As you climb up onto the roof from one of the four corner staircases, you will come upon one of the 4 small pavilions, which houses one of the Four Buddhas of the Cardinal Points. When you look towards the center of the roof level, you will see a large, tall Ten Thousand Buddhas Pagoda housing the large Vairocana Buddha Prayer Wheel, in the center. You will also notice the other pavilions with their respective Buddhas of the Cardinal Points. The open orchid garden in between is filled with numerous Dendrobium Buddha Tooth orchid plants and other orchid plants as well as local trees and shrubs.
Along the galleries of the roof garden, the walls are inlayed with 12,300 shrines of Buddha of Infinite Life Lights and seated in each of the shrines is the Buddha of Infinite Life - Buddha Amitayus.
Buddha Amitayus (Chinese: Wúliàngshòu (無量壽; "Infinite Life"); Tibetan: ཚེ་དཔག་མེད་, Tsepakmé; Wyl. tshe.dpag.med), where the ‘infinite’ also denotes countless and boundless. Amitayus is the Sambhogakaya’s (Body of mutual enjoyment) manifestation of the Dharmakaya (Dharma Body) of Amitabha Buddha.
The Amitāyurdhyāna Sūtra (Sanskrit; traditional Chinese: 佛說觀無量壽佛經; pinyin: Fó Shuō Guān Wúliàngshòufó Jīng; Japanese: 観無量寿経), is one of the three major Buddhist sūtras found within the Pure Land branch of Mahāyāna Buddhism. This sūtra focuses mainly on meditations involving complex visualization. This is reflected in the name of the sūtra, which translates to the "Amitāyus Meditation Sūtra."
The Infinite Life Sūtra, or Longer Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra (Sanskrit: सुखावतीव्यूहः sukhāvatīvyūhaḥ; traditional Chinese: 無量壽經; simplified Chinese: 无量寿经; pinyin: Wúliángshòu Jīng; Japanese: 無量寿経; Korean: 무량수경; Vietnamese: Vô lượng thọ kinh) is a Mahāyāna Buddhist sūtra, and the primary text of Pure Land Buddhism. It is the longest of the three major texts of Pure Land Buddhism.
The most well-known version of the Infinite Life Sūtra is the two-fascicle Fó Shuō Wúliángshòu Jīng (Ch. 佛說無量壽經), which translates to "The Buddha Speaks of the Infinite Life Sūtra." This translation is traditionally attributed to the Indian Buddhist monk Saṅghavarman (Ch. 康僧鎧 Kāng Sēngkǎi), who translated the text in 252 CE at White Horse Temple in Luoyang, during the Three Kingdoms Period. However, the common opinion now is that it was more likely a work of the later Indian monk and translator Buddhabhadra (359-429 CE).
In Shingon, Amitabha occurs in the Vajradhatu; whilst Amitayus in the Garbhadhatu mandalas respectively. In the Tibetan tradition, Amitayus is clearly distinguished from Buddha Amitabha, both iconographically and philosophically. Amitayus was invoked to cure a person in ill-health, but on his death he went to the world of Amitabha.
The Tibetan form is in the dhyana-mudra, with an amrta-kalasa/vase filled with ambrosia and topped by leaves of the Asoka tree, symbolizing long life without care, full of health, without miseries of disease. He is a sambhoga-kaya with royal ornaments.
The ‘Light’ (Dipa in Sanskrit) means brightness and also means lamp, it also denotes the light offered to Buddhas. In Buddhist scriptures, light is always used to signify Buddha’s wisdom. In the chapter twenty-one of the ‘Great Parinirvana Sutra’, it is stated that: “obscured by darkness of ignorance, sentient beings fail to realize wisdom; Buddha lit the lamp of Dharma, enlightens the Bodhisattvas to the path of Nirvana, the eternal bliss and purity”.
It is said that to offer light to Buddhist stupas, Buddha images and Buddhist scriptures, one will reap immense merits. Further to this, in the chapter thirty-eight of ‘Ekottara-Agama Sutra’ it is stated that: “when Buddha Dipankara was a Senior Bikkhu in his past life, diligently he offered light to the Treasury Buddha everyday, and he received the prophecy of becoming a Buddha “
The final Buddha image was developed and produced by Mr Huang Yusuo from Putian, China.
The wall shrines was developed and produced in Taiwan and installed.
The Sponsorship of each statue is $68 a year with 12,300 Longevity Buddha Lights available for yearly subscription.
Led by the venerable Sangha, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple holds a Maitreya Buddha Ceremony on the first day of every lunar month, with the chanting the Sutra of 10,000 Buddha Names and to dedicate the merits to all donors who offered the light, for their prosperity and longevity, and for their attainment of enlightenment soon.
1. Lokesh Chandra, Dictionary of Buddhist Iconography, International Academy of Indian Culture and Aditya Prakashan, 1999, ISBN 81-86471-99-5, Vol 1, pages 223 – 284
2. Lokesh Chandra, Fredick W Bunce, The Tibetan Iconography of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and other Dieties; D. K. Printworld (P) Ltd., 2002, ISBN 81-246-0178-X, pages 136 -137