Akshobhya is the second of the Transcendental Buddhas. Akshobhya originates from the blue seed syllable HUM and represents the primordial cosmic element of consciousness; immutable and imperturbable. The path to enlightenment through the Vajra family is one of breaking free of constraints and obstacles, transmuting negativity, and is generally more dynamic and proactive.
Akshobhya is believed to transform the human failing of anger into a clear mirror-like wisdom. With this wisdom, we see things just as they are, impartially and unaffectedly. Indeed, whether it is a red rose or a bloody dagger, a mirror will reflect both just as they are. It will not be judgmental and distinguish between the two reds, attempting to hold to the first and flee from the second. No reflection in a mirror sticks to it, and none repels it. The mirror always stands imperturbable and immutable, just as we should, whether the circumstances are favorable or unfavorable to us.
Akshobhya is blue in blue in color and his blue color is closely linked to the mirror symbolism. Blue is the color of water, and water has the capacity to act as a clear mirror. Akshobhya makes the Bhumisparsha Mudra (Earth Touching Gesture). This gesture recalls the incident just before Buddha’s enlightenment when he was challenged by Mara, the personification of evil. Mara was convinced that the spiritual throne where Buddha was sitting belonged rightly to him. Accordingly he challenged Buddha to prove his claim to the seat. Buddha moved his hand to touch the ground with his fingertips, and thus bid the goddess Earth to bear witness to his right to be sitting where he was. She did so with a hundred thousand roars, and validated Buddha’s assertion. Akshobhya’s emblem is the Vajra. The Vajra is the quintessential symbol of Vajrayana Buddhism, which derives its name from the Vajra itself. The Sanskrit term Vajra means 'the hard or mighty one', and its Tibetan equivalent Dorje means an indestructible hardness and brilliance like the diamond, which cannot be cut or broken. The Vajra essentially signifies the immovable, immutable, indivisible, and indestructible state of enlightenment. Thus is Akshobhya touching the earth with the fingertips of his right hand, the earth too being a symbol of the immutable, the solid, and the concrete. Akshobhya’s mount is the elephant. An elephant places its foot upon the earth with unshakeable certainty. It has the same unalterable quality as the Buddha’s fingers touching the ground, and the same determination that carried Buddha through his tribulations.
Akshobhya is often depicted with his consort Lochana who expresses the mirror-like primordial wisdom. Akshobhya is considered the ruler over the eastern direction. It is the direction where dawn takes place. Indeed, Buddha’s victory over Mara heralded the dawning of a new, spiritual reality.
When represented Akshobhya in a Dhyani Buddha Mandala, the Buddhas are arranged like this:
Akshobhya --- Vairochana --- Amitabha
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