Akshobhya, Dhyani Buddha

Akshobhya, Dhyani Buddha

The name Akshobhya means “Immovable” or “Unshakable.” Akshobhya's Mirrorlike Wisdom reflects all things calmly and uncritically and reveals their true nature. One text says, “Just as one sees one’s own reflection in a mirror, so the Dharmakaya is seen in the Mirror of Wisdom.” 1 Mirrorlike Wisdom antidotes the poison of hatred and anger.

In the mandala of the Five Dhyani Buddhas, Akshobhya is usually positioned to the east (which is at the bottom) but he is sometimes placed in the center. His color is blue. He rules over the element of water and personifies the component of form. In some systems, Akshobhya is associated with the skandha of consciousness. His lotus throne is supported by the elephant, symbol of steadfastness and strength.

vajraHis symbol is the vajra, also called thunderbolt or diamond scepter. The vajra denotes enlightenment, the indestructible, adamantine nature of pure consciousness, or the essence of Reality. In some traditions, the vajra signifies the union of man and the Buddha; one end of the vajra symbolizes the macrocosmic realm of the Buddha and the other end the microcosmic realm of man.

Akshobhya's mudra is the bhumisparsha mudra. It is the earth-touching gesture and denotes unshakability. (The fingertips of the right hand touch the ground or hang over the right knee, with the palm turned inward.) This is the mudra Gautama Buddha used to summon the earth to witness to his right to attain enlightenment when he was challenged by the Evil One, Mara.

Akshobhya's paradise is Abhirati, the Land of Exceeding Great Delight. Buddhists believe that whoever is reborn there cannot fall back to a lower level of consciousness. Akshobhya's bija is Hum and his mantra is Om Akshobhya Hum.


1. Indrabhuti, Jnanasiddhi, quoted in Govinda, Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism, p. 113.

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