Throughout various Buddhist sutras and commentaries, the context and explication of the Four Universal Vows are recorded in different manners:
(1) The Sixth Patriarch Platform Sutra:
i. Sentient beings are infinite, I vow to liberate them.
ii. Afflictions are infinite, I vow to eradicate them.
iii. Dharmas are inexhaustiable, I vow to study them.
iv. Buddhahood is supreme, I vow to obtain it.
(2) Sutra on the Practice of Prajnaparamita - Chapter 28:
i. THose who have not crossed to the other shore, I shall deliver them.
ii. THose who have not ended their suffering, I shall help them end it
iii. THose who have fear, I shall assuage them.
iv. Those who have not attained nirvana, I shall help them attain it.
(3) Lotus Sutra - Chapter 5:
i. THose who have not crossed over, I will enable them to cross.
ii. THose who have not been freed, I will free them.
iii. THose who are not at peace, I will put them at peace.
iv. Those who are not in nirvana, I will enable them to enter nirvana.
(4) Medallion Sutra on the Bodhisattva Path:
(5) The Collection of Dharanis:
Luke wrote:I have read that the Four Great Vows are recited not only by Zen Buddhists, but by other types of Mahayana Buddhists, as well (according to the article below, Nichiren and Tendai).
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Are the Four Great Vows unique to Japanese Buddhism? Or do other Mahayana Buddhists schools, such as Chan, Pure Land, Seon, etc. also recite them?
Also, does anyone know the origin of the Four Great Vows? Do they appear in any Mahayana sutras?
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