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The Amida Sutra

[1] Thus I have heard: At one time in the Garden of Jeta and Anathapindada, near the city of Shravasti, the Buddha dwelt together with twelve hundred and fifty monks, all Arhats, well known and respected by the assembly.  There was the Elder Shariputra, Mahamaudgalyayana, Mahakashyapa, Mahakatyayana, Mahakaushthila, Revata, Shuddhipanthaka, Nanda, Ananda, Rahula, Gavampati, Pindola-Bharadvaja, Kalodayin, Mahakaphina, Vakkula, Aniruddha and other great disciples.
 
Also present were the Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas, including the Dharma Prince Manjushri, Ajita Bodhisattva, and the Bodhisattvas Never Resting and Constant Endeavor. Also present were innumerable beings from the heavenly realms, among them the god-king Shakra.

 

[2] Then Buddha spoke to Elder Shariputra: 'West beyond a billion worlds there is a Buddha-land known as Utmost Happiness. There Amida Buddha dwells and teaches the Dharma. Why is that land called Utmost Happiness? The beings of that land are free from all kinds of suffering while enjoying every kind of happiness. Therefore, it is called Utmost Happiness.
 
[3] 'Seven rows of terraces, seven layers of fine curtains, and seven rows of [jeweled] trees all formed of the four treasures protect and enclose the land. Therefore, it is called Utmost Happiness.
 
[4] There lakes of seven jewels are filled with water of eight virtues. The lake beds are covered over with golden sand, and stairs of gold and silver, beryl and crystal rise up from the each of the four sides of the lakes. Above there are temples and pagodas all made of gold, beryl, agate, and red pearl. In the lakes, bloom lotuses as large as chariot wheels: blue ones shining with blue light, yellow ones with yellow light, red ones with red light, and white ones with white light, each emitting a pure and sublime fragrance.
 
Shariputra, that Buddha-land is complete with these virtues and adornments.
 
[5] 'Again, Shariputra, in that Buddha-land wonderful sounds fill the air and the ground is made of gold. Six times during the day and night Mandarava flowers fall. As day breaks in that fair land, inhabitants of that world gather the precious flowers and go to make offerings to innumerable Buddhas; before midday they return to partake of the daily meal and circumambulate [the great assembly].

 

Shariputra, that Buddha-land is complete with these virtues and adornments.
 
[6] 'And again, Shariputra, in that land there are always various kinds of wonderful birds- white cranes, peacocks, parrots, sharis, kalavinkas and marvelous two headed birds. Six times during the day and night, these birds sing of one accord, proclaiming the Five Virtues, the Five Spiritual Powers, the Seven Parts of Bodhi, and the Eightfold Noble Path. All beings who hear these sounds are naturally mindful of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
 
Shariputra, do not think that these birds are born as such due to karmic recompense. In that Buddha-land the evil realms are not found. Even their names are unknown. Amida Buddha fashioned all these wonderful birds that they might proclaim the teachings.
 
Shariputra, in that Buddha-land when the gentle breezes blow, the jeweled trees and curtains emit pure and sublime sounds. Again all who hear these sounds are naturally mindful of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
 
Shariputra, that Buddha-land is complete with these virtues and adornments.
 
[7] 'Why do you, Shariputra, think that Amida Buddha is thus named?

 
That Buddha's light shines throughout the ten directions without obstructions. Thus he is called Amida Buddha.

Again, that Buddha's lifespan is likewise immeasurable as is that of his people. Thus he is called Amida Buddha.
 
Ten kalpas have passed since Amida Buddha attained awakening.
 
Amida Buddha's assembly is filled with great disciples, all Arhats, well respected, immeasurable in number. Likewise numberless are the Bodhisattvas in his land.
 
Shariputra, that Buddha-land is complete with these virtues and adornments.
 
[8] 'The beings born in Utmost Happiness, are all irreversible from Bodhi. Many among them will attain awakening after only one more birth; likewise, their great number is exceedingly many.
 
Shariputra, all beings who hear of Amida Buddha should wish to be born in that land together with those beings of incomparable virtue.
 
Shariputra, by means of small good roots one cannot be born in Utmost Happiness.
 
[9] 'Shariputra, if there is a good man or good woman who hears of Amida Buddha and holds his name with one mind without distraction from one day to seven days, when the time of death draws near, Amida Buddha and his [ocean-wide] great assembly will appear and with a mind undisturbed, birth in the Buddha-land of Utmost Happiness will be attained. Seeing this great benefit, I speak these words: All those who hear this sutra should wish to born in that Buddha-land.
 
[10] Even as I now praise the inconceivable merit and virtue of Amida Buddha, in the Eastern direction there are Ak-sho-bhya Buddha, Polar Mountain Mark Buddha, Great Polar Mountain Buddha, Polar Mountain Light Buddha, Most Beautiful Voice Buddha, and other Buddhas vast in numbers as grains of Ganges River sand; each in their own land proclaims the dharma throughout three thousand greater world-systems saying: All you who hear should believe this Sutra held in mind and protected by all Buddhas.
 
[11] 'In the Southern direction there are Sun-Moon Lamp Buddha, Light of Great Renown Buddha, Great Flaming Shoulders Buddha, Polar Mountain Lamp Buddha, Immeasurable Strength Buddha and other Buddhas vast in numbers as grains of Ganges River sand; each in their own land proclaims the dharma throughout three thousand greater world-systems saying: All you who hear should believe this Sutra held in mind and protected by all Buddhas.
 
[12] 'In the Western direction there are Amida Buddha, Infinite Marks Buddha, Infinite Banners Buddha, Supreme Light Buddha , Supreme Illumination Buddha, Treasure Banner Buddha, Pure Light Buddha and other Buddhas vast in numbers as grains of Ganges River sand; each in their own land proclaims the dharma throughout three thousand greater world-systems saying: All you who hear should believe this Sutra held in mind and protected by all Buddhas.
 
[13] 'In the Northern direction there are Flaming Shoulders Buddha, World Sound Buddha, Beyond Injury Buddha, Sun-Birth Buddha, Bright-Net Buddha, and other Buddhas vast in numbers as grains of Ganges River sand; each in their own land proclaims the dharma throughout three thousand greater world-systems saying: All you who hear should believe this Sutra held in mind and protected by all Buddhas.
 
[14] 'Shariputra, in the nadir there are Lion Buddha, Good Repute Buddha, Light of Good Repute Buddha, Dharma Buddha, Dharma Banner Buddha, Dharma Upholding Buddha, and other Buddhas vast in numbers as grains of Ganges River sand; each in their own land proclaims the dharma throughout three thousand greater world-systems saying: All you who hear should believe this Sutra held in mind and protected by all Buddhas.
 
[15] 'Shariputra, in the zenith there are Brahma Sound Buddha, Auspicious Star King Buddha, Heavenly Fragrance Buddha, Fragrant Light King Buddha, Great Flaming Shoulders Buddha, Flower Garland Gem Buddha, Sala Tree King Buddha, Virtuous Jeweled Flower Buddha, Understands All Marks Buddha, Polar Mountain Mark Buddha and other Buddhas vast in numbers as grains of Ganges River sand; each in their own land proclaims the dharma throughout three thousand greater world-systems saying: All you who hear should believe this Sutra held in mind and protected by all Buddhas.'

 

[16] 'Why do you, Shariputra, think this Dharma is called the Sutra held in mind and protected by all the Buddhas? Good men or good women who hear Amida Buddha's name and the names of these Buddhas will thus be held in mind and protected by these Buddhas. They will without fail obtain the most fulfilled and awakened mind.

 

Thus, Shariputra, having faith, a good man or good woman should wish to be born in that Buddha-land. You should believe these true and sincere words and the words of all the Buddhas. Shariputra, those who have wished, are wishing, or shall wish to be born in that Buddha-land, shall all attain, without fail, the most fulfilled and awakened mind and have been born in that land, are being born in that land, or shall be born in that land.

 
[17] 'Shariputra, as I now praise the merit and virtue of those Buddhas, so they all praise my merit and virtue, saying: 'Shakyamuni has attained a difficult, rarely seen and precious thing- In a time of great evil, in the turbid Saha world of the five corruptions for the sake of all beings he has become Buddha and proclaims the Dharma which is hard to believe.'

 

After Buddha had spoken, Shariputra, the other bhiksus, beings from the heavenly realms, the human realm and others, having heard, accepted the teaching and rejoiced; placing their palms together paying homage, they withdrew.