T0937

佛說大乘聖無量壽決定光明王如來陀羅尼經
Buddha Pronounces the Mahāyāna Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata

Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the Northern Song Dynasty
by
The Dharma Master Fatian from India

Thus I have heard:
    At one time the World-Honored One was dwelling in the Anāthapiṇḍika Garden of Jetavana Park in the city kingdom of Śrāvastī, together with 1,250 great bhikṣus. As recognized by the multitudes, all of them were great Arhats, who had ended their afflictions and the discharges thereof, acquired benefits for themselves, and completely liberated their minds. Honored Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas with vast wisdom and merit, complete in their majestic deportment, also came to the assembly to hear the Dharma. At the head of the assembly was Great Wisdom Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva.
    At that time Śākyamuni Buddha sympathetically considered all sentient beings that would live a short life in future times. In order to let them acquire the great benefit of lengthened lifespan, He decided to expound the inconceivable, secret, profound, wondrous, victorious Dharma.
    The World-Honored One told Great Wisdom Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva, “All of you, hearken! West of Jambudvīpa, this southern continent, beyond countless Buddha Lands, there is a land called Immeasurable Merit Store. That land is magnificent, adorned with multitudinous treasures, pure and superb, peaceful and joyous, foremost in exquisiteness, surpassing all worlds in the ten directions. In that land of Immeasurable Merit Store resides a Buddha called Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata, who has realized anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi. He is now staying in that land. Exuding great lovingkindness and compassion, He expounds the true Dharma for the sake of sentient beings, enabling them to acquire excellent benefits, peace, and joy.”
    The Buddha next told Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva, “Now in this world of Jambudvīpa, human lifespan is one hundred years, but many do evil karma and die prematurely. Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva, if there are sentient beings that have seen this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata and heard this Tathāgata’s name, their merit will be excellent. After they copy or have others copy this sūtra, they will enshrine the copies in their homes, in high towers, or in the halls of ashrams. They will accept and uphold this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata as they read and recite it, make obeisance to it, and offer various kinds of flowers, incense for burning, powdered incense, solid perfumes, necklaces, and so forth. If those who expect to live a short life earnestly copy and uphold this sūtra, read and recite it, and make offerings and obeisance, they will have their lifespans lengthened to one hundred years.
    Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva, if sentient beings that have heard the name of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata earnestly say His name 108 times, their short lifespans will be lengthened. If those who have only heard His name earnestly believe, accept, and honor it, they too will have their lifespans lengthened.
    “Moreover, Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva, suppose there are those who, without momentary wavering, constantly and earnestly think of and seek the true Dharma. Good men and good women, all of you should hearken. For your sake, I now pronounce the 108-syllable dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata:

 

namo bhagavate aparimitāyur-jñāna-suviniścita-tejorājāya | tathāgatāyārhate samyak-saṁbuddhāya | tad-yathā [oṁ puṇya mahā-puṇya | aparimita-puṇya | aparimitāyuḥ -puṇya-jñāna-saṁbhāropacite |]* oṁ sarva saṁskāra pariśuddha dharmate gagana samudgate | svabhāva viśuddhe mahā-naya parivāre svāhā ||

 

“Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva, for those who expect to live a short life, if they copy or have others copy this 108-syllable dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata, enshrine the copies on the tops of high towers or in clean places in the halls [of ashrams], adorn them in accordance with the Dharma, and make various kinds of offerings, they will gain longevity, living one hundred years. After their lives end here, they will be reborn in Immeasurable Merit Store, the land of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata.”
    While Śākyamuni Buddha was pronouncing this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata, 99 koṭi Buddhas, with one mind and one voice, also pronounced this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata. Meanwhile, 84 koṭi Buddhas, with one mind and one voice, also pronounced this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata. Meanwhile, 77 koṭi Buddhas, with one mind and one voice, also pronounced this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata. Meanwhile, 66 koṭi Buddhas, with one mind and one voice, also pronounced this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata. Meanwhile, 55 koṭi Buddhas, with one mind and one voice, also pronounced this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata. Meanwhile, 44 koṭi Buddhas, with one mind and one voice, also pronounced this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata. Meanwhile, 36 koṭi Buddhas, with one mind and one voice, also pronounced this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata. Meanwhile, 25 koṭi Buddhas, with one mind and one voice, also pronounced this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata. Meanwhile, koṭis of Buddhas, as numerous as the sands of ten Ganges Rivers, with one mind and one voice, also pronounced this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata.
    [The Buddha continued] “If there are those who copy or have others copy this dhāraṇī sūtra, they will never be reborn in hell, the ghost world, the animal kingdom, or the dominion of Yama, king of the underworld. They will never again take those evil life-paths in acceptance of evil requitals. Because of their merit acquired from copying this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata, they will have past-life knowledge, rebirth after rebirth, life after life, wherever they are reborn. If there are those who copy or have others copy this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata, their merit will be the same as that from copying texts in 84,000 Dharma stores. If there are those who copy or have others copy this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata, their merit will be the same as that from constructing 84,000 treasure pagodas.
    “If there are those who copy or have others copy this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata, because of this merit, their [evil] karmas, which would drive them into the hell of uninterrupted suffering, will all be obliterated. If there are those who copy or have others copy this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata, they will neither fall under the rule of the māra-king and his retinue nor take the life-paths of yakṣas or rakṣasas They will not die an accidental death and will never receive those evil requitals mentioned before. If there are those who copy or have others copy this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata, at the end of their lives, 99 koṭi Buddhas will appear before them to receive them to be reborn in that Buddha’s land. You all should not doubt what I say. If there are those who copy or have others copy this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata, they will never assume female form in their future lives. If there are those who copy or have others copy this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata, they will always be secretly followed and protected by the four god-kings. In the east is the god-king Upholding the Kingdom, lord of gandharvas; in the south is the god-king Increase and Growth, lord of kumbhāṇḍas; in the west is the god-king Broad Eye, lord of great dragons; and in the north is the god-king Hearing Much, lord of yakṣas.
    “If there are those who, for this sūtra, give away a small portion of their wealth as alms, they in effect give others all of the seven treasures—gold, silver, aquamarine, conch shell, emerald, coral, and amber—filling up this Three-Thousand Large Thousandfold World. Furthermore, if there are those who make offerings to this sūtra, they in effect make offerings to the entire store of the true Dharma. If there are those who present the superb seven treasures as an offering to the past seven Buddha-Tathāgatas, also called Arhats, Samyak-Saṁbuddhas—Vipaśyin, Śikhin, Viśvabhū, Krakucchanda, Kanakamuni, Kāśyapa, and Śākyamuni—the quantity of merit they acquire can never be known by measurement. Similarly, if there are those who make offerings to this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata, the limit of their merit can never be known by measurement.
    “As the number of drops of water in the four great oceans can never be known, likewise, if there are those who copy this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata, uphold it, read and recite it, and make offerings, the limit of their merit cannot be known by measurement. If there are those who copy this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata, their place has the status of a treasure pagoda containing the holy relics of Buddhas. Their place is worthy of paying respects and making obeisance. If there are sentient beings that have heard this dhāraṇī, they will never again assume unfortunate life forms, such as birds, four-legged creatures, or multi-legged creatures. They will quickly attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, from which they will never regress.
    “If those who have accumulated the seven treasures—gold, silver, aquamarine, conch shell, emerald, coral, and amber—piled high like a wonderful mountain, give them all away as alms, the quantity of merit they acquire cannot be known by measurement. Similarly, if there are those who, for this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata, give alms, the limit of their merit cannot be known by measurement. Moreover, if there are those who copy this Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata, and make obeisance and offerings to it, they in effect make obeisance and offerings to all Tathāgatas in Buddha Lands in the ten directions. There is no difference.”
    Then Śākyamuni the World-Honored One spoke in verse:

 

Through training acquire the power of almsgiving.
By virtue of the power of almsgiving, one attains Buddhahood.
If one enters the fine chamber of great compassion
And one’s ear briefly hears this dhāraṇī,
Although almsgiving is not yet fully achieved,
One will soon become the teacher to gods and humans.

Through training acquire the power of observing the precepts.
By virtue of the power of observing the precepts, one attains Buddhahood.
If one enters the fine chamber of great compassion
And one’s ear briefly hears this dhāraṇī,
Although observing the precepts is not yet fully achieved,
One will soon become the teacher to gods and humans.

Through training acquire the power of endurance.
By virtue of the power of endurance, one attains Buddhahood.
If one enters the fine chamber of great compassion
And one’s ear briefly hears this dhāraṇī,
Although endurance is not yet fully achieved,
One will soon become the teacher to gods and humans.

Through training acquire the power of energetic progress.
By virtue of the power of energetic progress, one attains Buddhahood.
If one enters the fine chamber of great compassion
And one’s ear briefly hears this dhāraṇī,
Although energetic progress is not yet fully achieved,
One will soon become the teacher to gods and humans.

Through training acquire the power of meditation.
By virtue of the power of meditation, one attains Buddhahood.
If one enters the fine chamber of great compassion
And one’s ear briefly hears this dhāraṇī,
Although meditation is not yet fully achieved,
One will soon become the teacher to gods and humans.

Through training acquire the power of wisdom.
By virtue of the power of wisdom, one attains Buddhahood.
If one enters the fine chamber of great compassion,
And one’s ear briefly hears this dhāraṇī,
Although wisdom is not yet fully achieved,
One will soon become the teacher to gods and humans.

 

After the Buddha pronounced this sūtra, the great bhikṣus, Bodhisattvas, gods, humans, asuras, gandharvas, and others in the assembly, having heard the Buddha’s words, greatly rejoiced. They all believed in, accepted, and reverently carried out the teachings.

 

Buddha Pronounces the Mahāyāna Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of Infinite-Life Resolute Radiance King Tathāgata
Translated from the digital Chinese Canon (T19n0937)

 

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    *This Mantra is copied from the website of the Digital Sanskrit Buddhist Canon, posted by the University of the West, Rosemead, California. Although the phrases in brackets are not present in text 937, they are included here because the Buddha says that this Mantra is composed of 108 syllables. (Return to text)

 

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