The 7th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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“The sound ‘A’ is regarded as the source from which all words are produced.
It is therefore termed the ‘mother of all sounds’. It exemplifies the Mahayana doctrine that the world of change is immediately the realm of ultimate reality or, in other words, Samsara is identical with Nirvana.
‘A’ is also employed to suggest the idea of the evolution of all phenomena from thusness. In Esoteric Buddhism, it symbolizes the unity of the whole world. Thence it is identified with Vairocana [the primordial Buddha.”
“If the mind is very unsettled and we cannot use Buddha Recitation], we should, with each utterance, concentrate firmly on the letter ‘A’ in Amitabha Buddha. When the letter ‘A’ is present, all the other letters are also present.
Through concentration on reciting the Buddha’s name while simultaneously holding fast to the letter ‘A’, eventually mind and environment both dissolve and amalgamate into one bloc, as great as space itself.
At that time, naturally, the letter ‘A’ will have ceased to exist as well. However, it was lost earlier because the mind was unsettled and scattered, while it no longer exists now precisely because of the harmonious state of ‘perpetual concentration.’
source: (The Seeker’s Glossary Of Buddhism)