Buddhānusmṛiti (Recollection of the Buddha)
The full set of 10 anusmṛtis comprises:
9) parts of the body, and 10) peace.
Buddhist practitioners focus their minds on these subjects by reciting a set text or formula listing their salient qualities. The recollection of the Buddha was the most important anusmṛti, eventually becoming an independent practice.
Initially the relevant formula comprised the so-called 10 epithets or titles of the Buddha, in that practitioners were instructed to recall that:
The Buddha was indeed
worthy, correctly and fully awakened,
perfected in knowledge and conduct,
blessed, knower of the world,
supreme, trainer of humans amenable to training,
teacher of gods and humankind,
Buddha, and lord.
However, other benefits were also ascribed to the practice, so that Buddhānusmṛiti was, for example, thought useful for protection purposes, for warding off fear and danger, as well as for generating merit.
Iconography probably influenced this process, which by the 2nd century C.E. had given rise to the Mahayanist Pratyutpanna-samādhi, a full-fledged visualization of the spiritual and physical qualities of any Buddha of the present age, not just Gautama.
This meditation incorporated the earlier form of Buddhānusmṛiti, whose text remained the nucleus of the mental operations required, even though its recitation was eventually shortened to the invocation of the Buddha’s name.
The words Namu Āmituo Fo (hail to the Buddha Amitābha) have accordingly become a prime liturgical and ritual formula for Chinese Buddhists, who have used them in communal worship, in personal devotions, even as a Buddhist greeting when answering the telephone.
Recitation of words Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
The persistence of Buddhānusmṛiti and its derivatives testifies to the central importance in Buddhism of the relationship between those who seek salvation and the Awakened Teacher who shows them the Path,