Statue of Amida Buddha: This is not an
idol or god but a symbol for the religious truth of
infinite wisdom and compassion. The statue is in
human form reminding us that we as humans
can realize the truth. The essence of the
Buddha is symbolized by the lotus on which the
Buddha is standing. Just as the lotus rises
above the mud and dirty water (like this human
world) and produces a pure, white, beautiful
flower (like the peace and beauty of
Enlightenment), the Buddha rises above greed,
hatred, anger and ignorance in the world.
Statues of the Buddha can be in the sitting or
standing pose. Our standing Buddha is a
reminder of the "active" Buddha calling out to
help us human beings at all times.
Each Buddha has hand positions, called
mudras, which are a means of identifying and
distinguishing Buddha's. Amida has the hand
position of forming a ring or circle with each
thumb and index finger.
In the standing pose, the right hand (a symbol of
the strength of Wisdom) is held slightly above
the head and the left hand (calling out offering
Compassion) is parallel to the ground. The 48
rays coming from behind the Buddha's back are
symbolic of the 48 vows Amida Buddha made to
ensure Enlightenment to all sentient beings.
Statues of all Buddha's bear physical charac-
teristics of peoples of many races -- curly hair,
blue eyes, golden skin, for example. This serves
to remind us that the possibility of becoming a
Buddha is not limited to one people, but that it is
possible for all humankind.
The jewel in the middle of the Buddha's
forehead represents the "mind's eye" that can
see beyond this world into the realm of
This Naijin is unique in having a rather large
statue in a modest-size room. This was a break
in tradition made by the late Rev. Gyodo Kono,
who started the Midwest Buddhist Temple. This
statue was specifically selected by Rev. Kono
and installed in 1972.
Candles: Symbolize the infinite light and
wisdom of Amida Buddha, which in turn
illuminates darkness and the path to the Pure