Akshobhya Practice

Akshobhya Buddha and his aspiration

The Buddha Akshobhya established the enlightened intention that all sentient beings could purify any degree of nonvirtue through his practice. Even the extreme nonvirtues of hatred, violence, and killing can be cleansed through relying on him as the focus of meditation, acknowledging and abandoning nonvirtuous actions, and invoking his blessings of purification.

In the Akshobhya sutra, the Buddha Sakyamuni himself extolled the perseverance of Akshobhya in actualizing this intention so powerfully that countless beings have been saved from the intense suffering of lower states of existence.

Dedicating Akshobhya practice for others

Akshobhya meditation can liberate not only the practitioner him or herself from the fear of inauspicious rebirth, but other beings as well. Akshobhya explicitly promised that the merit generated by reciting one-hundred-thousand of his long dhayani mantra and creating an image of him could be dedicated to another person, even someone long deceased, and they would be assured of release from lower states of existence and rebirth in spiritually fortunate circumstances.

Buddhist teachings indicate that death during the passage toward birth (by miscarriage or abortion), death before adulthood, violent or fearful death, and suicide are signs that the deceased might have difficulties in obtaining fortunate, spiritually well-endowed rebirth. Such beings could especially benefit from the merit of a hundred thousand Akshobhya recitations and the creation of an Akshobhya image.

Akshobhya practice for animals

Like many humans, animals may also experience violent lives or deaths, or simply by their nature they may have killed many other beings. Buddhism understands animals to be sentient just like humans – any animal can benefit from release from the animal realm through Akshobhya. Therefore many people have sponsored Akshobhya for their pets, or for animals they may have killed while driving or in other circumstances.

Mantra recitation and creating an image

The full Akshobhya mantra is very long, so it takes an experienced Akshobhya practitioner in strict retreat about a month to complete. For the past decade, to benefit those who cannot undertake the Akshobhya practice themselves, Mahakaruna Foundation has arranged for this practice to be performed by qualified practitioners in Asia.

The full Akhsobhya commitment includes both 100,000 recitations of the long Akshobhya dharani mantra and sponsorship of a new image of Akshobhya. The positive interdependence generated by the mantra and image together assures the person who receives the dedication will find a rebirth that is free of intense suffering and is conducive to ultimate happiness.


Update 2024 – for many years the cost of supporting a single practitioner to do 100,000 mantras was set by Mahakaruna at below $100. This price is no longer viable, due to much higher living costs throughout Asia. We have restructured the sponsorship to offer two options:

  • recitation by a whole monastic sangha (designated as GROUP in the pricing) This group recitation will be done in specific monasteries every three months, as a three-day drubchod practice. The names of those who are being sponsored will be read during the practice.
  • recitation by a single practitioner (designated as SOLO in the pricing)

Any one of the following three options constitutes the completion stage of the Akshobhya sponsorship.

  • $35 for the creation of a tile image or plaque, or
  • $105 for the creation of a small thangka, or
  • $120 for the creation of a small bronze statue

Please note that these are artisan products so size and details may vary slightly. These items are sent to the sponsor directly from Mahakaruna’s offices – please allow up to six months for receipt.


  • $50 for the mantra recitation
  • $85 for mantra recitation PLUS tile
  • $155 for mantra recitation PLUS thangka
  • $170 for mantra recitation PLUS statue


  • $140 for the mantra recitation
  • $175 for mantra recitation PLUS tile
  • $245 for mantra recitation PLUS thangka
  • $260 for mantra recitation PLUS statue


You can arrange payment by mailing a check or using our secure online payment system.

Please note the following points:

  • Each person/animal is sponsored separately; ie $50 = recitation for just ONE being
  • Please state whether the being is living or deceased
  • Give the date and circumstances of death for deceased beings

Examples of requests

John Smith requests SOLO mantra plus tile for Susan Smith, living, for removal of obstacles.
Anna Green requests GROUP mantra for her father Michael Green, died September 3rd 1986 of stomach cancer.

All information is handled in strictest confidence.


Checks should be made out to 'Mahakaruna Foundation'. Please include a note telling us to which program(s) you would like your offering applied and also all the relevant details.

Please mail to

Mahakaruna Foundation
P.O. Box 83
Cazadero, CA

Questions? Please email info@mahakaruna.org or call (707) 632 5629 during office hours (Pacific Standard time) and ask for Dave Picciotto.