Gaathaas in Praise of the Buddha Amitaabha

Composed by Dharma Teacher T'an-luan
Translated into English by Charles Patton

Nama.h to the Buddha Amitaabha!


[Verse 1]

Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
1:1 Presently to the West, past this world
Beyond ten thousand kot.is of ks.etras, there is a land of peaceful happiness. [1]

There the Buddha, the World Honored One, is called Amitaabha.
I vow to be reborn, take refuge, and prostrate myself there.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
1:2 He became a Buddha by passing through ten kalpas time,
And his lifespan from now on is without any measure.

The light of the dharma-kaaya spins out to pervade the dharma-dhaatu.
Because it illuminates the darkness of the world, I prostrate myself.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
1:3 The brilliant light of his wisdom cannot be measured,
And so that Buddha is also known as Infinite Light.

Measurable marks conceal that blazing light
And that is why I prostrate myself to the true wisdom.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha! [421a]
1:4 The light of liberation spins out unrestricted and uniform
And so that Buddha is also known as Boundless Light.

Concealing that light, sensation parts ways and there is nothing
And that is why I prostrate myself to the equiminity of awakening.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
1:5 His light is vast and unobstructed like space
And so that Buddha is also known as Unobstructed Light.

Everything that has obstructions conceals the light's blessing
And that is why I prostrate myself to the difficult to conceive.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
1:6 His light of purity shines without any opposition
And so that Buddha is also known as Unopposed Light.

The karmic bonds of those who meet this light are removed
And that is why I prostrate myself to the ultimate refuge.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
1:7 The brilliant illumination of that Buddha's light is the very best
And so that Buddha is also known as the King of Brilliant Light.

The darkness of the three Hellish paths conceals the light's edification
And that is why I prostrate myself to that great arhat.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
1:8 His bright and clear light of enlightenment is the transcendence of form
And so that Buddha also known as Pure Light.

The wicked defilments of one who experiences that illumination are removed
And it is because they are liberated that I bow my head.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
1:9 His light of compassion is distantly inclusive in giving peace and happiness
And so that Buddha is also known as Joyous Light.

In the places where that light reachs the Dharma is enjoyed
And that is why I prostrate myself to that great peaceful consolation.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
1:10 That Buddha's light can destroy the darkness of ignorance
And so he is also known as Light of Wisdom.

Because the three vehicle congregations of the all the Buddhas
All together praise them, so too I prostrate myself.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
1:11 His brilliant light pervasively illuminates at all times
And so that Buddha is also known as Uninterrupted Light. [421b]

Because of the power of hearing of this light, the thought is uninterrupted.
Because they are reborn there, I bow my head.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
1:12 That light is, except for the Buddha, not fathomable
And so that Buddha is also known as Difficult to Conceive Light.

The Buddhas of the ten directions praise rebirth
And because they commend its merits, I prostrate myself.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
1:13 His spiritual light is free of marks and cannot be named
And so that Buddha is also known as Inexpressible Light.

The origin of his light is the achievement of Buddhahood's shining radiance.
Because of the Buddhas' praise, I bow my head.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
1:14 The brilliance of his light surpasses the sun and moon
And so that Buddha is also called Light that Transcends the Sun and Moon.

The Buddha Shakyamuni's praise and honor is unending
And that is why I prostrate myself to his unequalled equality.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.


[Chorus]

Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
His commiseration is protection covering us
Causing the Dharma seed to grow and develop

In this life and the next.
I pray that that Buddha will always gather us up!

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western world of Bliss and the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara!
I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western world of Bliss and the Bodhisattva Mahaasthaama!
I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western world of Bliss and the pure oceanic assembly of bodhisattvas!
I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Universally teaching the san.gha, father and mother, as well as being a good friend to the sentient beings of the dharma-dhaatu, he ends the three obstacles. Equally being reborn in the land of the Buddha Amitaabha, they take refuge and repent.


[Verse 2]

Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:1 The first assembly of the Buddha Amitaabha
Are shraavakas and bodhisattvas whose number is measureless. [421c]

Their spiritual penetration is skillful, wondrous, and cannot be calculated
And that is why I prostrate myself to that vast assembly.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:2 Peaceful and happy are the measureless mahaasattvas,
Who all shall in a single birth they fill the Buddha's dwelling place.

Governed by their root vows, those great oaths,
They universally wish for the liberation of sentient beings.

These ones are a jeweled forest, a heap of merits.
Single-mindedly, I salute them and prostrate myself.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:3 The shraavakas of the land of peace and happiness
They glow a xun in radius as if a river of stars. [1]

The bodhisattvas' glow extended four thousand li [2]
As if the full Autumn moon that reflects purple gold.

They collect the treasury of the Buddha Dharma for sentient beings
And so I bow my head to that ocean of great thought.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:4 Furthermore, Avalokiteshvara and Mahaasthaama
Were the very best in the assemblies.

Their compassionate light brightly lit a chiliocosm.
Attending to that Buddha on his left and right, displaying a spiritual deportment,

Their liberation from conditions was not for a moment interrupted
As when the ocean and lake do not disapear.

Thus is the great empathy of Mahaasthaama.
Single-mindedly, I prostrate myself and bow my head.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:5 There are sentient beings born there who are peacefully happy
All endowed with the thirty-two marks

Their wisdom fullfilling and entering the profound Dharma
Reaching at last the site of enlightenment, neccesarily without impediments.

According to fruition of faculties blessed and dull, they perservere
These two perserverences reach to the point of being inestimable.

In their former lives they were always masters of the five powers [3]
And they arrive at the Buddha and not again at heretical or wicked destinations.

He removes beings from the five periods of decay in other directions
And reveals to them equally as the great Shakyamuni.

Being born in the land of peaceful happiness and achieving its great blessing,
This is why to this thought I prostrate myself.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:6 The bodhisattva of Peaceful Happiness receive the Buddha's spirit
And in a short time [4] go in the ten directions

To innumerable Buddha worlds,
Paying homage and making offerings to the Tathaagatas [422a]

Of flowers, incense, and musicians from mindfulness are shown;
And jeweled canopies, banners, and flags produced at will.

The jewels of that most extraordinary world are unameable.
The scattered flowers among the offerings are exceptionally precious.

Magically made flower heaps glow brightly
And the incensed winds are unlimited.

The flower heaps that are small are four hundred li tall
And reach a size that entirely covers a single world.

Following the above, they next magically leave,
The bodhisattvas being completely contented.

From empty space, they celebrate heaven's happiness,
Musically praising virtue with song, spreading word of the Buddha's wisdom.

Once they had listened to and received the Sutra Dharma offerings
And had yet to consume them, they then returned to the excellent space.

Their spiritual power is sovereign and unfathomable.
Therefore, I bow my head to these unsurpassed worthies.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:7 The bodhisattvas of that Peaceful and Happy Buddhaland
Are men able to speak widely in accordance with wisdom.

They get rid of the myriad things they possess,
Their purity being like the lotus blossom that does not get dirtied.

They go, come, advance, and stop like a boat among waves.
They blessed and peaceful because they endevour to depart from 'yes' and 'no'.

That being done, it is just as emptiness cuts away the two ideas [5].
Just so, their wisdom blazes, lighting the long night [6].

Being capable of the three insights and six perfections [7]
The myriad practices of these bodhisattvas peirces the mind and eye.

Thus their merit is without bounds or measure.
This is why I prostrate myself to those minds.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:8 The voice-hearer and bodhisattva congregations of Peaceful Happiness
Are men and gods whose wisdom is all penetrating.

Their bodily appearance is an adornment without any great differences.
It is only because they follow other directions that they are divided and named.

The countenance of their faces are straight, proper, and incomparable.
Pure, fine, and wondrous are their bodies, not of men or gods.

These bodies of space inexistent are without the slightest substance.
This is why I bow my head to the power of equality.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:9 Those who venture to be born in the Land of Peaceful Happiness
They will all abide in a heap of right concentrations.

The mistaken concentrations are not used in that land, there are none.
Because the Buddhas are all praised, I bow my head.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:10 Those who hear the Buddha Amitaabha's epithet
They who have a faithful mind who hear it will be elated and consoled, [422b]

Arriving with one recollection at the highest mind
And transferring that to the vow to be reborn, they then go there.

Simply for the elimination of the five contrary slanders [8] of the true Dharma,
That is why I bow my head and vow to be reborn there.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:11 The ranks of bodhisattvas and voice-hearers
In this world have no comparison elsewhere.

Shakyamuni's unobstructed skill in discourse
Established the provisions leading to the display of a small portion.

Most valuable are the mendicants, comparible to Gods,
Gods who themselves are comparable to gold-wheel kings [9].

Thus it is sequentially through the six heavens,
Each in turn having characteristics and appearances like the first.

With the heavenly forms they resemble them,
Hundreds of thousands of millions doubling that of those not of their kind.

The power of their vows can act on the Dharma canon.
I prostrate myself to the power of those great minds.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:12 The gods and men who all have adopted that,
None of them have not commended it and wished that they should mindfully perfect it.

One jewel, two jewels, or immeasurable jewels
According to their mind are conjured up and given as implements.

In the palace halls, the drink and food are all like these.
That is why I bow my head to the Buddha who is without praise.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:13 Those who are reborn all are endowed
With a body of pure form, incomparable.

Their spiritual penetrations, merits, palace halls,
Clothing, and odornments are decorated as in the six heavens.

Should they have a container, a jeweled bowl, it spontaneously attains
A hundred flavored feast, instantly being filled.

Seeing form, smelling fragrances, the mind does eat it
And it immediately satified, the sensations agreeable and pleasant.

And while those flavors are pure, none are attached to them.
Once finnished, the meal is magically removed in a moment and again appears.

At ease peacefully, comfortably content, arriving at Nirvana;
This is why I to this thought prostrate myself.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:14 The bodhisattva congregations of the Buddha lands in the ten directions
As well as the bhiksus born in Peaceful Happiness

Are measureless, countless, and inestimable.
Those who have been born, presently being born, and shall be there are also so.

They had already made offerings to a measureless number of Buddhas
And gathered up hundreds of thousands of solid and firm Dharmas.

Thus are the great worthies who are reborn there.
This is why I bow my head to Amitaabha. [422c]

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:15 If one hears Amitaabha's virtuous name
He is elated, praising and revering him, the mind taking refuge.

Down to the single thought, he attains a great benifit.
Therefore, in order to be endowed with the jewel of virtue

Establishing it fully in a great chiliocosm burning,
And should straightaway transcend it upon hearing the Buddha's name.

Hearing Amitaabha they will not again reverse themselves.
This is why to that thought I prostrate myself.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:16 The spiritual power without exhaustion of Amitaabha
The measureless Buddha in the ten directions do praise.

The Buddha lands that number like sand grains to the East,
There the bodhisattvas that are numberless all go to meet with him

And again to make offerings to the Land of Peaceful Happiness.
The great congregations of bodhisattvas and voice-hearers

Listen to and receive the Sutra Dharma, promugating, tredding, and transforming it.
From the remaining nine directions, they are also so.

The Tathaagata Shakyamuni spoke gaathaa verses [saying as much].
Because of such measureless virtue, I bow my head.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:17 The measureless congregation of bodhisattvas who come
In order to sow the roots of virtue and pay their respects.

Some memorialize with pleasant songs commending the Buddha;
Some make verses about the Buddha's wisdom illuminating the world;

Some make offerings with heavenly flowers and clothing;
And some look upon the Pure Land and set forth vows.

Thus, the noble congregations who appear before him
The eight brahma voices [?] that bestow to them the prediction of Buddhahood,

And all of the bodhisattvas improve their practice of vows.
This is why I bow my head to that bhagavat.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:18 When that noble lord, World Honored One, speaks the Dharma,
The great congregations like clouds gather in the seven-treasured halls

And listen to the Buddha's revelations, all being awakening in them.
Elated fully and completely, they then attain the Path.

And while there, there from the four facings arises a pure wind
That blows against and moves the jeweled trees making a wondrous sound.

Harmonious, elegant, clear, and transparent; stopping with rope and bamboo.
Crossing over to the golden stones for which there is no other sort comparable.

The heavenly flowers are are scattered and blow away on the fragrant winds,
Spontaneously giving themselves as offering constantly without end.

The gods, again, bring heavenly flowers, fragrances,
And a hundred thousand musicians, employing these to pay their respects.

Thus, the merits of the three jewels mounds
Is why I turn my notions to worship and study at the temple. [423a]

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:19 That wondrous land is vast and huge, transcending numbers and limits.
Spontaneously does it form the seven treasures.

From that Buddha's original vows do those adornments spring forth.
I bow my head to that pure and great accumulation.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:20 That world is brightly lit wondrously to its very limits.
It is agreeably pleasant, restful and peaceful, and without the four seasons.

Its power to benefit both self and others is perfectly fullfilled,
A refuge of skillful means, technique, and adornments.

The treasured land is clear, tranquil, and flat like the palm of a hand.
It has no mountains, rivers, hills, valleys, or other obsticles.

It is therefore neccesary that the Buddha's spiritual power is seen there.
I bow my head to the inconceivable Honored One.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:21 The tree of enlightenment stands four million li high
And has a circumference of fifty.

Its branches and foliage spread out for twenty thousand li
And spontaneously create myriad jewels.

Moonlight Manis, an ocean of round jewels,
And the king of myriad jewels adorn it.

All around it dangle jewels and pearls
Of hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of colors that alternate.

Their light shines and illuminates brilliantly surpassing that of a tounsand suns,
And endless jewel nets cover its top.

All of these adornments being manifest as they should,
I prostrate myself to the tree at the site of his enlightenment.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:22 The subtle winds blowing through the tree produces a Dharma voice
That universally permeates the Buddha fields in the ten directions.

Hearing this voice, one gets a profound Dharma tolerance,
Acheiving the Buddha's enlightenment and not coming upon discomfort.

This spiritual power being vast and great, unfathomable,
I prostrate myself before that tree at his site of enlightenment.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:23 The tree's fragrance, the tree's form, the tree's voice;
The tree's touch, the tree's flavor, and that tree's notion--

One who meets with these six feelings attains the Dharma tolerance.
This is why I bow before the tree of his site of enlightenment.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha! [423b]
2:24 The experiences of the tree at his site of enlightenment matching the six faculties
Upto the achievement of Buddhahood, the faculties clearly penetrate.

The voice's sounds are soft and conforming to the unborn tolerance.
According to the powers being shallow or deep, everyone attains awakening.

These impressive virtues of the tree originate
From the Tathaagata's five powers.

The spiritual power of his original vows being fulfilled,
His bright comprehension is solidly in the absolute vows.

His compassion and skillful means are unestimable.
I take refuge in and bow to the truely immeasurable.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:25 From the worldly emperor to the six heavens
The voice enjoyably turns wondrously, having eight verses

That successively surpass the last millions of times.
The elegance of voice of that jewel tree elegance is multiplied the same.

Again, there is spontaneously produced wondrous musicians,
Whose Dharma voice is clear, harmoneous, and pleasant in thought and spirit.

Their sympathy, pliancy, and precision indeed goes beyond that of the ten directions,
And so I prostrate myself to that pure joy.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:26 A forest of seven-jeweled trees pervade the world,
Emmitting a blazing light that is vivid and clear, mutually reflecting one another.

Their flowers, fruit, branches, and foliage further reflect one another.
I prostrate myself to such a collection of merits from his original vows.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:27 The days when the clear wind blows through the jewel trees
It produces the five musical notes, such as the first and second, in harmony.

The fine, wondrous, and precise song is made spontaneously.
And so I bow my head to such pure influences.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:28 That land is vast and huge, without border.
A myriad jewel nets entirely cover it over.

The gold, silk, gems, and pearls most exceptional and precious
And unnamable jewels are its decorations.

Surrounding the four sides hang treasure bells,
And everywhere the wind blows, moving them and producing a wondrous Dharma.

A harmonious, elegant, and virtuous fragrance is constantly circulating.
In those who smell it, defilements and difficulties do not arise.

As this air contacts the body, one experiences a pleasant feeling,
Like a bhiksu attaining nirvana in meditation.

The wind blows and scatters flowers that fill the Buddha land
According to there colors arranged successively and not mixed up.

The flowers' substance is soft, pliant, beautiful, and sweet smelling,
Underfoot when one walks on them up, down, or in the four directions.

Because as one lifts one's foot and returns it so,
They function to stop the ground from being revealed or compressed and there are no tracks.[423c]

And ...
Because of this inconceivable reward, I bow my head.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:29 A myriad of jewel lotuses fill the world,
Each one of the flowers having hundreds of thousands of millions of petals.

Those flowers glow with colors immeasurable,
Scarlet, purple, red tinting the five colors,

They glow brilliantly, blazing and shining.
This is why single-minded I bow and prostrate myself.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:30 In each one of the flowers is produced light,
Thirty-six rays having thousands and millions others in them.

And in each one of those rays is a Buddha's body.
Numerous and small as well, just as with the lights that are produced.

The marks and excellencies of the Buddha bodies are like a complete mountain.
Each and every one, again, emits a hundred thousand light rays

And universally speak the wondrous Dharma to the ten directions,
Each pacifying sentient beings in the Buddha's way.

Thus is their spiritual power without limit or bounds.
And so I take refuge in Amitaabha.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:31 The palace's halls are not made by workers,
The seven treasures being carved beautifully are magically made.

Bright moon gems and ornaments are intertwined in a light curtain.
Each has a bathing pool whose appearance is praised.

In the pools are eight virtuous waters filling them,
The form, taste, fragrance is clean like sweet dew.

The golden sands of the pools, the silver sands,
And sands made of the seven treasures are all themselves like them.

On the pools' shores are fragrant trees that spread over them
A sandalwood scent, the fragrance being constant, pervasive, and pleasant.

Heavenly flowers with a lustre that is reflective decorate them,
Floating atop the water and shining brightly looking as though clouds.

The undefiled basis of such effects is difficult to conceive.
And this is why I prostrate myself to such a treasury of merits.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:32 When the bodhisattvas and voice-hearers who enter these treasure pools,
It is shallow or deep according to their mind's wishes.

If should need to splash themselves, it spontaneous flows into them,
And when they want return again, the water quickly moves away.

It harmonizes to cold or warm temperatures so that none do not praise it.
The spirit reveals the essential and pleasantly cleanses the mind of defilements.

It is clean, bright, clear, and pure when there is no reflection.
The treasure sands show through it as though the water was not deep.

With ease and lightness, it swirls around, pours, and splashes.
Being free or contained, it functions to delight and pacify a person's spirit. [424a]

The subtle waves are infinite, producing wondrous sounds.
They follow those who should hear the Dharma's discussion.

Some hear the wondrous chapter of the three jewels (triratna);
Some hear of peaceful tranquility, emptiness, and selflessness;

Some hear of the measureless paaramitaas;
The power of these uncommon Dharmas of penetrating wisdom.

Some hear of the inactive and unborn tolerance,
Upto the sweet dew of the Dharma being sprinkled onto the head.

According to the nature of their faculties and wishes, they are sprinkled with joy.
In according with the mark of the three jewels' real meaning,

The bodhisattvas and voice-hearers who walk the path
In this they all have entirely heard such things.

The suffering and difficult of the three [unhappy] roads is forever closed off,
There being only a spontaneous and joyous voice.

This is why that same land is named 'Peaceful Happiness'.
I bow my head in homage and endless respect.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:33 The great teacher, Nagarjuna mahasattva
Nutured the appearances and images whose first principle was to break the bonds.

The passage is closed by error, while the door is opened by the right track.
Sot it is with all the eyes of Jambuvipa.

For the submission, offerings, homage, and awakening of the stage of joy
I am devoted to being born in Amitaabha's land of Peace and Happiness.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:34 It is just as when the dragon moves, the clouds must follow,
And Jambuvipa lays out a blanket of grass,

Nama.h to the compassionate Nagarjuna's veneration.
To his thought of taking refuge, I bow my head.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:35 I from the beginningless past have gone around the three realms,
Cycling through that empty and delusive wheel;

With each thought each moment that I took actions (karma)
My feet were tied to the six paths, and stagnating on the three [lower] roads.

It is only by the compassionate light of the vows that protectively think of me
And allow me to not lose the bodhicitta.

I praise the Buddha's wisdom and virtuous voice
And vow to hear of the conditions of existences in the ten directions,

Wishing to be reborn in the land of Peaceful Happiness
Where one as he wills is not obstructed.

Those having merits, be they great or small,
Dedicate them so that all are together reborn there.

Nama.h to the inconceivable light.
I single-mindedly take refuge in it and prostrate myself.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
2:36 The immeasurable wisdom of the three realms in the ten directions
Is the same vehicle alike like the epithet "truely enlightened".

[424b] The two knowledges are perfectly fullfilled, the paths being equal.
Because they include conjurations according to the situation of whatever number,

I take refuge in the pure land of Amitaabha.
And hence this refuge is taken in the Buddha lands,

I with a single thought praise each Buddha,
Vowing to universally unobstruct the people of the ten directions.

Thus, to each of the immeasurable Buddhas of the ten directions,
I bow my head and prostrate myself.

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.


[Chorus]

Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western Buddha Amitaabha!
His commiseration is protection covering us
Causing the Dharma seed to grow and develop

In this life and the next.
I pray that that Buddha will always gather us up!

I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western world of Bliss and the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara!
I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western world of Bliss and the Bodhisattva Mahaasthaama!
I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Nama.h to the thought of taking refuge in and prostrating to that Western world of Bliss and the pure oceanic assembly of bodhisattvas!
I vow to be reborn with the sentient beings in the land of peaceful happiness.
Universally teaching the san.gha, father and mother, as well as being a good friend to the sentient beings of the dharma-dhaatu, he ends the three obstacles. Equally being reborn in the land of the Buddha Amitaabha, they take refuge and repent.

Endnotes

1. 'Kot.i'. This is numeral understood to be 100 lakkhas (100,000), equalling 10,000,000.

'Ks.etra'. 'Field' or 'land' as in 'Buddha land'. This is a term for the sphere of spiritual influence that is exerted a single Buddha. There is a theory that there are four levels of influence that radiate outward from a nexus that is the Buddha's site of enlightenment. The four are 1) The area of reality (dharmata), which beings are constantly abiding in peace and light; 2) the area where self and others receive the Buddha's teachings and gain a real reward from it; 3) the area where skillful means and other teachings exist and general defilments have been eradicated; and 4) the area where purity and defilment coexist (Eitel). Presumably, this system supposes a land in which a Buddha at the height of his teaching career.
2. 'Xun'. A standard measure of size defined as the distance typically spanning two arm-lengths, or about 8 feet.
3. 'Li'. A standard measure of distance. About 1/5 of a mile. Four thousand li, then, is about eight hundred miles.
4. 'Five powers'. Presumably the five spiritual powers, which are: 1) divyacaks.us, the 'heavenly eye', which is the vision that can see anywhere in the realm of form; 2) divyashrotra, the ability to ear anything anywhere; 3) paracitta-j~naana, the ability to know the thoughts of others; 4) puurvanivaasaanusmr.ti-j~naana, the knowledge of former existences of self and others; 5) r.ddhi-saaks.aatkriiyaa, the power to be anywhere at any time.
5. 'Short time'. The Chinese literally reads 'the period of a short meal'.
6. 'Two ideas'. A reference to the two philosophical positions that are rejected in Buddhism: Eternalism and nihilism. These were refuted by the Buddha using emptiness to establish the temporary nature of existence. Because things are empty of any eternal essense, they are free to be created and destroyed. Because emptiness is only a description of things themselves as they exist temporarily, nihilism is refuted.
7. 'Long night'. The long night is a metaphor for the time spent cycling through births in samsara. It is long because sentient beings remain in samsara for eons. It is dark like the night because they do so under the veil of ignorance.
8. 'Three insights'. These are the knowledge of the past lives of sentient beings, the knowledge of future existences of sentient beings, and the knowledge of the present conditions of sentient beings.
'Six perfections'. These are the six paaramitaas: charity (daana), virtue (siila), perserverence (ksaanti), energy (viirya), meditation (dhyaana), and wisdom (praj~na). These six form a general outline of bodhisattva practice in most Mahayana texts.
9. 'Five contrary slanders'.
10. 'Gold-wheel king'. The metallic disc was an emblem of soveriegnty in ancient India. Sometimes the heirarchy of the nobility was represented with iron, copper, silver, and gold wheels, the gold being the highest. A gold-wheel king, then, is a king who has no superiors, an absolute soveriegn.

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