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“西方三聖”指的是西方極樂世界之三尊主要的佛菩薩,即教主“阿彌陀佛”(Amitābha Budhisativa)、祂的左胁侍“觀世音菩薩”(Avalokiteśvara Budhisativa)與右胁侍“大勢至菩薩”(Mahāsthāmaprāpta Budhisativa)。三者造像皆在蓮座上,蓮象徵出淤泥而不染。
阿彌陀佛,即無量光佛或無量壽佛,在大乘佛教信仰中,認為祂是西方極樂世界的他方佛,主掌往生大事。阿彌陀佛手持蓮台,與觀世音菩薩、大勢至菩薩等清凈大海眾菩薩接引十方念佛眾生。
觀世音菩薩,又譯為觀自在菩薩、光世音菩薩。漢語音譯“阿婆盧吉低舍婆羅”、“阿縛盧織低濕伐邏”,名號意思為“觀察世間音聲覺悟有情”。佛經指菩薩以大慈悲心,為度眾生而示現菩薩形象,重入世間教化救苦,使之離苦得樂。
大勢至菩薩,又稱得大勢至菩薩、大精進菩薩。據《觀無量壽經》,祂恒念阿彌陀佛,以智慧之光普照一切,使人得到無上力量、威勢自在,接引眾生往生凈土。因此祂被認為光明智能第一,所到之處天地震動,保護眾生,免受邪魔所害。

The Holy Trinity in Western Paradise (The Three Holy Deities In The West)
‘Xi Fang San Sheng’ refers to the Holy Trinity in Western Paradise (The Three Deities in The West or The Three Holy Lords in the Western Pure Land) in Buddhism. They are Amitābha Budhisativa, Avalokiteśvara Budhisativa and Mahāsthāmaprāpta Budhisativa. These three deities sit on the ‘lotus throne’, a Buddhistic symbol that represents rising and blooming above murky water to achieve enlightenment. Religiously, lotus itself represents purity, beauty, majesty, grace, fertility and serenity.
Amitābha Budhisativa is also known as ‘the Buddha of Immeasurable Life and Light’. According to Mahayana Buddhism, Amitābha Budhisativa is the principal Buddha of another system of worlds, who is in charge of the future life of the departed. The celestial Buddha holds a lotus throne in his hand and leads Avalokiteśvara Budhisativa and Mahāsthāmaprāpta Budhisativa to receive and guide all the faithful living creatures from all corners of the world.
Avalokiteśvara Budhisativa is also known as ‘Guānzìzài’ or ‘Guānshìyīn’. It is believed that Avalokiteśvara Budhisativa possesses the divine power of perceiving the world’s lamentation of sentient beings. This female deity is known for her compassion (hence the nickname ‘The Deity of Mercy’). Avalokiteśvara Budhisativa plays a divine role in relieving the suffering of sentient beings for better life.
Mahāsthāmaprāpta Budhisativa is also known as Dàshìzhì Púsà or ‘the Great Strength Bodhisattva’. According to the Mahayana Buddhist Sutras, Mahāsthāmaprāpta Budhisativa gained enlightenment through the practice of Buddha Recitation. He emanates the light of wisdom to bestow great strength upon all living creatures who are on their way to the Pure Land. Therefore, Mahāsthāmaprāpta Budhisativa shines down the light of wisdom that unsettles the evil spirits to protect the sentient beings.

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地藏王
地藏王,又稱地藏王菩薩、地藏菩薩。因其“安忍不動如大地,靜慮深密如秘藏”,故名地藏。為佛教四大菩薩之一,與觀音、文殊、普賢齊名,深受世人敬仰。以其“久遠劫來屢發弘願”,即在於“地獄不空、誓不成佛”,故被尊稱為大願地藏王菩薩。地藏王又被稱為“大願”地藏,與觀音的“大悲”、文殊的“大智”、普賢的“大行”相呼應。按佛教說法,地藏王菩薩受釋迦牟尼佛的託付,擔當起教化六道一切眾生的重任。處事堅毅不拔,以果敢的決斷力救濟三界六道的一切眾生,地獄不空,自己決不成佛。

Ksitigarbha
Ksitigarbha is also known as ‘Di Zang Wang Pu Sa’ or Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva. This deity is the guardian of the underworld, hence the nickname ‘Earth Treasury’, ‘Earth Store’, “Earth Matrix”, “Earth Womb”, or ‘The King of Hell’. Ksitigarbha is one of the four principal bodhisattvas with the others being Samantabhadra, Manjusri and Avalokiteśvara (all of them are revered deities across the globe). He is known to have made a vow not to achieve Buddhahood until all hells are emptied, hence the nickname ‘Bodhisattva King Earth-Matrix of the Great Vow’ (Dayuan Dizang Pusa).The ‘Dayuan’ (literally means ‘The Lofty Ambition’) strikes a chord with the ‘mercy’ of Guanyin, ‘wisdom’ of Manjushri and ‘Buddhist practice and medication’ of Samantabhadra. The Buddhist teachings claim that Ksitigarbha was empowered by Gautama Buddha to take on the role as the instructor of the Six Realms of Existence. He vowed not to attain Buddhahood until all the hell-mates are saved from both the Three Worlds (Three Spheres) and Six Realms.