The twelve light of Amitabhy: The Sutra of Amitayus describes the light of Amitābha: ‘The light of Buddha Amitābha is the most beautiful and best light. This light is billions of times stronger than sun and moon together. This light is the supreme light among all the lights. Buddha Amitābha is the emperor of all Buddhas.
Buddha Amitābha (light) is also known as Buddha Amitayus (life forever). This Buddha has 12 lights, each with a different quality. These twelve lights imbue all worlds. Everything is filled with these lights. No matter how dirty or bad a living being may be, if it is touched by the light everything dirty and bad disappears. Everything beautiful and good emerges. Body, mind and heart become soft. No matter how painful, miserable and full of suffering a life may be, at the end of life this living being enters into peace and becomes liberated. Whoever hears about this great light, orients to it and continually praises it (chanting with devotion), can be reborn in this light, as long as they wish it from the deepest part of their heart.´
The 12 lights of Amitābha permeate all time and all space. Everyone and everything is filled with this light. Anyone can be touched by Amitābha’s light, no matter what one has done or experienced before. When the light touches us, all evil and darkness disappears. Our old patterns and barriers will be resolved. But the old is not destroyed by the light. The light never destroys! The light just illuminates the darkness and transforms everything back into the natural order – into the true reality of being.
The light of Amitābha lets everything beautiful and good emerge: joy, wisdom, health, deep peace and absolute freedom. No matter how painful, miserable and full of suffering a life may have been, this light can liberate every human being.
In the Amitayus Sutra Amitābha is also called Amitayus. Amitayus means ‘life forever’. This shows a very important result of the mantra. It protects life and it preserves life. Everybody, who is filled with Amitābha’s light, can become very old and at the same time, retain a young spirit, good health and an open, happy heart.
Amitābha also has eleven additional names and together, these 12 names reveal to us the 12 characteristics of the eternal light. By looking closer at these 12 names or qualities, we can obtain a deeper understand of how the light of Amitābha works.
The 12 names of Amitābha (12 qualities)
1. The immeasurable light (Amitābha) cannot be measured or calculated. It permeates all times: the past, the present and the future, and goes beyond any idea and any concept of time.
2. The limitless light shines eternally everywhere. It fills all space and goes beyond our concept of space. It permeates all levels of being, even those we do not know.
3. The all permeating light cannot be stopped. No matter how far we are away from this light, how bad we might be, this light reaches us even in the worst situations.
4. The incomparable light is the greatest light ever. It comes directly from reality, directly from the freedom of awakening. Normal light can never be compared with it.
5. The light of wisdom lets us see with crystal clarity. With the help of its brightness we can realise everything clearly. With the eyes of our hearts we see clearly the reality of being.
6. The eternal light never ceases to exist. It is always there, regardless of whether we can sense it or not. `The Amitābha Buddha never sleeps, he shines on all living beings, who are open to reality – this is the light of Amitayus (translated: life forever). It protects life.
7. The pure light is absolutely pure and has a purifying effect. It supports an internal purification process. It dissolves barriers, old patterns, lack of clarity and confusion. No matter how big problems may seem, everything returns to the simple state of being, where everything is interconnected.
8. The light of bliss is pure joy. Not a usual pleasure, but bliss. It is always there and not tied to any external circumstances. We are free, open, relaxed, full of vitality and joy. There are no problems.
9. The light of liberation means freedom. This light liberates us not only from our everyday problems, suffering and distress, it can first and foremost, guide us beyond death. With its help we overcome even the worst situations.
10. The light of inner peace stops the activity of the ego. The ego with its patterns and barriers cannot disturb us anymore. We enter into the state of inner peace that is our true nature. We arrive, relax and enjoy the peace. This is an important quality of Anxi.
11. The incredible light is inconceivably multifaceted, it will always surprise us. No matter, what light we imagine, what light we have seen or experienced, it is at most a small part of the whole. The light of Amitābha is beyond our imagination.
12. The light outshining thousands of suns and moons is a summary. It shows how incredibly powerful this light is. A master from the Amitābha tradition once said, `If you can imagine ten thousand suns at once, you can surmise how powerful Amitābha light is.´