A Buddha has the ability to take any form necessary to relieve the suffering of sentient life. It is a temporary transformation which is known as the “sambhogakaya” embodiment. As a result, Amitabha Buddha sometimes chooses to appear as his longevity attribute – Amitayus. Amitayus is highly venerated worldwide, especially with Tibetan Buddhists. Therefore, this Amitayus statue is of special significance.
Our Amitayus statue depicts him in classic fashion. He sits in full lotus pose on a single lotus pedestal. Additionally, he is wearing the crown and jewels of a Bodhisattva which is a common characteristic of Nepali sculpture. However, his most prominent and personal feature is the longevity vessel which is placed on his lap. This vessel is believed to be filled with longevity nectar which can grant devotees long life.
Amitayus statues are commonly used as the center piece of Tibetan longevity rituals. During this ritual a real vessel is used and it is filled with consecrated wine or beer. During the ritual each devotee in attendance will consume a small portion in hopes of obtaining longevity.
Additional features of the statue include the Ushnisha topknot, neck lines and the third eye of wisdom is to be found between his brows. Also, Amitayus is depicting the Dhyana mudra also known as the meditation mudra. This mudra is very significant in Buddhism because it is the prescribed hand positioning during the practice of Buddhist meditation.