in diamond posture (dhyanasana) with legs crossed in full lotus, and hands held
flat in his lap. This traditional Chinese wood carving of the meditating Buddha
is presumably Amida Buddha (Sanskrit: Amitabha). Though such posture is at times
used for the historic Buddha Shakyamuni; given Amida's enormous popularity in
China; and that the diamond posture (dhyanasana) is a distinguishing gesture of
Amida Buddha, we concluded that the iconography of this Buddha is likely Amida,
the Buddha of Infinite Light.
has been considered the most benevolent of all Buddhas by the Chinese since the
5th century AD. His popularity grew in Japan around the 12th century on. Amida
Buddha is often seen in the second court of Buddhist temples by the side of Shakyamuni.
sculpture, which was carved from a single block of camphor wood shows the stylistic
grace of Qing carvings. The figure is seen suspended on a double lotus; his robe
is deeply carved in symmetrical arrangement, yet retains a naturalistic liveliness
even though Amida is engaged in deep meditation. Indeed, the Buddha is on the
plane of the absolute, the distinction between the passive and active no longer
exist. Though time has weathered much of its original colors, nontheless, the
spirtual presence in the Amida Buddha statue remains radiant.
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