Translations

How Earth Treasury Bodhisattva Entered The Buddha Path With Mindfulness Of Buddha 地藏菩萨如何以念佛入佛道

《地藏经》忉利天宮神通品第一 (摘录)
Kṣitigarbha Sūtra’s Chapter One: Supernormal Powers [In] Trāyastriṃśa Heavenly Palace (Excerpt)

【释迦牟尼佛】:「文殊师利!是地藏菩萨摩诃萨,于过去久远不可说不可说劫前,身为大长者子。时世有佛,号曰师子奋迅具足万行如来。

[Śākyamuni Buddha]: ‘Mañjuśrī, this Earth Treasury Bodhisattva Mahāsattva, in past, long [and] distant, unspeakably unspeakable kalpas before, [was] as [a] great elder’s son. [In that] period, was [a] Buddha, named Lion Swiftly Complete [With] Ten Thousand Practices Thus Come [One].

时长者子,见佛相好,千福庄严,因问彼佛:『作何行愿,而得此相?』

Then, [the] elder’s son, seeing [the] Buddha’s forms’ excellences, [with] thousands [of] blessings adorned, due [to this] asked that Buddha, “[With the] making [of] what practices [and] vows, then attains these forms?”

时师子奋迅具足万行如来告长者子:『欲证此身,当须久远度脱一切受苦众生。』

Then, Lion Swiftly Complete [With] Ten Thousand Practices Thus Come [One] told [the] elder’s son, “[If] desiring [to] realise this body, [there] must [be] long [and] distant deliverance [and] liberation [of] all sentient beings receiving suffering.”

文殊师利!时长者子,因发愿言:『我今尽未来际不可计劫,为是罪苦六道众生,广设方便,尽令解脱,而我自身,方成佛道。』

Mañjuśrī, then, [the] elder’s son, due [to] giving rise [to his] vow, said, “I, [from] now [until the] end [of the] future’s incalculable kalpas, [will] for sentient beings [with] transgressive suffering [in the] six paths, widely establish skilful means, [to] completely enable [them to be] liberated, then [with] my own self, then accomplishing [the] Buddha path.”

以是于彼佛前,立斯大愿,于今百千万亿那由他不可说劫,尚为菩萨。」

Therefore, at that Buddha, before [him, he] established this great vow. To [the] present, [for] thousands [of] millions [of] koṭis [of] nayutas [of] unspeakable kalpas, [he is] still as [a] Bodhisattva.’

Notes:

[1] It was with the inspired practice of mindfulness of a Buddha’s form (观像念佛), which is also a form of mindfulness of Buddha (念佛), that the future Earth Treasury Bodhisattva (地藏菩萨) first gave rose to the Bodhi Mind (菩提心), to guide all beings to Buddhahood.

[2] As can be seen in the rest of the sūtra, which mainly promotes mindfulness of Buddha, this key practice marks the (i) beginning, (ii) middle and (iii) end of its teachings. (i) It marks the beginning as Earth Treasury Bodhisattva’s origin was from mindfulness of Buddha. (ii) It marks the middle as Earth Treasury Sūtra’s teachings on mindfulness of Buddha form its essence. (iii) It marks the end as the goal of the sūtra is to encourage all to practise mindfulness of Buddha.

[3] Although Earth Treasury Bodhisattva is still a Great Bodhisattva (大菩萨), to be a most effective one, who embodies and expresses Great Vows (Aspiration) (大愿), he could have already become a Buddha (who is a perfected Bodhisattva) during his long progress on the Bodhisattva path, after which he continues to manifest as an exemplary Bodhisattva.

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

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