Chùa Hải-Đức in Jacksonville

[Home] [Up] [Điểm Sách] [Dharma Talks] [GĐPT] [Sinh Hoạt] [Our Activities] [Kinh] [Pháp Thoại audio mp3] [Tin Tức Phật Giáo] [Thuyết Pháp] [Thơ Văn] [Ngoại Điển] [Phật Học] [Tụng Kinh] [Nghi Lễ - Rituals]

 

THE  LARGER  SUKHAVATIVYUHA   SUTRA  

or

 The Sutra on the Buddha of Eternal Life

 

 Kinh Vô Luong Tho

 

Chapter 1 to 17 

Translated by F. Max Mueller

 Edited for Internet Publication by

 Richard St. Clair

 This electronic version may be copied and distributed free and without permission provided that it is not altered in any way.

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Editorial Notes

 

This is an ASCII version of the Larger Sukhavati-Vyuha Sutra published in the Sacred Books of the East series, vol. XLIX, Clarendon Press, Oxford, England, 1894. The original edition is in the public domain.  

All diacritical marks have been removed in order to produce this edition to accommodate ASCII texting. Many editorial practices have changed over the century since this work was published; hence, other editorial changes have been made as well. Changes made to the text are:

•Original italicized 'g' changed to 'j' (e.g. Gina becomes Jina, Agita becomes Ajita, yogana becomes yojana) •'A' with caret ( ^ ) rendered normal 'a'; exception: Sakyamuni changed to Shakyamuni •"the Law" is changed to "the Dharma" throughout •"the Church" is changed to "the Sangha" throughout •Paragraph mark changed to '#' •Kakravada changed to Chakravada, others similarly •niyuta changed to nayuta •Ganga (River) changed to Ganges •Most other italicized letters, indicating Sanskrit pronunciation, are rendered asnormal text. •'Bhikshu' is retained, although many recent English transcriptions give 'Bhikkhu' •Paragraph divisions have been added at significant places where the original is lengthy, or to set off quoted dialogue. •The text "viz.,"(short for 'videlicet', or 'which see' in Latin) is replaced throughout by modern colloquial "that is,". •Aviki respelled as Avichi.  

The footnotes in the original publication appear on the page where they are referenced. In this edition, all footnotes are at the end of the complete text. Footnotes number by page in the original. In this edition they run consecutively throughout. Footnotes in the text are marked by a caret ( ^ ) followed by the footnote number, where the original footnotes appear. In the Footnote section, the footnoted phrase or keyword is [bracketed] for clarity - this is an addition to the original.

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------

 THE LARGER SUKHAVATI-VYUHA.

 DESCRIPTION OF SUKHAVATI, THE LAND OF BLISS.

 

*** 

Om.  

Adoration to the Three Treasures!  

Om.  

Adoration to all the glorious Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!  

Adoration to all Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Aryas, Sravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas, past, present, and to come, who dwell in the unlimited and endless Lokadhatus of the ten quarters!

 

Adoration to Amitabha! 

Adoration to him whose soul is endowed with incomprehensible virtues!  

 

Adoration to Amitabha, to the Jina, to thee, O Muni!

I go to Sukhavati through thy compassion also;

To Sukhavati, with its groves, resplendent with gold,

The delightful, adorned with the sons of Sugata,--

I go to it, which is full of many jewels and treasures;

And the refuge of thee, the famous and wise.

 ***

 

# 1. Thus it was heard by me. At one time the Bhagavat^1 dwelt in Rajagriha, on the mountain Gridhrakuta, with a large assembly of Bhikshus, with thirty-two thousands of Bhikshus, all holy (arhat), free from frailties and cares, who had performed their religious duties, whose thoughts had been thoroughly freed through perfect knowledge, with inquiring thoughts, who had broken the fetters of existence, who had obtained their desires, who had conquered, who had achieved the highest self restraint, whose thoughts and whose knowledge were unfettered, Mahanagas (great heroes), possessed of the six kinds of knowledge, self-controlled, meditating on the eight kinds of salvation, possessed of the powers, wise in wisdom, elders, great disciples, that is, 1. Ajnatakaundinya, 2. Asvajit, 3. Vashpa, 4. Mahanaman, 5. Bhadrajit, 6. Yasodeva, 7. Vimala, 8. Subahu, 9. Purna Maitrayaniputra^2, 10. Uruvilva-kasyapa, 11. Nadi-kasyapa, 12. Gaya-kasyapa, 13. Kumara-kasyapa, 14. Maha-kasyapa, 15. Shariputra^3, 16. Mahamaudgalyayana, 17. Mahakaushthilya, 18. Mahakaphila, 19. Mahakunda, 20. Aniruddha^4, 21. Nandika, 22. Kampila^5, 23. Subhuti, 24. Revata, 25. Khadiravanika^6, 26. Vakula, 27. Svagata, 28. Amogharaja, 29. Parayanika, 30. Patka, 31. Kullapatka, 32. Nanda, 33. Rahula, and 34. the blessed Ananda,--with these and with other elders, and great disciples, who were wise in wisdom, with the exception of one person who had still to be advanced on the path of the disciples, that is, the blessed Ananda;--and with many noble-minded Bodhisattvas, led by Maitreya.  

 

 

#2. Then the blessed Ananda, having risen from his seat, having put his cloak on one shoulder, and knelt on the earth with his right knee, making obeisance with folded hands in the direction of the Bhagavat, spoke thus to the Bhagavat: 'Thy organs of sense, O Bhagavat, are serene, the colour of thy skin is clear, the colour of thy face bright and yellowish. As an autumn cloud is pale, clear, bright and yellowish, thus the organs of sense of the Bhagavat are serene, the colour of his face is clear, the colour of his skin bright and yellowish. And as, O Bhagavat, a piece of gold coming from the Jambu river, having been thrown into a furnace by a clever smith or by his apprentice, and well fashioned, when thrown on a pale cloth, looks extremely clear, bright and yellowish, thus the organs of sense of the Bhagavat are serene, the colour of his face is clear, and the colour of his skin bright and yellowish. Moreover, I do not know, O Bhagavat, that I have ever seen the organs of sense of the Tathagata so serene, the colour of his face so clear and the colour of his skin so bright and yellowish before now. This thought occurs to me, O Bhagavat: probably, the Tathagata dwells to-day in the state of a Buddha, probably the Tathagata dwells to-day in the state of a Jina, in the state of omniscience, in the state of a Mahanaga; and he contemplates the holy and fully enlightened Tathagatas of the past, future, and present.'  

After these words, the Bhagavat thus spoke to the blessed Ananda: Well said! well said! Ananda. Did the gods suggest this matter to you? or the blessed Buddhas ? Or do you know this through the philosophical knowledge which you possess?'  

After these words the blessed Ananda spoke thus to the Bhagavat: 'The gods, O Bhagavat, do not suggest this matter to me, nor the blessed Buddhas, but this thought occurs to me by my own philosophy alone, that is, that probably the Tathagata dwells to-day in the state of a Buddha, probably the Tathagata dwells to-day in the state of a Jina, in the state of omniscience, [in the state of a Mahanaga]^7; or he contemplates [the venerable Buddhas] of the past, future, and present.'  

After these words the Bhagavat spoke thus to the blessed Ananda: 'Well said! well said! Ananda; excellent indeed is your question^8, good your philosophy, and beautiful your understanding! You, O Ananda, have arrived for the benefit and happiness of many people, out of compassion for the world, for the sake of the great body of men, for the benefit and happiness of gods and men, as you think it right to ask the Tathagata this matter^9: Thus, indeed, Ananda, might pile up^10 intellectual knowledge under immeasurable and innumerable blessed, holy, and fully enlightened Tathagatas, and yet the knowledge of the Tathagata would not be exceeded thereby. And why? Because, O Ananda, one who possesses the knowledge of a Tathagata possesses an intellectual knowledge of causes that cannot be exceeded^11.  

'If^12 the Tathagata wished O Ananda, he could live for a whole kalpa (age) on one alms-gift, or for a hundred kalpas, or for a thousand kalpas, or for a hundred thousand kalpas, to a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of kalpas^13, nay, he could live beyond, and yet the organs of nature of the Tathagata would not perish, the colour of his face would not be altered, nor would the colour of his skin be injured. And why? Because, O Ananda, the Tathagata has so fully obtained the Paramitas^14 which arise from Samadhi^15.  

'The appearance of fully enlightened Buddhas is very difficult to be obtained in this world, O Ananda. As the appearance of Audumbara-flowers is very difficult to be obtained in this world; thus, O Ananda, the appearance of Tathagatas who desire welfare, wish for what is beneficial, are compassionate, and have arrived at the highest compassion, is very difficult to be obtained. But, O Ananda, it is (owing to) the grace of the Tathagata himself that you think that the Tathagata should be asked this question, so that there may arise in this world beings who can be teachers of all the world, for the sake of noble-minded Bodhisattvas. Therefore, O Ananda, listen, and take it well and rightly to heart! I shall tell you.'  

' Yes, O Bhagavat,' so did the blessed Ananda answer the Bhagavat.  

 

 

# 3. The Bhagavat then spoke to Ananda: 'At the time, O Ananda, which was long ago in the past, in an innumerable and more than innumerable, enormous, immeasurable, and incomprehensible kalpa before now,--at that time, and at that moment, there arose in the world a holy and fully enlightened Tathagata called 1. Dipankara. Following after Dipankara, O Ananda, there was a Tathagata 2. Pratapavat, and after him, 3. Prabhakara, 4. Kandanagandha, 5. Sumerukalpa, 6. Kandana, 7. Vimalanana, 8. Anupalipta, 9. Vimalaprabha, 10. Nagabhibhu, 11. Suryodana, 12. Giririjaghosha, 13. Merukuta, 14. Suvarnaprabha, 15. Gyotishprabha, 16. Vaiduryanirbhasa, 17. Brahmaghosha, 18. Kandabhibho, 19. Turyaghosha, 20. Muktakusumapratimanditaprabha, 21. Srikuta, 22. Sagaravarabuddhivikriditabhijna, 23. Varaprabha, 24. Mahagandhajanirbhasa, 25. Vyapagatakhilamalapratighosha, 26. Surakuta, 27. Rananjaha, 28. Mahagunadharabuddhipraptibhijna, 29. Chandrasuryajihmikarana, 30. Uttaptavaiduryanirbhasa, 31. Chittadharabuddhisankusumitabhyudgata, 32. Pushpavativanarajasankusumitabhijna, 33. Pushpakara, 34. Udakakandra, 35. Avidyandhakaravidhvamsanakara, 36. Lokendra, 37. Muktakkhatrapravatasadrisa, 38. Tishya, 39. Dharmamativinanditaraja, 40. Simhasigarakutavinanditaraja, 41. Sagaramerukandra, 42. Brahmasvaranadabhinandita, 43. Kusumasambhava, 44. Praptasena, 45. Kandrabhanu, 46. Merukuta, 47. Chandraprabha, 48. Vimalanetra, 49. Girirajaghoshesvara, 50. Kusumaprabha, 51. Kusumavrishtyabhiprakirna, 52. Ratnakandra, 53. Padmabimbyupasobhita, 54. Chandanagandha, 55. Ratnabhibhasa, 56. Nimi, 57. Mahivyuha, 58. Vyapagatakhiladosha, 59. Brahmaghosha, 60. Saptaratnabhivrishta, 61. Mahijunadhara, 62. Mahatamalapatrakandanakardama, 63. Kusumabhijna, 64. Ajnavidhvamsana, 65. Kesarin, 66. Muktakkhatra, 67. Suvarnagarbha, 68. Vaiduryagarbha, 69. Mahaketu, 70. Dharmaketu, 71. Ratnaketu, 72. Ratnasri, 73. Lokendra, 74. Narendra, 75. Karunika, 76. Lokasundara, 77. Brahmaketu, 78. Dharmamati, 79. Simha, 80. Simhamati.  

'After Simhamati, a holy and fully enlightened Tathagata arose in the world, Lokesvararaja by name, perfect in knowledge and conduct, a Sugata, knowing the world, without a superior, charioteer of men whose passions have to be tamed, teacher of gods and men, a Buddha, a Bhagavat. And again during the time of the preaching of this holy and fully enlightened Tathagata Lokesvararaja, O Ananda, there was a Bhikshu, Dharmakara by name, richly endowed with memory, with understanding, prudence, and wisdom,--richly endowed with vigour, and of noble character.  

 

 

# 4. 'Then, O Ananda, that Bhikshu Dharmakara, having risen from his seat, having put his cloak on one shoulder, and knelt on the earth with his right knee, stretching forth his folded hands to where the Bhagavat Tathagata Lokesvararaja was, and, after worshipping the Bhagavat, he, at that very time, praised him in his presence with these Gathas:  

"O thou of immeasurable light, whose knowledge is endless and incomparable; not any other light can shine here (where thou art)! The rays of the moon of Siva and of the jewel of the sun, were not bright here in the whole world, (1)  

"The form also is infinite in the best of beings^16; thus also the voice of Buddha is of infinite sound; his virtue likewise, with meditation, knowledge^17, strength; like unto thee there is no one in this world. (2)  

"The Law (dharma) is deep, wide, and subtle; the best of Buddhas is incomprehensible, like the ocean; therefore there is no further exaltation of the teacher; having left all faults, he is gone to the other shore^18. (3)  

"Then the best of Buddhas^19, of endless light, lights up all regions, he the king of kings; and I, having become Buddha, and a master of the Dharma, may I deliver mankind from old age and death! (4)  

"And I, on the strength of generosity, equanimity, virtue, forbearance, power, meditation and absorption, undertake here the first and best duties, and shall become a Buddha, the saviour of all beings. (5)  

"And I, seeking for the knowledge of the best of the Blessed Ones, shall always worship many hundred thousands of kotis of Buddhas, endless like the sand of the Ganges, the incomparable lords. (6)  

"Whatever worlds there are, similar (in number) to the sand of the Ganja, and the endless countries which exist besides, there everywhere I shall send out light, because I have attained such power^20. (7)  

"My land is (to be) noble, the first and the best; the Bodhi-tree excellent in this world^21. There is incomparable happiness arising from Nirvana, and this also I shall explain as vain. (8)  

"Beings^22 come hither from the ten quarters; having arrived there they quickly show my happiness. May Buddha there teach me the truth,--I form a desire full of true strength and vigour. (9)  

"I, knowing the worlds of the ten quarters, possessed of absolute knowledge--they also always proclaim my thought! May I, gone to Avichi hell, always abide there, but I shall never cease to practise the power of prayer! [i. e. May I remain in hell, if I cease to pray.]" (10)  

 

 

# 5. 'Then, O Ananda, that Bhikshu Dharmakara, having praised the Bhagavat, the Tathagata Lokesvararaja, in his presence, with those Gathas, spoke thus: "O Bhagavat, I wish to know the highest perfect knowledge. Again and again I raise and incline my thoughts towards the highest perfect knowledge. May therefore the Bhagavat, as a teacher, thus teach me the Dharma, that I may quickly know the highest perfect knowledge. May I become in the world a Tathagata, equal to the unequalled. And may the Bhagavat proclaim those signs by which I may comprehend the perfection of all good qualities of a Buddha country."  

'After this, O Ananda, the Bhagavat Lokesvararaja, the Tathagata, thus spoke to that Bhikshu: " Do you by yourself, O Bhikshu, know the perfection of all excellences and good qualities of a Buddha country ?  

' He said: "O Bhagavat, I could not do this, but the Bhagavat alone. Explain the perfection of the excellences and all the good qualities of Buddha countries of the other Tathagatas, after hearing which we may fulfil every one of their signs."

 'Then, O Ananda, the Tathagata Lokesvararaja, holy and fully enlightened, knowing the good disposition of that Bhikshu, taught for a full koti of years the perfection of all the excellences and good qualities of Buddha countries belonging to eighty-one hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddhas, together with the signs, indication, and description, desiring welfare, wishing for benefits, compassionate, full of compassion, so that there might never be an end of Buddha countries, having conceived great pity for all beings. The measure of life of that Tathagata was full forty kalpas.

 

# 6. 'Then, O Ananda, that Bhikshu Dharmakara, taking the perfections of all the excellences and good qualities of those Buddha countries, of those eighty-one hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddhas, and concentrating them all on one Buddha country, worshipped with his head the feet of the Bhagavat Lokesvararaja, the Tathagata, turned respectfully round him to the right, and walked away from the presence of this Bhagavat. And afterwards, for the space of five kalpas, he thus concentrated the perfection of all the excellences and good qualities of the Buddha countries, such as had never been known before in the ten quarters of the whole world, more excellent, and more perfect than any, and composed the most excellent prayer.

 

# 7. 'Thus, O Ananda, that Bhikshu concentrated in his mind a perfection of a Buddha country eighty-one times more immeasurable, noble, and excellent than the perfection of the eighty-one hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddha countries that had been told him by the Bhagavat Lokesvararaja, the Tathagata. And then, proceeding to where the Tathagata was, he worshipped the feet of the Bhagavat with his head, and said: "O Bhagavat, the perfection of all the excellences and good qualities of the Buddha countries has been concentrated by me."  

'After this, O Ananda, the Tathagata Lokesvararaja thus spoke to the Bhikshu: "Preach then, O Bhikshu;--the Tathagata allows it. Now is the proper time, O Bhikshu. Delight the assembly, produce joy, let the lion's voice be heard, so that now and hereafter, noble-minded Bodhisattvas, hearing it, may comprehend the. different subjects (or occasions) of the prayers for the perfection of the good qualities of a Buddha country."  

'Then, O Ananda, that Bhikshu Dharmakara thus spoke at that time to the Bhagavat: "May the Bhagavat thus listen to me, to what my own prayers are, and how, after I shall have obtained the highest perfect knowledge, my own Buddha country will then be endowed with all inconceivable excellences and good qualities.  

 

 

# 8. 1. "O Bhagavat, if in that Buddha country of mine there should be either hell, brute-creation^23, the realm of departed spirits, or the body of Asuras, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

2. "O Bhagavat, if in that Buddha country of mine the beings who are born there should fall away (die), and fall into hell, the brute-creation, the realm of departed spirits, or into the body of Asuras, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

3. "O Bhagavat, if in that Buddha country of mine the beings who are born there should not all be of one colour, that is, a golden colour, then may I not obtain the hignest perfect knowledge.  

4. "O Bhagavat, If in that Buddha country of mine there should be perceived any difference between gods and men, except when people count and tell, saying: 'These are gods and men, but only in ordinary and imperfect parlance,' then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

5. "O Bhagavat, if in that Buddha country of mine the beings who are born there should not be possessed of the highest Paramitas of miraculous power and self-control, so that they could at least in the shortest. moment of one thought step over a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddha countries, then may I not oratain the highest perfect knowledge.  

6. "O Bhagavat, if in that Buddha country of mine the beings who are born there should not all be possessed of the recollection of their former births, so as at least to remember a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of kalpas, then may I not the highest perfect knowledge.  

7. "O Bhagavat, if in that Buddha country of mine the beings who are born there should not all acquire the divine eye, so as at least to be able to see a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of worlds, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

8. "O Bhagavat, if in that Buddha country of mine the beings who are born there should not all acquire the divine ear, so as at least to be able to hear at the same time the good Law from a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddha countries, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

9. "O Bhagavat, if in that Buddha country of mine the beings who are born there should not all be skilled in the knowledge of the thoughts of other people, so as at least to be able to know the deeds and thoughts of beings belonging to a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddha countries, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

10. "O Bhagavat, if in that Buddha country of mine the beings who are born there should form any idea of property, even with regard to their own body, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

11. "O Bhagavat, if in that Buddha country of mine the beings who are born there should not all be firmly established, that is, in absolute truth, till they have reached Mahaparinirvixu, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

12. "O Bhagavat, if any being should be able to count the pupils belonging to me after I have obtained the highest perfect knowledge in that Buddha country of mine, even if all beings who are contained in those three millions of spheres of worlds^24, after having become Pratyekabuddhas^25, should be counting for a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of kalpas, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

13. "O Bhagavat, if, after I have obtained the highest perfect knowledge, my light should be liable to be measured in this Buddha country of mine, even by the measure of a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddha countries, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

14 "O Bhagavat, if the measure of the life of the beings in that Buddha country of mine, after I have obtained the highest perfect knowledge, should be liable to be measured, excepting always by their own power of prayer, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

15. "O Bhagavat, if the measure of my life after I have obtained Bodhi (Buddha knowledge) should be limited, even by numbering a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of kalpas, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

16. "O Bhagavat, if, for the beings in this Buddha country of mine, after I have obtained Bodhi, even the name of sin should exist, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

17. "O Bhagavat, if immeasurable and innumerable blessed Buddhas in immeasurable Buddha countries do not glorify my name, after I have obtained the Bodhi (knowledge); if they do not preach my fame and proclaim my praise, and utter it together, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

18 ^26. "O Bhagavat, if those beings who have directed their thought towards the highest perfect knowledge in other worlds, and who, after having heard my name, when I have obtained the Bodhi (knowledge), have meditated on me with serene thoughts; if at the moment of their death, after having approached them, surrounded by an assembly of Bhikshus, I should not stand before them, worshipped by them, that is, so that their thoughts should not be troubled, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

19. "O Bhagavat, if those beings who in immeasurable and innumerable Buddha countries, after they have heard my name, when I shall have obtained Bodhi, should direct their thought to be born in that Buddha country of mine, and should for that purpose bring their stock of merit to maturity, if these should not be born in that Buddha country, even those who have only ten times repeated the thought (of that Buddha country), barring always those beings who have committed the (five) Anantarya sins^27, and who have caused an obstruction and abuse of the good Law, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

[ed. note: (19) corresponds to (18) in the Chinese translation and is known as the Original Vow]  

20. "O Bhagavat, if those beings who have been born in that Buddha country of mine, after I have obtained Bodhi, should not all be bound to one birth only, before reaching the highest perfect knowledge, barring always the special prayers of those very noble-minded Bodhisattvas who have put on the whole armour (of the Dharma), who understand the welfare of all beings, who are devoted, to all beings, who work for the attainment of Nirvana of all beings, who wish to perform the duty of a Bodhisattva in all worlds, who wish to serve all Buddhas, and to bring beings, in number like grains of sand of the river Ganges, to the highest perfect knowledge, and who besides are turned towards the higher practice^28, and perfect in the practice of the Samantabhadra^29 discipline, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

21. "O Bhagavat, if the Bodhisattvas who are born in that Buddha country of mine, after I have obtained Bodhi, should not all be able, after having gone to other Buddha countries, after their one morning-meal, to worship many hundreds of Buddhas, many thousands of Buddhas, many hundred thousands of Buddhas, many kotis of Buddhas, &c., till up to many hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddhas, with objects which give every kind of pleasure, and this through the grace of the Buddha, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

22. "O Bhagavat, if those Bodhisattvas in that Buddha country of mine, after I have obtained Bodhi, should wish their stock of merit to grow in the following shapes, that is, either in gold, in silver, in jewels, in pearls, in beryls, in shells, in stones, in corals, in crystal, in amber, in red pearls, in diamond, &c., or in any one of the other jewels; or in all kinds of perfumes, in flowers, in garlands, anointment, in incense-powder, in cloaks, in umbrellas, in flags, in banners, or in lamps; or in all kinds of dancing, singing, and music;--and if such gifts should not appear for them, from being produced as soon as thought of, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

23. "O Bhagavat, if those beings who are born in that Buddha country of mine, after I have obtained Bodhi, should not all recite the story of the Dharma which is accompanied by omniscience, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

24. "O Bhagavat, if the Bodhisattvas in that Buddha country of mine, after I have obtained Bodhi, should think thus: May we, remaining in this world, honour revere, esteem, and worship the blessed Buddhas in immeasurable and innumerable Buddha countries, that is, with cloaks, alms-bowls, beds, stools, refreshments, medicines, utensils, with flowers, incense, lamps, perfumes, garlands, ointment, powder, cloaks, umbrellas, flags, banners, with different kinds of dancing singing, and music, and with showers of jewels, and if the blessed Buddhas should not accept them, when they are produced as soon as thought of, that is, from compassion, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

25. "O Bhagavat, if the Bodhisattvas who are born in that Buddha country of mine, after I have obtained Bodhi, should not all be in possession of strength of body as strong as the diamond (or thunderbolt?) of Narayana, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

26. "O Bhagavat, if any being in that Buddha country of mine, after I have obtained Bodhi, should learn the limit of the beauty of (its) ornament, even if he be possessed of the divine eye, and should know (its) various beauty, saying: 'That Buddha country possesses so much beauty and so much magnificence,' then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

27. "O Bhagavat, if in that Buddha country of mine, after I have obtained Bodhi, a Bodhisattva possessed even of a very small stock of merit, should not perceive the Bodhi-tree of noble beauty, at least a hundred yojanas in height, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

28. "O Bhagavat, if in that Buddha country of mine, after I have obtained Bodhi, either teaching or learning should have to be made by any being, and they should not all be in possession of the perfect knowledge, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

29. "O Bhagavat, if that Buddha country of mine, after I have obtained Bodhi, should not be so brilliant, that in it could be seen on all sides immeasurable, innumerable, inconceivable, incomparable, immense Buddha countries, as a round face is seen in a highly burnished round mirror, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

30. "O Bhagavat, if in that Buddha country of mine, after I have obtained Bodhi, there should not be a hundred thousand of vases full of different sweet perfumes, made of all kinds of jewels, always smoking with incense, fit for the worship of Bodhisattvas and Tathagatas, rising into the sky beyond gods, men, and all things, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

31. "O Bhagavat, if in that Buddha country of mine, after I have obtained Bodhi, there should not be showers of sweet jewel-flowers, always pouring down, and if there should not be sweet-sounding music-clouds, always playing, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

32. "O Bhagavat, if the beings belonging to me, after I have obtained Bodhi, who are visible by their splendour, in immeasurable, innumerable, inconceivable, incomparable worlds, should not all be filled with pleasure, far beyond gods and men, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

33. "O Bhagavat, if, after I have obtained Bodhi, the noble-minded Bodhisattvas in immeasurable, inconceivable, incomparable, immense Buddha countries on all sides, after having heard my name, should not be delivered from birth, through the merit arising from that hearing, and should not be strong in the knowledge of Dharanis, until they have obtained the very throne of Bodhi, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

34. "O Bhagavat, if, after I have obtained Bodhi, women in immeasurable, innumerable, inconceivable, incomparable, immense Buddha countries on all sides, after having heard my name, should allow carelessness to arise, should not turn their thoughts towards Bodhi, should, when they are free from birth, not despise their female nature; and if they, being born again, should assume a second female nature, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

35. "O Bhagavat, if, after I have obtained Bodhi, the Bodhisattvas who in immeasurable, innurnerable, inconceivable, incomparable, immense Buddha countries round about in the ten quarters having heard my name, and having fallen down, shall worship me with prostrate reverence, should not, when performing the duty of Bodhisattvas, be honoured by the world and by the gods, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

36. "O Bhagavat, if, after I have obtained Bodhi, the work of dyeing, sewing, drying, washing ot his cloaks should have to be performed by any Bodhisattva, and they should not perceive themselves, as quick as thought, covered by newly-produced excellent cloaks, granted to them by the Tathagata, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.

37. "O Bhagavat, if the beings who are born at the same time in that Buddha country, after I have obtained Bodhi, should not obtain such happiness as that of the holy Bhikshu who is free from pain and has obtained the third meditation, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

38. "O Bhagavat, if those Bodhisattvas who are born in that Buddha country of mine, after I have obtained Bodhi, should not produce from different jewel-trees such a mass of excellent ornaments in that Buddha country, as they should wish for, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

39. "O Bhagavat, if the Bodhisattvas who are born in other Buddha countries, when they have heard my name, after I shall have obtained Bodhi, should suffer any diminution in the strength of their senses, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

40. "O Bhagavat, if, after I have obtained Bodhi, the Bodhisattvas, from hearing my name in a place of a different Buddha country, should not obtain the Samadhi (ecstacy) called Suvibhaktavati, in which Samadhi the Bodhisattvas will see immeasurable, innumerable, inconceivable, incomparable, immense, blessed Buddhas one moment after another; and if that Samadhi of theirs should come to an end meanwhile, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

41. "O Bhagavat, if, after I have obtained Bodhi, beings, having heard my name in Buddha countries different from this, should not, through the stock of merit which follows on that hearing, obtain birth in a noble family, till they arrive at Bodhi, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

42. "O Bhagavat, if, after I have obtained Bodhi, the Bodhisattvas who live in other Buddha countries, after hearing my name, till they have reached Bodhi by the stock of merit which follows on that hearing, should not all obtain a combination of their stock of merit with the joy and gladness of their Bodhisattva life, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

43. "O Bhagavat, if, after I have obtained Bodhi, the Bodhisattvas, as soon as they have heard my name, in other worlds, should not obtain the Samadhi called Samantanugata, in which Bodhisattvas honour one moment after another immeasurable, innumerable, inconceivable, incomparable, immense, blessed Buddhas, and if that Samadhi of theirs should come to an end before they have reached the throne of Bodhi, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

44. "O Bhagavat, if the beings who are born in that Buddha country of mine, after I have obtained Bodhi, should not hear, as quick as thought, such a teaching of the Dharma as they wish to hear, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

45 "O Bhagavat, if, after I ave obtained Bodhi, the Bodhisattvas in this and other Buddha countries, as soon as they have heard my name, should ever turn back from the highest perfect knowledge, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.  

46. "O Bhagavat, if, after I have obtained Bodhi, and have become a Buddha-teacher, the Bodhisattvas who hear my name in Buddha countries, and obtain the first, the second, and the third degrees of endurance, as soon as they have heard my name, should turn away again from Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, then may I not obtain the highest perfect knowledge.

 

[ed. note: In the Chinese version, there are 48 vows in all; the correspondence of vows between this Sanskrit text and the Chinese vary considerably but the content is essentially the same.]

 

#9. 'And again, O Ananda, when he had spoken such prayers, that Bhikshu Dharmakara, at that time, through the grace of Buddha spoke these verses^30:  

1. "If, when I have obtained Bodhi, there should not be for me an excellent Pranidhana of such a character, then, O Prince, O Best of beings, may I not be endowed with the ten powers, incomparable, worthy of offerings^31.  

2. "If there should not be for me such a country, endowed with many and various mighty and divine endowments, I should gladly go to hell, suffering pain, and not be a King of treasures^32.  

3. "If, when I have approached the Bodhi throne, my name should not quickly reach the ten quarters, the broad and many endless Buddha countries, may I not be a lord of the world, endowed with power.  

4. "If indeed I should delight in the enjoyments of love, being deprived of zeal, understanding and prudence, even after having reached the incomparable and blessed Bodhi, may I not be a teacher in the world, endowed with power.  

5. "The lord of vast light, incomparable and infinite, has illuminated all Buddha countries in all the quarters, he has quieted passions, all sins and errors, he has quieted the fire in the walk of hell.  

6. "After making his broad eye lustrous, after driving away the darkness from all men, after removing all untimely misfortunes, he led hither those who dwell in Svarga (heaven) and who shine with endless light.  

7. "The splendour of sun and moon does not shine in heaven, nor the fiery splendour of the maze of jewels of the gods; the Lord overcomes all splendour, he, the bright one, who has performed his former discipline.

 8. "He is the best of men, the treasure of all who suffer; there is no one like him in all the quarters. Having completed a hundred thousand of good works, he, in his assembly, raised the lion-voice of Buddha.

9. "After having worshipped former self-existing Jinas, after having performed immeasurable kotis of vows and penances, he became in this, his best of spiritual existences, the best of beings, possessed of the full power of prayers.

 10. "As the Bhagavat, the Lord, who is posessed of unlimited light of knowledge, knows the three kinds of knowledge in the world, may I also be worthy of equal offerings^33, the best of sages, the leader of men.

11. "If, O Lord, this my prayer succeeds, after I have obtained Bodhi, may this sphere of a thousand worlds tremble, and may a shower of flowers descend on the hosts of gods."

 12. 'Then the earth trembled, flowers were showered down, hundreds of instruments resounded in the sky, powder of heavenly sweet sandal-wood was scattered, and there was a voice saying: "Thou wilt be a Buddha in the world."

 

 

#10. 'That Bhikshu Dharmakara, the nobleminded Bodhisattva, O Ananda, was possessed of this perfection of prayers. And a few Bodhisattvas only, O Ananda, are possessed of such a perfection of prayers. There is on this earth an appearance of a few only of such prayers. Of a few, however, existence cannot be denied.

'Then again, O Ananda, this Bhikshu Dharmakara having recited these peculiar prayers before the Bhagavat Lokesvararaja, the Tathagata, and before the world including gods, Mara, and Brahman, and before people consisting of Sramanas and Brahmanas with gods, men, and Asuras, was established in the attainment of the true promise. And proclaiming this purity of the Buddha country, this greatness and excellency of the Buddha country, and performing the duty of a Bodhisattva, he never conceived the remotest thoughts of lust, malevolence, and cruelty, during a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of years, immeasurable, innumerable, inconceivable, incomparable, measureless, immense, inexpressible; and he never conceived the idea of lust, malevolence, and cruelty, nay, he never conceived the idea of form, sound, smell, taste, and touch. He was gentle, charming indeed, and compassionate; pleasant to live with, agreeable, amiable, content, of few wishes, satisfied, retired, not evil, not foolish, not suspicious, not crooked, not wicked, not deceitful, tender^34, kindly speaking, always zealous, docile in the searching after the pure Dharma. And for the good of all beings, he recited the great prayer, showing respect to friends, teachers, masters, the Sangha, the Dharma, and Buddha, always girded for the performance of the duties of the Bodhisattva, righteous, gentle, not deceitful, not flattering, virtuous, a leader for the sake of rousing others to perform all good laws, producing by his activity the ideas of emptiness, causelessness, and purposelessness, and he was well guarded in his speech.

 'Then, performing the duties of a Bodhisattva, after having given up all speaking which, when spoken, serves to injure one's self or others or both, he employed only such speech as served the pleasure and benefit of himself, others, or both. And he was so wise that, when entering into capitals, kingdoms, countries, towns, cities, and villages, he was always perfectly restrained with regard to all objects of sense. Performing himself the duties of the Bodhisattva without interruption, he walked himself in the highest perfection (paramita) of liberality, and he also roused others to walk in the same. And himself walking in the highest perfections of knowledge, meditation, strength, patience, and virtue, he roused others also to walk in the same. And he has collected so large a stock of merit that, wherever he is born, there arise for him many hundreds of thousands of nayutas of kotis of treasures from out the earth.

'By him, while he was thus performing the duties of a Bodhisattva, immeasurable and innumerable hundreds of thousands of nayutas of kotis of beings were established in perfect enlightenment, of whom it is not easy to know the limit by means of speech. So many immeasurable and innumerable holy Buddhas were honoured, revered, esteemed, and worshipped, and enabled to touch whatever causes pleasure, such as cloaks, alms-bowls, couches, seats, refreshments, medicines, and other furniture. It is not easy to know the limit by pointing it out in words, as to how many beings were established by him in the noble families of Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, ministers, householders, and merchants. In the same manner they were established in the sovereignty of Jambudvipa (India), and they were established in the character of Kakravartins, Lokapalas, Sakras, Suyamas, Sutushitas, Sunirmitas,Vasavartins, Devaragas, and Mahabrahmans. So many immeasurable and innumerable Buddhas were honoured, revered, esteemed, and worshipped and requested to turn the wheel of the Dharma, of whom it is not easy to know the limit by means of words.

'And he collected such virtue, that out of his mouth, while performing the duties of a Bodhisattva, during immeasurable, innumerable, inconceivable, incomparable, immense, measureless, inexpressible kotis of kalpas, there breathed a sweet and more than heavenly smell of sandal-wood. From all the pores of his hair there arose the smell of lotus, and he was pleasing to everybody, gracious and beautiful, endowed with the fulness of the best bright colour^35. As his body was adomed with all the good signs and marks, there arose from the pores (of his hair) and from the palms of his hands all sorts of precious ornaments in the shape of all kinds of cloaks and vestments, in the shape of all kinds of flowers, incense, scents, garlands, ointments, umbrellas, flags, and banners, and in the shape of all kinds of instrumental music. And there appeared also, streaming forth from the palms of his hands, all kinds of viands and drink, food, hard and soft, and sweetmeats, and all kinds of enjoyments and pleasures. Thus then that Bhikshu Dharmakara, O Ananda, had obtained the command of all necessaries, after performing the duties of a Bodhisattva.'  

 

 

#11. After this, the blessed Ananda thus spoke to the Bhagavat: "O Bhagavat, has that Bhikshu Dharmakara, the noble-minded Bodhisattva, after having obtained the highest perfect knowledge, passed away, having entered Nirvana, or has he not yet been enlightened, or is he now living and enlightened, and does he dwell now, remain, support himself, and teach the Dharma?'

 The Bhagavat said: 'Not indeed, O Ananda, has that Tathagata passed away, nor has he not yet come, but the Tathagata, the holy, after having obtained the highest perfect knowledge, dwells now, remains, supports himself, and teaches the Dharma, in the western quarter, in the Buddha country, distant from this world by a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddha countries, in the world which is called Sukhavati, being called Amitabha, the Tathagata, holy and fully enlightened. He is surrounded by innumerable Bodhisattvas, and worshipped by endless Sravakas, and in possession of the endless perfection of his Buddha country.

 

#12. 'And his light is immeasurable, so that it is not easy to know the limit of its measure, saying, he stands illuminating so many hundreds of Buddha countries, so many thousands of Buddha countries, so many hundred thousands of Buddha countries, so many kotis of Buddha countries, so many hundred kotis of Buddha countries, so many thousand kotis of Buddha countries, so many hundred thousands of kotis of Buddha countries, so many hundred thousands of nayutas of kotis of Buddha countries. But indeed, O Ananda, to put it briefly, a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddha countries, equal to the sands of the river Ganges, are always lighted up, in the eastern quarter, by the light of that Bhagavat Amitabha. Thus on every side in the southern, western, northern quarter, in the zenith and nadir, in every one of these quarters, there are a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddha countries, like the sands of the river Ganges, always lighted up by the light of that Bhagavat Amitabha, excepting the Buddhas, the Bhagavats, who, through the practice of their former prayers, have lighted up the world by their own light, which is a fathom in length, or by their light which is one, two, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty yojanas in length, or a hundred or thousand or hundred thousand yojanas in length, until their brightness reaches many hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of yojanas in length. There is not, O Ananda, any case of likeness, by which the extent of the light of that Tathagata Amitabha could be understood. Hence, O Ananda, for that reason that Tathagata is called Amitabha (possessed of infinite light), and he is called Amitaprabha (possessed of infinite splendour), Amitaprabhasa (possessed of infinite brilliancy), Asamaptabrabha (whose light is never finished), Asangataprabha (whose light is not conditioned), Prabhasikhotsrishtaprabha (whose light proceeds from flames of light), Sadivyamaniprabha (whose light is that of heavenly jewels), Apratihatarasmiragaprabha (whose light has the colour of unimpeded rays), Rajaniyaprabha (possessed of beautiful light), Premaniyaprabha (possessed of lovely light), Pramodaniyaprabha (possessed of delightful light), Sangamaniyaprabha (possessed of attractive light), Uposhantyaprabha (possessed of pleasant light), Anibandhaniyaprabha^36 (possessed of light that cannot be stopped), Ativiryaprabha (possessed of extremely powerful light), Atulyaprabha (possessed of incomparable light), Abhibuyanarendrabhutrayendraprabha^37 (possessed of light greater than that of the lords of men, nay, the lords of the three worlds), Srantasankayendusuryajihmikaranaprabha (possessed of light which bends the full moon and the sun), Abhibhuyalokapalasakrabrahmasuddhavasamahesvarasarvadevajihmikaranapraba (possessed of light which bends all the conquered gods, Mahesvara, the Suddhavasas, Brahman, Sakra, and the Lokapalas).

 'This splendour of the Arya (noble) is pure, great, producing bodily pleasure, happiness of mind, producing happiness, delight, and joy for men and not-men, Kinnaras, Mahoragas, Garudas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Nagas, Asuras, and Devas; and producing the pleasure of beings of good disposition^38.

 'And in this manner, O Ananda, the Tathagata^39 might speak for a whole kalpa on the work of the Tathagata Amitabha, beginning with his light, and yet he would not be able to reach the end of the virtues of that light of that Tathagata, neither would there be any failure of the self-confidence in the Tathagata himself. And why? Because, O Ananda, both these things are immeasurable, innumerable, inconceivable, and endless, that is, first, the greatness of the excellence of the light of that Tathagata Amitabha, the Bhagavat, and secondly, the unsurpassed light of the knowledge possessed by the Tathagata (by myself).

 

#13. 'And, O Ananda, the assembly of the hearers of that Tathagata Amitabha is immeasurable, so that it is not easy to learn its measure, so as to be able to say, there are so many kotis of the hearers, so many hundreds, thousands, hundred-thousands, kankaras, vimbaras, nayutas(?), ayutas, akshobhyas, vivahas (masc.), srotas (?), ogas^40, so many periods, called immeasurable, innumerable, countless, incomparable, inconceivable. Now, for instance, O Ananda, the Bhikshu Maudgalyayana having obtained miraculous power, might, if he wished, count^41 in one day and night, how many kinds of stars there are in the universal world. Then, let there be a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of such men, endowed with miraculous powers, and let them do nothing else but count the first company (only) of the hearers of the Tathagata Amitabha, during a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of years, and yet by them thus counting even the hundredth part would not be counted, even the thousandth, even the hundred thousandth nay, not even so far as the minutest part, or likeness, or approach^42 towards it would have been counted.  

'Thus for instance, O Ananda, a man might throw out from the great ocean, which is not to be measured across by less than eighty-four thousand yojanas, one single drop of water by the sharp end of hair, which is divided a hundred times. What do you think then, Ananda, which would be greater, one drop of water which has been thrown up by the sharp pointed hair divided a hundred times, or the mass of water left in the great ocean?'

 Ananda said: 'Even a thousand yojanas, O Bhagavat, would be a small portion of the great ocean, how much more then one drop of water thrown out by the sharp pointed hair divided a hundred times!'

 Bhagavat said : 'As that one drop of water, exactly so large (so small in proportion) was the first company of the hearers. And let there be reckoning made by those Bhikshus, who are like Maudgalyayana, counting for a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of years, and yet, as to the mass of water left in the great ocean, it would even then have to be considered as not counted. How much more with regard to the second, third, and the rest of the companies of the hearers! Therefore the mass of hearers of the Bhagavat is endless and boundless, and receives the name of "immeasurable and innumerable."

 

#14. 'And, O Ananda, the length of the life of that Bhagavat Amitabha, the Tathagata, is immeasurable, so that it is not easy to know its length, so as to be able to say (that it comprises) so many hundreds of kalpas, so many thousands of kalpas, so many hundred thousands of kalpas, so many kotis of kalpas, so many hundreds of kotis of kalpas, so many thousands of kotis of kalpas, so many hundred thousands of kotis of kalpas, so many hundred thousands of nayutas of kotis of kalpas. Therefore, O Ananda, the limit of the measure of the life of that Bhagavat is immeasurable indeed. Therefore that Tathagata is called Amitayus.

 'And as, O Ananda, the rule of making known the reckoning of kalpas exists here in this world, ten kalpas have passed now since Bhagavat Amitayus, the Tathagata, arose and awoke to the highest perfect knowledge.

  

#15. 'And, O Ananda, the world called Sukhavati belonging to that Bhagavat Amitabha is prosperous, rich, good to live in, fertile, lovely, and filled with many gods and men. Then, O Ananda, in that world there are neither hells, nor the brute creation' nor the realm of departed spirits, nor bodies of Asuras, nor untimely births^43. And there do not appear in this world such gems as are known in the world Sukhavati.

 

#16. 'Now, O Ananda, that world Sukhavati is fragrant with several sweet-smelling scents, rich in manifold flowers and fruits. adorned with gem trees, and frequented by tribes of manifold sweet-voiced birds, which have been made by the Tathagata (on purpose^44). And, O Ananda, those gem trees are of several colours, of many colours, and of many hundred thousand colours. There are gem trees there of golden-colour, and made of gold. There are those of silver-colour, and made of silver. There are those of beryl-colour, and made of beryl. There are those of crystal-colour, and made of crystal. There are those of coral-colour, and made of coral. There are those of red pearl-colour, and made of red pearls. There are those of diamond-colour, and made of diamonds.

 'There are some trees of two gems, that is, gold and silver. There are some of three gems, that is, gold, silver, and beryl. There are some of four gems, that is, gold, silver, beryl, and crystal. There are some of five gems, that is, gold, silver, beryl, crystal, and coral. There are some of six gems, that is, gold, silver, beryl, crystal, coral, and red pearls. There are some of seven gems, that is, gold, silver, beryl, crystal, coral, red pearls, and diamonds as the seventh.

'And there, O Ananda, of the trees made of gold, the flowers, leaves, small branches, branches, trunks, and roots are made of gold, and the fruits are made of silver. Of trees made of silver, the flowers, leaves, small branches, branches, trunks, and roots are made of silver only, and the fruits are made of beryl. Of trees made of beryl, the flowers, leaves, small branches, branches, trunks, and roots are made of beryl, and the fruits are made of crystal. Of trees made of crystal, the flowers, leaves, small branches, branches, trunks, and roots are made of crystal only, and the fruits are made of coral. Of trees made of coral, the flowers, leaves, small branches, branches, trunks, and roots are made of coral only, and the fruits are made of red pearls. Of trees made of red pearls, the flowers, leaves, small branches, branches, trunks, and roots are made of red pearls only, and the fruits are made of diamonds. Of trees made of diamonds, the flowers, leaves, small branches, branches, trunks, and roots are made of diamonds only, and the fruits are made of gold.

 'Of some trees, O Ananda, the roots are made of gold, the trunks of silver, the branches of beryl, the small branches of crystal, the leaves of coral, the flowers of red pearls, and the fruits of diamonds. Of some trees, O Ananda, the roots are made of silver, the trunks of beryl, the branches of crystal, the small branches of coral, the leaves of red pearls, the flowers of diamonds, and the fruits of gold. Of some trees, O Ananda, the roots are made of beryl, the trunks of crystal, the branches of coral, the small branches of red pearls, the leaves of diamonds, the flowers of gold, and the fruits of silver. Of some trees, O Ananda, the roots are made of crystal, the trunks of coral, the branches of red pearls, the small branches of diamonds, the leaves of gold, the flowers of silver, and the fruits of beryl. Of some trees, O Ananda, the roots are made of coral, the trunks of red pearls, the branches of diamonds, the small branches of gold, the leaves of silver, the flowers of beryl, and the fruits of crystal. Of some trees, O Ananda, the roots are made of red pearls, the trunks of diamonds, the branches of gold, the small branches of silver, the leaves of beryl, the flowers of crystal, and the fruits of coral. Of some trees, O Ananda, the roots are made of diamonds, the trunks of gold, the branches of silver, the small branches of beryl, the leaves of crystal, the flowers of coral, and the fruits of red pearls. Of some trees, O Ananda, the roots are made of the seven gems, the trunks of the seven gems, the branches of the seven gems, the small branches of the seven gems, the leaves of the seven gems, the flowers of the seven gems, and the fruits of the seven gems. 'And, O Ananda, the roots, trunks, branches, small branches, leaves, flowers, and fruits of all those trees are pleasant to touch, and fragrant. And, when those (trees) are moved by the wind, a sweet and delightful sound proceeds from them, never tiring, and never disagreeable to hear. That Buddha country, O Ananda, is always on every side surrounded by such trees made of the seven gems, by masses of Kadali (banana) trees, and rows of palm-trees made of the seven gems, and entirely surrounded with golden nets, and wholly covered with lotus flowers, made of all kinds of gems.

 'There are lotus flowers there, half a yojana in circumference. There are others, one yojana in circumference; and others, two, three, four, or five yojanas in circumference; nay, there are some, as much as ten yojanas in circumference. And from each gem-lotus there proceed thirty-six hundred thousand kotis of rays of light. And from each ray of light there proceed thirty-six hundred thousand kotis of Buddhas, with bodies of golden colour, possessed of the thirty-two marks of great men, who go and teach the Dharma to beings in the immeasurable and innumerable worlds in the eastern quarter. Thus also in the southern, western, and northern quarters, above and below, in the cardinal and intermediate points, they go their way to the immeasurable and innumerable worlds and teach the Dharma to beings in the whole world.

 

#17. 'And again, O Ananda, there are no black mountains anywhere in that Buddha country, nor anywhere jewel mountains, nor anywhere Sumerus, kings of mountains, nor anywhere Chakravadas, great Chakravadas, kings of mountains. And that Buddha country is level on every side, lovely, like the palm of the hand, with districts full of jewels and treasures of every kind.'

 After this, the blessed Ananda spoke thus to the Bhagavat: 'But in that case, O Bhagavat, where do the gods consisting of the companies of the four Maharajas who dwell on the side of the Sumeru, and where do the Triyastrimsa gods who dwell on the top of the Sumeru, find their place?'

 Bhagavat said: 'What do you think, O Ananda, where do these other beings find their place, who in this world dwell above the king of mountains, Sumeru, namely, the Yamadevas, Tushitas, Nirmanaratis, Paranirmitavasavartins, Brahmakayikas, Brahmapurohitas, Mahabrahmans, as far as the Akanishthas?'

 Ananda replied: 'O Bhagavat the result of works and the outcome of works are inconceivable' (i.e. I do not understand it).

 Bhagavat said: 'Here, you see, the result of works and the outcome of works are inconceivable. But to the blessed Buddhas the position of Buddhas is not inconceivable, while to thee the holy and miraculous power of virtuous beings, whose stock of merit has become ripened, seems inconceivable.'  

Ananda said: 'I had no doubt on this, no difference of opinion, or hesitation; on the contrary, I ask only the Tathagata about this matter in order to destroy the doubts, the differences of opinion, and the hesitations of future beings.[']

 Bhagavat said: 'All right, Ananda, this is what you ought to do.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------ 

 

FOOTNOTES [by the Translator]  

 

1 [Bhagavat] The Blessed, i.e. Buddha Shakyamuni  

2 [Purna Maitrayaniputra] These two names refer to one and the same person.  

3. [Shariputra] Nos. 15 and 16 are taken as one in the MSS. A B.  

4. [Aniruddha] Frequently called Anuruddha. . 

5. [Kampila] Kimbila is mentioned with Anuruddha and Nandiya in the Mahavagga X, 4, 2.  

6. [Khadiravanika] See Pan. VIII, 4, 5.  

7. [in the state of a Mahanaga] This is left out here. Mahanaga, technical term for greatness.  

8. [question] Unminga, all the Chinese translators translate as 'question.'  

9. [to ask the Tathagata this matter] One expects tathagatam etam artham.  

10. [might pile up] I have adopted the reading of B, in order to have a subject for apasamharet, but A C P read ananda.  

11. [that cannot be exceeded] I am not satisfied with this translation, but I do not think that gnana, even in Buddhist Sanskrit, could ever be used as a masculine, and I therefore take tathagatagnanah as a Bahurihi.  

12. [If] Read gnanah. Akankshan.  

13. [...kotis of kalpas] Large numbers, constantly recurring in the text. Niyuta is explained as a million, koti as ten millions.  

14. [Paramitas] The highest perfection.  

15. [Samadhi] Deep meditation.  

16. [the best of beings] It would be better to read sattvasara as a vocative. See p. 22, l.5.  

17. [knowledge] I have translated as if the reading were prajna, which would, however, have spoiled the metre.  

18. [gone to the other shore] The text has 'dhikalam, and 'dhiparam is suggested as a conjecture only.  

19. [best of Buddhas] I translate buddhavara.  

20. [...such power] The text is obscure, Sanghavarman translates: 'My light will shine over all these countries, thus my strength and power will be immeasurable.'  

21. [...excellent in this world] According to the Chinese translation.  

22. [Beings] Should it be sattva?  

23. [brute-creation] Birth as an animal.  

24. [three millions of spheres of worlds] Trisahasra mahasahasra.  

25. [Pratyekabuddhas] Men ready for Buddhaship, but who decline to preach or communicate their knowledge.  

26. On Pranidhanas 18 to 21, see note at the end.  

27. [the (five) Anantarya sins] The five sins which bring immediate retribution. Cf. Childers, s.v.  

28. [the higher practice] Possibly the same as the uttarimagga, Arhatship.  

29. [Samantabhadra] See note at the end.  

30. [spoke these verses] The translation of these verses, owing to the imperfect state of the text, is in many places tentative only.  

31. [worthy of offerings] see verse 10.  

32. [King of treasures] A Naga king?  

33. [worthy of equal offerings] See verse 1.  

34. [tender] Sukhiloma, for sukhulama or sukhumala (i.e. sukumara).  

35. [the best bright colour] See Lal. Vist. p. 337  

36. [Anibandhaniyaprabha] This seems better than nibandhaniyaprabha, as printed in the text.  

37. [Abhibuyanarendrabhutrayendraprabha] This reading is conjectural and the translation doubtful. Perhaps the text was anabhibhuyanarendrabhutrayendra-prabhah.  

38. [beings of good disposition] Here the text adds (p. 30, l. 4) kalyakusalamiminevadvipramodyakarani. The whole sentence is unintelligible.  

39. [the Tathagata] This refers to the Bhagavat Shakyamuni himself, who speaks of himself as the Tathagata. What he means to say is that the light of Amitabha is infinite and that therefore even the Tathagata could not finish the description of it. Yet this would not detract from the infinite power of the Tathagata or diminish his vaisaradya because that power too is infinite.  

40. [....ogas] All these are names of fanciful measures.  

41. [....might, if he wished, count...] Nagarena, 'with an instrument' or 'by some clever contrivance.'  

42. [...or approach] See Kern's translation of the Saddharmapundarika, p. 317, note 2.  

43. [untimely births] These untimely births, i.e. being born out of time, when there are no Buddhas to listen to, are not mentioned in the first Pranidhana; nor the jewels.  

44.[on purpose] Cf. the eighth paragraph in the Smaller Sukhavati-vyuha.  

 

 

Up Larger Sukhavati 2