Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Amita Buddha

  • Minqin WangEmail author
  • Lee W. Bailey
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_791

The name “Amita” comes from the Sanskrit Amitabha and Amitayus, translated “Boundless, or Infinite Light and Life.” The Chinese is (阿弥陀佛) A Mi Tuo Fo, the Tibetan is O-pa-me, the Korean is Amit’a Bui, the Vietnamese is A-di-da Phat, and the Japanese is Amida Butso. He became in China and Japan especially, the supreme personification of the Dharmakaya, the highest enlightenment and the supreme beauty of infinite love, not one of many Buddhas but of Buddhahood itself (Malalasekera et al. 1961, p. 434). He was not conceived of as a god. He was a man who became an awakened Buddha in the traditional manner (Malalasekera et al. 1961, p. 438). Mahayana Buddhism believes that many awakened Buddhas can exist simultaneously, not just in past and future.

Pure Land

Amita is the leading Buddha of Pure Land (or Ultimate Bliss) Buddhism, practiced primarily in China and East Asia, and is spreading worldwide. The Pure Land is a marvelous transcendental western paradise of gold, gems, flowers, perfume,...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Brazier, D. (1997). Zen therapy and Buddhist psychology. London: Constable & Robinson.Google Scholar
  2. Chen, K. (1964). Buddhism in China: A historical survey. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Epstein, M. (1995). Thoughts without a thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist perspective. New York: Basic/HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  4. Hsien, H. S. (2000). Preparing for the pure land. Anthropology of Consciousness, 11(1–2), 49–63. Retrieved from http://www.anthrosource.net/doi/abs/10.1525/ac.2000.11.1-2.49. Accessed 17 May 2009.
  5. Jung, C. G. (1979). The collected works of C. G. Jung. 20 Vols (H. Read, Ed.; trans: Hull, R.F.C.). Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Lafarge, J. (1887). Daibutsu (“Great Buddha”). Watercolor of 50-foot Amita statue in Kamakura, Japan. Retrieved from http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/collection_database/all/the_great_statue_of_amida_buddha_at_kamakura_known_john_la_farge. Accessed 17 May 2009.
  7. Lokaksema. (1969). Pratyutpanna-samdhi Sutra (trans: Inagaki, H.). Retrieved from http://www12.canvas.ne.jp/horai/pratyutpanna-sutra.htm. Accessed 17 May 2009.
  8. Malalasekera, G. P., Ikemoto, J., Taira, R., & Kuan-ju, K. (1961). Amita. In Encyclopedia of Buddhism (Vol. 1, pp. 434–468). Ceylon: Government Press.Google Scholar
  9. Miyuki, M. (1994). The pure land practice of nien-fo: A Jungian approach. In M. Spiegelman & M. Miyuki (Eds.), Buddhism and Jungian psychology (pp. 137–147). Tempe: New Falcon Publications.Google Scholar
  10. Pure Land Buddhism. WWW Virtual Library. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.pitaka.ch/blpl.htm. Accessed 17 May 2009.
  11. Ryukan. (1997a). The clarification of once-calling and many-calling. In The collected works of Shinran. Retrieved from http://www.shinranworks.com/relatedworks/clarification.htm. Accessed 17 May 2009.
  12. Ryukan. (1997b). Major expositions, KGSS II:35. In The collected works of Shinran. Retrieved from http://www.shinranworks.com/majorexpositions/kgssII-35_61.htm. Accessed 17 May 2009.
  13. Taira, R. (1961). Art in the Amida cult. In Encyclopedia of Buddhism (Vol. 1, pp. 460–463). Ceylon: Government Press.Google Scholar
  14. The Larger Sutra on Amitayus, Part 1 (trans: Inagaki, H.). Tatatsuki, Japan: Amida Net. Retrieved from http://www12.canvas.ne.jp/horai//larger-sutra-1.htm. Accessed 17 May 2009.Google Scholar
  15. The Larger Sutra on Amitayus, Part 2 (trans: Inagaki, H.). Tatatsuki: Amida Net. Retrieved from http://www12.canvas.ne.jp/horai//larger-sutra-2.htm. Accessed 17 May 2009.Google Scholar
  16. The [Smaller] Amitabha Sutra. (1970). (trans: Epstein, R.) Vajra Bodhi sea, 9, 11–21. Retrieved from http://online.sfsu.edu/rone/Buddhism/amitabha.htm. Accessed 17 May 2009.
  17. Welch, H. (1968). The Buddhist revival in China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Foreign LanguagesHunan UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Philosophy and ReligionIthaca CollegeIthacaUSA