The Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of Contemplation On Immeasurable Life Buddha《佛说观无量寿佛经》

Contemplation Sūtra

[The] Sūtra [In Which The] Buddha Speaks [Of] Contemplation [On] Immeasurable Life Buddha

[The] Sūtra [Of] Contemplation [On The] Land [Of] Ultimate Bliss, Immeasurable Life Buddha, Contemplator [Of The] World’s Sounds Bodhisattva [And] Great Power Arrived Bodhisattva

[The] Sūtra [On] Pure Eradication [Of] Karmic Obstacles [For] Birth Before All Buddhas

[公元 424 年] 刘宋西域三藏法师畺良耶舍译
[In 424 C.E. By] Liú Sòng [Dynasty’s] Western Regions’ Tripiṭaka Dharma Master Kālayaśas Translated [To Chinese]

公元 2020 年优婆塞沈时安译
[In] 2020 C.E. By] Upāsakā Shěn Shí’ān Translated [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.]

[Note Before Studying The Contemplation Sūtra

Although the first 13 contemplations of this sūtra are on visualisation practices, the Pure Land Patriarchs generally discourage practising visualisation due to the coarseness of our minds, that contrasts with the refined and complex nature of what to be visualised, which makes it difficult to practise. This great disparity is especially obvious for beings in this Dharma-Ending Age. Some examples of Patriarchs discouraging visualisation can be studied at and

What they encourage is direct mindfulness of the Buddha’s name verbally and/or silently – which is also the focus in the last contemplation, as emphasized by Śākyamuni Buddha in the sūtra’s conclusion too. This does not fall short in benefits. The visualisation practices are then only for those with sharper minds, to be practised exactly as stated, with no compromise at all, to be considered true practice. Although seldom practised these days, the corresponding sections in the sūtra are still studied to acquire an inspired sense of the majesty of Āmítuófó and the attributes in his Pure Land. Other especially significant parts include the Three Blessings, Three Minds, Three Beings and criteria for birth in the nine grades in Pure Land.]

[00] Preface Section

Main Principles’ Section

[01] [The First Contemplation: Sun’s Contemplation]

[02] [The Second Contemplation: Water’s Contemplation]

[03] [The Third Contemplation: Ground’s Contemplation]

[04] [The Fourth Contemplation: Trees’ Contemplation]

[05] [The Fifth Contemplation: Eight Meritorious Water’s Contemplation]

[06] [The Sixth Contemplation: Overall Contemplation]

[07] [The Seventh Contemplation: Flower Throne’s Contemplation]

[08] [The Eighth Contemplation: Image’s Contemplation]

[09] [The Ninth Contemplation: Everywhere Contemplating All Physical Bodies’ Forms’ Contemplation]

[10] [The Tenth Contemplation: Contemplator (Of The) World’s Sounds Bodhisattva’s True Physical Body’s Forms’ Contemplation]

[11] [The Eleventh Contemplation: Complete Contemplation (On) Contemplator (Of The) World’s Sounds (And) Great Power Arrived]

[12] [The Twelfth Contemplation: Universal Contemplation]

[13] [The Thirteenth Contemplation: Mixed Contemplation]

[14] [The Fourteenth Contemplation: High Grade’s Births’ Contemplation]  

[14.1] [The High Grade’s High Births]

[14.2] [The High Grade’s Middle Births]

[14.3] [The High Grade’s Low Births]

[15] [The Fifteenth Contemplation: Middle Grade’s Births’ Contemplation]

[15.1] [The Middle Grade’s High Births]

[15.2] [The Middle Grade’s Middle Births]

[15.3] [The Middle Grade’s Low Births]

[16] [The Sixteenth Contemplation: Low Grade’s Births’ Contemplation]

[16.1] [The Low Grade’s High Births]

[16.2] [The Low Grade’s Middle Births]

[16.3] [The Low Grade’s Low Births]

[17] Transmission Section

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Related Sūtras:

‘The Pure Land Tradition’s Five Sūtras’ As Checked By The Chinese Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng

Related Video:

For a simplified and approximate visual summary of the sūtra, with some embellished background details, an animated version can be seen below. However, the actual sūtra text above should still be studied for its full teachings and for full accuracy. Our primary reference point for learning must always be the sūtra’s worded teachings. The video is thus for giving rise to a sense of inspiration and to aid understanding only.

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