Amitabha, 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 stylized "tree of life" on top of it
Amitabha is extremely popular in Tibet since his special ability is to prolong life. Many Buddhists commission images of him in both sculpture and painting in order to gain merit and an assured long life.
The teachings and rituals associated with Amitabha Buddha originated very
early in India. According to some Tibetan scholars, Amitabaha was introduced
into Tibet by Padmasambhava in the eighth century.
Getty, Alice. The Gods of Northern Buddhism. New Delhi: Munshiram
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.
Rhie, Marylin M. & Thurman, Robert A.F. Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred
Art of Tibet. London: Thames and Hudson, 1996.
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