Heavenly beings and deities

Amitabha (Chin. Amituofo, Jap. Amida) is one of the five Transcendent Buddhas in Mahayana Buddhism. His name in Sanskrit means ‘Infinite Light’, and he is held to be the embodiment of wisdom and compassion combined.

According to tradition, Amitabha lives in the Pure Land of the West, an idyllic place where, without distractions or worldly cares, people can listen to Amitabha’s teachings and devote themselves to their spiritual path.

In China and Japan especially, schools evolved that placed Buddha Amitabha and the hope of rebirth in his pure land at the heart of their spiritual practice. The Pure Land School (Chin. jingtu, Jap. jodo) teaches that Amitabha guides to his paradise all those who upon their death invoke his name with sincere faith.