida (Daibutsu) at Kamakura, Japan, 1252.—Gavin HellierRobert Harding Picture Library/Getty Images
Saviour deity worshiped by followers of Pure Land Buddhism in Japan. According to the Sukhavati-vyuha-sutra (Pure Land sutra), the monk Dharmakara vowed many ages ago that once he attained buddhahood, all who believed in him and called upon his name would be born into his paradise (the Pure Land) and reside there until achieving nirvana. The cult of Amitabha came to the forefront in China c. 650 and then spread to Japan, where it led to the formation of the Pure Land and True Pure Land sects. In the Tibet Autonomous Region of China and in Nepal, Amitabha is regarded as one of the five eternal buddhas (rather than as a saviour), who manifested himself as the earthly Buddha Gautama and as the bodhisattvaAvalokitesvara.
Variants of AMITABHA
Amitabha Japanese Amida
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Amitabha, visit Britannica.com.
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