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大勢至菩薩念佛圓通章
Great Might Arrived Bodhisattva's Thinking-of-Buddhas as the Perfect Passage
(a subsection in the Śūraṅgama Sūtra)
Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the Tang Dynasty
by
The Śramaṇa Pramiti from India

Great Might Arrived Bodhisattva the Dharma Prince, together with his peer group of fifty-two Bodhisattvas, rose from his seat and bowed down at the Buddha's feet. He then said to the Buddha, "As I remember, before past kalpas as numerous as the sands of the Ganges, a Buddha called Infinite Light appeared in the world. Twelve Tathāgatas successively appeared in one kalpa, and the last one was called Outshining the Sun-Moon Light. That Buddha taught me the Thinking-of-Buddhas Samādhi.
"Using two people as an analogy, suppose one person always remembers the other, but the other always forgets the one. These two are this way whether or not they meet each other, whether or not they see each other. However, if two can remember each other, their mutual remembrance will deepen. Then, even from one life to the next, they will be like a form and its shadow, not separating.
"The Tathāgatas [in worlds] in the ten directions pity and think of sentient beings, like a mother remembering her son. If the son runs away, what good can the mother's remembrance be? If the son can remember his mother just as the mother remembers her son, then mother and son will journey together life after life, never alienated from each other.
"If sentient beings' minds remember and think of Buddhas, in the present or a future life, they will definitely see Buddhas and will never be far from Buddhas. Without using other methods, their minds will spontaneously open. Then, like one whose body is fragrant after being suffused with scent, they will be said to be adorned with fragrance and light.
"It was when I stood on the Cause Ground, with my mind thinking only of a Buddha, that I achieved the Endurance in the Realization of the No Birth of Dharmas. In this world, I now assist those who think of Buddhas to come home to the Pure Land. Because the Buddha asks for the Perfect Passage, I must say that the foremost way is to continue the one pure thought to restrain the six faculties, so as to attain samādhi."


 
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