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                                THE SMALLER 
   
                          SUKHAVATIVYUHA  SUTRA  
   
                                     or
   
                             The Sutra on the 
   
                              Buddha Amitayus
   
             Translated from the Chinese Version of Kumarajiva
                                      
by Nishu Utsuki

   The Educational Department of the West Hongwanji 
   
   Kyoto, Japan: 1924
   
   Public Domain.
   
   This electronic version may be copied and distributed free and without
   permission provided that it is not altered in any way.
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   1. Thus have I heard: Once the Buddha was dwelling in the
   Anathapindada Garden of Jetavana in the country of Shravasti together
   with a large company of Bhikshus of twelve hundred and fifty members.
   They were all great Arhats, well known among people, (to wit):
   Shariputra the elder, Mahamaudgalyayana, Mahakashyapa, Mahakatyayana,
   Mahakaushthila, Revata, Shuddhipanthaka, Nanda, Ananda, Rahula,
   Gavampati, Pindola-Bharadvaja, Kalodayin, Mahakapphina, Vakkula,
   Aniruddha, etc., all great Shravakas [lit. disciples]; and with many
   Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, (such as), Manjushri, Prince of the Lord of
   Truth, Bodhisattva Ajita, Bodhisattva Gandhahastin, Bodhisattva
   Nityodyukta, etc., all great Bodhisattvas; and also with a large
   company of innumerable devas, (such as) Shakrodevanam-Indra, etc. 
   
   2. Then the Buddha addressed Shariputra, the elder, and said, 'Beyond
   a hundred thousand kotis of Buddha-lands westwards from here, there is
   a world named Sukhavati. In that world there is a Buddha, Amita(-ayus)
   by name, now dwelling and preaching the law. Shariputra, why is that
   country named Sukhavati? The living beings in that country have no
   pains, but receive pleasures only. Therefore, it is called Sukhavati.
   
   3. 'Again, Shariputra, in the land Sukhavati (there are) seven rows of
   balustrades, seven rows of fine nets, and seven rows of arrayed trees;
   they are all of four gems and surround and enclose (the land). For
   this reason the land is called Sukhavati.
   
   4, 'Again, Shariputra, in the land Sukhavati there are lakes of the
   seven gems, in which is filled water with the eight meritorious
   qualities. The lake-bases are strewn with golden sand, and the stairs
   of the four sides are made of gold, silver, beryl, and crystal. On
   land there are stories and galleries adorned with gold, silver, beryl,
   crystal, white coral, red pearl and diamond [lit. agate]. The
   lotus-flowers in the lakes, large as chariot wheels, are blue-colored
   with blue splendor, yellow-colored with yellow splendor, red-colored
   with red splendor, white-colored with white splendor, and (they are
   all) the most exquisite and purely fragrant. Shariputra, the land
   Sukhavati is arrayed with such good qualities and adornments.
   
   5. 'Again, Shariputra, in that Buddha-land there are heavenly musical
   instruments always played on; gold is spread on the ground; and six
   times every day and night it showers Mandarava blossoms. Usually in
   the serene morning lit. dawn] all of those who live in that land fill
   their plates with those wonderful blossoms, and (go to) make offering
   to a hundred thousand kotis of Buddhas of other regions; and at the
   time of the meal they come back to their own country, and take their
   meal and have a walk. Shariputra, the Sukhavati land is arrayed with
   such good qualities and adornments.
   
   6. 'And again, Shariputra, in that country there are always various
   wonderful birds of different colors, -- swan, peacock, parrot, Chari,
   Kalavinka and the bird of double-heads [lit. double-lives]. Six times
   every day and night all those birds sing in melodious tune, and that
   tune proclaims the Five Virtues [lit. organs], the Five powers, the
   Seven Bodhi-paths, the Eight Noble Truths, and other laws of the kind.
   The living beings in that land, having heard that singing, all invoke
   the Buddha, invoke the Dharma, and invoke the Sangha. Shariputra, you
   should not think that these birds are in fact born as punishment for
   sin. What is the reason? (Because), in that Buddha-land there exist
   not the Three Evil Realms. Shariputra, in that Buddha-land there are
   not (to be heard) even the names of the Three Evil Realms. How could
   there be the realms themselves! All those birds are what Buddha
   Amitayus miraculously created with the desire to let them spread the
   voice of the Law. Shariputra, (when) in that Buddha-land a gentle
   breeze happens to blow, the precious trees in rows and the begemmed
   nets emit a delicate enrapturing tune, and it is just as if a hundred
   thousand musical instruments played at the same time. Everybody who
   hears that music naturally conceives the thought to invoke the Buddha,
   to invoke the Dharma, and to invoke the Sangha. Shariputra, that
   Buddha-land is arrayed with such good qualities and adornments.
   
   7. 'Shariputra, what do you think in your mind, for what reason that
   Buddha is called Amita(-abha)? Shariputra, the light of that Buddha is
   boundless and shining without impediments all over the countries of
   the ten quarters. Therefore he is called Amita(-abha). Again,
   Shariputra, the life of that Buddha and of his people is endless and
   boundless in Asamkhya-kalpas, so he is named Amita(-ayus). Shariputra,
   since Buddha Amitayus attained Buddhahood, (it has passed) now ten
   Kalpas. Again, Shariputra, that Buddha has numerous Shravakas or
   disciples, who are all Arhats and whose number cannot be known by
   (ordinary) calculation. (The number of) Bodhisattvas (cannot be known)
   also. Shariputra, that Buddha-land is arrayed with such good qualities
   and adornments.
   
   8. 'Again, Shariputra, the beings born in the land Sukhavati are all
   Avinivartaniya. Among them is a multitude of beings bound to one birth
   only; and their number, being extremely large, cannot be expressed by
   (ordinary) calculation. Only can it be mentioned in boundless
   Asamkhya-kalpas. Shariputra, the sentient beings who hear (this
   account) ought to put up their prayer that they may be born into that
   country; for they will be able to be in the same place together with
   those noble personages. Shariputra, by means of small good works [lit.
   roots] or virtues no one can be born in that country.
   
   9. 'Shariputra, if there be a good man or a good woman, who, on
   hearing of Buddha Amitayus, keeps his name (in mind) with thoughts
   undisturbed for one day, two days, three days, four days, five days,
   six days, or seven days, that person, when about to die, (will see)
   Amitayus Buddha accompanied by his holy host appear before him; and
   immediately after his death, he with his mind undisturbed can be born
   into the Sukhavati land of Buddha Amitayus. Shariputra, as I witness
   this benefit, I say these words; Every being who listens to this
   preaching ought to offer up prayer with the desire to be born into
   that country.
   
   10. 'Shariputra, as I now glorify the inconceivable excellences of
   Amitayus Buddha, there are also in the Eastern quarters Buddha
   Akshobhya, Buddha Merudhvaja, Buddha Mahameru, Buddha Meruprabhasa,
   Buddha Manjughosha, and Buddhas as many as the sands of the River
   Ganga, each of whom, in his own country stretching out his long broad
   tongue that covers three thousand greater worlds completely, proclaims
   these truthful words; All you sentient beings believe in this Sutra,
   which is approved and protected by all the Buddhas, and in which are
   glorified the inconceivable excellences (of Buddha Amitayus).
   
   11. 'Shariputra, in the Southern worlds there are Buddha
   Candrasuryapradipa, Buddha Yacahprabha, Buddha Maharciskandha, Buddha
   Merupradipa, Buddha Anantavirya, and Buddhas as many as the sands of
   the River Ganga, each of whom, in his own country stretching out his
   long broad tongue that covers three thousand greater worlds
   completely, proclaims these truthful words: All you sentient beings
   believe in this Sutra, which is approved and protected by all the
   Buddhas, and in which are glorified the inconceivable excellences (of
   Buddha Amitayus).
   
   12. 'Shariputra, in the Western worlds there are Buddha Amitayus,
   Buddha Amitalakshana, Buddha Amitadhvaja, Buddha Mahaprabha, Buddha
   Mahanirbhasa, Buddha Ratnala kshana, Buddha Shuddharashmiprabha, and
   Buddhas as many as the sands of the River Ganga, each of whom, in his
   own country stretching out his long broad tongue that covers three
   thousand greater worlds completely, proclaims these truthful words:
   All you sentient beings believe in this Sutra, which is approved and
   protected by all the Buddhas, and in which are glorified the
   inconceivable excellences (of Buddha Amitayus).
   
   13. 'Shariputra, in the Northern worlds there are Buddha Arciskandha,
   Buddha Vaishvanaranirghosha, Buddha Dushpradharsha, Buddha
   Adityasambhava, Buddha Jaliniprabha, and Buddhas as many as the sands
   of the River Ganga, each of whom, in his own country stretching out
   his long broad tongue that covers three thousand greater worlds
   completely, proclaims these truthful words: All you sentient beings
   believe in this Sutra, which is approved and protected by all the
   Buddhas, and in which are glorified the inconceivable excellences (of
   Buddha Amitayus).
   
   14. 'Shariputra, in the Nadir worlds there are Buddha Simha, Buddha
   Yacas, Buddha Yashaprabhava, Buddha Dharma, Buddha Dharmadhvaja,
   Buddha Dharmadhara, and Buddhas as many as the sands of the River
   Ganga, each of whom, in his own country stretching out his long broad
   tongue that covers three thousand greater worlds completely, proclaims
   these truthful words: All you sentient beings believe in this Sutra,
   which is approved and protected by all the Buddhas, and in which are
   glorified the inconceivable excellences (of Buddha Amitayus).
   
   15. 'Shariputra, in the Zenith worlds there are Buddha Brahmaghosha,
   Buddha Nakshatraraja, Buddha Gandhottama, Buddha Gandhaprabhasa,
   Buddha Maharciskandha, Buddha Ratnakusumasampushpitagatra, Buddha
   Salendraraja, Buddha Ratnotpalashri, Buddha Sarvarthadarsha, Buddha
   Sumerukalpa, and Buddhas as many as the sands of the River Ganges^1,
   each of whom, in his own country stretching out his long broad tongue
   that covers three thousand greater worlds completely, proclaims these
   truthful words: All you sentient beings believe in this Sutra, which
   is approved and protected by all the Buddhas, and in which are
   glorified the inconceivable excellences (of Buddha Amitayus).
   
   16. 'Shariputra, what do you think in your mind, why it is called the
   Sutra approved and protected by all the Buddhas? Shariputra, if there
   be a good man or a good woman who listens to those Buddhas' invocation
   of the name (of Buddha Amitayus) and the name of this Sutra, that good
   man or woman will be protected by all the Buddhas and never fail to
   attain Anuttara-samyaksambodhi. For this reason, Shariputra, all of
   you should believe in my words and in what all the Buddhas proclaim.
   Shariputra, if there are men who have already made, are now making, or
   shall make, prayer with the desire to be born in the land of Buddha
   Amitayus, they never fail to attain Anuttara-samyaksambodhi, and have
   been born, are now being born, or shall be born in that country.
   Therefore, Shariputra, a good man or good woman who has the faith
   ought to offer up prayers to be born in that land.
   
   17. 'Shariputra, as I am now praising the inconceivable excellences of
   those Buddhas, so all those Buddhas are magnifying the inconceivable
   excellences of myself, saying these words: Shakyamuni, the Buddha, has
   successfully achieved a rare thing of extreme difficulty; he has
   attained Anuttara-samyaksambodhi in the Saha world in the evil period
   of five corruptions -- Corruption of Kalpa, Corruption of Belief,
   Corruption of Passions, Corruption of Living Beings, and Corruption of
   Life; and for the sake of all the sentient beings he is preaching the
   Law which is not easy to accept. Shariputra, you must see that in the
   midst of this evil world of five corruptions I have achieved this
   difficult thing of attaining Anuttara-samyaksambodhi, and for the
   benefit of all the beings I am preaching the Law which is difficult to
   be accepted. This is how it is esteemed as (a thing of) extreme
   difficulty.'
   
   The Buddha having preached this Sutra, Shariputra and Bhikshus, and
   Devas, men, Asuras, etc., of all the worlds, who have listened to the
   Buddha's preaching, believed and accepted with joy, made worship, and
   went away.
   
                       Buddhabhashita-Amitayuh-Sutra
                                      
   Note:
   
   ^1 original reads "Ganga".
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