Q-60pxI am a new practitioner of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism from Florida, and I have a question. Unfortunately, there is no BCA-affiliated temple in my state. However, I’m interested in creating an altar in my home that includes a statue of Amida Buddha.

I’m wondering if you could please tell me if the statue seen here is Amida Buddha. Also can you please tell me the mudra this statue is holding?

A-60pxWelcome to Jodo Shinshu. You are right that we do not have a BCA temple in Florida. But it’s great that you want to create an altar for your home.

Yes, this is a statue of Amida Buddha. The mudra (hand position) is the modified “OK” sign (with thumb and index finger touching).

This statue is an Indian version of Amida. The look in Japanese art (via China) has made Amida look slightly different, and the official version of the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha (our mother temple in Japan) would say, the Amida statue should have 48 spokes radiating from the back of the head.

The BCA does not actually hold to that standard (we have temples with non-standard Amida statues, oh well). But what is important for you is that you like the statue. If you do, then please use it.

Gassho (with palms together),
Rev. Ron