A1: Preface Section
Divided [Into] Two [Parts]: First, Common Preface, Second, Separate Preface.
B1: Common Preface
Within [With] Two [Parts]: First, Stating [Of] Dharma Assembly’s Time [And] Place, Second, Citing [Of] Great Assembly Together Hearing.
C1: Stating [Of] Dharma Assembly’s Time [And] Place
[Sūtra]: Thus is [as] I [have] heard. [At] one time, [the] Buddha [was] at Śrāvastī city’s Jeta Grove [And] Giver[-To-The-]Lonely Garden.
[Explanation]: ‘Thus’, states [to ‘have] faith [in and to] follow [accordingly]’.
‘I [have] heard’, states ‘[from the] teacher received’.
‘One time’, states [the] ‘opportunity [and] response’ [being appropriate].
[The] ‘Buddha’, states [the] ‘master teacher’.
‘Śrāvastī’ [and] others, states [the] ‘place [the] sūtra [was] spoken’.
True Form’s wonderful principles, [from] ancient [times till] today unchanging, [are] named ‘thus’.
Relying [upon] True Form’s principles, [being] mindful [of] Buddha [to] seek birth [in his] Pure Land, [which is] definitely without mistake, [is] said [as] ‘is’.
True Form [is] not ‘I’ [and] not without ‘I’. Ānanda, not destroying [his] false name, thus [is] still called ‘I’.
[With the] ear root giving rise [to the] ear consciousness, personally understanding clearly [the Buddha’s] perfect voice, like emptiness sealing [upon] emptiness, [this is] named ‘heard’.
‘Time’ [is] without true dharmas, [yet] with [the] teacher [and] students’ paths combined, [with] speaking [and] hearing complete [and] adequate, [this is] named ‘one time’.
Self-awakened [and] awakening others, [with] awakening’s practices perfected, [as] human [and] heavenly [beings’] great teacher, [he is] named ‘the Buddha’.
[On] ‘Śrāvastī’, this [is] called ‘Famous Objects’, [the] name of central India’s great country, [also] King Prasenajit’s place [as its] capital.
King Prasenajit’s Prince [was] named ‘Jeta’. This [is] called ‘Battle Victory’.
King Prasenajit’s great minister [was] named ‘Sudatta’. This [is] called ‘Giver-[To-The-]Lonely’ [i.e. Anāthapiṇḍada].
[When the] Elder Giver[-To-The-]Lonely spread gold [to] buy [the] Prince’s garden, [to] offer [to the] Buddha and [the] Samghā, [Prince] Jeta exclaimed [in surprise, and] gave [the] remaining little land yet [to be] spread, thus [is the place] together named ‘Jeta Grove [And] Giver[-To-The-]Lonely Garden’.
– Pure Land Tradition’s 9th Patriarch Great Master Ǒuyì
(Essential Explanation [Of The] Sūtra [In Which The] Buddha Speaks [Of] Amitā[bha] Buddha)
Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an
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Complete English Translation Of ‘The Essential Explanation On The Amitābha Sūtra As Spoken By The Buddha’