It is said that once Buddha was asked by his disciples the reason for an unprecedented light that filled the universe. The Blessed one replied that there was a world situated far to the west of this one, known as the Lotus world, and that Buddhas Amitabha and the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara lived there.
The cult of Amitabha is very popular in Northern Buddhist countries. It is believed that when his immeasurable light shines upon the Sadhaka (practitioner), all the grave sins and hindrances of karma are nullified. He contemplates subtle distinctions of the spiritual capacities of beings, and then he preaches Dharma according to their receptivity, revealing to them their lotus-like principle and the purity of their fundamental nature. In the Dhyana-mudra, his right hand supports the left. The right hand is the world of Buddhas and the left hand is the world of beings. Thus the mudra means that the world of Buddhas sustains the world of phenomena.
Amitabha has been represented in different forms and materials. In painting his complexion is red. In the present rendition he is shown seated in vajraparyankasana on a lotus seat. His hands are as usual in the meditation position, holding a begging bowl. His body is slim and slender. His eyes are downcast in deep meditation, the lips are upturned, and the earlobes are elongated. His neck has three folds (trivali). His hair, painted in blue colour is arranged in tight circular curls, and a jewel surmounts the slight high crown protrusion. His face is imbued with subtle concepts like bodhi, prajna, karuna and yoga, imparting a higher level of spiritual experience.
He is wearing a slight thick monastic sanghati, covering both the shoulders and the breast bared. The robe is pleated above the waist and falls in folds on the back. One of the remarkable features of this sculpture is the ornate decoration of the garment.The embossed ornamentation on his robes is very rich and continues even on the back. The ornamentation depicts scroll-designs, eagles, dragons, tigers and other mythical animals etc. The robes are edged with floral designs. There are eleven ornate lotus petals, embossed on the front of the pedestal. The rear portion of the pedestal depicts similar ornamentation as on the robes. The base of the pedestal also depicts floral motifs.
The execution of the figure and the decoration of the robes is excellent.
This description by Dr. Shailendra Kumar Verma, Ph.D. His doctorate thesis being on the "Emergence and Evolution of the Buddha Image (from its inception to 8th century A.D)."