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The Five Dhyani Buddhas: Akshobhya Buddha

The Immovable Buddha


The Five Dhyani Buddhas are icons of Mahayana Buddhism. Each represents a different aspect of enlightened consciousness to aid in spiritual transformation.
Akshobhya Buddha

Akshobhya Buddha

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Akshobhya was a monk who vowed never to feel anger or disgust at another being. He was immovable in keeping this vow, and after long striving he became a Buddha.

Akshobhya is a heavenly Buddha who reigns over the eastern paradise, Abhirati. (Note that the eastern paradise is understood to be a state of mind, not a physical place.) Those who fulfill Akshobhya's vow are reborn in Abhirati and cannot fall back into lower states of consciousness.

In Buddhist iconography, Akshobhya usually is blue, sometimes gold. He is most often pictured touching the earth with his right hand. This is the earth-touching mudra, which is the gesture used by the historical Buddha when he asked the earth to bear witness to his enlightenment.

In his left hand Akshobhya holds a vajra, the symbol of shunyata -- an absolute reality that is all things and beings, unmanifested. Akshobhya also is associated with the fifth skandha, consciousness.

In Buddhist tantra, evoking Akshobhya in meditation helps overcome anger and hatred.

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