Sutra Translations

佛说阿弥陀经 The Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of Amitā Buddha (Amitābha Sūtra); 一切诸佛所护念经 The Sūtra With All Buddhas’ Mindful Protection

佛说阿弥陀经
The Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of Amitā Buddha
[Amitābha Sūtra]

姚秦三藏法师鸠摩罗什译
Translated (from Sanskrit to Chinese) in Yao-Qin Dynasty by Tripiṭaka Dharma Master Kumārajīva
二零一八年优婆塞沈时安译
Translated (from Chinese to English) in March 2018 by Upāsaka Shen Shi’an (with addition of subheadings) [Do contact for latest version if to be reproduced]

[序分
PREFACE]

[大阿罗汉与大弟子
Assembly Of Great Arhats And Disciples]

如是我闻,一时佛在舍卫国,祇树给孤独园,与大比丘僧,千二百五十人俱,皆是大阿罗汉,众所知识。长老舍利弗、摩诃目犍连、摩诃迦叶、摩诃迦旃延、摩诃俱絺罗、离婆多、周利槃陀 伽、难陀、阿难陀、罗侯罗、憍梵波提、宾头卢颇罗堕、迦留陀夷、摩诃劫宾那、薄拘罗、阿㝹楼驮,如是等诸大弟子。

Thus have I heard, at one time, the Buddha was in the country of Śrāvastī, at Jeta Grove And Giver-To-The-Lonely Garden, with the Saṅgha of great Bhikṣus, one thousand two hundred and fifty together, all of whom are great Arhats, as known by many – the Elders Śāriputra, Mahāmaudgalyāyana, Mahākāśyapa, Mahākātyāyana, Mahākauṣṭhila, Revata, Śuddhipanthaka, Nanda, Ānanda, Rāhula, Gavāṃpati, Piṇḍola-Bhāradvāja, Kālodayin, Mahākapphiṇa, Vakkula, Aniruddha, and many other such great disciples.

[大菩萨与天
Assembly Of Great Bodhisattvas And Gods]

并诸菩萨摩诃萨,文殊师利法王子、阿逸多菩萨、乾陀诃提菩萨、常精进菩萨,与如是等诸大菩萨,及释提桓因等,无量诸天大众俱。

Also there were many Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas – Mañjuśrī The Dharma Prince, Ajita Bodhisattva, Gandhahastin Bodhisattva, Constant Diligence Bodhisattva, with many other such great Bodhisattvas, and Śakro-Devānām-Indra, with many other immeasurable great assemblies of gods together.

[西方极乐世界阿弥陀佛
The Western Land Of Ultimate Bliss’ Amitā Buddha]

尔时,佛告长老舍利弗。从是西方,过十万亿佛土,有世界名曰极乐。其土有佛,号阿弥陀,今现在说法。

At that time, the Buddha told the Elder Śāriputra, ‘From here, in the western direction, passing a hundred thousand koṭis of Buddha Lands, is a world named “Ultimate Bliss”. In that land, is a Buddha named “Amitā”, who is now speaking the Dharma.

[正宗分
MAIN TEACHINGS]

[彼土何故名为极乐 (1):
无众苦有诸乐

Why Is That Land Named ‘Ultimate Bliss’ (1):
Without All Suffering And With All Bliss]

舍利弗,彼土何故名为极乐?其国众生,无有众苦,但受诸乐,故名极乐。

Śāriputra, for what reason is that land named as “Ultimate Bliss”? The land’s beings are without the many kinds of suffering, and only experience all kinds of bliss, which is why it is named “Ultimate Bliss”.

[彼土何故名为极乐 (2):
栏楯、罗网、行树、四宝

Why Is That Land Named ‘Ultimate Bliss’ (2):
Balustrades, Nets, Trees, Four Treasures]

又舍利弗,极乐国土,七重栏楯、七重罗网、七重行树,皆是四宝周匝围绕,是故彼国名为极乐。

Moreover, Śāriputra, that Land Of Ultimate Bliss has seven layers of balustrades, seven layers of nets, and seven layers of lined trees, all surrounded by four treasures. This is why that land is named as “Ultimate Bliss”.

[彼土功德庄严 (1):
宝池、功德水、金沙、阶道、楼阁、七宝、莲花

Land’s Adornment Of Meritorious Virtues (1):
Treasure Ponds, Water Of Meritorious Virtues, Golden Sand, Stairways, Towers, Seven Treasures, Lotuses]

又舍利弗,极乐国土,有七宝池,八功德水,充满其中,池底纯以金沙布地。四边阶道,金、银、琉璃、玻璃合成。上有楼阁,亦以金、银、琉璃、玻璃、砗磲、赤珠、玛瑙而严饰之。池中莲花,大如车轮,青色青光、黄色黄光、赤色赤光、白色白光,微妙香洁。

Moreover, Śāriputra, the Land Of Ultimate Bliss, has ponds with seven treasures, filled with water of eight meritorious virtues, and pond beds spread purely with golden sand. On the four sides are stairways composed of gold, silver, lapis lazuli and crystal. Above are towering pavilions, also adorned with gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, tridacna, red pearls and carnelian. Within the ponds are lotus flowers as large as chariot wheels, blue coloured of blue light, yellow coloured of yellow light, red coloured of red light, white coloured of white light, refined, wonderful, fragrant and pure.

舍利弗,极乐国土,成就如是功德庄严。

Śāriputra, the Land Of Ultimate Bliss is accomplished with such adornment of meritorious virtues.

[彼土功德庄严 (2):
天乐、金地、曼陀罗华、供养佛

Land’s Adornment Of Meritorious Virtues (2):
Heavenly Music, Gold Ground, Māndarāva Flowers, Offering Of Buddhas]

又舍利弗,彼佛国土,常作天乐,黄金为地。昼夜六时,雨天曼陀罗华。其土众生,常以清旦,各以衣祴,盛众妙华,供养他方十万亿佛,即以食时,还到本国,饭食经行。

Moreover, Śāriputra, that Buddha Land has constant playing of heavenly music, and gold as ground. Day and night, during the six periods, māndarāva flowers rain from the sky. The beings of that land often, in the morning, each with the hem of their clothes, fill many wonderful flowers, to make offerings to a hundred thousand koṭis of Buddhas in other directions. Promptly by mealtime, they return to the original land, to eat and practise walking meditation.

舍利弗,极乐国土,成就如是功德庄严。

Śāriputra, the Land Of Ultimate Bliss is accomplished with such adornment of meritorious virtues.

[彼土功德庄严 (3):
奇妙之鸟

Land’s Adornment Of Meritorious Virtues (3):
Rare And Wonderful Birds]

复次,舍利弗,彼国常有种种奇妙杂色之鸟。白鹤、孔雀、鹦鹉、舍利、迦陵频伽、共命之鸟。是诸众鸟,昼夜六时,出和雅音。其音演畅五根、五力、七菩提分、八圣道分,如是等法。其土众生,闻是音已,皆悉念佛、念法、念僧。

In addition, Śāriputra, that land constantly has many kinds of rare and wonderful birds of various colours – white cranes, peacocks, parrots, śāris, kalaviṅkas, and life-sharing birds. All these numerous birds, day and night, during the six periods, produce harmonious and elegant sounds. Their sounds clearly explain the Five Roots, Five Powers, Seven Bodhi Factors, Eightfold Noble Path and other such Dharma. The beings of that land, after hearing these sounds, all become mindful of the Buddha, mindful of the Dharma and mindful of the Saṅgha.

[彼土无三恶道
Land Is Without Three Evil Paths]

舍利弗,汝勿谓此鸟,实是罪报所生。所以者何?彼佛国土,无三恶道。

Śāriputra, you should not assume these birds are really born from retribution of transgressions. Why is this so? That Buddha Land is without the three evil paths.

[诸鸟弥陀所化
Birds Are Amitā Buddha’s Manifestations]

舍利弗,其佛国土,尚无恶道之名,何况有实。是诸众鸟,皆是阿弥陀佛,欲令法音宣流,变化所作。

Śāriputra, that Buddha Land does not even have the evil paths’ names, much less their reality. All these numerous birds are Amitā Buddha, who desires to cause sounds of the Dharma to be propagated, thus manifesting them.

[彼土功德庄严 (4):
百千种乐

Land’s Adornment Of Meritorious Virtues (4):
Hundred Thousand Kinds Of Music]

舍利弗,彼佛国土,微风吹动,诸宝行树,及宝罗网,出微妙音,譬如百千种乐,同时俱作。闻是音者,自然皆生念佛、念法、念僧之心。

Śāriputra, in that Buddha Land, when gentle breezes blow through and move all the lined treasure trees and treasure nets, they produce refined and wonderful sounds, as if a hundred thousand kinds of music are playing together at the same time. Those who hear these sounds all naturally give rise to minds with mindfulness of the Buddha, mindfulness of the Dharma and mindfulness of the Saṅgha.

舍利弗,其佛国土,成就如是功德庄严。

Śāriputra, that Buddha Land is accomplished with such adornment of meritorious virtues.

[彼佛何故号阿弥陀 (1):
无量光

Why Is That Buddha Named ‘Amita’ (1):
Immeasurable Light]

舍利弗,于汝意云何?彼佛何故号阿弥陀?

Śāriputra, what do you think? Why is that Buddha named “Amitā”?

舍利弗,彼佛光明无量,照十方国,无所障碍,是故号为阿弥陀。

Śāriputra, that Buddha’s light is immeasurable, and illuminates lands the ten directions’ lands without any obstruction. This is why he is named as “Amitā”[bha: Immeasurable Light].

[彼佛何故号阿弥陀 (2):
无量寿

Why Is That Buddha Named ‘Amita’ (2):
Immeasurable Life]

又舍利弗,彼佛寿命,及其人民,无量无边阿僧祇劫,故名阿弥陀。

Moreover, Śāriputra, that Buddha’s life span, and that of his land’s people, are of immeasurable and boundless asaṃkhyeya kalpas. This is why he is named “Amitā”[yus: Immeasurable Life].

舍利弗,阿弥陀佛成佛已来,于今十劫。

Śāriputra, since Amitā Buddha attained Buddhahood, ten kalpas have passed.

[国土功德庄严 (5):
无量阿罗汉与菩萨
Land’s Adornment Of Meritorious Virtues (5):
Immeasurable Arhats And Bodhisattvas]

又舍利弗,彼佛有无量无边声闻弟子,皆阿罗汉,非是算数之所能知。诸菩萨众,亦复如是。

Moreover, Śāriputra, that Buddha has immeasurable and boundless Śrāvaka disciples, all of whom are Arhats, who cannot be known by counting. All Bodhisattva assemblies are likewise so.

舍利弗,彼佛国土,成就如是功德庄严。

Śāriputra, that Buddha Land is accomplished with such adornment of meritorious virtues.

[无量阿鞞跋致与一生补处菩萨
Immeasurable Avaivartikas And Eka-jaṭī-prati-baddhas]

又舍利弗,极乐国土,众生生者,皆是阿鞞跋致。其中多有一生补处,其数甚多,非是算数所能知之,但可以无量无边阿僧祇说。

Moreover, Śāriputra, in the Land Of Ultimate Bliss, beings born there are all Avaivartikas. Among them, many are in the Stage Of One Life To Replacement. Their number is extremely great, which cannot be known by counting, and can only with immeasurable and boundless asaṃkhyeya kalpas be spoken of.

[为何愿生彼国 (1):
上善人
Why Vow To Be Born In That Land (1)
Meet Beings Of Superior Goodness]

舍利弗,众生闻者,应当发愿,愿生彼国。所以者何?得与如是诸上善人俱会一处。

Śāriputra, beings who hear this should vow to be born in that land. Why is this so? To be able to, with all such beings of superior goodness, meet together in one place.

[如何得生彼国
How To Attain Birth In That Land]

舍利弗,不可以少善根、福德、因缘,得生彼国。

Śāriputra, one cannot, with few good roots’ blessed virtues as causes and conditions, attain birth in that land.

舍利弗,若有善男子、善女人,闻说阿弥陀佛,执持名号,若一日、若二日、若三日、若四日、若五日、若六日、若七日,一心不乱,其人临命终时,阿弥陀佛,与诸圣众,现在其前。是人终时,心不颠倒,即得往生阿弥陀佛极乐国土。

Śāriputra, if there are good men and good women, who hear of Amitā Buddha, faithfully [and firmly] uphold [mindfulness of] his name [Amituofo; Amitā(bha) Buddha; Amitā(yus) Buddha], if for one day, if for two days, if for three days, if for four days, if for five days, if for six days, if for seven days, wholeheartedly without being scattered, when these persons approach the end of life, Amitā Buddha, with an assembly of many noble beings, will appear before them. When these persons’ lives [are] end[ing], their minds will not be inverted, and they will immediately attain rebirth in Amitā Buddha’s Land Of Ultimate Bliss.

[为何愿生彼国 (2):
得以上利益
Why Vow To Be Born In That Land (2)
Receive Benefits Above]

舍利弗,我见是利,故说此言。若有众生,闻是说者,应当发愿,生彼国土。

Śāriputra, as I see these benefits, I speak these words. If there are beings who hear this, they should vow to be born in that land.

[流通分
TRANSMISSION]

[东方诸佛劝信称赞言
Exhortation Of Faith In These Praises By All Buddhas Of The Eastern Direction]

舍利弗,如我今者,赞叹阿弥陀佛不可思议功德之利,东方亦有阿閦鞞佛、须弥相佛、大须弥佛、须弥光佛、妙音佛,如是等恒河沙数诸佛,各于其国,出广长舌相,遍覆三千大千世界,说诚实言:汝等众生,当信是称赞不可思议功德,一切诸佛所护念经。

Śāriputra, as I now praise Amitā Buddha’s inconceivable meritorious virtues’ benefits, in the eastern direction, there are also Akṣobhya Buddha, Sumeru Form Buddha, Great Sumeru Buddha, Sumeru Light Buddha, Wonderful Voice Buddha, and all other such Buddhas, as numerous as the Ganges River’s sands, each in his land, extending the form of broad and long tongue, that covers his three-thousandfold great-thousandfold world everywhere, speaking these truthful words, “You and other beings, should have faith in this ‘Sūtra With Praises Of Inconceivable Meritorious Virtues And All Buddhas’ Mindful Protection’.”

[南方诸佛劝信称赞言
Exhortation Of Faith In These Praises By All Buddhas Of The Southern Direction]

舍利弗,南方世界,有日月灯佛、名闻光佛、大焰肩佛、须弥灯佛、无量精进佛,如是等恒河沙数诸佛,各于其国,出广长舌相,遍覆三千大千世界,说诚实言:汝等众生,当信是称赞不可思议功德,一切诸佛所护念经。

Śāriputra, in the southern direction’s worlds, there are Sun And Moon Lamp Buddha, Renown Light Buddha, Great Flaming Shoulders Buddha, Sumeru Lamp Buddha, Immeasurable Diligence Buddha, and all other such Buddhas, as numerous as the Ganges River’s sands, each in his land, extending the form of broad and long tongue, that covers his three-thousandfold great thousandfold world everywhere, speaking these truthful words, “You and other beings, should have faith in this ‘Sūtra With Praises Of Inconceivable Meritorious Virtues And All Buddhas’ Mindful Protection’.”

[西方诸佛劝信称赞言
Exhortation Of Faith In These Praises By All Buddhas Of The Western Direction]

舍利弗,西方世界,有无量寿佛、无量相佛、无量幢佛、大光佛、大明佛、宝相佛、净光佛,如是等恒河沙数诸佛,各于其国,出广长舌相,遍覆三千大千世界,说诚实言:汝等众生,当信是称赞不可思议功德,一切诸佛所护念经。

Śāriputra, in the western direction’s worlds, there are Immeasurable Life Buddha, Immeasurable Form Buddha, Immeasurable Banner Buddha, Great Light Buddha, Great Radiance Buddha, Treasure Form Buddha, Pure Light Buddha, and all other such Buddhas, as numerous as the Ganges River’s sands, each in his land, extending the form of broad and long tongue, that covers his three-thousandfold great-thousandfold world everywhere, speaking these truthful words, “You and other beings, should have faith in this ‘Sūtra With Praises Of Inconceivable Meritorious Virtues And All Buddhas’ Mindful Protection’.”

[北方诸佛劝信称赞言
Exhortation Of Faith In These Praises By All Buddhas Of The Northern Direction]

舍利弗,北方世界,有焰肩佛、最胜音佛、难沮佛、日生佛、网明佛,如是等恒河沙数诸佛,各于其国,出广长舌相,遍覆三千大千世界,说诚实言:汝等众生,当信是称赞不可思议功德,一切诸佛所护念经。

Śāriputra, in the northern direction’s worlds, there are Flaming Shoulders Buddha, Most Victorious Voice Buddha, Difficult-To-Defeat Buddha, Sun Birth Buddha, Net Of Radiance Buddha, and all other such Buddhas, as numerous as the Ganges River’s sands, each in his land, extending the form of broad and long tongue, that covers his three-thousandfold great-thousandfold world everywhere, speaking these truthful words, “You and other beings, should have faith in this ‘Sūtra With Praises Of Inconceivable Meritorious Virtues And All Buddhas’ Mindful Protection’.”

[下方诸佛劝信称赞言
Exhortation Of Faith In These Praises By All Buddhas Of The Below Direction]

舍利弗,下方世界,有师子佛、名闻佛、名光佛、达摩佛、法幢佛、持法佛,如是等恒河沙数诸佛,各于其国,出广长舌相,遍覆三千大千世界,说诚实言:汝等众生,当信是称赞不可思议功德,一切诸佛所护念经。

Śāriputra, in the below direction’s worlds, there are Lion Buddha, Renown Buddha, Name Of Light Buddha, Dharma Buddha, Dharma Banner Buddha, Upholding Dharma Buddha, and all other such Buddhas, as numerous as the Ganges River’s sands, each in his land, extending the form of broad and long tongue, that covers his three-thousandfold great-thousandfold world everywhere, speaking these truthful words, “You and other beings, should have faith in this ‘Sūtra With Praises Of Inconceivable Meritorious Virtues And All Buddhas’ Mindful Protection’.”

[上方诸佛劝信称赞言
Exhortation Of Faith In These Praises By All Buddhas Of The Above Direction]

舍利弗,上方世界,有梵音佛、宿王佛、香上佛、香光佛、大焰肩佛、杂色宝华严身佛、娑罗树王佛、宝华德佛、见一切义佛、如须弥山佛,如是等恒河沙数诸佛,各于其国,出广长舌相,遍覆三千大千世界,说诚实言:汝等众生,当信是称赞不可思议功德,一切诸佛所护念经。

Śāriputra, in the above direction’s worlds, there are Brahma Voice Buddha, Constellation King Buddha, Fragrance Superior Buddha, Fragrant Light Buddha, Great Flaming Shoulders Buddha, Varicoloured Treasure Flower Adorned Body Buddha, Sala Tree King Buddha, Treasure Flower Virtue Buddha, Seeing-Of-All-Meanings Buddha, Likeness-To-Sumeru-Mountain Buddha, and all other such Buddhas, as numerous as the Ganges River’s sands, each in his land, extending the form of broad and long tongue, that covers his three-thousandfold great-thousandfold world everywhere, speaking these truthful words, “You and other beings, should have faith in this ‘Sūtra With Praises Of Inconceivable Meritorious Virtues And All Buddhas’ Mindful Protection’.”

[何故名为一切诸佛所护念经
Why Is This Named The ‘Sūtra With All Buddhas’ Mindful Protection’]

舍利弗,于汝意云何?何故名为一切诸佛所护念经?舍利弗,若有善男子、善女人,闻是经受持者,及闻诸佛名者,是诸善男子、善女人,皆为一切诸佛之所护念,皆得不退转于阿耨多罗三藐三菩提。

Śāriputra, what do you think? For what reason is this named as the “Sūtra With All Buddhas’ Mindful Protection”? Śāriputra, if there are good men and good women, who hear this sūtra, accept and uphold it, and hear all these Buddhas’ names, all these good men and good women will, by all Buddhas, be mindfully protected, and all attain non-retrogression for Anuttarā Samyak Saṃbodhi.

是故舍利弗,汝等皆当信受我语,及诸佛所说。

This is why, Śāriputra, you and all others should faithfully accept my words, and what all Buddhas say.

[何故发愿往生彼国 (2):
得不退转于阿耨多罗三藐三菩提

Why Vow To Be Born In That Land (3):
Attain Non-Retrogression For Anuttarā Samyak Saṃbodhi]

舍利弗,若有人已发愿、今发愿、当发愿,欲生阿弥陀佛国者,是诸人等,皆得不退转于阿耨多罗三藐三菩提,于彼国土,若已生、若今生、若当生。

Śāriputra, if there are those who have already vowed, are now vowing, or will be vowing, with the desire to be born in Amitā Buddha’s land, all of them will attain non-retrogression for Anuttarā Samyak Saṃbodhi. In that land, they have already been born, or are now being born, or will be born.

是故舍利弗,诸善男子、善女人,若有信者,应当发愿,生彼国土。

This is why, Śāriputra, all good men and good women, if they have faith, should vow to be born in that land.

[诸佛称赞叹释迦牟尼佛
All Buddhas’ Praises Of Śākyamuni Buddha]

舍利弗,如我今者,称赞诸佛不可思议功德,彼诸佛等,亦称赞我不可思议功德,而作是言:释迦牟尼佛能为甚难希有之事,能于娑婆国土,五浊恶世,劫浊、见浊、烦恼浊、众生浊、命浊中,得阿耨多罗三藐三菩提,为诸众生,说是一切世间难信之法。

Śāriputra, as I now praise all Buddhas’ inconceivable meritorious virtues, all those other Buddhas also praise my inconceivable meritorious virtues, while speaking these words: “Śākyamuni Buddha was able to accomplish an extremely difficult and rare matter, able to, in this land of the Sahā World, during this evil period of the five defilements – defilement of the kalpa, defilement of views, defilement of afflictions, defilement of sentient beings, and defilement of their lifespans, attain Anuttarā Samyak Saṃbodhi, and for all beings, speak this Dharma, that is difficult for all in the world to have faith in.”

[成佛说此法之
Extreme Difficulty Of Attaining Buddhahood And Speaking This Dharma]

舍利弗,当知我于五浊恶世,行此难事,得阿耨多罗三藐三菩提,为一切世间说此难信之法,是为甚难。

Śāriputra, you should know that I, in this evil period of the five defilements, accomplished this difficult matter, of attaining Anuttarā Samyak Saṃbodhi, and for all in the world spoke this Dharma, that is difficult to have faith in. This is extremely difficult!’

[大众欢喜信受
Great Assembly’s Rejoice And Faithful Acceptance]

佛说此经已,舍利弗,及诸比丘,一切世间天人、阿修罗等,闻佛所说,欢喜信受,作礼而去。

After the Buddha has spoken this sūtra, Śāriputra, and all the Bhikṣus, with all the world’s gods, humans, asuras and others, having heard what the Buddha said, rejoiced and faithfully accepted it, as they paid homage and departed.

Book with footnotes on all Dharma terms and related chants:
https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2015/07/new-translation-of-amitabha-sutra

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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