Part IV-#25-39

The Larger Sukhavativyuha Sutra

#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:

1. ‘As there are Buddha countries equal to the sand of the river Ganges in the eastern quarter, whence all the Bodhisattvas come to worship the Buddha, the lord Amitayu;

2. ‘And they having taken many bunches of flowers of different colors, sweetly-scented and delightful, shower them down on the best leader of men, on Amitayu, worshipped by gods and men;

3. ‘In the same manner there are as many Buddha countries in the southern, western, and northern quarters, whence they come with the Bodhisattvas to worship the Buddha, the lord Amitayus.

4. ‘And they having taken many handfulls of scents of different colors, sweetly scented and delightful, shower them down on the best leader of men, on Amitayus, worshipped by gods and men.

5. ‘These many Bodhisattvas having worshipped and revered the feet of Amitaprabha, and having walked round him respectfully, speak thus: “Oh, the country of Buddha shines wonderfully! ”

6. ‘And they cover him again with handfulls of flowers, with thoughts jubilant, with incomparable joy, and proclaim their wish before that lord: “May our country also be such as this.”

7. ‘And what was thrown there as handfuls of flowers arose in the form of an umbrella extending over a hundred yojanas, and the beautiful country shines and is well adorned, and flowers cover the whole body of Buddha.

8. ‘These Bodhisattvas having thus honored him, how do they act? Delighted they pronounce this speech: “Gains by those people are well gained, by whom the name of the best man has been heard.

9. ‘”By us also all the gain has been well gained, because we have come to this Buddha country. See this dream-like country, how beautiful it is, which was made by the teacher during a hundred thousand kalpas.

10. ‘”Look, the Buddha possessed of a mass of the best virtues shines, surrounded by Bodhisattvas. Endless is his splendor, and endless the light, and endless the life, and endless the assembly.”

11. ‘And the lord Amitayus makes a smile of thirty-six nayutas of kotis of rays, which rays having issued from the circle of his mouth light up the thousand kotis of Buddha countries.

12. ‘And all these rays having returned there again settle on the head of the lord; gods and men perceive the delight, because they have seen there this light of him.

13. ‘There rises the Buddha-son, glorious, he indeed the mighty Avalokitesvara, and says: “What is the reason there, O Bhagavat, what is the cause, that thou smilest, O lord of the world ?

14. ‘”Explain this, for thou knowest the sense, and art full of kind compassion, the deliverer of many living beings. All beings will be filled with joyful thoughts, when they have thus heard this excellent and delightful speech.

15. ‘”And the Bodhisattvas who have come from many worlds to Sukhavati in order to see the Buddha, having heard it and having perceived the great joy, will quickly inspect this country.

16. ‘”And beings, come to this noble country, (quickly) obtain miraculous power, divine eye and divine ear, they remember their former births, and know the highest wisdom.”

17. ‘Then Buddha Amitayus preaches: “This prayer was mine formerly, so that beings having in any way whatever heard my name should for ever go to my country.

18. ‘”And this my excellent prayer has been fulfilled, and beings having quickly come here from many worlds into my presence, never return from here, not even for one birth.”

19. ‘If a Bodhisattva wishes here that his country should be such as this, and that he also should deliver many beings, through his name, through his preaching, and through his sight,

20. ‘Let him quickly and with speed go to the world Sukhavati, and having gone near Amitaprabha, let him worship a thousand kotis of Buddhas.

21. ‘Having worshipped many kotis of Buddhas, and having gone to many countries by means of their miraculous power, and having performed adoration in the presence of the Sugatas, they will go to Sukhavati with devotion.

#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.