[21] Twenty-First Chapter On Countenances’ Uprightness (Of Immeasurable Life Sūtra)《无量寿经》颜貌端正第廿一

Twenty-First [Chapter On] Appearances’ Uprightness


All its Voice-Hearers, Bodhisattvas, heavenly [and] human [beings, have] wisdom lofty [and] bright, [and] supernormal [powers with] thorough 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] names of heavenly [and] human [beings. With] appearances upright, surpassing [the] world [in] rarity. [With] countenances refined [and] wonderful, neither heavenly nor human. [They] all receive natural bodies of emptiness, [the] forms of boundlessness.’


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


Ānanda said [to 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 morality nearly exhausted. All because [in] past lives, not planting virtuous roots, accumulating wealth without giving, [becoming] rich [with] increasing miserliness, only desiring [to, with] nothing obtain, greedily seeking without weariness. Not believing [in] cultivating good, committing evil [that like a] mountain accumulates. [When] such [a] life ends, wealth [and] treasures dissipate [and] scatter. [With] toil [of the] body accumulating, for them [having] worries [and] afflictions, for oneself without benefits, only for others [to] have [them]. Without good [that] can [be] depended on, without virtues [that] can [be] relied on, therefore [with] death falling [into] evil realms, [to] receive this long suffering. [With] transgressions’ [karmas] exhausted attaining exit, born as [the] lowly, foolish [and] shallow, [to] such [an] extreme, [only] appearing [to be the] same [as] humankind.


Therefore, [the] world’s Emperor [is] within humans alone honoured, all due [to] past lives’ accumulated virtues [as] its cause. [With] loving-kindness extensively giving, [and] benevolent love [for] all aiding, fulfilling trust [and] cultivating good, without that contradictory [and] contentious. Thus with life ending [and] blessings responding, attaining ascent [to] good paths. Ascending [to be] born [in a] heaven above, enjoying these blessings [and] joys. [With] accumulated good [having] remaining fortune, enabling attainment as [a] human, then born [in a] royal family, [to] naturally [be] honoured. [With] bearing [and] countenance upright, [by] all those respectfully served. [With] wonderful clothing [and] delicious meals, according [to his] wishes making use of [them. With] past blessings that follow, thus able [to] cause these.’


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


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


If [the] Heaven’s 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] Immeasurable Life Buddha’s Land’s Bodhisattvas [and] Voice-Hearers, [their] radiant complexion [and] countenances, [are] not [able to] catch up with one another, [by a] thousand million koṭis [of] incalculable times.’

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[20] Twentieth [Chapter On] Clothing [And] Food [Being] Natural

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[22] Twenty-Second [Chapter On] General Praises [Of] Adornments

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Immeasurable Life Sūtra’s Twenty-First Chapter’s Summary & Explanation

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