O Mi To Hud – Buddha of Infinite Light

O Mi To Hud – Buddha of Infinite Light

Chanting or reciting of Amitabha Buddha’s name, 阿彌陀佛 A Mi Tuo Fo (Hokkian: O Mi To Hud), is a very common practice among the Buddhist. In fact, it would be odd for one who is not familiar with it. Most could even recite quickly and smoothly. However, only minority understand the real meaning of the name A Mi Tuo Fo.

A Mi Tuo Fo reigns over a Buddha land in the West called The Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. In Sanskrit, A Mi Tuo Fo literally means Buddha of Infinite Light and Boundless Life, which is referred to Wu Liang Guang Fo (Buddha of Infinite Light) and Wu Shu Shou Fo (Buddha of Boundless Life). Amitabha Buddha’s birthday falls on the 17th of 11th month of lunar calendar.

In most Buddhist temple like 金德院 Jin De Yuan {Kim Tek Ie}, Amitabha Buddha is seen seated next to Sakyamuni Buddha (釋迦牟尼佛Shi Jia Mou Ni Fo, Hokkian: Sek Ka Mo Ni Hud), and Bhaisajya Guru – Buddha or Medicine Buddha (藥師佛Yao Shi Fo, Hokkian: Yok Su Hud). Hence, they are popularly known as the Three Precious Buddhas, 三寶佛 San Bao Fo (Sam Po Hud) or Tri Ratna Buddha.

As we have known that the Threefold Refuge in Buddhism are the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. Buddha is a one that has attained Perfect Enlightenment, Dharma is the Buddha’s precious teaching, and Sangha is the holy brotherhood or relationship that bonds fellow Buddhist monks. In Mandarin, the Buddha is referred as 佛寳Fo Bao, the Dharma as 法寶Fa Bao, and the Sangha as 僧寳Seng Bao. All Three are known as 三寶San Bao (Sanskrit: Tri Ratna). This San Bao is also categorized with Sakyamuni Budhha as Fo Bao, Amitabha Buddha as Fa Bao, and Baisajya Guru Buddha as Seng Bao.

It is recorded in a Buddhist script that many kalpas ago, a King by the name of Fa Chang Bi Qiu renounced his throne, and became a monk named Dharmakarsa, upon receiving spiritual guidance from the Buddha at that time, Lokesvaraja Buddha, who expounded the Perfect Enlighten Path since ages ago. Dharmakarsa then took and upheld the 48 vows to deliver beings from their sufferings. After 5 kalpas of lifetime, Dharmakarsa finally attained Perfect Enlightenment, and became Amitabha Buddha.

Upon attaining Buddhahood, Amitabha Buddha created a Western Pure Land called the Land of Ultimate Bliss where all suffering beings who sincerely recite南無阿彌陀佛 Nan Wu A Mi Duo Fo (Sanskrit: Namo Amitabha Buddha) which means “I sincerely take refuge in Amitabha Buddha”, will all be delivered to and gain rebirth in His Pure Land.

However, it takes more than just reciting and praying to the Buddha to be reborn in His Pure Land. It is written in Amitabha Sutra (A Mi Tuo Jing) that if one does not have a kind and compassionate heart in helping others or involve much in charitable act, no matter how many times he/she recite or pray will not guarantee a rebirth in the Western Pure Land. What matters most are how sincere and often we pray to the Buddha, and the kind deeds that we perform in accordance to our limitation.

Along side with 觀世音菩薩 Guan Shi Yin Phu Sa and 大勢至菩薩 Da Shi Zhi Pu Sa, representing compassion and wisdom, they are famously known as 西方三聖 Xi Fang San Sheng, the Three Gems/Jewels from the West.

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