Amitabha, The Buddha of the West – known as Amida in Japan and Opame in Tibet – is by far the most commonly represented of the cosmic Buddhas because of his association with paradise and the afterlife.
According to the legends, a long time ago, Amitabha used to be a king. He renounced his throne to be a monk called Dharmakara Bodhisattva. The monk practiced diligently for five eons before realizing enlightenment to be a Buddha. Amitabha symbolizes mercy and wisdom. He is associated with the third skandha, that of perception. Tantric meditation on Amitabha is an antidote to desire. He is sometimes pictured in between the bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara and Mahasthamaprapta. Amitabha symbolizes mercy and wisdom. He is associated with the third skandha, that of perception.
Amitabha is the Buddha of the comprehensive love. He lived in the west and worked for the enlightenment of all beings. His most important enlightenment technique is the visualization of the surrounding world as a paradise. The world can be seen as a paradise by a corresponding positive thought (enlightenment thought) or by sending light to all beings. After the Amitabha doctrine, one can come to paradise (in the Pure Land of Amitabha), if they visualize at their death Amitabha in the heaven (sun) over their head (western horizon), think his name as a mantra and leave the body as a soul through the crown chakra. According to the school, each of the Buddhas presides over his own Pure Land, a kind of heaven where the faithful devotee can be reborn after death. Amitabha’s Pure Land is known as the Western Paradise, or Sukhavati. In the Pure Land schools of Mahayana Buddhism, the practitioner gains admission to Sukhavati through devotion to Amitabha, especially through repetition of his mantra, a series of Sanskrit syllables that simultaneously invoke, praise and embody him. The simplicity of this practice holds great appeal for lay Buddhists and is especially popular in Japan and China which makes the Amitabha Buddha statues are particularly popular in these countries. These Buddha Statues are famous all over the world for their serene looks and their symbolic representation of the desire to gain more wisdom and peace towards the followers of Buddhism.