Sutras

The Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of Amitābha Buddha《佛说阿弥陀经》The Sūtra With Praises Of Inconceivable Meritorious Virtues And All Buddhas’ Mindful Protection 《称赞不可思议功德一切诸佛所护念经》

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

《(称赞不可思议功德)一切诸佛所护念经》
[The] Sūtra [With] (Praises [Of] Inconceivable Meritorious Virtues [And]) All Buddhas’ Mindful Protection

[公元 402 年] 姚秦三藏法师鸠摩罗什译
[In 402 C.E. By] Yáo-Qín [Dynasty’s] Tripiṭaka Dharma Master Kumārajīva Translated [To Chinese]

公元 2019 年优婆塞沈时安重译
In 2019 C.E. By Upāsakā Shěn Shí’ān Retranslated [To English]

[For ease of detailed studying and editing, square brackets show necessary connective words used in translation, to be removed for final published version later, with addition of glossary and notes. Suggestions are welcome for more precise choice of words. Námó Āmítuófó.]

序分
Preface Section

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、罗睺罗、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 is [as] I [have] heard. [At] one time, [the] Buddha [was] at Śrāvastī city’s Jeta Grove [And] Giver[-To-The-]Lonely Garden, with [the] great Bhikṣus’ Saṃ[gha, one] thousand two hundred [and] fifty persons together, all [of whom] are Great Arhats, [by] many those known, [the] Elders Śāriputra, Mahāmaudgalyāyana, Mahākāśyapa, Mahākātyāyana, Mahākauṣṭhila, Revata, Śuddhipanthaka, Nanda, Ānanda, Rāhula, Gavāṃpati, Piṇḍola-Bhāradvāja, Kālodayin, Mahākapphiṇa, Vakkula, Aniruddha, such [and] other many great disciples.

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 such other many great Bodhisattvas, and Śakro-Devānām-Indra [with] others, immeasurably many heavenly great assemblies together.

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”, now presently speaking [the] Dharma.

正宗分
Main Principles’ Section

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, that land, [for] what reason, [is] named as “Ultimate Bliss”? [As] that land’s sentient beings, [are] without all [kinds of] suffering, [and] only receive all [kinds of] bliss, [it is] thus named “Ultimate Bliss”.

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, [as the] Land [Of] Ultimate Bliss, [has] seven layers [of] balustrades, seven layers [of] nets, [and] seven layers [of] lined trees, all with four treasures surrounding, therefore [is] that land named as “Ultimate Bliss”.

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。舍利弗,极乐国土成就如是功德庄严。

Moreover, Śāriputra, [the] Land [Of] Ultimate Bliss has seven treasures’ ponds, [with] eight meritorious virtues’ waters fully filling them within, [and] pond beds purely with golden sand spread [on their] grounds. [On their] four sides [are] stairways, [of] gold, silver, lapis lazuli [and] crystal composed. Above are towering pavilions, also with gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, tridacna, red pearls [and] carnelian thus adorning them. [The] ponds within [have] 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. Śāriputra, [the] Land [Of] Ultimate Bliss [is] accomplished [with] such meritorious virtues’ adornments.

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,各以衣裓,盛众妙华,供养他方十万亿佛。即以食时,还到本国,饭食经行。舍利弗,极乐国土成就如是功德庄严。

Moreover, Śāriputra, that Buddha Land constantly plays heavenly music, [with] gold as ground. Day [and] night, [during the] six periods, raining [from the] sky [are] Māndarāva flowers. That land’s sentient beings, constantly in early mornings, each with [their] clothes’ lapels, fill many wonderful flowers, [to] make offerings [to] other directions’ hundred thousand koṭis [of] Buddhas. Promptly by mealtime, [they] return to [the] original land, [to] eat [and do] walking meditation. Śāriputra, [the] Land [Of] Ultimate Bliss [is] accomplished [with] such meritorious virtues’ adornments.

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。

Furthermore, Śāriputra, that land constantly has all kinds [of] rare [and] wonderful birds of various colours — White Cranes, Peacocks, Parrots, Śāris, Kalaviṅkas, [and] Life-Sharing Birds. All these many birds, day [and] night, [during the] six periods, produce harmonious [and] elegant sounds. Their sounds smoothly explain [the] Five Roots, Five Powers, Seven Bodhi Factors, Eight[fold] Noble Path Factors, such [and] other Dharma. That land’s sentient beings, [having] heard these sounds already, all [become] mindful [of the] Buddha, mindful [of the] Dharma, [and] mindful [of the] Saṃgha.

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 say these birds really are those [from] transgressive retribution born. Why [is] that [so]? That Buddha Land [is] without [the] three evil paths.

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 [is] even without names of [the] evil paths, much less having [their] reality. [Of] all these many birds, all are Amitā Buddha, [who] desires [to] enable [the] Dharma’s sounds [to be] propagated, [with] manifestations [of] them made.

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。舍利弗,其佛国土成就如是功德庄严。

Śāriputra, [in] that Buddha Land, gentle breezes blow [and] move all [the] lined treasure trees and treasure nets, [to] produce refined [and] wonderful sounds, as if [with a] hundred thousand kinds [of] music, [at the] same time together playing. Those [who] hear these sounds, naturally all give rise [to] minds with mindfulness [of the] Buddha, mindfulness [of the] Dharma, [and] mindfulness [of the] Saṃgha. Śāriputra, that Buddha Land [is] accomplished [with] such meritorious virtues’ adornments.

舍利弗,于汝意云何?彼佛何故号阿弥陀?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, what [do] you think of [this]? That Buddha, [for] what reason, [is] named “Amitā”? 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].

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, [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].

舍利弗,阿弥陀佛成佛以来,于今十劫。

Śāriputra, since Amitā Buddha accomplished Buddhahood, by now, [it has been] ten kalpas.

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。舍利弗,彼佛国土成就如是功德庄严。

Moreover, Śāriputra, that Buddha has immeasurable [and] boundless Voice-Hearer disciples, all [of whom are] Arhats, [who] cannot [by] counting of [their] number [be] known. All Bodhisattva assemblies, [are] likewise thus. Śāriputra, that Buddha Land [is] accomplished [with] such meritorious virtues’ adornments.

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, those sentient beings born, are all Avaivartikas. Among them, many are [in the] Position [Of] One Life [To] Replacement, [with] their number extremely great, [that] cannot [by] counting [their] number [be] known of, [and] only can with immeasurable [and] boundless asaṃkhyeya [kalpas be] said.

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, those sentient beings [who] hear [this], should vow, vowing [to be] born [in] that land. Why [is] that [so? To] attain [being] with all such superior good persons, together meeting [in] one place.

舍利弗,不可以少善根、福德、因缘得生彼国。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, [one] cannot, with few good roots [and] blessed virtues, [as] cause and condition, attain birth [in] that land. Śāriputra, if [there] are good men [and] good women, [who] hear [this] said [about] Amitā Buddha, firmly uphold [mindfulness of his] name [i.e. Āmítuófó], 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 life’s end, Amitā Buddha, with many [in his] noble assembly [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.

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, thus [do I] speak these words. If [there] are sentient beings, who hear this said, [they] should vow, [to be] born [in] that land.

流通分
Transmission Section

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, like 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, such [and] all other Ganges River’s sands’ numbered Buddhas, each in his land, extending [the] broad [and] long tongue’s form, [that] covers completely [his] three-thousandfold great-thousandfold world, speaking [these] truthful words, “You [and] other sentient beings, should believe this ‘Sūtra [With] Praises [Of] Inconceivable Meritorious Virtues [And] All Buddhas’ Mindful Protection’.”

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, such [and] all other Ganges River’s sands’ numbered Buddhas, each in his land, extending [the] broad [and] long tongue’s form, [that] covers completely [his] three-thousandfold great-thousandfold world, speaking [these] truthful words, “You [and] other sentient beings, should believe this ‘Sūtra [With] Praises [Of] Inconceivable Meritorious Virtues [And] All Buddhas’ Mindful Protection’.”

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 Brightness Buddha, Treasure Form Buddha, Pure Light Buddha, such [and] all other Ganges River’s sands’ numbered Buddhas, each in his land, extending [the] broad [and] long tongue’s form, [that] covers completely [his] three-thousandfold great-thousandfold world, speaking [these] truthful words, “You [and] other sentient beings, should believe this ‘Sūtra [With] Praises [Of] Inconceivable Meritorious Virtues [And] All Buddhas’ Mindful Protection’.”

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] Brightness Buddha, such [and] all other Ganges River’s sands’ numbered Buddhas, each in his land, extending [the] broad [and] long tongue’s form, [that] covers completely [his] three-thousandfold great-thousandfold world, speaking [these] truthful words, “You [and] other sentient beings, should believe this ‘Sūtra [With] Praises [Of] Inconceivable Meritorious Virtues [And] All Buddhas’ Mindful Protection’.”

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, such [and] all other Ganges River’s sands’ numbered Buddhas, each in his land, extending [the] broad [and] long tongue’s form, [that] covers completely [his] three-thousandfold great-thousandfold world, speaking [these] truthful words, “You [and] other sentient beings, should believe this ‘Sūtra [With] Praises [Of] Inconceivable Meritorious Virtues [And] All Buddhas’ Mindful Protection’.”

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 Brahmā Voice Buddha, Constellation King Buddha, Fragrance Superior Buddha, Fragrant Light Buddha, Great Flaming Shoulders Buddha, Varicoloured Treasure Flower Adorned Body Buddha, Śāla Tree King Buddha, Treasure Flower Virtue Buddha, Seeing-[Of]-All-Meanings Buddha, Likeness-[To]-Sumeru-Mountain Buddha, such [and] all other Ganges River’s sands’ numbered Buddhas, each in his land, extending [the] broad [and] long tongue’s form, [that] covers completely [his] three-thousandfold great-thousandfold world, speaking [these] truthful words, “You [and] other sentient beings, should believe this ‘Sūtra [With] Praises [Of] Inconceivable Meritorious Virtues [And] 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。是故舍利弗,汝等皆当信受我语,及诸佛所说。

Śāriputra, what [do] you think of [this? 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] all by all Buddhas, [be] mindfully protected, [and] all attain non-retrogression for Anuttarā Samyak Saṃbodhi. Therefore, Śāriputra, you [and] all others should faithfully accept my words, and those [that] all Buddhas say.

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。是故舍利弗,诸善男子、善女人,若有信者,应当发愿,生彼国土。

Śāriputra, if [there] are people [who have] already vowed, [are] now vowing, [or] will [be] vowing, [with the] desire [to be] born [in] Amitā Buddha’s Land, all these people [and] others, [will] all attain non-retrogression for Anuttarā Samyak Saṃbodhi. In that land, [they have] already [been] born, or [are] now [being] born, or will [be] born. Therefore, Śāriputra, all good men [and] good women, if [they] have faith, should vow, [to be] born [in] that land.

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, like I now praise all Buddhas’ inconceivable meritorious virtues, all those Buddhas [and] others, also praise my inconceivable meritorious virtues, and make this statement, “Śākyamuni Buddha, [was] able [to] do [these] extremely difficult [and] rare of matters, able [to], in [this] Sahā Land’s Five Defilements’ Evil Period, [with] Kalpa’s Defilement, Views’ Defilement, Afflictions’ Defilement, Sentient Beings’ Defilement, [and] Lifespan’s Defilement within, attain Anuttarā Samyak Saṃbodhi, [and] for all sentient beings, speak this Dharma, [that] all in [the] world [have] difficulty believing [in].”

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] Five Defilements’ Evil Period, did these difficult matters, [of] attaining Anuttarā Samyak Saṃbodhi, [and] for all in [the] world spoke this difficult [to] believe Dharma, [which] is extremely difficult.’

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。

[The] Buddha, [having] spoken this sūtra already, Śāriputra, and all [the] Bhikṣus, [with] all [the] world’s heavenly [beings], humans, asuras [and] others, [having] heard that [the] Buddha said, joyfully [and] faithfully accepted [it, as they] paid homage and departed.

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1 Comment

  • Re: Did all the Buddhas in the 6 directions appear (and seen by the assembly) and praise this Sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha at the same time that the historical Buddha was speaking the Amitabha Sutra or was Shakyamuni Buddha telling the assembly the Amitabha Sutra was also preached by all these Buddhas in their own lands? Thank you and Amituofo!

    Reply: The first is sometimes expressed through paintings, while the sutra does not say that explicitly. What said was the second. However, both can be possible at the same time. Namo Amituofo.

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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