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Introduction to Buiddhism



Mantra: Om Ah Akshobhya Hung
Classification: Primordial Buddha, Dhyani Buddha

The name Akshobhya means "Immovable" or "Unshakable." Akshobhya's Mirrorlike Wisdom reflects all things calmly and uncritically and--reveals their true nature. One text says,"Just as one sees one's own reflection in a mirror, so the Dharmakaya is seen in the Mirror of Wisdom."10 Mirrorlike Wisdom antidotes the poison of hatred and anger.

In the mandala of the Five Dhyani Buddhas, Akshobhya is usually positioned in the east (which is at the bottom) but he is sometimes placed in the center. His color is blue. He rules over the element of water and personifies the skandha of form. In some systems, he is associated with the skandha of consciousness. Akshobhya's lotus throne is supported by the elephant, symbol of steadfastness and strength.

His symbol is the vajra, also called the thunderbolt or diamond scepter. It is depicted in this mandala above his head, directly below Vairochana. The vajra denotes enlightenment, the indestructible, adamantine nature of pure consciousness, or the essence of Reality. In some traditions the vajra signifies the union of man and the Buddha; one end of the vajra symbolizes the macrocosmic realm of the Buddha and the other end the microcosmic realm of man.

Akshobhya's mudra, shown here formed by his right hand, is the bhumisparsha mudra, the earth-touching gesture. It denotes unshakability. This is the mudra Gautama Buddha used to summon the earth to witness to his right to attain enlightenment when he was challenged by the Evil One, Mara.

Akshobhya's paradise is Abhirati, the Land of Exceeding Great Delight. Buddhists believe that whoever is reborn there cannot fall back to a lower level of consciousness. Akshobhya's bija is Hum and his mantra is Om Akshobhya Hum.

Western Tibet or Central Regions, Tibet, 13th century
H. 16.5" (42 cm)
Robert Hatfield Ellsworth Private Collection

(10) Indrabhuti, Jnanasiddhi, quoted in Govinda, Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism, p. 113. 



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