[18] Eighteenth Chapter On Countenances’ Uprightness (Of Immeasurable Life Sūtra)《无量寿经》颜貌端正第十八

Eighteenth [Chapter On] Countenances’ Uprightness


All its Voice-Hearers, Bodhisattvas, heavenly [and] human [beings, have] wisdom lofty [and] bright, [with] supernormal [powers] thoroughly understanding, all [the] same [as] one kind, [with] appearances without different forms. However, [for the] cause [of] according [with] other directions’ [worlds], thus having [the] name of “heavenly [and] human [beings”. With] countenances upright, surpassing [the] world [in] rarity. [With] countenances subtle [and] wonderful, neither heavenly nor human. [They] all receive natural bodies of pure emptiness [that are] unconditioned, [the] forms of boundlessness.’


[The] Buddha told Ānanda, ‘For example, like [a] poor beggar [in the] world, at [an] emperor’s side, [of their] forms [and] countenances, how can [they be] similar?’


Ānanda told [the] Buddha, ‘If this person [is] at [the] emperor’s side, [he is] thin, weak [and] repulsive, without use as [an] analogy, [by a] thousand million koṭis [of] incalculable times. It [is] therefore so, [as the] poor beggar, [is at the] bottom extreme [of] all [the] lowly, [with] clothes not covering [his] body, [with] food barely supporting [his] life, hungry [and] cold, [with] difficulties suffering, [and] human ethics nearly exhausted. All because [in] past lives, not planting virtuous roots, accumulating wealth without giving, [becoming] rich [yet] increasing [in] miserliness, only desiring [to, with] nothing attain, greedily seeking without weariness. Not believing [in] cultivating good, committing evil [that like a] mountain accumulates. Thus, [when] life ends, [his] wealth [and] treasures dissipate [and] scatter. [With] suffering [of the] body accumulating, because of them [with] worries [and] afflictions, for oneself without benefits, only for others [to] have [them]. Without good [that] can [be] relied on, without virtues [that] can [be] relied upon, therefore [with] death falling [into] evil realms, in this way receiving long-drawn suffering. [With] transgressions’ [karma] exhausted attaining exit, born as [the] lowly, foolish [and] shallow [to] this extreme, manifesting [to be the] same [as] humans.


Therefore, [the] world’s emperors, [are] among humans alone honoured, all due [to] past lives’ accumulated virtues [as the] cause. [With] loving-kindness extensively giving, [and] benevolent love simultaneously aiding, fulfilling trust [and] cultivating good, without that contradictory [and] contentious. Thus with life ending [and] blessings responding, [they] attain ascent [to] good paths. Ascending [to be] born [in] heavens above, enjoying these blessings [and] bliss. Accumulating good [with] remaining fortune, enabling attainment as humans, thus born [in] royal families, [to] naturally [be] honoured [and] noble. [With] appearances upright, by [the] masses respectfully served. [With] wonderful clothing [and] delicious meals, according [to their] wishes making use of [them. With] past blessings that follow, thus able [to] cause these.’


[The] Buddha told Ānanda, ‘[What] you said is [so]. Calculating thus, [an] emperor, although among humans honoured [and] noble, [with] body [and] countenance upright, comparing him [with a] Wheel-Turning Noble King, [is] extremely ugly, like that [of a] beggar at [an] emperor’s side.


[A] Wheel-Turning Noble King [with] majestic forms’ special wonders, [is] foremost under [the] heavens. Comparing him [with] Trāyastriṃśa Heaven’s King, [is] once again repulsive, [and] cannot be comparable [with] analogy, [by] ten thousand koṭis [of] times.


Supposing that [the] heavenly emperor, [is] compared [with the] Sixth Heaven’s King, [by a] hundred thousand koṭis [of] times, [they are] not similar to one another.


If [the] Sixth Heaven’s King, compared [with the] Immeasurable Life Buddha’s Land’s Bodhisattvas [and] Voice-Hearers, [their] radiant appearances [and] countenances, [are] not comparable, overtaking [by a] thousand million koṭis [of] incalculable times.

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Immeasurable Life Sūtra’s Eighteenth Chapter’s Summary & Explanation

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