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Amitabha from a thangka in the personal collection of Sogyal Rinpoche

Amitabha (Skt. Amitābha; Tib. འོད་དཔག་མེད་, Öpamé or སྣང་བ་མཐའ་ཡས་, Nangwa Tayé; སྣང་བ་མཐའ་ཡས་, Wyl. snang ba mtha' yas) — the Buddha of Boundless Light, belonging to the lotus family (one of the five buddha families). He's called ‘Amitābha’ (Immeasurable Light) because his light shines unimpeded throughout all buddha realms[1]. The Amitabhavyuha Sutra tells us that many aeons ago, as the monk Dharmakara, he generated bodhichitta in the presence of the Buddha Lokeshvara. At that time, he made fifty-one vows to lead all beings to his pure realm of Sukhavati.

On a deeper level, as Sogyal Rinpoche says, Amitabha "represents our pure nature and symbolizes the transmutation of desire, the predominant emotion of the human realm. More intrinsically, Amitabha is the limitless, luminous nature of our mind."

Empowerments Given to the Rigpa Sangha

Longchen Nyingtik

When we practise phowa based on the Longchen Nyingtik tradition, there is a specific Amitabha empowerment associated with the text entitled: The Swift Path of Amitabha: A Ritual for Travelling to the Realm of Great Bliss (Tib. ཆོ་ག་ - བདེ་བ་ཅན་དུ་བགྲོད་པའི་ཆོ་ག་དཔག་མེད་མྱུར་ལམ་, Pakmé Nyur Lam, Wyl. cho ga - bde ba can du bgrod pa'i cho ga dpag med myur lam).[2]


Teachings Given to the Rigpa Sangha

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