terre pure occidentale de la béatitude

Pure Land” is the common expression used to designate the Western universe of the Bliss of Amitabha Buddha. It also refers to an important section of Mahayana Buddhism which is called Amidism. Pure Land Buddhism focuses on faith, devotion and reciting the name of the Buddha Amitabha. It allows access after life to the universe of this Buddha which is filled with light, longevity and happiness.

Amitabha, Pure Land, Awakening

Amitabha is the Buddha of Buddhas. The popularity of its cult explains its different names. In Sanskrit, it is called “Amitābha” which can be literally translated as “Infinite Light”. This infinity refers to an extent in all spatial directions combined with endless time. Still in this Indo-European language, this Buddha is also called “Amitāyus” which means “Infinite Longevity”. Amitabha also has other Chinese names from the sutras concerning him.

Recitation of the mantra of this Buddha of Infinite Light and Infinite Longevity leads to rebirth in the Western Pure Land of Bliss. It helps you achieve Nirvana, become a Buddha and contribute to others arriving at this spiritual state as well. This recitation of the amitayus mantra is associated with the development of the Awakening Spirit. When doing this, you must visualize the syllables, use a mala or failing that, fold your hands and dedicate the practice. The most important thing is the intention that we put into the mantra and the will to do it.

The Ideal Buddha, a male and a female in sexual union

When we speak of Buddha, we think directly of an Awakened male human being. This is the image we have in the story of Buddha. In the culture of esoteric Tantra, today we display as the “Ideal Buddha” an image divided into two figures, one masculine and one feminine who are embraced in sexual union. We must understand that it is not sex that takes precedence, but sexual symbolism.

These “masculine” and “feminine” Buddha images display two main aspects of Enlightenment including Love and Wisdom. This evokes the inseparable character of these two elements which are considered to be the very essence of Buddhahood. In Tibetan culture, this connection is represented by “yab-yum”. The term “yab” refers to the father and “yum” to the mother. In monasteries and temples in Tibet, one can see paintings representing these Buddhas in union. For them, this type of representation is sacred, which is not perceived in the same way among Westerners who consider them as an erotic oriental art.

In Buddhist Tantra, the twist is a little different. It is the “feminine” Buddha who is associated with the Wisdom aspect of Awakening and the “masculine” with the aspect of Love and Compassion. These two figures are represented by the vajra and the lotus or the vajra and the bell. In any case, this symbolism is not associated with ordinary sexual differences.

The symbolism of the five Buddhas, male and female

Given these combinations of Buddha, feminine and masculine, there are not only five Buddhas, but ten in total. However, we combine them to present only five. In worship, we consider the “feminine” Buddhas as spiritual companions of the “male” Buddhas, which is why we focus more on the “feminine” ones.

Akasadhatishvari and Vairocana

In this connection, the Akasadhatishvari is the "feminine" Buddha and the Vairocana the "masculine". The Vairocana is the white Buddha, the central Buddha. It evokes the Sun of all spiritual cosmos. It diffuses the light of Wisdom and the warmth of Love in all directions. “Akasadhatishvari” is defined as “the sovereign lady of the sphere of infinite space”. It represents the infinite space through which the light diffused by Vairocana passes.

It is the color white which is associated with these two Buddhas. Akasadhatishvari is symbolized as a dakini, otherwise with flowing, flowing clothes and long, loose hair.

The Locana and the Akshobhya

For this combination, The Locana is the “female” Buddha who is the consort of Akshobhya. The latter is the dark blue Buddha which is the Buddha of the east. Symbolized by the elephant, the animal considered the wisest of animals, it evokes transcendent wisdom. He is the only Buddha found in the Perfection of Wisdom sutras, notably in the one in 8000 lines. The term “Locana” can be literally translated as “she who has clear vision” or “she who has the eye.”

In Tibetan culture, it has a broader meaning: “the lady who has the eye of Buddha”. This feminine Buddha refers to the embodiment of pure, simple and direct awareness of things. The “Locana Akshobhya” association thus indicates that there is no wisdom without awareness and that there is no awareness without wisdom.

The Mamaki and the Ratnasambhava

“Mamaki” means “making mine.” This “feminine” Buddha should not be associated with selfishness, but we are more at the level of Awakening. It is the spiritual attitude taking into consideration everything and everyone as its own. This means that you must bring great value to the person or thing. She makes no difference between herself and others. The male Buddha associated with her is Ratnasambhava who is the yellow Buddha occupying the southern quarter of the mandala. Its name evokes “the product of jewels”. The horse is the animal that defines it and it evokes speed and energy.

The Pandaravasini and the Amitabha

“Pandaravasini” means “she who is dressed in white”. You have understood that this is the feminine Buddha. She is a person invested with purity and even protected by purity. The energies of external influences which can be harmful do not affect it. This feminine Buddha is the consort of Amitabha, the red-colored Buddha, the Buddha of the west. The latter evokes infinite light, rebirth and spiritual development.

Tara and Amoghasiddhi

The name of the female Buddha “Tara” can be translated by “she who helps to cross.” We are talking here about crossing the river of birth and death. He also mentions “saving” which is the attitude to adopt to show help to others and mutual aid. Tara is associated with the male Buddha Amoghasiddhi who is the dark green Buddha, the Buddha of the north. Its name suggests “unfailing success” or “unfettered achievement.”

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