Adoration to the Three Treasures!
Adoration to all the glorious Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!
Adoration to all Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Aryas, Sravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas, past, present, and to come, who dwell in the unlimited and endless world systems of the ten quarters!
Adoration to Amitabha!
Adoration to him whose soul is endowed with incomprehensible virtues!
Adoration to Amitabha, to the Jina, to thee, O Sage!
I go to Sukhavati through thy compassion also;
To Sukhavati, with its groves, resplendent with gold,
The delightful, adorned with the sons of Sugata,--
I go to it, which is full of many jewels and treasures;
And the refuge of thee, the famous and wise.
# 1. Thus it was heard by me. At one time the Bhagavat dwelt in Rajagriha, on the mountain Gridhrakuta, with a large assembly of Bhikkhus, with thirty-two thousands of Bhikkhus, all arhats, free from frailties and cares, who had performed their religious duties, whose thoughts had been thoroughly freed through perfect knowledge, with inquiring thoughts, who had broken the fetters of existence, who had obtained their desires, who had conquered, who had achieved the highest self restraint, whose thoughts and whose knowledge were unfettered, great heroes, possessed of the six kinds of knowledge, self-controlled, meditating on the eight kinds of salvation, possessed of the powers, wise in wisdom, elders, great disciples, that is, Ajnatakaundinya, Asvajit, Vashpa, Mahanaman, Bhadrajit, Yasodeva, Vimala, Subahu, Purna Maitrayaniputra, Uruvilva-kasyapa, Nadi-kasyapa, Gaya-kasyapa, Kumara-kasyapa, Maha-kasyapa, Shariputra, Mahamaudgalyayana, Mahakaushthilya, Mahakaphila, Mahakunda, Aniruddha, Nandika, Kampila, Subhuti, Revata, Khadiravanika, Vakula, Svagata, Amogharaja, Parayanika, Patka, Kullapatka, Nanda, Rahula, and the blessed Ananda--with these and with other elders, and great disciples, who were wise in wisdom, with the exception of one person who had still to be advanced on the path of the disciples, that is, the blessed Ananda--and with many noble-minded Bodhisattvas, led by Maitreya.
# 2. Then the blessed Ananda, having risen from his seat, having put his cloak on one shoulder, and knelt on the earth with his right knee, making obeisance with folded hands in the direction of the Bhagavat, spoke thus to the Bhagavat: 'Thy organs of sense, O Bhagavat, are serene, the color of thy skin is clear, the color of thy face bright and yellowish. As an autumn cloud is pale, clear, bright and yellowish, thus the organs of sense of the Bhagavat are serene, the color of his face is clear, the color of his skin bright and yellowish. And as, O Bhagavat, a piece of gold coming from the Jambu river, having been thrown into a furnace by a clever smith or by his apprentice, and well fashioned, when thrown on a pale cloth, looks extremely clear, bright and yellowish, thus the organs of sense of the Bhagavat are serene, the color of his face is clear, and the color of his skin bright and yellowish. Moreover, I do not know, O Bhagavat, that I have ever seen the organs of sense of the Tathagata so serene, the color of his face so clear and the color of his skin so bright and yellowish before now. This thought occurs to me, O Bhagavat: probably, the Tathagata dwells to-day in the state of a Buddha, probably the Tathagata dwells to-day in the state of a Jina, in the state of omniscience, in the state of a Mahanaga; and he contemplates the holy and fully enlightened Tathagatas of the past, future, and present.'
After these words, the Bhagavat thus spoke to the blessed Ananda: 'Well said! well said! Ananda. Did the gods suggest this matter to you? or the blessed Buddhas? Or do you know this through the philosophical knowledge which you possess?'
After these words the blessed Ananda spoke thus to the Bhagavat: 'The gods, O Bhagavat, do not suggest this matter to me, nor the blessed Buddhas, but this thought occurs to me by my own philosophy alone, that is, that probably the Tathagata dwells to-day in the state of a Buddha, probably the Tathagata dwells to-day in the state of a Jina, in the state of omniscience, in the state of a Mahanaga; or he contemplates the venerable Buddhas of the past, future, and present.'
After these words the Bhagavat spoke thus to the blessed Ananda: 'Well said! well said! Ananda; excellent indeed is your question, good your philosophy, and beautiful your understanding! You, O Ananda, have arrived for the benefit and happiness of many people, out of compassion for the world, for the sake of the great body of men, for the benefit and happiness of gods and men, as you think it right to ask the Tathagata this matter: Thus, indeed, Ananda, might pile up intellectual knowledge under immeasurable and innumerable blessed, holy, and fully enlightened Tathagatas, and yet the knowledge of the Tathagata would not be exceeded thereby. And why? Because, O Ananda, one who possesses the knowledge of a Tathagata possesses an intellectual knowledge of causes that cannot be exceeded.
'If the Tathagata wished O Ananda, he could live for a whole kalpa on one alms-gift, or for a hundred kalpas, or for a thousand kalpas, or for a hundred thousand kalpas, to a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of kalpas, nay, he could live beyond, and yet the organs of nature of the Tathagata would not perish, the color of his face would not be altered, nor would the color of his skin be injured. And why? Because, O Ananda, the Tathagata has so fully obtained the perfections which arise from Samadhi.
'The appearance of fully enlightened Buddhas is very difficult to be obtained in this world, O Ananda. As the appearance of Audumbara-flowers is very difficult to be obtained in this world; thus, O Ananda, the appearance of Tathagatas who desire welfare, wish for what is beneficial, are compassionate, and have arrived at the highest compassion, is very difficult to be obtained. But, O Ananda, it is owing to the grace of the Tathagata himself that you think that the Tathagata should be asked this question, so that there may arise in this world beings who can be teachers of all the world, for the sake of noble-minded Bodhisattvas. Therefore, O Ananda, listen, and take it well and rightly to heart! I shall tell you.'
'Yes, O Bhagavat,' so did the blessed Ananda answer the Bhagavat.
# 3. The Bhagavat then spoke to Ananda: 'At the time, O Ananda, which was long ago in the past, in an innumerable and more than innumerable, enormous, immeasurable, and incomprehensible kalpa before now--at that time, and at that moment, there arose in the world a holy and fully enlightened Tathagata called Dipankara. Following after Dipankara, O Ananda, there was a Tathagata Pratapavat, and after him, Prabhakara, Kandanagandha, Sumerukalpa, Kandana, Vimalanana, Anupalipta, Vimalaprabha, Nagabhibhu, Suryodana, Giririjaghosha, Merukuta, Suvarnaprabha, Gyotishprabha, Vaiduryanirbhasa, Brahmaghosha, Kandabhibho, 19. Turyaghosha, Muktakusumapratimanditaprabha, Srikuta, Sagaravarabuddhivikriditabhijna, Varaprabha, Mahagandhajanirbhasa, Vyapagatakhilamalapratighosha, Surakuta, Rananjaha, Mahagunadharabuddhipraptibhijna, Chandrasuryajihmikarana, Uttaptavaiduryanirbhasa, Chittadharabuddhisankusumitabhyudgata, Pushpavativanarajasankusumitabhijna, Pushpakara, Udakakandra, Avidyandhakaravidhvamsanakara, Lokendra, Muktakkhatrapravatasadrisa, Tishya, Dharmamativinanditaraja, Simhasigarakutavinanditaraja, Sagaramerukandra, Brahmasvaranadabhinandita, Kusumasambhava, Praptasena, Kandrabhanu, Merukuta, Chandraprabha, Vimalanetra, Girirajaghoshesvara, Kusumaprabha, Kusumavrishtyabhiprakirna, Ratnakandra, Padmabimbyupasobhita, Chandanagandha, Ratnabhibhasa, Nimi, Mahivyuha, Vyapagatakhiladosha, Brahmaghosha, Saptaratnabhivrishta, Mahijunadhara, Mahatamalapatrakandanakardama, Kusumabhijna, Ajnavidhvamsana, Kesarin, Muktakkhatra, Suvarnagarbha, Vaiduryagarbha, Mahaketu, Dharmaketu, Ratnaketu, Ratnasri, Lokendra, Narendra, Karunika, Lokasundara, Brahmaketu, Dharmamati, Simha, and Simhamati.
'After Simhamati, a holy and fully enlightened Tathagata arose in the world, Lokesvararaja by name, perfect in knowledge and conduct, a Sugata, knowing the world, without a superior, charioteer of men whose passions have to be tamed, teacher of gods and men, a Buddha, a Bhagavat. And again during the time of the preaching of this holy and fully enlightened Tathagata Lokesvararaja, O Ananda, there was a Bhikkhu, Dharmakara by name, richly endowed with memory, with understanding, prudence, and wisdom, richly endowed with vigor, and of noble character.
# 4. 'Then, O Ananda, that Bhikkhu Dharmakara, having risen from his seat, having put his cloak on one shoulder, and knelt on the earth with his right knee, stretching forth his folded hands to where the Bhagavat Tathagata Lokesvararaja was, and, after worshipping the Bhagavat, he, at that very time, praised him in his presence with these Gathas:
"O thou of immeasurable light, whose knowledge is endless and incomparable; not any other light can shine here where thou art! The rays of the moon of Siva and of the jewel of the sun, were not bright here in the whole world,
"The form also is infinite in the best of beings; thus also the voice of Buddha is of infinite sound; his virtue likewise, with meditation, knowledge, strength; like unto thee there is no one in this world.
"The Dharma is deep, wide, and subtle; the best of Buddhas is incomprehensible, like the ocean; therefore there is no further exaltation of the teacher; having left all faults, he is gone to the other shore.
"Then the best of Buddhas, of endless light, lights up all regions, he the king of kings; and I, having become Buddha, and a master of the Dharma, may I deliver mankind from old age and death!
"And I, on the strength of generosity, equanimity, virtue, forbearance, power, meditation and absorption, undertake here the first and best duties, and shall become a Buddha, the savior of all beings.
"And I, seeking for the knowledge of the best of the Blessed Ones, shall always worship many hundred thousands of kotis of Buddhas, endless like the sand of the Ganges, the incomparable lords.
"Whatever worlds there are, similar in number to the sand of the Ganges, and the endless countries which exist besides, there everywhere I shall send out light, because I have attained such power.
"My land is to be noble, the first and the best; the Bodhi-tree excellent in this world. There is incomparable happiness arising from Nirvana, and this also I shall explain as vain.
"Beings come hither from the ten quarters; having arrived there they quickly show my happiness. May Buddha there teach me the truth, I form a desire full of true strength and vigor.
"I, knowing the worlds of the ten quarters, possessed of absolute knowledge--they also always proclaim my thought! May I, gone to Avichi hell, always abide there, but I shall never cease to practise the power of prayer! "
# 5. 'Then, O Ananda, that Bhikkhu Dharmakara, having praised the Bhagavat, the Tathagata Lokesvararaja, in his presence, with those Gathas, spoke thus: "O Bhagavat, I wish to know the highest perfect knowledge. Again and again I raise and incline my thoughts towards the highest perfect knowledge. May therefore the Bhagavat, as a teacher, thus teach me the Dharma, that I may quickly know the highest perfect knowledge. May I become in the world a Tathagata, equal to the unequalled. And may the Bhagavat proclaim those signs by which I may comprehend the perfection of all good qualities of a Buddha country."
'After this, O Ananda, the Bhagavat Lokesvararaja, the Tathagata, thus spoke to that Bhikkhu: "Do you by yourself, O Bhikkhu, know the perfection of all excellences and good qualities of a Buddha country ?
' He said: "O Bhagavat, I could not do this, but the Bhagavat alone. Explain the perfection of the excellences and all the good qualities of Buddha countries of the other Tathagatas, after hearing which we may fulfil every one of their signs."
'Then, O Ananda, the Tathagata Lokesvararaja, holy and fully enlightened, knowing the good disposition of that Bhikkhu, taught for a full koti of years the perfection of all the excellences and good qualities of Buddha countries belonging to eighty-one hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddhas, together with the signs, indication, and description, desiring welfare, wishing for benefits, compassionate, full of compassion, so that there might never be an end of Buddha countries, having conceived great pity for all beings. The measure of life of that Tathagata was full forty kalpas.
# 6. 'Then, O Ananda, that Bhikkhu Dharmakara, taking the perfections of all the excellences and good qualities of those Buddha countries, of those eighty-one hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddhas, and concentrating them all on one Buddha country, worshipped with his head the feet of the Bhagavat Lokesvararaja, the Tathagata, turned respectfully round him to the right, and walked away from the presence of this Bhagavat. And afterwards, for the space of five kalpas, he thus concentrated the perfection of all the excellences and good qualities of the Buddha countries, such as had never been known before in the ten quarters of the whole world, more excellent, and more perfect than any, and composed the most excellent prayer.
# 7. 'Thus, O Ananda, that Bhikkhu concentrated in his mind a perfection of a Buddha country eighty-one times more immeasurable, noble, and excellent than the perfection of the eighty-one hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddha countries that had been told him by the Bhagavat Lokesvararaja, the Tathagata. And then, proceeding to where the Tathagata was, he worshipped the feet of the Bhagavat with his head, and said: "O Bhagavat, the perfection of all the excellences and good qualities of the Buddha countries has been concentrated by me."
'After this, O Ananda, the Tathagata Lokesvararaja thus spoke to the Bhikkhu: "Preach then, O Bhikkhu; the Tathagata allows it. Now is the proper time, O Bhikshu. Delight the assembly, produce joy, let the lion's voice be heard, so that now and hereafter, noble-minded Bodhisattvas, hearing it, may comprehend the different subjects of the prayers for the perfection of the good qualities of a Buddha country."
'Then, O Ananda, that Bhikkhu Dharmakara thus spoke at that time to the Bhagavat: "May the Bhagavat thus listen to me, to what my own prayers are, and how, after I shall have obtained the highest perfect knowledge, my own Buddha country will then be endowed with all inconceivable excellences and good qualities.
#9. 'And again, O Ananda, when he had spoken such prayers, that Bhikkhu Dharmakara, at that time, through the grace of Buddha spoke these verses:
#10. 'That Bhikkhu Dharmakara, the nobleminded Bodhisattva, O Ananda, was possessed of this perfection of prayers. And a few Bodhisattvas only, O Ananda, are possessed of such a perfection of prayers. There is on this earth an appearance of a few only of such prayers. Of a few, however, existence cannot be denied.
'Then again, O Ananda, this Bhikkhu Dharmakara having recited these prayers before the Bhagavat Lokesvararaja, the Tathagata, and before the world including gods, Mara, and Brahman, and before people consisting of Sramanas and Brahmanas with gods, men, and fighting spirits, was established in the attainment of the true promise. And proclaiming this purity of the Buddha country, this greatness and excellency of the Buddha country, and performing the duty of a Bodhisattva, he never conceived the remotest thoughts of lust, malevolence, and cruelty, during a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of years, immeasurable, innumerable, inconceivable, incomparable, measureless, immense, inexpressible; and he never conceived the idea of lust, malevolence, and cruelty, nay, he never conceived the idea of form, sound, smell, taste, and touch. He was gentle, charming indeed, and compassionate; pleasant to live with, agreeable, amiable, content, of few wishes, satisfied, retired, not evil, not foolish, not suspicious, not crooked, not wicked, not deceitful, tender, kindly speaking, always zealous, docile in searching after the pure Dharma. And for the good of all beings, he recited the great prayer, showing respect to friends, teachers, masters, the Sangha, the Dharma, and Buddha, always girded for the performance of the duties of the Bodhisattva, righteous, gentle, not deceitful, not flattering, virtuous, a leader for the sake of rousing others to perform all good laws, producing by his activity the ideas of emptiness, causelessness, and purposelessness, and he was well guarded in his speech.
'Then, performing the duties of a Bodhisattva, after having given up all speaking which, when spoken, serves to injure one's self or others or both, he employed only such speech as served the pleasure and benefit of himself, others, or both. And he was so wise that, when entering into capitals, kingdoms, countries, towns, cities, and villages, he was always perfectly restrained with regard to all objects of sense. Performing himself the duties of the Bodhisattva without interruption, he walked himself in the highest perfection of liberality, and he also roused others to walk in the same. And himself walking in the highest perfections of knowledge, meditation, strength, patience, and virtue, he roused others also to walk in the same. And he has collected so large a stock of merit that, wherever he is born, there arise for him many hundreds of thousands of nayutas of kotis of treasures from out the earth.
'By him, while he was thus performing the duties of a Bodhisattva, immeasurable and innumerable hundreds of thousands of nayutas of kotis of beings were established in perfect enlightenment, of whom it is not easy to know the limit by means of speech. So many immeasurable and innumerable holy Buddhas were honored, revered, esteemed, and worshipped, and enabled to touch whatever causes pleasure, such as cloaks, alms-bowls, couches, seats, refreshments, medicines, and other furniture. It is not easy to know the limit by pointing it out in words, as to how many beings were established by him in the noble families of Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, ministers, householders, and merchants. In the same manner they were established in the sovereignty of Jambudvipa, and they were established in the character of Chakravartins, Lokapalas, Sakras, Suyamas, Sutushitas, Sunirmitas,Vasavartins, Devaragas, and Mahabrahmans. So many immeasurable and innumerable Buddhas were honored, revered, esteemed, and worshipped and requested to turn the wheel of the Dharma, of whom it is not easy to know the limit by means of words.
'And he collected such virtue, that out of his mouth, while performing the duties of a Bodhisattva, during immeasurable, innumerable, inconceivable, incomparable, immense, measureless, inexpressible kotis of kalpas, there breathed a sweet and more than heavenly smell of sandal-wood. From all the pores of his hair there arose the smell of lotus, and he was pleasing to everybody, gracious and beautiful, endowed with the fulness of the best bright color. As his body was adorned with all the good signs and marks, there arose from the pores and from the palms of his hands all sorts of precious ornaments in the shape of all kinds of cloaks and vestments, in the shape of all kinds of flowers, incense, scents, garlands, ointments, umbrellas, flags, and banners, and in the shape of all kinds of instrumental music. And there appeared also, streaming forth from the palms of his hands, all kinds of viands and drink, food, hard and soft, and sweetmeats, and all kinds of enjoyments and pleasures. Thus then that Bhikshu Dharmakara, O Ananda, had obtained the command of all necessaries, after performing the duties of a Bodhisattva.'
#11. After this, the blessed Ananda thus spoke to the Bhagavat: "O Bhagavat, has that Bhikkhu Dharmakara, the noble-minded Bodhisattva, after having obtained the highest perfect knowledge, passed away, having entered Nirvana, or has he not yet been enlightened, or is he now living and enlightened, and does he dwell now, remain, support himself, and teach the Dharma?'
The Bhagavat said: 'Not indeed, O Ananda, has that Tathagata passed away, nor has he not yet come, but the Tathagata, the holy, after having obtained the highest perfect knowledge, dwells now, remains, supports himself, and teaches the Dharma, in the western quarter, in the Buddha country, distant from this world by a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddha countries, in the world which is called Sukhavati, being called Amitabha, the Tathagata, holy and fully enlightened. He is surrounded by innumerable Bodhisattvas, and worshipped by endless Sravakas, and in possession of the endless perfection of his Buddha country.
#12. 'And his light is immeasurable, so that it is not easy to know the limit of its measure, saying, he stands illuminating so many hundreds of Buddha countries, so many thousands of Buddha countries, so many hundred thousands of Buddha countries, so many kotis of Buddha countries, so many hundred kotis of Buddha countries, so many thousand kotis of Buddha countries, so many hundred thousands of kotis of Buddha countries, so many hundred thousands of nayutas of kotis of Buddha countries. But indeed, O Ananda, to put it briefly, a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddha countries, equal to the sands of the river Ganges, are always lighted up, in the eastern quarter, by the light of that Bhagavat Amitabha. Thus on every side in the southern, western, northern quarter, in the zenith and nadir, in every one of these quarters, there are a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddha countries, like the sands of the river Ganges, always lighted up by the light of that Bhagavat Amitabha, excepting the Buddhas, the Bhagavats, who, through the practice of their former prayers, have lighted up the world by their own light, which is a fathom in length, or by their light which is one, two, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty yojanas in length, or a hundred or thousand or hundred thousand yojanas in length, until their brightness reaches many hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of yojanas in length. There is not, O Ananda, any case of likeness, by which the extent of the light of that Tathagata Amitabha could be understood. Hence, O Ananda, for that reason that Tathagata is called Amitabha, possessed of infinite light, possessed of infinite splendor,possessed of infinite brilliancy, whose light is never finished, whose light is not conditioned, whose light proceeds from flames of light, whose light is that of heavenly jewels, whose light has the color of unimpeded rays, possessed of beautiful light, possessed of lovely light, possessed of delightful light, possessed of attractive light, possessed of pleasant light, possessed of light that cannot be stopped, possessed of extremely powerful light, possessed of incomparable light, possessed of light greater than that of the lords of men, nay, the lords of the three worlds, possessed of light which bends the full moon and the sun, possessed of light which bends all the conquered gods, Mahesvara, the Suddhavasas, Brahman, Sakra, and the Lokapalas.
'This splendor of the Arya is pure, great, producing bodily pleasure, happiness of mind, producing happiness, delight, and joy for men and not-men, Kinnaras, Mahoragas, Garudas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Nagas, Asuras, and Devas; and producing the pleasure of beings of good disposition.
'And in this manner, O Ananda, the Tathagata might speak for a whole kalpa on the work of the Tathagata Amitabha, beginning with his light, and yet he would not be able to reach the end of the virtues of that light of that Tathagata, neither would there be any failure of the self-confidence in the Tathagata himself. And why? Because, O Ananda, both these things are immeasurable, innumerable, inconceivable, and endless, that is, first, the greatness of the excellence of the light of that Tathagata Amitabha, the Bhagavat, and secondly, the unsurpassed light of the knowledge possessed by myself.
#13. 'And, O Ananda, the assembly of the hearers of that Tathagata Amitabha is immeasurable, so that it is not easy to learn its measure, so as to be able to say, there are so many kotis of the hearers, so many hundreds, thousands, hundred-thousands, kankaras, vimbaras, nayutas, ayutas, akshobhyas, vivahas, srotas, ogas, so many periods, called immeasurable, innumerable, countless, incomparable, inconceivable. Now, for instance, O Ananda, the Bhikshu Maudgalyayana having obtained miraculous power, might, if he wished, count in one day and night, how many kinds of stars there are in the universal world. Then, let there be a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of such men, endowed with miraculous powers, and let them do nothing else but count the first company only of the hearers of the Tathagata Amitabha, during a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of years, and yet by them thus counting even the hundredth part would not be counted, even the thousandth, even the hundred thousandth nay, not even so far as the minutest part, or likeness, or approach towards it would have been counted.
'Thus for instance, O Ananda, a man might throw out from the great ocean, which is not to be measured across by less than eighty-four thousand yojanas, one single drop of water by the sharp end of hair, which is divided a hundred times. What do you think then, Ananda, which would be greater, one drop of water which has been thrown up by the sharp pointed hair divided a hundred times, or the mass of water left in the great ocean?'
Ananda said: 'Even a thousand yojanas, O Bhagavat, would be a small portion of the great ocean, how much more then one drop of water thrown out by the sharp pointed hair divided a hundred times!'
Bhagavat said : 'As that one drop of water, so small in proportion, was the first company of the hearers. And let there be reckoning made by those Bhikkhus, who are like Maudgalyayana, counting for a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of years, and yet, as to the mass of water left in the great ocean, it would even then have to be considered as not counted. How much more with regard to the second, third, and the rest of the companies of the hearers! Therefore the mass of hearers of the Bhagavat is endless and boundless, and receives the name of "immeasurable and innumerable."
#14. 'And, O Ananda, the length of the life of that Bhagavat Amitabha, the Tathagata, is immeasurable, so that it is not easy to know its length, so as to be able to say that it comprises so many hundreds of kalpas, so many thousands of kalpas, so many hundred thousands of kalpas, so many kotis of kalpas, so many hundreds of kotis of kalpas, so many thousands of kotis of kalpas, so many hundred thousands of kotis of kalpas, so many hundred thousands of nayutas of kotis of kalpas. Therefore, O Ananda, the limit of the measure of the life of that Bhagavat is immeasurable indeed. Therefore that Tathagata is called Amitayus.
'And as, O Ananda, the rule of making known the reckoning of kalpas exists here in this world, ten kalpas have passed now since Bhagavat Amitayus, the Tathagata, arose and awoke to the highest perfect knowledge.
#15. 'And, O Ananda, the world called Sukhavati belonging to that Bhagavat Amitabha is prosperous, rich, good to live in, fertile, lovely, and filled with many gods and men. Then, O Ananda, in that world there are neither hells, nor the animals nor the realm of departed spirits, nor bodies of fighting spirits, nor untimely births. And there do not appear in this world such gems as are known in the world Sukhavati.
#16. 'Now, O Ananda, that world Sukhavati is fragrant with several sweet-smelling scents, rich in manifold flowers and fruits. adorned with gem trees, and frequented by tribes of manifold sweet-voiced birds, which have been made by the Tathagata on purpose. And, O Ananda, those gem trees are of several colors, of many colors, and of many hundred thousand colors. There are gem trees there of golden-color, and made of gold. There are those of silver-color, and made of silver. There are those of beryl-color, and made of beryl. There are those of crystal-color, and made of crystal. There are those of coral-color, and made of coral. There are those of red pearl-color, and made of red pearls. There are those of diamond-color, and made of diamonds.
'There are some trees of two gems, that is, gold and silver. There are some of three gems, that is, gold, silver, and beryl. There are some of four gems, that is, gold, silver, beryl, and crystal. There are some of five gems, that is, gold, silver, beryl, crystal, and coral. There are some of six gems, that is, gold, silver, beryl, crystal, coral, and red pearls. There are some of seven gems, that is, gold, silver, beryl, crystal, coral, red pearls, and diamonds as the seventh.
'And there, O Ananda, of the trees made of gold, the flowers, leaves, small branches, branches, trunks, and roots are made of gold, and the fruits are made of silver. Of trees made of silver, the flowers, leaves, small branches, branches, trunks, and roots are made of silver only, and the fruits are made of beryl. Of trees made of beryl, the flowers, leaves, small branches, branches, trunks, and roots are made of beryl, and the fruits are made of crystal. Of trees made of crystal, the flowers, leaves, small branches, branches, trunks, and roots are made of crystal only, and the fruits are made of coral. Of trees made of coral, the flowers, leaves, small branches, branches, trunks, and roots are made of coral only, and the fruits are made of red pearls. Of trees made of red pearls, the flowers, leaves, small branches, branches, trunks, and roots are made of red pearls only, and the fruits are made of diamonds. Of trees made of diamonds, the flowers, leaves, small branches, branches, trunks, and roots are made of diamonds only, and the fruits are made of gold.
'Of some trees, O Ananda, the roots are made of gold, the trunks of silver, the branches of beryl, the small branches of crystal, the leaves of coral, the flowers of red pearls, and the fruits of diamonds. Of some trees, O Ananda, the roots are made of silver, the trunks of beryl, the branches of crystal, the small branches of coral, the leaves of red pearls, the flowers of diamonds, and the fruits of gold. Of some trees, O Ananda, the roots are made of beryl, the trunks of crystal, the branches of coral, the small branches of red pearls, the leaves of diamonds, the flowers of gold, and the fruits of silver. Of some trees, O Ananda, the roots are made of crystal, the trunks of coral, the branches of red pearls, the small branches of diamonds, the leaves of gold, the flowers of silver, and the fruits of beryl. Of some trees, O Ananda, the roots are made of coral, the trunks of red pearls, the branches of diamonds, the small branches of gold, the leaves of silver, the flowers of beryl, and the fruits of crystal. Of some trees, O Ananda, the roots are made of red pearls, the trunks of diamonds, the branches of gold, the small branches of silver, the leaves of beryl, the flowers of crystal, and the fruits of coral. Of some trees, O Ananda, the roots are made of diamonds, the trunks of gold, the branches of silver, the small branches of beryl, the leaves of crystal, the flowers of coral, and the fruits of red pearls. Of some trees, O Ananda, the roots are made of the seven gems, the trunks of the seven gems, the branches of the seven gems, the small branches of the seven gems, the leaves of the seven gems, the flowers of the seven gems, and the fruits of the seven gems. And, O Ananda, the roots, trunks, branches, small branches, leaves, flowers, and fruits of all those trees are pleasant to touch, and fragrant. And, when those trees are moved by the wind, a sweet and delightful sound proceeds from them, never tiring, and never disagreeable to hear. That Buddha country, O Ananda, is always on every side surrounded by such trees made of the seven gems, by masses of Kadali trees, and rows of palm-trees made of the seven gems, and entirely surrounded with golden nets, and wholly covered with lotus flowers, made of all kinds of gems.
'There are lotus flowers there, half a yojana in circumference. There are others, one yojana in circumference; and others, two, three, four, or five yojanas in circumference; nay, there are some, as much as ten yojanas in circumference. And from each gem-lotus there proceed thirty-six hundred thousand kotis of rays of light. And from each ray of light there proceed thirty-six hundred thousand kotis of Buddhas, with bodies of golden color, possessed of the thirty-two marks of great men, who go and teach the Dharma to beings in the immeasurable and innumerable worlds in the eastern quarter. Thus also in the southern, western, and northern quarters, above and below, in the cardinal and intermediate points, they go their way to the immeasurable and innumerable worlds and teach the Dharma to beings in the whole world.
#17. 'And again, O Ananda, there are no black mountains anywhere in that Buddha country, nor anywhere jewel mountains, nor anywhere Sumerus, kings of mountains, nor anywhere Chakravadas, great Chakravadas, kings of mountains. And that Buddha country is level on every side, lovely, like the palm of the hand, with districts full of jewels and treasures of every kind.'
After this, the blessed Ananda spoke thus to the Bhagavat: 'But in that case, O Bhagavat, where do the gods consisting of the companies of the four Maharajas who dwell on the side of the Sumeru, and where do the Triyastrimsa gods who dwell on the top of the Sumeru, find their place?'
Bhagavat said: 'What do you think, O Ananda, where do these other beings find their place, who in this world dwell above the king of mountains, Sumeru, namely, the Yamadevas, Tushitas, Nirmanaratis, Paranirmitavasavartins, Brahmakayikas, Brahmapurohitas, Mahabrahmans, as far as the Akanishthas?'
Ananda replied: 'O Bhagavat the result of works and the outcome of works are inconceivable.'
Bhagavat said: 'Here, you see, the result of works and the outcome of works are inconceivable. But to the blessed Buddhas the position of Buddhas is not inconceivable, while to thee the holy and miraculous power of virtuous beings, whose stock of merit has become ripened, seems inconceivable.'
Ananda said: 'I had no doubt on this, no difference of opinion, or hesitation; on the contrary, I ask only the Tathagata about this matter in order to destroy the doubts, the differences of opinion, and the hesitations of future beings.'
Bhagavat said: 'All right, Ananda, this is what you ought to do.
#18. ' In that world Sukhavati, O Ananda, there flow different kinds of rivers; there are great rivers there, one yojana in breadth; there are rivers up to twenty, thirty, forty, fifty yojanas in breadth, and up to twelve yojanas in depth. All these rivers are delightful, carrying water of different sweet odor, carrying bunches of flowers adorned with various gems, resounding with sweet voices. And, O Ananda, there proceeds from an instrument which consists of hundred thousand kotis of parts, which embodies heavenly music and is played by clever people, the same delightful sound which proceeds from those great rivers, the sound which is deep, unknown, incomprehensible, clear, pleasant to the ear, touching the heart, beloved, sweet, delightful, never tiring, never disagreeable, pleasant to hear, as if it always said, "Non-eternal, peaceful, unreal." Such a sound comes to be heard by these beings.
'And again, O Ananda, the borders of those great rivers on both sides are filled with jewel trees of various scents, from which bunches of flowers, leaves, and branches of all kinds hang down. And if the beings, who are on the borders of those rivers, wish to enjoy sport full of heavenly delights, the water rises to the ankle only after they have stepped into the rivers, if they wish it to be so; or if they wish it, the water rises to their knees, to their hips, to their sides, and to their ears. And heavenly pleasures arise. Again, if the beings then wish the water to be cold, it is cold; if they wish it to be hot, it is hot; if they wish it to be hot and cold, it is hot and cold, according to their pleasure.
'And those great rivers flow along, full of water scented with the best perfumes of the Uragasara sandal-wood, of Tagaras, dark, fragrant sandal-wood trees, Agarus, and heavenly Tamalapattras; covered with flowers of the white waterlilies, and heavenly Utpalas, Padmas, Kumudas, and Pundarikas; full of delightful sounds of peacocks, sparrows, kunalas, cuckoos, sarikas, parrots, ducks, geese, herons, cranes, swans and others; with small islands inhabited by flocks of birds, created by the Tathagata; adorned with fields, full of metals; with fords on which it is easy to drink, free from mud, and covered with gold dust. And when these beings there desire, thinking what kind of wishes should be fulfilled for them, then exactly such wishes are fulfilled for them according to the Dharma.
'And, O Ananda, the sound which rises from that water is delightful, and the whole Buddha country is aroused by it. And if beings, who stand on the borders of the river, wish that the sound should not come within their ear-shot, then it does not come within their ear-shot, even if they are possessed of the heavenly ear. And whatever sound a man wishes to hear, exactly that delightful sound he hears, as for instance, the sound "Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, the perfections, the stages, the powers, perfections, freedom from attachment, consciousness; emptiness, unconditioned, free from desire, not made, not born, without origin, not being, and cessation; peace; great love, great pity, great rejoicing, and great forgiveness; resignation to consequences which have not yet arisen, and attainment of the royal stage.
'And having heard these sounds, everybody feels the highest delight and pleasure accompanied by retirement, passionlessness, quiet, cessation, law, and a stock of merit leading to the perfect knowledge.
'And O Ananda, there is nowhere in that Sukhavati world any sound of sin, obstacle, misfortune, distress, and destruction; there is nowhere any sound of pain, even the sound of perceiving what is neither pain nor pleasure is not there, O Ananda, how much less the sound of pain. For that reason, O Ananda, that world is called Sukhavati, in brief, but not in full. For, O Ananda, the whole kalpa would come to an end, while the different causes of the pleasure of the world Sukhavati are being praised, and even then the end of those causes of happiness could not be reached.
#19. 'And again, O Ananda, the beings, who have been and will be born in that world Sukhavati, will be endowed with such color, strength, vigor, height and breadth, dominion, accumulation of virtue; with such enjoyments of dress, ornaments, gardens, palaces, and pavilions; and such enjoyments of touch, taste, smell, and sound; in fac, with all enjoyments and pleasures, exactly like the Paranirmitavasavartin gods.
'And again, O Ananda, in that world Sukhavati, beings do not take food consisting of gross materials of gravy or molasses; but whatever food they desire, such food they perceive, as if it were taken, and become delighted in body and mind. Yet they need not put it into their mouth.
'And if, after they are satisfied, they wish different kinds of perfumes, then with these very heavenly kinds of perfumes the whole Buddha country is scented. And whosoever wishes to perceive there such perfume, every perfume of every scent of the Gandharvaraja does always reach his nose.
'And in the same manner, if they desire musical instruments, banners, flags, umbrellas, cloaks, powders, ointments, garlands, and scents, then the whole Buddha country shines with such things. If they desire cloaks of different colors and many hundred thousand colors, then with these very best cloaks the whole Buddha country shines. And the people feel themselves covered with them.
'And if they desire such ornaments, as for instance, head-ornaments, ear-ornaments, neck-ornaments, hand and foot ornaments, namely, diadems, earrings, bracelets, armlets, necklaces, chains, earjewels, seals, gold strings, girdles, gold nets, pearl nets, jewel nets, nets of bells made of gold and jewels, then they see that Buddha country shining with such ornaments adorned with many hundred thousand jewels, that are fastened to ornament-trees. And they perceive themselves to be adorned with these ornaments.
'And if they desire a palace, with colors and emblems of such and such height and width, adorned with hundred thousand gates made with different jewels, covered with different heavenly flowers, full of couches strewn with beautiful cushions, then exactly such a palace appears before them. And in these delightful palaces they dwell, play, sport, walk about, being honored, and surrounded by seven times seven thousands of Apsarases.
#20. 'And in that world, there is no difference between gods and men, except when they are spoken of in ordinary and imperfect parlance as gods and men. And, O Ananda, as a low man and powerless man, before the face of the mighty king, is neither bright, nor warm, nor brilliant, nor is he self-confident and radiant, thus Sakra, king of the Devas, if before the face of the Paranirmitavasavartin gods, is neither bright, nor warm, nor brilliant, namely, with regard to his gardens, palaces, dresses, ornaments, his dominion, his perfection, his miraculous power, or his supremacy, his comprehension of the Dharma, and his full enjoyment of the Dharma. And, O Ananda, as the Paranirmitavasavartin gods are there, thus men must be considered in the world Sukhavati.
#21. 'And again, O Ananda, in that world Sukhavati, when the time of forenoon has come, the winds are greatly agitated and blowing everywhere in the four quarters. And they shake and drive many beautiful, graceful, and many-colored stalks of the gem trees, which are perfumed with sweet heavenly scents, so that many hundred beautiful flowers of delightful scent fall down on the great earth, which is all full of jewels. And with these flowers that Buddha country is adorned on every side seven fathoms deep. As a clever man might spread out a flower-bed on the earth and make it even with both his hands, beautiful and charming, even thus with those flowers of various scents and colors that Buddha country is shining on every side seven fathoms deep. And these many flowers are soft, pleasant to touch, if one may use a comparison, like Kakilindika. If one puts one's foot on them, they sink down four inches; if one raises one's foot, they rise again four inches. When the time of the forenoon has gone again, those flowers vanish without leaving anything behind. Then that Buddha country is again clean, pleasant, beautiful, and without fading flowers. The winds blow again everywhere in the four quarters, and scatter down fresh flowers as before. And as it is in the forenoon, so it is at noon, at twilight, in the first, middle, and last watch of the night. And the beings, if touched by those winds which blow perfume with various scents, are as full of happiness as a Bhikkhu who has obtained Nirvana.
#22. 'And in that Buddha country, O Ananda, no mention is ever made of the names of fire, sun, moon, planets, constellations, and stars, or of blinding darkness. There is no mention even of day and night, except in the conversation of the Tathagata. Nor is there any idea of predial property belonging to monasteries.
#23. 'And again, O Ananda, in that world Sukhavati at the proper time clouds full of heavenly perfumed water pour down heavenly flowers of all colors; heavenly seven jewels, heavenly sandalwood-powder, and heavenly umbrellas, flags, and banners are poured down. And in the sky, the heavenly flowers of all colors, and heavenly canopies are held, likewise heavenly excellent umbrellas and all kinds of ornaments, heavenly musical instruments are played, and heavenly Apsarases dance.
#24. 'And again, O Ananda, in that Buddha country whatever beings have been born, and are being born, and will be born, are always constant in absolute truth, till they have reached Nirvana. And why is that? Because there is no room or mention there of the other two divisions, such as beings not constant or constant in falsehood.
'On this wise, O Ananda, that world is briefly called Sukhavati, not at full length. Even a kalpa, O Ananda, would come to an end, while the causes of happiness which exist in that world Sukhavati are being praised, and yet it would be impossible to reach the end of them.'
#25. Then the Bhagavat at that time spoke the following verses:
'Thus, O Ananda, the world Sukhavati is endowed with immeasurable good qualities and excellences.
#26. 'And again, O Ananda, in the ten quarters, and in each of them, in all the Buddha countries equal in number to the sand of the Ganges, the blessed Buddhas equal in number to the sand of the Ganges, glorify the name of the blessed Amitabha, the Tathagata, they preach his fame, they proclaim his glory, they extol his virtue. And why? Because all beings who hear the name of the blessed Amitabha, and having heard it, raise their thought with joyful longing, even for once only, will not turn away again from the highest perfect knowledge.
#27. 'And before the eyes of those beings, O Ananda, who again and again think of the Tathagata reverently and who make the great and unmeasured stock of good works grow, turning their thought towards Bodhi, and who pray to be born in that world, Amitabha, the Tathagata, holy and fully enlightened, when the time of their death has approached, will appear, surrounded by many companies of Bhikkhus and honored by them. And then these beings, having seen the Bhagavat, their thoughts filled with joy, will, when they have died, be born in that world of Sukhavati. And if, O Ananda, any son or daughter of a good family should wish, "How then may I see that Tathagata Amitabha visibly?" then he must raise his thought on to the highest perfect knowledge, he must direct his thought with perseverance and excessive desire towards that Buddha country, and direct the stock of his good works towards being born there.
#28. ' But before the eyes of those who do not care much about the Tathagata Amitabha, and who do not vigorously increase the great and unmeasured stock of their good works, the Tathagata Amitabha, holy and fully enlightened, will appear, at the time of death, with the company of Bhikkhus, in breadth and height and form and beauty, very like the former, and very like the real Tathagata, but only created by thought. And they, through their meditation that dwells on perceiving the sight of the Tathagata, and with unfailing memory, will, when they have died, be born in the same Buddha country.
#29. 'And again, O Ananda, those beings who meditate on the Tathagata by giving him ten thoughts, and who will direct their desire towards that Buddha country, and who will feel satisfaction when the profound doctrines are being preached, and who will not fall off, nor despair, nor fail, but will meditate on that Tathagata, if it were by one thought only, and will direct their desire toward that Buddha country, they also will see the Tathagata Amitabha, while they are in a dream, they will be born in the world Sukhavati, and will never turn away from the highest perfect knowledge.
#30. 'And, O Ananda, after thus seeing the cause and effect, the Tathagatas of the ten quarters, in immeasurable and innumerable worlds, glorify the name of the Tathagata Amitabha, preach his fame, and proclaim his praise. And again, O Ananda, in that Buddha country, Bodhisattvas equal in number to the sand of the Ganges approach, from the ten quarters, and in each quarter towards that Tathagata Amitabha, in order to see him, to bow before him, to worship him, to consult him, and likewise in order to see that company of Bodhisattvas, and the different kinds of perfection in the multitude of ornaments and excellences belonging to that Buddha country.'
#31. Then at that time, the Bhagavat, in order to illustrate this matter in fuller measure, recited these verses:
#32. 'And again, O Ananda, there is a Bodhi-tree belonging to Amitayus, the Tathagata, holy and fully enlightened. That Bodhi-tree is ten hundred yojanas in height, having petals, leaves, and branches spread over eight hundred yojanas, having a circumference near the base of the root of five hundred yojanas, always in leaf, always in flower, always in fruit, of different colors, of many hundred thousand colors, of different leaves, of different flowers, of different fruits, adorned with many beautiful ornaments, shining with precious jewels, bright like the moon, beautified with precious jewels such as are fastened on Sakra's head, strewn with Kintamani jewels, well adorned with the best jewels of the sea, more than heavenly, hung with golden strings, adorned with hundreds of gold chains, jewel-garlands, necklaces, bracelets, strings of red pearls and blue pearls, Simhalata, girdles, bunches, strings of jewels, and all kinds of jewels, covered with nets of bells, nets of all kinds of jewels, nets of pearls, and nets of gold, adorned with the emblems of the dolphin, the Svastika, the Nandyavarta, and the moon, adorned with nets of jewels and of bells, and with ornaments of gold and of all kinds of jewels, in fact adorned according to the desires of beings whatever their wishes may be.
'And again, O Ananda, the sound and noise of that Bodhi-tree, when it is moved by the wind, reaches immeasurable worlds. And, O Ananda, for those beings whose hearing that Bodhi-tree reaches, no disease of the ear is to be feared until they reach Bodhi. And for those immeasurable, innumerable, inconceivable, incomparable, measureless, immense, and inexpressible beings, whose sight that Bodhi-tree reaches, no disease of the eye is to be feared until they reach Bodhi. And again, O Ananda, for those beings who smell the scent of that Bodhi-tree, no disease of the nose is to be feared until they reach Bodhi. For those beings who taste the fruits of that Bodhi-tree, no disease of the tongue is to be feared until they reach Bodhi. For those beings who are lighted up by the light of that Bodhi-tree, no disease of the body is to be feared until they reach Bodhi. And again, O Ananda, for those beings who meditate on that Bodhi-tree according to the Dharma, henceforward until they reach the Bodhi, no perplexity of their thought is to be feared. And all those beings, through the seeing of that Bodhi-tree, never turn away, namely, from the highest perfect knowledge. And they obtain three kinds of resignation, namely, Ghoshanuga, resignation to natural consequences, and (resignation to consequences which have not yet arisen, through the power of the former prayers of that same Tathagata Amitayus, through the service rendered by them to the former Jinas, and through the performance of the former prayers, to be well accomplished, and to be well conceived, without failure or without flaw.
#33. 'And again, O Aranda, those Bodhisattvas who have been born, are being born, or will be born there, are all bound to one birth only, and will thence indeed obtain the highest perfect knowledge; barring always the power of prayers, as in the case of those Bodhisattvas who are preaching with the voice of lions, who are girded with the noble armor of the Dharma, and who are devoted to the work of helping all people to attain Paranirvana.
#34. 'And again, O Ananda, in that Buddha country, those who are Sravakas are possessed of the light of a fathom, and those who are Bodhisattvas are possessed of the light of a hundred thousand kotis of yojanas; barring always the two Bodhisattvas, by whose light that world is everywhere shining with eternal splendor.'
Then the blessed Ananda said this to the Bhagavat: 'What are the names, O Bhagavat, of those two noble-minded Bodhisattvas?
The Bhagavat said: 'One of them, O Ananda, is the noble-minded Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, and the second is Mahasthamaprapta by name. And, O Ananda, these two were born there, having left this Buddha country here'.
#35. 'And, O Ananda, those Bodhisattvas who have been born in that Buddha country are all endowed with the thirty-two marks of a great man, possessed of perfect members, skilled in meditation and wisdom, clever in all kinds of wisdom, having sharp organs, having well-restrained organs, having organs of sense capable of thorough knowledge, not mean, possessed of the five kinds of strength, of patience under censure, and of endless and boundless good qualities.
#36. 'And again, O Ananda, all those Bodhisattvas who have been born in that Buddha country are not deprived of the sight of Buddha, nor liable to fall down to the evil states, until they reach the Bodhi. Henceforward they all will never be forgetful of their former births; barring always those who are devoted to their former place, during the disturbances of the kalpas, and while the five kinds of corruption prevail, when there is the appearance of blessed Buddhas in the world, as for instance, that of me at present.
#37. 'And again, O Ananda, all the Bodhisattvas who have been bom in that Buddha country, having gone during one morning meal to the other world, worship many hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddhas, as many as they like, through the favor of Buddha. They consider in many ways that they should worship Buddhas with such and such flowers, incense, lamps, scents, garlands, ointments, powder, cloaks, umbrellas, flags, banners, ensigns, music, concerts, and musical instruments; and, as soon as they have considered this, there arise also on their hands exactly such materials for every kind of worship. And while performing worship for those blessed Buddhas with those materials, beginning with flowers and ending with musical instruments, they lay up for themselves much immeasurable and innumerable merit. Again, if they wish that such handfuls of flowers should be produced on their hands, then such handfuls of heavenly flowers, of different colors, of many colors, of different scents, are produced on their hands as soon as thought of. They shower again and again such handfulls of flowers upon those blessed Buddhas. And the very smallest handfull of flowers, being thrown on high, appears above in the sky as an umbrella of flowers ten yojanas in circumference. And when the second has been thrown after it, the first does not fall down on the earth. There are handfuls of flowers there, which having been thrown up, appear in the sky as umbrellas of flowers twenty yojanas in circumference.
'There appear in the sky some flower-umbrellas, thirty, forty, or fifty yojanas in circumference, as far as a hundred thousand yojanas in circumference. Those Bodhisattvas there who perceive the noble pleasure and joy, and obtain the noble strength of thought, having caused a great and immeasurable and innumerable stock of good works to ripen, and having worshipped many hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddhas, turn again to the world Sukhavati in one morning, through the favor of practising the former prayers of the same Tathagata Amitayus, owing to the hearing of the Dharma formerly given, owing to the stock of good works produced under former Jinas, owing to the perfect completion in the success of former prayers, owing to the well-ordered state of mind.
#38. 'And again, O Ananda, all those beings who have been born in that Buddha country recite the story of the Dharma, which is accompanied by omniscience. And for the beings in that Buddha country there exists no idea of property whatever. And all those going and walking through that Buddha country feel neither pleasure nor pain; stepping forward they have no desire, and with desire they do not step forward. They give no thought to any beings. And again, O Ananda, for those beings who have been born in that world Sukhavati, there is no idea of others, no idea of self, no idea of inequality, no strife, no dispute, no opposition. Full of equanimity, of benevolent thought, of tender thought, of affectionate thought, of useful thought, of serene thought, of firm thought, of unbiassed thought, of undisturbed thought, of unagitated thought, of thought fixed on the practice of discipline and transcendent wisdom, having entered on knowledge which is a firm support to all thoughts, equal to the ocean in wisdom, equal to the mountain Meru in knowledge, rich in many good qualities, delighting in the music of the Bodhyangas, devoted to the music of Buddha, they discard the eye of flesh, and assume the heavenly eye.
'And having approached the eye of wisdom, having reached the eye of the Dharma, producing the eye of Buddha, showing it, lighting it, and fully exhibiting it, they attain perfect wisdom. And being bent on the equilibrium of the three elements, having subdued and calmed their thoughts endowed with a perception of the causes of all things, clever in explanation of causes, endowed with the power of explaining the Dharma or things such as they really are, clever in taking and refusing, clever in leading and not leading, clever in resting, they, being regardless of worldly stories, derive true pleasures from stories transcending the world. They are clever in examining all things, familiar with the knowledge of the cessation of the working of all things, perceiving even what cannot be seen, caring for nothing, attached to nothing, without cares, without pain, free without clinging to anything, free from impurity, of blameless behavior, not clinging to anything, intent on the deep or profound laws, they do not sink, elevated to the entrance into the knowledge of Buddha difficult to comprehend, having obtained the path of one vehicles, free from doubt, beyond the reach of questionings, knowing the thoughts of others, free from self-confidence.
'Being elevated in knowledge, they are like Mount Sumeru; being imperturbable in thought, they are like the ocean; they surpass the light of the sun and moon, by the light of wisdom, and by the whiteness, brilliancy, purity, and beauty of their knowledge; by their light and splendor, they are like the color of molten gold; by their patiently bearing the good and evil deeds of all beings, they are like the earth; by their cleaning and carrying off the taint of all sins, they are like water; by their burning the evil of pride in anything, they are like the king of fire ; by not clinging to anything, they are like the wind; by pervading all things and yet not caring for anything, they are like the ether; by not being tainted by the whole world, they are like lotuses; by their shouting forth the Dharma, they are like the great cloud at the rainy season; by showering down the whole ocean of the Dharma, they are like the great rain; by overpowering great troops, they are like bulls; by the highest restraint of their thoughts, they are like great elephants; by being well trained, they are like noble horses; by their fearlessness, confidence, and heroism, they are like the lion, the king of beasts; by affording protection to all beings, they are like the fig-tree, the king of trees; by not being shaken by any calumniators, they are like the Sumeru, the king of mountains; by their feeling of unlimited love, they are like the sky; by their precedence, owing to their command of the Dharma, and their stock of all merit, they are like the great Brahman; by their not dwelling in what they have accumulated, they are like birds; by their scattering all calumniators, they are like Garuda, king of birds; by their not being averse to our obtaining difficult things, they are like the Udumbara flowers; calm like elephants, because their senses are neither crooked nor shaken; clever in decision, full of the sweet flavor of patience; without envy, because they do not hanker after the happiness of others; wise, because in their search after the Dharma, never tired of discussions on the Dharma; like the precious beryl, through their value; like jewel-mines, by their sacred knowledge; sweet-sounding by the noise of the great drum of the Dharma, striking the great kettledrum of the Dharma, blowing the great trumpet-shell of the Dharma, raising the great banner of the Dharma, lighting the torch of the Dharma, looking for wisdom, not foolish, faultless, passionless, pure, refined, not greedy, fond of distributing, generous, open-handed, fond of distributing gifts, not stingy in giving instruction and food, not attached, without fear, without desires, wise, patient, energetic, bashful, orderly, fearless, full of knowledge, happy, Pleasant to live with, obliging, enlightening the world, free from sorrow, free from taint, having left off the winking of the eye, possessing lightly acquired knowledge, strong in reasoning, strong in prayer, not crooked, not perverse; then, having accumulated a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of lakshas of virtue, delivered from the thorns of pride, free from illusion, hatred, and passion; pure, devoted to what is pure, famous by the Jina-power, learned in the world, elevated by their purified knowledge, sons of the Jina, endowed with the vigor of thought, heroes, firm, unselfish, free from faults, unequalled, free from anger, collected, noble, heroes, bashful, energetic, possessed of memory, understanding, and prudence; sending forth the weapons of knowledge, possessed of purity, shining, free from faults and taints, endowed with memory, resting on serene knowledge. And such, O Ananda, are the beings in that Buddha country, stated briefly. But if the Tathagatas should describe them fully, even in a length of life that should last for a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of kalpas, yet the end of the virtues of those good people would not be reached, and yet there would be no failure of the self-confidence of the Tathagata. And why? Because, O Ananda, both are indeed inconceivable and incomparable, that is, first, the virtues of those Bodhisattvas, and secondly, the unsurpassed light of knowledge of the Tathagata.
#39. 'And now, O Ananda, stand up, facing westward, and having taken a handful of flowers, fall down. This is the quarter where that Bhagavat Amitabha, the Tathagata, holy and fully enlightened, dwells, remains, supports himself, and teaches the Dharma, whose spotless and pure name, famed in every quarter of the whole world with its ten quarters, the blessed Buddhas, equal to the grains of the sand of the river Ganges, speaking and answering again and again without stopping, extol, praise, and eulogize.'
After this, the blessed Ananda said this to the Bhagavat : 'I wish, O Bhagavat, to see that Amitabha, Amitaprabha, Amitayus, the Tathagata, holy and fully enlightened, and those noble-minded Bodhisattvas, who are possessed of a stock of merit amassed under many hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddhas.'
At that moment this speech was spoken by the blessed Ananda, and immediately that Amitabha, the Tathagata, holy and fully enlightened, let such a ray of light go out of the palm of his own hand, that even the most distant Buddha country was shining with the great splendor. And again at that time, whatever black mountains, or jewel-mountains, or Merus, great Merus, Mukilindas, great Mukilindas, Chakravadas, great Chakravadas, or erections, or pillars, trees, woods, gardens, palaces, belonging to the gods and men, exist everywhere in hundred thousand kotis of Buddha countries; all these were pervaded and overcome by the light of that Tathagata.
And as a man, followed by another at a distance of a fathom only, would see the other man, when the sun has risen, exactly in the same manner the Bhikkhus, Bhikkhunis, Upasakas, Upasikas, gods, Nagas, Yakshas, Rakshasas, Gandharvas, Asuras, Garudas, Kinnaras, Mahoragas, men and not-men, in this Buddha country, saw at that time that Amitabha, the Tathagata, holy and fully enlightened, like the Sumeru, the king of mountains, elevated above all countries, surpassing all quarters, shining, warming, glittering, blazing; and they saw that great mass of Bodhisattvas, and that company of Bhikshus, that is, by the grace of Buddha, from the pureness of that light.
And as this great earth might be, when all covered with water, so that no trees, no mountains, no islands, no grasses, bushes, herbs, large trees, no rivers, chasms, water-falls, would be seen, but only the one great earth which had all become an ocean, in exactly the same manner there is neither mark nor sign whatever to be seen in that Buddha country, except Sravakas, spreading their light over a fathom, and those Bodhisattvas, spreading their light over a hundred thousand kotis of yojanas.
And that Bhagavat Amitabha, the Tathagata, holy and fully enlightened, overshadowing that mass of Sravakas and that mass of Bodhisattvas, is seen, illuminating all quarters. Again at that time all those Bodhisattvas, Srivakas, gods and men in that world Sukhavati, saw this world Saha and Shakyamuni, the Tathagata, holy and fully enlightened, surrounded by a holy company of Bhikshus, teaching the Dharma.
#40. Then, the Bhagavat addressed the nobleminded Bodhisattva Ajita, and said: 'Do you see, O Ajita, the perfection of the array of ornaments and good qualities in that Buddha country; and above in the sky places with charming parks, charming gardens, charming rivers and lotus lakes, scattered with many precious Padmas, Utpalas, Kumudas, and Pundarikas; and below, from the earth to the abode of the Akanishthas, the surface of the sky, covered with flowers, ornamented with wreaths of flowers, shining on the rows of many precious columns, frequented by flocks of all kinds of birds created by the Tathagata?'
The Bodhisattva Ajita said: 'I see, O Bhagavat.'
The Bhagavat said: 'Do you see again, O Ajita, those flocks of immortal birds, making the whole Buddha country resound with the voice of Buddha, so that those Bodhisattvas are never without meditating on Buddha?'
Ajita said: 'I see, O Bhagavat.'
The Bhagavat said: 'Do you see again, O Ajita, those beings, who have ascended to the palaces which extend over a hundred thousand yojanas in the sky, walking about respectfully?'
Ajita said: 'I see, O Bhagavat.'
The Bhagavat said: 'What do you think, O Ajita, is there any difference between the gods called Paranirmitavasavartins, and men in the world Sukhavati?'
Ajita said: 'I do not, O Bhagavat, perceive even one difference, so far as the men in that world of Sukhavati are endowed with great supernatural powers.'
The Bhagavat said: 'Do you see again, O Ajita, those men dwelling within the calyx of excellent lotus-flowers in that world Sukhavati?'
He said: 'As gods called Trayastrimsas or Yamas, having entered into palaces of fifty or hundred or five hundred yojanas in extent, are playing, sporting, walking about, exactly in the same manner I see, O Bhagavat, these men dwelling within the calyx of excellent lotus-flowers in the world Sukhavati.
#41. 'Again there are, O Bhagavat, beings who, being born miraculously, appear sitting cross-legged in the lotus-flowers. What is there, O Bhagavat, the cause, what the reason, that some dwell within the calyx, while others, being born miraculously, appear sitting cross-legged in the lotus-flowers?'
The Bhagavat said: 'Those Bodhisattvas, O Ajita, who, living in other Buddha countries, entertain doubt about being born in the world Sukhavati, and with that thought amass a stock of merit, for them there is the dwelling within the calyx. Those, on the contrary, who are filled with faith, and being free from doubt, amass a stock of merit in order to be born in the world Sukhavati, and conceive, believe, and trust in the perfect knowledge of the blessed Buddhas, they, being born miraculously, appear sitting cross-legged in the flowers of the lotus. And those noble-minded Bodhisattvas, O Ajita, who, living in other Buddha countries, raise their thought in order to see Amitabha, the Tathagata, holy and fully enlightened, who never entertain a doubt, believe in the perfect knowledge of Buddha and in their own stock of merit, for them, being born miraculously, and appearing cross-legged, there is in one minute, such a body as that of other beings who have been born there long before. See, O Ajita, the excellent, immeasurable, unfailing, unlimited wisdom, that namely for their own benefit they are deprived during five hundred years of seeing Buddhas, seeing Bodhisattvas, hearing the Dharma, speaking about the Dharma with others, and thus collecting a stock of merit; they are indeed deprived of the successful attainment of every stock of merit, and that, through their forming ideas tainted with doubt.
'And, O Ajita, there might be a dungeon belonging to an anointed Kshatriya king, inlaid entirely with gold and beryl, in which cushions, garlands, wreaths and strings are fixed, having canopies of different colors and kind, covered with silk cushions, scattered over with various flowers and blossoms, scented with excellent scents, adorned with arches, courts, windows, pinnacles, fire-places, and terraces, covered with nets of bells of the seven kinds of gems, having four angles, four pillars, four doors, four stairs; and the son of that king having been thrown into the dungeon for some misdeed is there, bound with a chain made of the Jambunada gold. And suppose there is a couch prepared for him, covered with many woollen cloths, spread over with cotton and feather cushions, having Kalinga coverings, and carpets, together with coverlids, red on both sides, beautiful and charming. There he might be then either sitting or resting. And there might be brought to him much food and drink, of various kinds, pure and well prepared. What do you think, O Ajita, would the enjoyment be great for that prince?'
Ajita said: 'Yes, it would be great, O Bhagavat.'
The Bhagavat said: 'What do you think, O Ajita, would he even taste it there, and notice it, or would he feel any satisfaction from it?'
He said: 'Not indeed, O Bhagavat; but on the contrary, when he had been led away by the king and thrown into the dungeon, he would only wish for deliverance from there. He would seek for the nobles, princes, ministers, women, elders (rich merchants), householders, and lords of castles, who might deliver him from that dungeon. Moreover, O Bhagavat, there is no pleasure for that prince in that dungeon, nor is he liberated, until the king shows him favor.'
The Bhagavat said: 'Thus, O Ajita, it is with those Bodhisattvas who, having fallen into doubt, amass a stock of merit, but doubt the knowledge of Buddha. They are born in that world Sukhavati, through the hearing of Buddha's name, and through the serenity of thought only; they do not, however, appear sitting cross-legged in the flowers of the lotus, being born miraculously, but dwell only in the calyx of the lotus-flowers. Moreover for them there exist ideas of palaces and gardens. There is no discharge, there is no phlegm or mucus, there is nothing disagreeable to the mind. But they are deprived of seeing Buddhas, hearing the Dharma, seeing Bodhisattvas, speaking about and ascertaining the Dharma, gathering any new stock of merit, and practicing the Dharma, during five hundred years. Moreover they do not rejoice there or perceive satisfaction. But they wish to remove one another, and then they step out behind. And it is not known whether their exit takes place above, below, or across.
'See, O Ajita, there might be worshippings of many hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddhas during those five hundred years, and also many, immense, innumerable, immeasurable stocks of merit to be amassed. But all this they destroy by the fault of doubt. See, O Ajita, to how great an injury the doubt of the Bodhisattvas leads. Therefore now, O Ajita, after the Bodhisattvas without doubting have quickly raised their thoughts towards Bodhi, in order to obtain power of conferring happiness for the benefit of all creatures, their stock of merit should be turned towards their being born in the world Sukhavati, where the blessed Amitabha, the Tathagata, holy and fully enlightened, dwells.'
#42. After these words, the Bodhisattva Ajita thus spoke to the Bhagavat: 'O Bhagavat, will the Bodhisattvas, who have gone away from this Buddha country, or from the side of other blessed Buddhas, be born in the world Sukhavati?'
The Bhagavat said: 'Indeed, O Ajita, seventy-two nayutas of kotis of Bodhisattvas are gone away from this Buddha country, who will be born in the world Sukhavati; Bodhisattvas, who will never return, thanks to the stock of merit, which they have accumulated under many hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of Buddhas. What then shall be said of those with smaller stocks of merit?
'For this reason, O Ajita, I might proclaim during a full nayuta of kotis of kalpas the names of those Tathagatas, from whom the Bodhisattvas proceed in order to see that Tathagata Amitabha in the world Sukhavati, to bow before him, and to worship him, and yet the end could not be reached.
#43. 'See, O Ajita, what easy gains are gained by those beings who will hear the name of the Tathagata Amitabha, holy and fully enlightened. Nor will those beings be of little faith, who will obtain at least one joyful thought of that Tathagata and of this treatise of the Dharma. Therefore now, O Ajita, I invite you, and command you to proclaim this treatise of the Dharma, before the world together with the gods. Having plunged into the vast universe full of fire, no one ought to turn back, if he has but once conceived the thought of going across. And why? Because kotis of Bodhisattvas indeed, O Ajita, return from the highest perfect knowledge, on account of not hearing such treatises of the Dharma as this. Therefore, from a wish for this treatise of the Dharma, a great effort should be made to hear, learn, and remember it, and to study it for the sake of fully grasping it and widely making it known. A good copy of it should be kept, after it has been copied in a book, if only during one night and day, or even during the time necessary for milking a cow.
'The name of Master should be given to a teacher who desires to conduct quickly innumerable beings to the state of never returning from the highest perfect knowledge, namely, in order that they may see the Buddha country of that blessed Amitabha, the Tathagata, and to acquire the excellent perfection of the array of good qualities peculiar to his own Buddha country.
'And, O Ajita, such beings will have easily gained their gains who, having amassed a stock of merit, having performed service under former Jinas, and having been guided by Buddhas, shall hear in future, until the destruction of the good Dharma, such-like excellent treatises of the Dharma, treatises which are praised, eulogized, and approved of by all Buddhas, and convey quickly the great knowledge of omniscience. And those also who, when they have heard it, shall obtain excellent delight and pleasure, and will learn, retain, recite and grasp, and wisely preach it to others, and be delighted by its study, or, having copied it at least, will worship it, will certainly produce much good work, so that it is difficult to count it.
'Thus indeed, O Ajita, I have done what a Tathagata ought to do. It is now for you to devote yourself to it without any doubt. Do not doubt the perfect and unfailing knowledge of Buddha. Do not enter into the dungeon made of gems built up in every way. For indeed, the birth of a Buddha, O Ajita, is difficult to be met with, so is the instruction in the Dharma, and also a timely birth. O Ajita, the way to gain the perfection of all stocks of merit has been proclaimed by me. Do now exert yourselves and move forward. O Ajita, I grant indeed a great favor to this treatise of the Dharma. Be valiant so that the laws of Buddhas may not perish or disappear. Do not break the command of the Tathagata.'
#44. Then at that time, the Bhagavat spoke these verses :
#45. And while this treatise of the Dharma was being delivered, twelve kotis of nayutas of beings obtained the pure and spotless eye of the Dharma with regard to Dharmas. Twenty-four hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of beings obtained the Anagamin reward. Eight hundred Bhikshus had their thoughts delivered from faults so as to cling no more to anything. Twenty-five kotis of Bodhisattvas obtained resignation to things to come. And by forty hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of the human and divine race, thoughts such as had never risen before were turned toward the highest perfect knowledge, and their stocks of merit were made to grow toward their being born in the world Sukhavati, from a desire to see the Tathagata, the blessed Amitabha. And all of them having been born there, will in proper order be born in other worlds, as Tathagatas, called Manjusvara (sweet-voiced). And eighty kotis of nayutas having acquired resignation under the Tathagata Dipankara, never turning back again from the highest perfect knowledge, rendered perfect by the Tathagata Amitayus, practising the duties of former Bodhisattvas, will carry out, after they are born in the world Sukhavati, the duties enjoined in the former prayers.
#46. At that time this universe, the three millions of worlds, trembled in six ways. And various miracles were seen. On earth everything was perfect, and human and divine instruments were played, and the shout of joy was heard as far as the world of the Akanishthas.
#47. Thus spoke the Bhagavat enraptured, and the noble-minded Bodhisattva Ajita, and the blessed Ananda, the whole Assembly, and the world, with gods, men, spirits, mighty birds, and fairies, applauded the speech of the Bhagavat. The praise of the beauty of the excellences of Sukhavati, the country of the blessed Amitabha, the Tathagata, the entry of the Bodhisattva on the stage of never returning, the story of Amitabha, the Mahayanasutra of the Description of Sukhavati is finished.