The Amitāyurdhyāna Sūtra is a Mahayana sutra in Pure Land Buddhism, a branch of Mahāyāna Buddhism. It is one of the three principle Pure Land sutras along with the Infinite Life Sutra and the Amitabha Sutra. Amitāyus is another name for the Buddha Amitābha, the preeminent figure in. The Buddha tells the forty-eight vows of Dharmakara, who has become Amitayus Buddha, and describes His Pure Land of Peace and Bliss. He encourages all. The Tathagata, the Blessed One, the fully Awakened Buddha called [Amitayus], Limitless Life and Primordial Wisdom, the Utterly True Victor of.
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Thus have I heard: At one time the Buddha dwelt in Rajagriha, on Vulture Peak, with a large assembly of Bhikkhus and with thirty-two thousand Bodhisattvas, with Manjushri the Dharma-Prince at the head of the assembly. At that time, in the great city of Rajagriha there was a prince, the heir-apparent, named Ajatasatru.
He listened to the wicked counsel of Devadatta and other friends and forcibly arrested Bimbisara his father, the king, and shut him up by himself in a room with seven walls, proclaiming to all the courtiers that no one should approach the king.
Amitayus Long Life Sutra – Noble Silence
The chief consort of the king, Vaidehi by name, was true and faithful to her lord, amitajus king. She supported him in this way: As she stole in and made an offering to him, he was able to eat the flour and to drink the juice of grapes. Then he called for water and rinsed his mouth. That done, the king stretched forth his folded hands towards Vulture Peak and duly and respectfully made obeisance to the World-Honored One, who at that time was living there.
And he uttered the following prayer: Day after day he visited the king. Thus a period of three weeks passed by. The king showed in his expression ustra he was happy and contented when he had an opportunity of hearing the Dharma as well as of enjoying the honey and flour.
At that time, Ajatasatru asked the warder of the gate whether his father was yet alive. On this, the amitagus answered him: It is impossible, king, to prevent them coming. When the prince heard this answer his indignation arose against his mother: Wicked people are those Sramanas, and it is their art of spells causing illusion and delusion that delayed the death of that wicked king for so many days.
At that moment, there intervened a minister named Chandraprabha, who was possessed of great wisdom and intelligence, and Jiva a famous physician. They saluted the prince and remonstrated with him, saying: Yet never have we heard of a man killing his mother, though he be void of virtue.
Now, if you, king, should dare to commit such a deadly sin, you would bring a stain upon the blood of the Kshatriyas, the kingly race. We cannot even bear to hear of it. You are indeed amjtayus Chandala, the lowest race; we will not stay here with you. After this, the two great ministers withdrew stepping backward, each with his hand placed on his sword.
Ajatasatru was then frightened and greatly afraid of them, and asked Jiva, ‘Will you not be my friend? He finally ordered the officers of the inner chambers to put the queen in a hidden palace and not to allow her to come out again. When Vaidehi was thus locked up in confinement she became afflicted by sorrow and distress. She began to do homage to Buddha from afar, looking towards the Vulture Peak.
Amitayus Long Life Sutra
She uttered the following words: In former times you have constantly sent Ananda to me for enquiry and consolation. I am now in sorrow and grief. You, World-Honored One, are majestic and exalted; in no way shall I be able to see thee. Will thou, I pray you, command Mahamaudgalyayana and your honoured disciple, Ananda, to come and have an interview with me?
Before she raised her head from doing homage to the distant Buddha, the World-Honored One knew what Vaidehi was wishing in her mind, though he was on the Vulture Peak. Therefore, he instantly ordered Mahamaudgalyayana and Ananda to go to her through the sky. Buddha himself disappeared from that mountain and appeared in the royal palace.
When the queen raised her head as she finished homage to Buddha, she saw before her the World-Honored Buddha Shakyamuni, whose body was purple gold in color, sitting on a lotus-flower which consists of a hundred jewels, with Mahamaudgalyayana attending on his left, and with Ananda on his right. Sakra IndraBrahman, and other gods that protect the world were seen in the midst of the sky, everywhere showering heavenly flowers with which they made offerings to Buddha in their obeisance.
Vaidehi, at the sight of Buddha the World-Honored One, took off her garlands and prostrated herself on the ground, crying, sobbing, and speaking to Buddha: And again, Exalted One, from what cause and circumstances have you such an affinity by blood and religion with Devadatta Buddha’s wicked cousin and once his disciple? World-Honored One, may you preach to me in detail of all the places where there is no sorrow or trouble, and where I ought to go to be born anew.
I am not satisfied with this world of depravities, with Jambudvipa, which is full of hells, full of hungry spirits, and of the brute creatures. In this world of depravities, there are many assemblies of the wicked. May I not hear, I pray, the voice of the wicked in the future and may I not see any wicked person. I pray for this only that the Sun-like Buddha may instruct me how to meditate on a world wherein all actions are pure.
amitayud It extended to all the innumerable worlds of the ten quarters. On its return the ray rested on the top of the Buddha’s head and transformed itself into a amitayud pillar just like Mount Sumeru, wherein the pure and admirable countries of the Buddhas in the ten quarters appeared simultaneously illuminated. One was a country consisting of seven jewels, another was a country all full of lotus-flowers; one was like the palace of Mahesvara Deva god Sivaanother was like a mirror of crystal, with the countries in the ten quarters reflected therein.
There were innumerable countries like these, resplendent, gorgeous, and delightful to look upon. All were meant for Vaidehi to see and choose from. Thereupon Vaidehi again spoke to Buddha: Now I simply pray you, World-Honored One, to teach me how to concentrate my thought so as to obtain a right vision of that country.
Thereupon the World-Honored One gently smiled upon her, and rays of five colors issued forth out of xutra mouth, each ray shining as amigayus as the head of king Bimbisara.
At that moment, the mental vision of that exalted king was perfectly clear though he was shut up in lonely retirement, and he could see the World-Honored One from afar. As he paid homage with his head and face, he naturally increased and advanced in wisdom, whereby he attained to the fruition of an Anagamin, the third of the four grades to Nirvana.
Then the World-Honored One said: You should apply your mind entirely to close meditation upon those who have already perfected the pure actions necessary for that Buddha country. Those who wish to be born in that country of Buddha have to cultivate a threefold goodness. First, they should act filially towards their parents and support them; serve and respect their teachers and elders; be of compassionate mind, abstain from doing any injury, and cultivate the ten virtuous actions”.
Second, they should take and observe the vow of seeking refuge with the Three jewels, fulfill all moral precepts, and not lower their dignity or neglect any ceremonial observance. Third, they should give their whole mind to the attainment of perfect wisdom, deeply believe in the principle of cause and effect, study and recite the Mahayana doctrine, and persuade and encourage others who pursue the same course as themselves.
These three classes of actions are the effective cause of the pure actions taught by all the Buddhas of the past, present, and future. The Buddha then addressed Ananda as well as Vaidehi: Ponder carefully on what you hear! I, Tathagata, now declare the pure actions needful for Birth in that Buddha country, for the sake of all beings hereafter that are subject to the misery inflicted by the enemy of the passions.
Appropriate are the questions which you have asked!
Ananda, be sure to remember these words of mine, the Buddha, and repeat them openly to many assemblies. I, Tathagata, now teach Vaidehi and also all beings hereafter in order that they may meditate on the World of Highest Happiness, Sukhavati, in the western quarter.
All the Buddhas, Tathagatas have various means at their disposal and can therefore afford you an opportunity of seeing that Buddha aitayus. You will ask how that perception is to be formed. I will explain it now. All beings, if not blind from birth, are uniformly possessed of sight, and they all see the setting sun.
You should sit down properly, looking in the western direction, and prepare your thought for a close meditation on sutar sun; cause your mind to be firmly fixed on it so as to have an unwavering perception by the exclusive application of your mind, and gaze upon it in particular when it is about to set and amktayus like a suspended drum. As you see the ice shining and transparent, you should imagine the appearance of lapis lazuli.
Beneath this ground of lapis lazuli there will sutrq seen a golden banner with the seven jewels, diamonds and the rest, supporting the ground. It extends to the eight points of the compass, and thus the eight corners of the ground are perfectly filled up. Every side of the eight quarters consists of a hundred jewels, every jewel has a sufra rays, and every ray has eighty-four thousand colors which, when reflected in the ground of lapis lazuli, look like a thousand million suns, and.
Over the surface of that ground of lapis lazuli there are stretched golden ropes intertwined crosswise; divisions are made by means of strings of seven jewels with every part clear and distinct. Lodged high up in the open sky these rays form a tower of amitaayus, whose storeys and galleries are ten millions in number and built of a hundred jewels.
Both sides of the tower have each a hundred million flowery banners furnished and decked with numberless musical instruments. Eight kinds of cool breezes proceed from the brilliant rays. When those musical instruments are played, they emit the sounds “suffering,” “non-existence,” “impermanence,” and “non-self “; such is the perception of the water, which is the Second Meditation.
Except only during the time of your sleep, you should always keep this in your mind. One who has reached this stage of perception is said to have dimly seen the Land of Highest Happiness Sukhavati. If any one meditates suta the land of that Buddha country, his sins which bind him to births and deaths during eighty million kalpas shall be expiated; after the abandonment of his present body, he will assuredly be born in the pure land dutra the following life.
The practice of this kind of meditation is called the “right meditation. Buddha then spoke to Ananda and Vaidehi: In meditating on the jewel-trees, you should take each by itself and form a perception of the seven rows of trees; every tree is eight hundred yojanas high, and all the jewel-trees have flowers and leaves consisting of seven jewels all perfect.
All flowers and leaves have colors like the colors of various jewels -from the color of lapis lazuli there issues a golden ray; from the color of crystal, a saffron ray; from the color of agate, a diamond ammitayus from the color of diamond, a ray of zmitayus pearls.
Corals, amber, and all other gems are used as ornaments for illumination; nets of excellent pearls are spread over the trees, each tree is covered by seven sets of nets, and between one set and another there are five hundred million palaces built of excellent flowers, resembling the palace of the Lord Brahman; all heavenly children live there, quite naturally; every child has a garland consisting of five hundred million precious gems like those that are fastened on Sakra’s Indra’s head, the rays of which shine over a hundred yojanas, just as if a hundred million suns and moons were united together; it is difficult to explain them in detail.
Amitagus garland is the most excellent among all, as it is the commixture of all sorts of jewels. Rows of these jewel-trees touch one another; the leaves of the trees also join one another. The leaves of the trees are all exactly equal in length and in breadth, measuring twenty-five yojanas each way; every leaf has a thousand colors and a hundred different pictures on it, just like a heavenly garland.
Amitayus Long Life Sutra – FPMT
There are many excellent flowers which have the color of Jambunada gold and an appearance of fire-wheels in motion, turning between the leaves in a graceful fashion. All the fruits are produced just as easily as if they flowed out from the pitcher of the God Sakra. There is a magnificent ray which transforms itself into numberless jewelled canopies with banners and flags.
Within these jewelled canopies the works of all the Buddhas of the Great Chiliocosm appear illuminated; the Buddha countries of the ten quarters also are manifested therein.
When you have seen these trees you should also meditate on them one by one in order.