The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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As it says in Buddhist tradition, Devadatta, a very envious cousin of Amoghasiddhi once attempted to murder the Buddha by releasing a rampaging elephant into the Buddha's path to which Amoghasiddhi simply raised his mudra calming the beast, embodying both fearlessness and defeating envy.
When we can avert the associated bitterness and understand that the object of our envy is merely an agent leading us to greater Karma and better accomplishment, the message of Amoghasiddhi will be understood.
Lord of the Karma Buddha family, he is seated upon a lotus supported by shang-shang birds (S. garuda). Associated with the wisdom that achieves all, the transmutation of the poison jealousy, the color green, and the aggregate of volition, Amoghasiddhi is associated with the north of the ground of Prakuta Buddha, or Karmasampat, (T. la rab zog pa) "success in evolution."
His recognition symbol is the double dorje (visvavajra), representing the wisdom of all-accomplishing activity. His power and energy are both subtle, their dynamics often hidden from conscious awareness.
Amoghasiddhi is depicted with emerald-green skin, his left hand resting in his lap in the mudra of equipoise and his right hand at chest level facing outwards in the fearless (S. abhya mudra of granting protection.
Origin and Significance
The five also individualy represent one of the five skandhas:
Given the broad range of characteristics embodied by the Dhyani Buddhas, their significance can be attached to an aspect of daily life, and there is a keen likelihood that any happenstance, feeling, sight, etc. will be associated with one of them.
These connection to the common make them well known and reverd among practitioners.
The specific origin of these Buddhas is a bit sketchy at times.
They are sometimes said to have "always been" and so their origin is only a matter of when they were cited in the writings.
The other four are:
These five Buddhas serve as particular iconography for the historical Buddha's life, traits, and path to enlightenment. They also all serve to identify one negative emotion of motivation and transform it into a positive action.
Shedding these five traits and embracing only their positive aspects helps one on the path to enlightenment.
In a majority of the painted iconic images of Amoghasiddhi, he is shown with a green body, which can be seen as nature's peace and tranquility. The green color is meant to calm anxiety because of its soothing and relaxing nature.
To better understand the depth of meaning involved in Amoghasiddhi's portrayals. Amoghasiddhi is seated in his typical way (as described previously), with Manjushri on the right and Avalokiteshvara on the left.
Amoghasiddhi. (T. Don yod grub pa; C. Bukong Chengjiu rulai fo; J. Fukū Jōju nyoraibutsu; K. Pulgong Sŏngch’wi yŏrae pul 不空成就如來佛). In Sanskrit, “He Whose Accomplishments Are Not in Vain,” name of one of the Pañcatathāgata.
He is usually depicted in the guise of a buddha, green in color, and sitting in Dhyānāsana with his right hand in Dhyānamudrā or with a viśvavajra in his upturned palm; his left hand is held at his chest in Abhayamudrā.
The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism by Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.}
Indeed, Green Tara is always depicted in a posture with her right leg extended, signifying her readiness to spring into action. Amoghasiddhi is believed to alter the negative human failing of jealousy into the positive wisdom of accomplishment.
Jealousy is a positive human emotion in as much that it fuels our ambition and prompts us to achieve greater heights. But its negativeness stems from the fact that it is almost always accompanied by a bitterness towards the one who is the target of our envy.
When we are able to ward off this associated feeling of resentment, and realize at the same time that the object of our jealousy is but a medium prompting us to greater karma, leading to higher accomplishments, we would have the read the message of Amoghasiddhi successfully.
One of the five celestial Buddha of the Mahayana Buddhism, Amoghasiddhi literally means the Unfailing success. He is shown in green colour with his left hand in his lap and his right hand making gesture of fearlessness.
One of the 5 Transcendent Buddhas;