AMIDA (Japanese, from Sanscrit, Amitayus—unmeasured longevity, or Amitabha—unmeasured brightness)—the most popular image of Buddha in the Far East (mahayana).
Amida is to reign the paradise of the pure land situated in the west. The mystical aim of Amida is to enable everyone who recites the formula “namu Amida-butsu” (homage to Buddha Amida) to be reborn in paradise. In Japan the cult of Amida, which wandered there from India by way of China, took the form of Amidism. Amida is commonly represented in art as a figure sitting or standing on a lotus flower with his right palm raised up in the gesture of a teacher instructing the faithful, or with the fingers of both hands intertwined in a symbolic gesture called a mudra. Amida’s head is surrounded by the usual aureole.
H. Hass, Amida Buddha, unsere Zuflucht, L 1910; Hobogirin, Dictionnaire encyclopédique du bouddhisme, I, Tok 1929–1930; W. Gundert, Japanische Religionsgeschichte, Tok 1935; W. Kotański, Zarys dziejów religii w Japonii, Wwa 1963, 169.