Sutra

Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s Repentance Practice 普贤菩萨之忏悔行

Written by Purelanders

《华严经普贤行愿品》摘录:
Excerpt From ‘Flower Adornment (Avataṃsaka) Sūtra’s Chapter [On] Universal Virtues’ [i.e. Samantabhadra Bodhisattva] Practices [And] Vows’:

【普贤菩萨告善财童子】:「复次,善男子!言忏悔业障者,菩萨自念:

[Samantabhadra Bodhisattva told the youth Good Wealth (Sudhanakumâra)]: ‘Furthermore, good man! Speaking [of] repentance of karmic obstacles, Bodhisattvas [are] personally mindful [thus],

‘我于过去无始劫中,由贪嗔痴,发身口意,作诸恶业,无量无边。

“I, within past beginningless kalpas [i.e. world cycles of about 1.3 trillion years each], by greed, anger [and] delusion, arising [from] body, speech [and] mind, created all evil karma, [that is] immeasurable [and] boundless.

若此恶业有体相者,尽虚空界不能容受。

If this evil karma has physical form, exhausting [the] realms [of] empty space, [they will] not [be] able [to] contain [or] receive [it]. 

我今悉以清净三业,遍于法界极微尘刹一切诸佛菩萨众前,诚心忏悔,后不复造,恒住净戒一切功德。

I now, with all three pure karmas [of body, speech and mind], before all Buddhas [and] Bodhisattva assemblies [that] pervade [the] Dharma realm’s [i.e. universe] extremely fine dustlike worlds, [with my] sincere mind repent, in future not again creating [evil karma, by] constantly abiding [upon] all pure precepts’ meritorious virtues.   

如是虚空界尽,众生界尽,众生业尽,众生烦恼尽,我忏乃尽,而虚空界乃至众生烦恼不可尽故,我此忏悔无有穷尽。

Thus, [when] empty space’s realms exhaust, sentient beings’ realms exhaust, sentient beings’ [negative] karma exhausts, sentient beings’ afflictions exhaust, my repentance [will] then exhaust, and [as] empty space’s realms and even [up to] sentient beings’ afflictions cannot [be] exhausted thus, my this repentance [is] without end [or exhaustion].

念念相续,无有间断,身语意业,无有疲厌。”」…

[With] thought [to] thought [in] continual succession, without having interruption, [with] body, speech [and] mind’s karma [for purification], without having weariness [and] disgust.”‘ …

【普贤菩萨告十方】:

[Samantabhadra Bodhisattva to the ten directions]:

[忏悔文]

我昔所造诸恶业,
皆由无始贪嗔痴,
从身语意之所生,
一切我今皆忏悔。 

[Verse (For) Repentance]

Of all my past created evil karma,
all by beginningless greed, anger [and] delusion,
from [my] body, speech [and] mind as arisen,
[for] all I now [express] repentance.

[i.e. Have remorse for misdeeds,
with resolution to make amends,
and to never repeat the misdeeds.]

Summary: Samantabhadra Bodhisattva taught that those who practise the Bodhisattva path, for guiding one and all to Buddhahood, should practise repentance of karmic obstacles by being mindful, that since countless world cycles ago, they have already created all kinds of negative karma, from physical, verbal and mental deeds, arising from the three poisons of attachment, aversion and delusion, so much so that the whole of the boundless universe’s space cannot bear it all, should this karma take shape all at once. 

Thus, all should immediately, with body, speech and mind as pure as possible, sincerely repent before all immeasurable Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, with them bearing witness, with us resolving to never do evil again, and to always accord to all precepts purely. 

We should see ourselves to have no fixed self, while our negative karma is interconnected to all other beings’ negative karma. [Even them doing wrong (to others and) ourselves is also partly our wrong, due to (others and) us having done wrong to karmically be wronged, and due to (others and) us not doing enough of what is right, to guide them to realise they are wrong. If we currently lack skilful means to guide them, all the more should we repent.]

As long as empty space, with its realms of immeasurable sentient beings’ negative karma and afflictions yet to be exhausted, such repentance should be continual and not end. Even if the collective negative karma cannot be exhausted, out of equally immeasurable compassion for all, repentance on the behalf of one and all should likewise not be exhausted.

Of course, for repentance to be practised for full effect, it must be personally done. However, even the greatest Bodhisattvas like Samantabhadra Bodhisattva continue to selflessly and diligently repent for all beings, including you and me. How very moving! If so, how can we not also do the same, by heeding his teaching by example, to lighten everyone’s load of suffering?

Note: Sincere practice of mindfulness of Amitābha Buddha’s name (i.e. 阿弥陀佛: Āmítuófó) can be used to express repentance too. 

Namo Amituofo : Translation, summary and note by Shen Shi’an

Related Article:
How Are Others’ Faults Also My Faults?
https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2018/01/how-are-others-faults-also-my-faults

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Purelanders

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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