[35] Why Is Āmítuófó’s Name Thus? 何故号阿弥陀佛?


C2: Direct Rewards’ Wonders


Divided [In] Two [Parts]: First, Proof [And] Explanation [Of] Name, Second, Separate Explanation [Of] Master [And] Companions.


D1: Proof [And] Explanation [Of] Name


Within [In] Two [Parts]: First, Proof, Second, Explanation.


E1: Proof

【经】: 舍利弗,于汝意云何?彼佛何故号阿弥陀?

[Sūtra]: Śāriputra, what [do] you think of [this]? That Buddha, [for] what reason, [is] named “Amitā”?


[Explanation]: This sūtra reveals [the] wonderful practice [of] upholding [the] name [of ‘Āmítuófó’], thus specially proving [and] explaining [the] name, desiring people [to have] profound Faith [in the] inconceivability [of the] great name [of] ten thousand virtues, [so as to] wholeheartedly [and] firmly uphold [it], without again [having] doubts [and] second [thoughts].


‘Amitā’ [or ‘Āmítuó’], [is] correctly translated [as] ‘Immeasurable’, [which] originally cannot [be] spoken [of. Our] fundamental teacher [i.e. Śākyamuni Buddha], with ‘light’ [and] ‘life’ [as] two [of its] meanings, exhaustibly gathered all [that is] immeasurable.


[The] light [of Āmítuófó] thus horizontally pervades [the] ten directions [i.e. East, West, South, North, Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, Southwest, above, and below], [and the] life [of Āmítuófó] thus vertically exhausts [the] three times [i.e. past, present and future]. Horizontally [and] vertically interpenetrating [all space and time, this] is the same as [the] Dharma realm’s [essential] body.


[The] whole [of] this [Dharma realm’s] body is Āmítuófó’s body [and] land. Likewise is [the] whole [of] this [Dharma realm’s] body Āmítuófó’s name.


Thus, Āmítuó[fó]’s name, is the same as sentient beings’ original awakening’s principle nature.


Upholding [the] name, is the same as actualised awakening joining original [awakening].


[The] actualised [and] original [are] not two, [just as] sentient beings and Buddha[s] are not two [in essence, as both have the same Buddha-nature (i.e. potential to be Buddhas), with the first yet to fully realise it, and the latter having fully realised it].


Thus, [with] one thought corresponding [by sincere mindfulness of Āmítuófó’s name, is with] one thought [aligned to the] Buddha. [With] thought to thought corresponding, [is with] thought to thought [aligned to the] Buddha.


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


[Explanation]: This mind-nature is still yet constantly illuminating [with awareness], thus [is it] as bright light.


Now [having] penetrated [to] realise [his] mind-nature’s [essential] body’s immeasurability, thus [is his] bright light immeasurable.


[As] all Buddhas [have] penetrated [their mind-]nature’s bodies, [they] all illuminate [the] ten directions, [and can] all [be] named [as] ‘Immeasurable Light’.


Yet, [as] within [their] causal [grounds, their] power [of] vows [is] not [the] same, according [to their] causes [and] conditions, [they] establish other names.


Āmítuófó as Dharma Treasury [i.e. Dharmākara] Bhikṣu, [who] gave rose [to] forty-eight vows, [with the] vow [to] have [his] bright light constantly illuminating [the] ten directions, now [has this] fruit accomplished as vowed. 


[The] Dharma Body’s [i.e. all Buddhas’ one collective Dharmakāya] bright light [is] without boundary, [and their] Reward Bodies’ [i.e. Saṃbhogakāyas] bright lights match [their] true nature [i.e. Buddha-nature]. This thus [is due to] every Buddha’s path [being the] same.


[They might have] Manifestation Bodies’ [i.e. Nirmāṇakāyas] bright lights [that] have illumination [of] one yojana [i.e. about 12 kilometres], ten, hundred, thousand yojanas, one world-system, ten, hundred, thousand world-systems.


[As] only Āmítuó[fó] universally illuminates [everywhere all the time], thus [is his] other name ‘Immeasurable Light’.


However, [the] Three Bodies [i.e. Trikāya] [are] neither one nor different, for enabling sentient beings [to] attain [the] four benefits [of the Four Siddhāntas (四悉檀), which accord to the listener’s capacity: [1] worldly method (世界悉檀), [2] individual method (各各为人悉檀), [3] curative method (对治悉檀) and [4] method of the first principle (第一义悉檀)] thus, having these differences.


[It] should [be] known [that the Three Bodies are] without obstructions, [only as] restricted [by] people[‘s conditions], speaking.


Due to sentient beings [and the] Buddha [having] deep conditions [of karmic affinities] thus, where [the] Buddha[s’] light reaches, all in [the] world [are] without [those who do] not completely see it.


[Sūtra]: Moreover, Śāriputra, [as] that Buddha’s lifespan, and that [of his] people, [are of] immeasurable [and] boundless asaṃkhyeya kalpas, thus [is he] named “Amitā”[yus: Immeasurable Life].


[Explanation]: [As his] Mind-Nature illuminates, yet [is] constantly still, thus [is it named] as ‘lifespan’.


Now [having] penetrated [to] realise [his] Mind-Nature’s [essential] body’s immeasurability, thus [is his] lifespan immeasurable.


The Dharma Body’s lifespan [is] without beginning [and] without end, [while] Reward Body’s lifespan [is] with beginning and without end.


This [is] likewise [due to] every Buddha’s path [being the] same, [and] all [Buddhas] can [be] named [as] ‘Immeasurable Life’.


Manifestation Bodies accord [with] vows [and] accord [with] situations, [thus] with extending [and] hastening not [being] equal.


[As the] King [Of] Vows Dharma Treasury [Bodhisattva], has [the] vow [that himself as a] Buddha and [his] people’s lifespans [are] all [to be] immeasurable, now [that this] fruit [has been] accomplished [as] vowed, [his] other name [is] ‘Immeasurable Life’.


‘Asaṃkhyeya’, ‘boundless’, [and] ‘immeasurable’ – all [these are] counting terms, really having measurable [kinds] of [the] immeasurable.


However, [the] Three Bodies [are] not one [and] not different, [as] Manifestation Bodies can also [be of] immeasurable [kinds] of [the] immeasurable.


‘And’ means ‘furthermore’.


[The] ‘people’ [in Pure Land], refer [to the greatest Bodhisattvas with] Equal Enlightenment [and those] below.


Speaking [of the] Buddha’s lifespan, and his people’s lifespans, all [are] equally immeasurable.


[It] should [be] known [that the] name [of Immeasurable] Light [and] Life, [are] all originally [based upon] sentient beings’ [Buddha-nature] established.


With sentient beings [and] Buddhas equal [in essence, thus is this] able [to] enable those [who] uphold [the] name, [to attain] bright light [and long] lifespan [that is the] same [as the] Buddha, without differences.


Once again, due to Immeasurable Light’s meaning, thus [are] sentient beings born [in the Land Of] Ultimate Bliss the same as [those] born [in the] ten directions’ [other Pure Lands too, with] seeing [of] Āmítuófó the same as seeing the ten directions’ all Buddhas, able [to] self-deliver, then universally benefit all [sentient beings].


Due to Immeasurable Life’s meaning, thus are [the Land Of] Ultimate Bliss’ people the same as [those who are in the Position Of] One Life [To] Replace [Buddhas], all definitely [in] this life [to] accomplish Buddhahood, not reaching [it in a] different life.


[It] should [be] known [that] apart [from this] presently manifested one thought’s Mind[-Nature] of Immeasurable Life, [there is no]where [else] with Āmítuófó’s name.


Yet, apart from Āmítuófó’s name, what cause [is there for us to penetrate [and] realise [this] presently manifested one thought’s Mind[-Nature of] Immeasurable Light and Life?


May [all] deeply ponder [on] this, may [all] deeply ponder [on] this.

– 净土宗九祖澫益大师

– Pure Land Tradition’s 9th Patriarch Great Master Ǒuyì
(Essential Explanation [Of The] Sūtra [In Which The] Buddha Speaks [Of] Amitā[bha] Buddha)

Related Articles:

下文: 阿弥陀佛已成佛十劫之意义
Next Section: Significance Of Āmítuófó’s Accomplishment Of Buddhahood Ten Kalpas Ago

Complete English Translation Of ‘The Essential Explanation On The Amitābha Sūtra As Spoken By The Buddha’

The Sacred Name Of Amituofo

The Name Of Amituofo Is The Supreme Mantra

Amituofo As One & All Buddhas

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!