The 48 Great Vows of Buddha Amitabha

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The 48 Great Vows of Buddha Amitabha

Postby phantom59 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:33 pm

When Buddha Amitabha was still a Bodhisattva, by the name of Dharmakara, He had
made the following 48 Bodhisattva vows:

1) If, when I attain Buddhahood, should there be in my land a hell, a realm of
hungry spirits or a realm of animals, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

2) If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should after death
fall again into the three evil realms, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

3) If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not all be
the colour of pure gold, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

4) If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not all be
of one appearance, and should there be any difference in beauty, may I not
attain perfect Enlightenment.

5) If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not remember
all their previous lives, not knowing at least the events which occurred during
the previous hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of kalpas, may I not attain
perfect Enlightenment.

6) If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not possess
the divine eye of seeing at least a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of
Buddha-lands, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

7) If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not possess
the divine ear of hearing the teachings of at least a hundred thousand kotis of
nayutas of Buddhas and should not remember all of them, may I not attain perfect
Enlightenment.

If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not possess
the faculty of knowing the thoughts of others, even those of all sentient beings
living in a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha-lands, may I not attain
perfect Enlightenment.

9) If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not possess
the supernatural power of travelling anywhere in one instant, even beyond a
hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha-lands, may I not attain perfect
Enlightenment.

10) If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should give rise
to thoughts of self-attachment, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

11) If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not dwell
in the Definitely Assured State and unfailingly reach Nirvana, may I not attain
perfect Enlightenment.

12) If, when I attain Buddhahood, my light should be limited, unable to
illuminate even a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha-lands, may I not
attain perfect Enlightenment.

13) If, when I attain Buddhahood, my life-span should be limited, even to the
extent of a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of kalpas, may I not attain
perfect Enlightenment.

14) If, when I attain Buddhahood, the number of the shravakas in my land could
be known, even if all the beings and pratyekabuddhas living in this universe of
a thousand million worlds should count them during a hundred thousand kalpas,
may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

15) If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should have
limited life-spans, except when they wish to shorten them in accordance with
their previous vows, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

16) If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should even hear
of any wrongdoing, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

17) If, when I attain Buddhahood, innumerable Buddhas in the land of the ten
directions should not all praise and glorify my Name, may I not attain perfect
Enlightenment.

18) If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten
directions who sincerely and joyfully entrust themselves to me, aspire to be
born in my land, and call my Name even ten times, should not be born there, may
I not attain perfect Enlightenment. Excluded, however, are those who commit the
five gravest offences and abuse the right Dharma.

19) If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten
directions, who awaken aspiration for Enlightenment, do various meritorious
deeds and sincerely desire to be born in my land, should not, at their death,
see me appear before them surrounded by a multitude of sages, may I not attain
perfect Enlightenment.

20) If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten
directions who, having heard my Name, concentrate their thoughts on my land, do
various meritorious deeds and sincerely transfer their merits towards my land
with a desire to be born there, should not eventually fulfil their aspiration,
may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

21) If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not all be
endowed with the thirty-two physical characteristics of a Great Man, may I not
attain perfect Enlightenment.

22) If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the Buddha-lands of other
directions who visit my land should not ultimately and unfailingly reach the
Stage of Becoming a Buddha after One More Life, may I not attain perfect
Enlightenment. Excepted are those who wish to teach and guide sentient beings in
accordance with their original vows. For they wear the armour of great vows,
accumulate merits, deliver all beings from birth-and-death, visit Buddha-lands
to perform the bodhisattva practices, make offerings to Buddhas, Tathagatas,
throughout the ten directions, enlighten uncountable sentient beings as numerous
as the sands of the River Ganges, and establish them in the highest, perfect
Enlightenment. Such bodhisattvas transcend the course of practice of the
ordinary bodhisattva stages and actually cultivate the virtues of Samantabhadra.

23) If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land, who would make
offerings to Buddhas through my divine power, should not be able to reach
immeasurable and innumerable kotis of nayutas of Buddha-lands in the short time
it takes to eat a meal, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.


24) If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land should not be able, as
they wish, to perform meritorious acts of worshipping the Buddhas with the
offerings of their choice, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

25) If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land should not be able to
expound the Dharma with the all-knowing wisdom, may I not attain perfect
Enlightenment.

26) If, when I attain Buddhahood, there should be any bodhisattva in my land not
endowed with the body of the Vajra-god Narayana, may I not attain perfect
Enlightenment.

27) If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings should be able, even with the
divine eye, to distinguish by name and calculate by number all the myriads of
manifestations provided for the humans and devas in my land, which are glorious
and resplendent and have exquisite details beyond description, may I not attain
perfect Enlightenment.

28) If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land, even those with
little store of merit, should not be able to see the Bodhi-tree which has
countless colours and is four million li in height, may I not attain perfect
Enlightenment.

29) If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land should not acquire
eloquence and wisdom in upholding sutras and reciting and expounding them, may I
not attain perfect Enlightenment.

30) If, when I attain Buddhahood, the wisdom and eloquence of bodhisattvas in my
land should be limited, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

31) If, when I attain Buddhahood, my land should not be resplendent, revealing
in its light all the immeasurable, innumerable and inconceivable Buddha-lands,
like images reflected in a clear mirror, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

32) If, when I attain Buddhahood, all the myriads of manifestations in my land,
from the ground to the sky, such as palaces, pavilions, ponds, streams and
trees, should not be composed both of countless treasures, which surpass in
supreme excellence anything in the worlds of humans and devas, and of a hundred
thousand kinds of aromatic wood, whose fragrance pervades all the worlds of the
ten directions, causing all bodhisattvas who sense it to perform Buddhist
practices, then may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

33) If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the immeasurable and
inconceivable Buddha-lands of the ten directions, who have been touched by my
light, should not feel peace and happiness in their bodies and minds surpassing
those of humans and devas, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

34) If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the immeasurable and
inconceivable Buddha-lands of the ten directions, who have heard my Name, should
not gain the bodhisattva's insight into the non-arising of all dharmas and
should not acquire various profound dharanis, may I not attain perfect
Enlightenment.

35) If, when I attain Buddhahood, women in the immeasurable and inconceivable
Buddha-lands of the ten directions who, having heard my Name, rejoice in faith,
awaken aspiration for Enlightenment and wish to renounce womanhood, should after
death be reborn again as women, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

36) If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the immeasurable and
inconceivable Buddha-lands of the ten directions, who have heard my Name, should
not, after the end of their lives, always perform sacred practices until they
reach Buddhahood, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

37) If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in the immeasurable and
inconceivable Buddha-lands of the ten directions, who, having heard my Name,
prostrate themselves on the ground to revere and worship me, rejoice in faith,
and perform the bodhisattva practices, should not be respected by all devas and
people of the world, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

38) If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not obtain
clothing, as soon as such a desire arises in their minds, and if the fine robes
as prescribed and praised by the Buddhas should not be spontaneously provided
for them to wear, and if these clothes should need sewing, bleaching, dyeing or
washing, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

39) If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not enjoy
happiness and pleasure comparable to that of a monk who has exhausted all the
passions, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

40) If, when I attain Buddhahood, the bodhisattvas in my land, who wish to see
the immeasurable glorious Buddha-lands of the ten directions, should not be able
to view all of them reflected in the jewelled trees, just as one sees one's face
reflected in a clear mirror, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

41) If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other
directions who hear my Name should, at any time before becoming Buddhas, have
impaired, inferior or incomplete sense organs, may I not attain perfect
Enlightenment.

42) If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other
directions who hear my Name should not all attain the samadhi called 'pure
emancipation' and, while dwelling therein, without losing concentration, should
not be able to make offerings in one instant to immeasurable and inconceivable
Buddhas, World-Honoured Ones, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

43) If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other
directions who hear my Name should not after death be reborn into noble
families, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

44) If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other
directions who hear my Name should not rejoice so greatly as to dance and
perform the bodhisattva practices and should not acquire stores of merit, may I
not attain perfect Enlightenment.

45) If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other
directions who hear my Name should not all attain the samadhi called 'universal
equality' and, while dwelling therein, should not always be able to see all the
immeasurable and inconceivable Tathagatas until those bodhisattvas, too, become
Buddhas, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

46) If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land should not be able to
hear spontaneously whatever teachings they may wish, may I not attain perfect
Enlightenment.

47) If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other
directions who hear my Name should not instantly reach the Stage of
Non-retrogression, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

48) If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other
directions who hear my Name should not instantly gain the first, second and
third insights into the nature of dharmas and firmly abide in the truths
realised by all the Buddhas, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

Having made His Bodhisattva vows, He practised the Bodhisattva path for many
lives until He attained Buddhahood.

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