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Paintings > Thangka > Amitayus- the Buddha of Endless Life
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Amitayus- the Buddha of Endless Life

Amitayus- the Buddha of Endless Life

Amitayus- the Buddha of Endless Life

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Buddhist Tibetan Buddhist Thangka Painting

18" x 24"
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Amitayus- the Buddha of Endless Life

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Viewed 8949 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
Amitayus, the Buddha of Infinite Life, is represented here in his traditional iconography. He sits in the diamond posture, with both hands flat in the contemplation gesture, holding a vase of elixir of immortality with a stylised "tree of life" on top of it. A textile decorated with an eight-petalled rosette hangs down over the rectangular pedestal from under the lotus seat. There are two peacocks in the niches flanking the overhanging textile. The presence of the peacock is important, since the peacock is the vehicle of Amitabha, one of the five transcendental Buddhas of the Vajrayana pantheon, and Amitayus is none but a form of Amitabha in his character as a bestower of longevity.

Amitayus is shown richly clad. His hair is painted blue and falls on either side of his shoulders. He has elongated earlobes like the Shakyamuni Buddha and has the urna (an auspicious tuft of hair between the eyebrows signifying superhuman quality).

In the lower part of the painting can be seen the three-faced Ushnishavijaya at the left and to the right can be seen the White Tara. The presence of these two deities in this artwork is very significant since along with Amitayus, Ushnishavijaya and the White Tara form the triad of longevity deities in canonical Buddhist iconography.

This description by Nitin Kumar, Executive Editor, Exotic India.


Beer, Robert. The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs. Boston: Shambhala Publications, 1999.

Chakraverty, Anjan. Sacred Buddhist Painting. New Delhi: Roli Books, 1998

Fisher, Robert E. Art of Tibet. London: Thames and Hudson, 1997.

Getty, Alice. The Gods of Northern Buddhism. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1978.

Lipton, Barbara, and Ragnubs, Nima Dorjee. Treasures of Tibetan Art: Collection of the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Pal, Pratapaditya. Art of Tibet. Los Angeles: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1990.

Rhie, Marylin M. & Thurman, Robert A.F. Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet. London: Thames and Hudson, 1996.

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