Emergence of Amitabha Buddha from his Statue
By Householder Fozhang
On the morning of April 27, 2023, I attended a group recitation at the Shandao Temple in Pingtung.
In the midst of our collective, continuous recitation of Amitabha Buddha’s name, a vision unfolded before my eyes. I saw the venerated Amitaba Buddha, radiating light and smiling softly, descend from where the statue was placed. The figure was identical to the statue, wearing an orange monastic robe, holding a lotus in his left hand, and extending his right hand in a gesture welcoming all sentient beings. From his body and the folds of his broad sleeves, countless orange and pink lotus flowers manifested, their luminous petals spinning in the air despite their diminutive size.
Amitabha Buddha towered over the original statue, his form appearing larger and taller, as if reaching the height of two or three stories. His radiant light illuminated the entire hall. The ceiling seemed to have disappeared, making the space feel incredibly expansive and immeasurable. It was a surreal feeling as innumerable lotus flowers filled the room.
I witnessed numerous shadow-like sentient beings, akin to dark-gray specters, slowly emerging from each participant in the recitation. Among them were figures representing my karmic creditors and ancestors. These beings varied in height and size, their faces blurred, appearing as vague shadows. Despite their great numbers, they seemed to occupy no physical space and could pass through each other. effortlessly. They filled up the grand hall, layer upon layer.
Having experienced endless cycles of reincarnation and endured countless torments and hardships, these beings were deeply moved by the rare chance to hear the Buddha Dharma. Their veneration of Amitabha Buddha was filled with sincerity, respect, and gratitude, perhaps even more profound than ours. They looked up at Amitabha Buddha, venerating him while quietly sobbing. They gazed at Amitabha Buddha, their worship accompanied by soft weeping. Their emotions were a mix of joy and sorrow, a testament to their painful past and hopeful future.
As we circled the Buddha in our recitation, these shadowy beings followed in an orderly procession. Some of them appeared to be several hundred years old, and some even looked over a thousand years old.
When our group recitation ended at 11 o’clock, each of these beings naturally took a seat on a lotus flower. Under Amitabha’s gentle gaze, they ascended and vanished. Following their departure, the figure of Amitabha Buddha, who had earlier descended from the statue, also disappeared.
(Translated by the Pure Land School Translation Team;
edited by Householder Fojin)
- Recitation of Amitabha’s name, relying on his Fundamental Vow (the 18th)
- Rebirth of ordinary beings in the Pure Land’s Realm of Rewards
- Rebirth assured in the present lifetime
- Non-retrogression achieved in this lifetime
The 18th Vow of Amitabha Buddha
If, when I achieve Buddhahood, sentient beings of the ten directions who sincerely and joyfully entrust themselves to me, wish to be reborn in my land and recite my name, even ten times, should fail to be born there, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. Excepted are those who commit the five gravest transgressions or slander the correct Dharma.
Faith in, and acceptance of, Amitabha’s deliverance
Single-minded recitation of Amitabha’s name
Aspiration to rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land
Comprehensive deliverance of all sentient beings