In Buddhism, Sūtra or Sutta refers mostly to canonical scriptures, many of which are regarded as records of the oral teachings of Gautama Buddha.

Acala-Vidyārāja (Wisdom King)
Skanda Bodhisattva (Dharma Protector)
Skanda Bodhisattva (Dharma Protector)

All sūtras below are solely meant for educational purpose.

Sanghāta Sūtra (100 Megabyte High Quality MP3)

Sanskrit: Ārya Sańghātasūtra Dharmaparyāya

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Kinh Chánh Pháp Sanghāta

It was recited by the nun who translated the text into English, and features Sanskrit pronunciation of the Sanskrit names and other terms left untranslated in the sutra. The recitation lasts just under 3 hours. All are most welcome to share the files, burn CDs and use them as they like. These audio recordings can all be copied freely and distributed without restriction.

"The very minute you hear it, the five uninterrupted negative karmas - the extremely heavy negative karmas that right after death, immediately without interruption of another life, you get born into hell; you get reborn in the lowest hot hell, which has the heaviest suffering of the lower realms, of which the life span lasts for one intermediate eon – those get completely purified.

So, that is just by hearing it. This means that anyone hearing it - animals, frogs, birds, so no question about pets like your beautiful cat, your darling cat, even spirits – collects that much merit. Can you imagine? It is like an impossible thing in the life that happens. When those animals, your cat and other animals, hear you recite Buddha’s teachings, it definitely makes them to receive higher rebirth and to meet Dharma." - Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Source: sanghatasutra.net

Saṅghāṭa sūtra

Sanghāta Sūtra

Sanskrit: Ārya Sańghātasūtra Dharmaparyāya

67 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Kinh Chánh Pháp Sanghāta

The Ārya Sanghāta Sūtra is a Mahāyāna Buddhist scripture that promises to transform all those who read it. Like other sutras, the Sanghāta records a discourse given by the Buddha, but unlike other sutras, Buddha tells us he himself had heard the Sanghāta from a previous buddha. The Sanghāta is a text that talks about itself by name—and talks in great detail about what it will do to anyone who encounters it. It is also an extraordinary literary adventure, full of stories of death, discovery and magical transformations. It is about many things, but first and foremost, the Sanghāta is about what can happen to its readers. That is to say: Most of all, the Sanghāta is about you.

"So, if you read the Ārya Sanghāta Sūtra, there is far greater merit (than just hearing it); then, if you write it – much, much more. Remember the merit of the buddhas equaling the number of grains of sand in the Ganges River times twelve? The amount of merit if you write it is eight times that.

So, also, every day to write even a few lines is extremely, unbelievably good. When you write it, of course you don’t finish many pages, it is quite slow, but when you write, also you read, so that is the benefit. The only thing is if you only read it, you can finish in that day, in those hours. Of course, one can do a few lines writing and then read the whole text. That also can be done. Like that then, gradually, you can finish writing. I am extremely happy that you enjoy so much. You see the benefit that is working for your mind and you see that it is an amazing sutra." - Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Source: sanghatasutra.net

The Diamond of Perfect Wisdom Sūtra

Sanskrit: Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra

40 Pages ​

Other known names:

  • Vajra Cutter Perfection of Wisdom Sūtra
  • Triśatikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra:​ Kinh Kim Cương

Translated by the Chung Tai Translation Committee January 2009 From the Chinese translation by Tripitaka Master Kumarajiva, 5th Century

The following prior English translations were used as references:

  • “The Diamond Sutra” by Charles Muller
  • “The Vajra Prajna Paramita Sutra”by the Buddhist Text Translation Society
  • “The Diamond Sutra: Transforming the Way We Perceive the World” by Mu Soeng
  • “The Diamond Sutra” by A. F. Price
  • “The Diamond Sutra: The Perfection of Wisdom” by Red Pine

Diamond Sūtra

Sanskrit: Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra

160 Pages

Other known names:

  • Vajra Cutter Perfection of Wisdom Sūtra
  • Triśatikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra:​ Kinh Kim Cương

Translated from the Chinese with an introduction and notes by William Gemmell

The Vajra Prajna Paramita Sūtra: A General Explanation

Sanskrit: Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra

248 Pages

Other known names:

  • Vajra Cutter Perfection of Wisdom Sūtra
  • Triśatikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra:​ Kinh Kim Cương

By the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

This sūtra commonly referred to as the Diamond Sutra (金剛經 Jin Gang Jing). It explains the princeple and tendency of the emptiness of nature. Includes commentary. This second edition sheds new light on “the teaching beyond words and letters.” Often called “the diamond teaching that cuts through all delusion,” the Diamond Sutra is Shakyamuni Buddha’s stunning answer to his disciple Subhuti’s question about enlightenment.

The Diamond Sūtra: The Perfection of Wisdom

Sanskrit: Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra

322 Pages ​

Other known names: "Vajra Cutter Perfection of Wisdom Sūtra"

Triśatikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra:​ Kinh Kim Cương ​

Author: Red Pine (Bill Porter)

Zen Buddhism is often said to be a practice of mind-to-mind transmission without reliance on texts --in fact, some great teachers forbid their students to read or write. But Buddhism has also inspired some of the greatest philosophical writings of any religion, and two such works lie at the center of Zen: The Heart Sutra, which monks recite all over the world, and The Diamond Sutra, said to contain answers to all questions of delusion and dualism. This is the Buddhist teaching on the perfection of wisdom and cuts through all obstacles on the path of practice. As Red Pine explains: The Diamond Sutra may look like a book, but it's really the body of the Buddha. It's also your body, my body, all possible bodies. But it's a body with nothing inside and nothing outside. It doesn't exist in space or time. Nor is it a construct of the mind. It's no mind. And yet because it's no mind, it has room for compassion. This book is the offering of no mind, born of compassion for all suffering beings. Of all the sutras that teach this teaching, this is the diamond.

The Cause and Effect Sūtra

East Asian Sūtra

19 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra:​ Kinh Nhân Quả Ba Đời ​

English and Chinese version with drawings. (84 Pages)

The Ullambana Sūtra and The Filial Piety Sūtra

Usually read every 7'th lunar Lunar month called Ullambana or Filial parent's day month

20 Pages ​

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra:​ Kinh Bao Hiếu và Vu Lan

These two Sūtras compiled into one book are to honor and repay respect to our parents. One can read it once anytime just as long it's in the 7'th lunar Lunar month called Ullambana or Filial parent's day month. Please remember to dedicate the merits to our parents and to benefit all sentient beings.

The Ullambana Sūtra tells the story of how Bhikṣu Maudgalyāyana rescued his mother from the hungry ghost realm.

The Filial Piety Sūtra explains about the hardships and kindness shown by our parents. ​

Namo Mahāmaudgalyāyana Bodhisattva _()_

The Heart Sūtra

The Heart Sūtra

Sanskrit: Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya (The Heart of the Perfection of Understanding)

2 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Bát Nhã Tâm Kinh

Heart Sūtra mantra:

Tadyathā: Oṃ Gate Gate Pāragate Pārasaṃgate Bodhi Svāhā

The Heart Sūtra is an essential holy writing about the ultimate wisdom that carries us across the river of ignorance to the shore of enlightenment. Avalokiteśvara famously states, "Form is empty (śūnyatā). Emptiness is form", and declares the other skandhas to be equally empty – that is, dependently originated.

The 14th Dalai Lama explains the mantra as, "Go, go, go beyond, go thoroughly beyond, and establish yourself in enlightenment!"

The Heart of Prajñā Pāramitā Sūtra

Venerable Master Hsuan Hua (Commentary)

216 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Bát Nhã Tâm Kinh ​

The most popular Buddhist sutra in the world today, a mere 16 sentences. Includes extensive commentary by Venerable Master Hsuan Hua.

Kāraṇḍavyūha Sūtra Also known as "The Noble Mahāyāna Sūtra “The Basket’s Display”

89 Pages ​

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Kinh Đại Thừa Trang Nghiêm Bảo Vương

Summary: The Basket’s Display (Kāraṇḍavyūha) is the source of the most prevalent mantra of Tibetan Buddhism: Oṃ Maṇi Padme Hūṃ. It marks a significant stage in the growing importance of Avalokiteśvara within Indian Buddhism in the early centuries of the first millennium. In a series of narratives within narratives, the sūtra describes Avalokiteśvara’s activities in various realms and the realms contained within the pores of his skin. It culminates in a description of the extreme rarity of his mantra, which, on the Buddha’s instructions, Bodhisattva Sarvanīvaraṇaviṣkambhin obtains from someone in Vārāṇasī who has broken his monastic vows. This sūtra provided a basis and source of quotations for the teachings and practices of the eleventh-century Maṇi Kabum, which itself served as a foundation for the rich tradition of Tibetan Avalokiteśvara practice.

Acknowledgments: The sūtra was translated from the Tibetan and Sanskrit by Peter Alan Roberts. Tulku Yeshi of the Sakya Monastery, Seattle, was the consulting lama who reviewed the translation. The project manager and editor was Emily Bower, and the proofreader was Ben Gleason. Thanks to William Tuladhar-Douglas and Charles Manson for their assistance in obtaining Sanskrit manuscripts, and to Richard Gombrich and Sanjukta Gupta for their elucidations. Source: 84000.co

Brahmajāla Sutta

Theravāda Sutta

29 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra:​ Kinh Phạm Võng ​

Other versions of this sutta: The Discourse on the Perfect Net

The Brahmajāla Sutta is the first of 34 suttas in the Digha Nikaya (the Long Discourses of the Buddha). The name comes from 'brahma' (perfect wisdom) and 'jala' (net-which-embraced-all-views). The sutta is also called 'Atthajala' (Net of Essence), Dhammajala, (Net of the Dhamma), Ditthijala (Net of Views), Anuttarasangama Vijaya (Incomparable Victory in Battle). ​

The sutta discusses two main topics: the elaboration of the Ten Precepts (Cula-sila), the Middle Precepts (Majjhima-sila), and the Great Precepts (Maha-sila). Cula-sila deals with the Ten Precepts to be practised by devout buddhists, while Majjhima-sila gives a detailed description of the practice of the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth precepts, together with the practise of plant conservation and speech etiquette. ​

The second and third parts of the sutta discuss the 62 beliefs (ditthi) which are devoutly practised by ascetics in India. These are divided into: 18 beliefs related to the past (pubbantanuditthino), and 44 beliefs about the future (aparantakappika). ​

Many of these beliefs are still relevant in the modern world and thus the sutta provides Buddhist scholars with much information to ponder about the Buddha's teachings. ​ The elaboration of these beliefs is very detailed, focusing on how the beliefs (faiths) come to be and the way they are described and declared.

The elaboration ends with the Buddha's statement about the danger of clinging to these beliefs, as they are still influenced by desire (lobha), hatred (dosa), and ignorance (avijjā) that its faithful followers will not end in the final liberation but still in the cycle of samsara. Believers of these faiths are compared to small fish in a pond which will be captured by a fine net no matter how much they want to escape, while those who see reality as it is are beyond the net of samsara. ​

Source: www.wikipedia.com


Based on Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, by Pabongka Rinpoche, and the Trīskhandhadharmasūtra

4 Pages ​

Other names:

  • Trīskhandha Sūtra
  • Sūtra of the Three Heaps
  • Sūtra of the confession of downfalls
  • The Confession of Transgressions Sūtra
  • Confession to 35 Buddhas ​

Origin of the Sutra: A group of thirty-five monks who had taken the bodhisattva vow and had accidentally caused the death of a child while they were out begging for alms went to Upali, one of the closest disciples of the Buddha, and asked him to request from the Buddha a method of confessing and purifying what they had done. The Buddha then spoke this sutra, and as he did so, light radiated from his body and thirty-four other buddhas appeared in the space all around him. The thirty-five monks prostrated before these buddhas, made offerings, confessed their misdeed, took refuge and re-awakened bodhichitta.

Alternative practice with both sanskrit and descrpitive names of the 35 Buddhas.

Sigālovāda Sutta

Pali: Siṅgālovāda Sutta

7 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra:​ Kinh Giáo Thọ Thi Ca La Việt ​

Other versions of this sutta:

  • Advice to Sigala (Domestic and Social Relations) Sigālovāda Sutta (Abrdiged version)
  • The Discourse on the Advice to Sīgāla
  • Referred to as the sutta of "the Vinaya [Buddhist code of discipline] of the householder or layperson.

Sutta summary: Sigala's honoring his father

The Sigalovada Sutta takes place when Lord Buddha encountered a youth called Sigala in his morning stroll. The young man, in drenched attire, prostrated and worshipped the four compass direction (East, South, West and North), plus the Earth (Down) and the Sky (Up). When asked by Lord Buddha why he did so, the youth Sigala replied that he had been told by his late father to do so and he thought that it was right to uphold his father's wishes. Lord Buddha then, based on Sigala's point of view, taught him on how a noble one (Pali: ariya) should worship the Six directions.

The Sutra of Forty-Two Chapters

56 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: ​Kinh Tứ Thập Nhị Chương

The Threefold Lotus Sūtra

Sanskrit: Saddharmapuṇḍarīka Sūtra

227 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Kinh Diệu Pháp Liên Hoa or shortened to Kinh Pháp Hoa

The Threefold Lotus Sutra (Japanese: Hokke-sambu-kyo) is the composition of three complementarysutras that together form the "three-part Dharma flower sutra":

  1. The Innumerable Meanings Sutra (Japanese: Muryōgi Kyō), prologue to the Lotus Sutra.
  2. The Lotus Sutra (Japanese: Myōhō Renge Kyō) itself.
  3. The Sutra of Meditation on the Bodhisattva Universal Worthy/Samantabhadra Meditation Sutra (Japanese: Fugen Kyō), epilogue to the Lotus Sutra.

They have been known collectively as the Threefold Lotus Sutra in China and Japan since ancient times.

The Sutra of Innumerable Meanings, the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law, and the Sutra of Meditation on the Bodhisattva Universal Virtue was translated by Bunno Kato, Yoshiro Tamura, and Kojiro Miyasaka with revisions by W. E. Soothill, Wilhelm Schiffer, and Pier P. Del Campana.

This is the first publication in English of all three sutras making up a Buddhist scripture of pivotal importance and one of the world's great religious classics. This book received an International Publications Cultural Award from Japan's Publishers Association for Cultural Exchange.

About the Author: Michio Shinozaki is a long-time member of Rissho-Kosei Kai, a popular Japanese lay Buddhist organization, and president of the Rissho Kosei-kai Gakurin Seminary in Tokyo. Shinozaki has authored numerous articles on Japanese Buddhist practice for English speaking members of the organization.

Source: rk-world.org

The Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra

The Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra

Translated for the first time from the original Sanskrit by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki

177 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Kinh Lăng Già Tâm Ấn

A Mahayana Text

The Lankavatara Sutra, according to tradition, contains the actual words of the Buddha spoken in Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Nothing is known about its author, the time of its composition, or its original form. Scholars have tended to date the original compilation to early in the first century, and the written work to the fourth century of the Common Era. The sutra was foundational in establishing the central tenets of Mahayana Buddhism, and especially Zen. The Lankavatara was virtually unknown in the West until D. T Suzuki’s Studies in the Lanakavata Sutra was published in 1929. Suzuki’s subsequent translation and publication of the The Lankavatara Sutra in 1932 earned him the respect and gratitude of scholars and Buddhists worldwide. Professor Suzuki felt that an editing of the Lankavatara, for the sake of easier reading, would make the sutra more widely accessible.

Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki was a renowned Buddhist scholar largely responsible for the popularity of Buddhism in the West. He was born in 1870 in North Japan. As a disciple to Zen masters at Engakuji Monastery in Kamakura, he received the name “Daisetz” (“great humility”) as a mark of enlightenment. He wrote over twenty books in English, and a similar number in Japanese. He lectured and taught in the United States, Europe and Japan. He died in 1966.

About the Author: Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki was Japan's foremost authority on Zen Buddhism, and the author of over 100 works on the subject. He was trained as a Buddhist disciple in the great Zen monastery at Kamakura. From 1897 to 1908 he worked in the United States as an editor and translator, and later became a lecturer at Tokyo Imperial University. In 1950, at 80, he returned to the United States and spent most of the decade teaching, lecturing, and writing, particularly at Columbia and Harvard. Returning to Japan, he died in Tokyo in 1966 at the age of 95.

Wisdom of Buddha: Saṃdhinirmocana Sūtra

Sūtra of the Explanation of the Profound Secrets

252 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Kinh Giải Thâm Mật

By John Powers (Author)

The Elucidation of the Intention Sutra, or the Sutra Unravelling the Thought (of the Buddha). An extraordinary teaching given by the Buddha in response to questions of advanced Bodhisattvas, this Sutra is now available in English. Ten chapters illuminate the basis-consciousness, the ultimate, the doctrine of cognition-only, the threefold character of phenomena (the imputational, other-dependent, and thoroughly established), the teachings of definitive meaning, the development of shamatha and vipashyana, the ten stages of the Bodhisattva Path and the six perfections, and the union of wisdom and compassion at the Buddha level. A masterpiece of the Mahayana and a central text of the Yogachara. With Tibetan text on facing pages, extensive notes and glossary.

Editorial Reviews: From Library Journal

Buddhist scholars everywhere should rejoice. This is the first full translation of the Samdhinirmocana Sutra, an important exposition on the nature of existence attributed to the Buddha. This sutra is one of the primary texts of Yogacara, a branch of Mahayana Buddhism. Powers has wisely reproduced the Tibetan text from which he translates on the facing page to aid scholars. Sutras, like all religious tracts, are difficult to read, especially for those unfamiliar with the theological foundation of this form of Buddhism. Luckily for the scholar, the translator has heavily footnoted the more arcane passages and includes a useful bibliography. After reading the text, one wishes that a more comprehensive introduction of Yogacara was included with the translation, but this is a minor criticism of an important addition to the study of Buddhism. Recommended for theological and academic libraries.

Glenn Masuchika, Chaminade Univ. Lib., Honolulu

About the Author: John Powers is professor of Asian Studies at Australian National University. He is the author of 16 books and more than 50 academic articles.

The Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra

Pali: Mahāparinibbāṇa Sutta

584 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Kinh Đại Bát Niết Bàn

By: Dr. Tony Page (Author) and Kosho Yamamoto (Translator)

This sutra is the study of what can be called Nirvana Sutra Buddhism or Tathagatagarbha Buddhism. It is a very positive, balanced, faith-promoting and spiritually affirmative manifestation of Buddhism, which recognises the hidden reality of the unconditioned, egoless Buddha-Self in all beings. That Self of the Buddha is a mystery, beyond the reach and grasp of the samsaric intellect: while the Buddha-Self is real, it is certainly not comparable to our worldly, selfish self (ego) and cannot truly be captured within the net of words or concepts. Yet it is the only enduring Truth that can ever be found. This sutra leads us to the Ultimate Truth and indicate the Path to tread for an Awakening into Reality s presence, which is all-pervading and eternal. That eternally present Truth is the sole genuine Reality.

You, monks, should not thus cultivate the notion of impermanence, suffering and non-Self, the notion of impurity and so forth, deeming them to be the true meaning of the Dharma, as those people searching in a pool for a radiant gem did, each thinking that bits of brick, stones, grass and gravel were the jewel. You should train yourselves well in efficacious means. In every situation, constantly meditate upon the idea of the Self, the idea of the Eternal, the Bliss, and the Pure ... Those who, desirous of attaining Reality, meditatatively cultivate these ideas, namely, the ideas of the Self, the Eternal, the Bliss, and the Pure, will skilfully bring forth the jewel, just like that wise person who obtained the genuine, priceless gem, rather than worthless detritus misperceived as the real thing. - The Buddha, Chapter Three, The Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra

Source: shabkar.org

Alternative format:

The Flower Ornament Scripture: A Translation of the Avataṃsaka Sūtra

Sanskrit: Avataṃsaka Sūtra (Flower Garland Sutra, Flower Adornment Sutra, or Flower Ornament Scripture)

1465 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Kinh Đại Phương Quảng Phật Hoa Nghiêm or shortened to Kinh Hoa Nghiêm

Known in Chinese as Hua-yen and in Japanese as Kegon-kyo, the Avatamsaka Sutra, or Flower Ornament Scripture, is held in the highest regard and studied by Buddhists of all traditions. Through its structure and symbolism, as well as through its concisely stated principles, it conveys a vast range of Buddhist teachings.

This one-volume edition contains Thomas Cleary's definitive translation of all thirty-nine books of the sutra, along with an introduction, a glossary, and Cleary's translation of Li Tongxuan's seventh-century guide to the final book, the Gandavyuha, "Entry into the Realm of Reality."

Source: zen-ua.org

The Sixth Patriarch’s Dharma Jewel Platform Sūtra

Master Hsuan Hua (Author)

484 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Kinh Pháp Bảo Đàn

The life and teaching of Master Hui Neng, an illiterate Buddhist monk of Tang Dynasty China (7th century) who expounded the doctrine of no-thought and sudden enlightenment through meditation. The book is filled with Tang Dynasty history, covers such topics as ignorance and enlightenment, different levels of consciousness and ultimate reality.

About the Author: The late Master Hua was born in Manchuria, China in 1918. He taught at Nan Hua Temple in Canton, China, the same monastery where Master Hui Neng taught in the 7th century. Fulfilling his goal of spreading the orthodox Dharma to the west, he has established 28 monasteries in Asia and north America, and had lectured orthodox sutras for 50 years before his passing.

Source: thezensite.com

The Platform Sūtra of the Sixth Patriarch

by Hui-neng (Author), Philip Yampolsky (Translator)

62 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Kinh Pháp Bảo Đàn

The Platform Sutra records the teachings of Hui-neng, the Sixth Patriarch, who is revered as one of the two great figures in the founding of Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism. This translation is the definitive English version of the eighth-century Ch'an classic. Dr. Yampolsky also furnishes a lengthy and detailed historical introduction that provides the context essential to an understanding of Hui-neng's work.


The Concentration of Heroic Progress

301 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Thủ Lăng Nghiêm Tam Muội Kinh

The Śūraṃgamasamādhisūtra is an early Mahayana Buddhist scripture. Within a narrative framework provided by a dialogue between the Buddha and the bodhisattva Drdhamati, it airs central issues of Mahayana Buddhism by means of philosophical discussion, edifying anecdote, marvelous feat, and drama. At its core is a description of the seeming conversion of Mara, the embodiment of all malign tendencies that obstruct advancement, and the prediction that he too will become a Buddha.

Samadhi (concentration) is understood to denote the altered mental states attainable through Buddhist meditation techniques, in particular that in which discursive thought is allayed and the mind is calm and capable of sustained awareness of a single object.

The present volume comprises the first full English translation of Kumarajiva’s Chinese translation of the Suramgamasamadhisutra, with an extensive explanatory introduction and annotations. Etienne Lamotte’s French version appeared in 1965 and now Sara Boin-Webb’s English rendering of this work gives the English-speaking world access both to an important Buddhist scripture and a classic work of Buddhist studies scholarship.

"This English rendering has been done by Ms. Boin-Webb with the same deftness, accuracy, and attention to detail seen in her translations of Lamotte’s L’Enseignement de Vimalakirti and his Histoire du bouddhisme indien, des origines à l’ére Saka. . . . In French this book was a gem of thoroughgoing and wholly admirable scholarship. It is no less so in its English setting." —Journal of the American Oriental Society

Published in association with The Buddhist Society, London

The Pratyutpanna Samādhi Sūtra and The Śūraṅgama Samādhi Sūtra

Sanskrit: Pratyutpannabuddhasaṃmukhāvasthita-samādhi and Śūraṅgamasamādhi-sūtra

240 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Kinh Bát Chu Tam Muội and Thủ Lăng Nghiêm Tam Muội Kinh

The Pratyutpanna Samādhi Sutra derives its name from the pratyutpannabuddhasaṃmukhāvasthita-samādhi, the spiritual state in which by mental concentration one is able to see buddhas appearing before one’s very eyes. This sūtra describes the techniques involved and gives Amitāyus, who resides in the western paradise of Sukhāvatī, as an example of a buddha who might appear in such a manner.

One of the oldest Mahāyāna sūtras, this is the earliest reference to Amitāyus among all the sūtras. It can thus be regarded as a forerunner of the Pure Land Sūtras.

Source: Skt. Pratyutpannabuddhasaṃmukhāvasthita-samādhi-sūtra. Translated into the Chinese by Lokakṣema as Banzhou sanmei jing (般舟三昧經). 3 Fascicles.

The Śūraṅgama Samādhi Sutra expounds the essentials of meditative practice. When asked by the bodhisattva Dṛḍhamati, the Buddha replies that the śūraṅgama-samādhi (“Samādhi of the Heroic March”) is foremost among all methods of spiritual training, embracing within it all other methods of practice, and he then goes on to describe it in detail, explaining its powers and how to go about practicing this method. Viewed historically, the thought presented in this sūtra anticipates such works as the Avataṃsaka-sūtra, the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa-sūtra, and theSaddharmapuṇḍarīka-sūtra, and it is considered to have been composed around the start of the Common Era.

Source: Skt. Śūraṅgamasamādhi-sūtra. Translated into the Chinese by Kumārajīva asShoulengyan sanmei jing (首楞嚴三昧經). 2 fascicles.

Source: bdkamerica.org

The Sūtra of the Medicine Buddha

Sanskrit: Bhaiṣajyaguruvaiḍūryaprabhārājasūtra

70 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Kinh Dược Sư

In the Mahayana tradition of East Asia, particularly China, Japan, Vietnam and Tibet, Bhaishajya-guru, the Medicine Buddha, occupied a special place in the hearts of the devout. Specialising in curing diseases, both physical and mental - of which delusion is the root cause. His healing acts are but the prelude to Supreme Enlightenment for those seekers who have the good fortune to learn of his vows or merely to hear his name!

Source: buddhanet.net

Sūtra of the Medicine Buddha (Click on cover for English only version)

Sūtra of the Medicine Buddha (English and Chinese version here)

Sanskrit: Bhaiṣajyaguruvaiḍūryaprabhārājasūtra

78 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Kinh Dược Sư

By: Venerable Master Hsing Yun (Author), Brenda Bolinger (Editor), Robin Stevens (Editor), Pey-Rong Lee (Editor)

This volume includes a new translation of The Sūtra of the Medicine Buddha as well as a detailed look at the practice of the Medicine Buddha. A classic for thousands of years, this new translation makes the great vows of the Medicine Buddha accessible to a new generation of readers. This edition also includes the original Chinese text accompanied by pinyin pronunciation notes for in-depth study.

Venerable Master Hsing Yun is a Chinese Buddhist monk and a leader of the Humanistic Buddhism movement that seeks to integrate Buddhism into people's everyday lives. He is the founder of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order, as well as the author of many works such as Chan Hear, Chan Art and Opening the Mind's Eye.

Source: fgsitc.org

The Sūtra of Bodhisattva Kṣitigarbha's Fundamental Vows

Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva Pūrvapraṇidhāna Sūtra

431 Pages ​

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Kinh Địa Tạng Bổn Nguyện

Edited by Frank G. French, Tripitaka Sramana Siksananda (Translator from Sanskrit to Chinese), Upasaka Tao-tsi Shih (Translator from Chinese to English)

The Great Compassion of Bodhisattva Kṣitigarbha was manifested by his profound Great Vow to uproot misery from and impart peace of mind to all sentient beings. This is evidenced by the fact that even though he has already attained the stage of the Patient Endurance of the Uncreated and has comprehended and realized the nature of the Dharma for an incalculably long time, yet he does not desire to attain Buddhahood nor to dwell in the realm of eternal rest and light. On the contrary, Bodhisattva Kṣitigarbha, using the power of his Great Vow, assumes various transformation bodies to meet the needs of and to convert all sentient beings, according to their natures, throughout many different worlds, even attempting to free all the beings suffering in the various hells. To this purpose, Bodhisattva Kṣitigarbha has taken the Great Vow as follows:"I shall attain Buddhahood only when every last sentient being has been converted and saved; and, furthermore, if Hell itself is not completely emptied of suffering beings, I vow never to enter Buddhahood." How great and how wonderful is the limitless compassion of this Bodhisattva Kṣitigarbha!

Source: budaedu.org

The Original Vows of Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva Sūtra

Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva Pūrvapraṇidhāna Sūtra

112 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Kinh Địa Tạng Bổn Nguyện

Translated by: Jeanne Tsai

Original Vows of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Sutra details the practics of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva across many past lives as he plants the seed of cultivation and makes deep, profound vows to guide all beings to awakening before he attains bodhi, vowing not to rest until all the hells are empty.

Introduction by Venerable Master Hsing Yun: The Original Vows of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Sutra (地藏菩薩本 願經), is variously known as the Original Vows of Ksitigarbha Sutra (地藏本願經), the Original Practices of Ksitigarbha Sutra (地藏本 行經), the Power of the Original Vows of Ksitigarbha Sutra (地藏 本誓力經), or simply the Ksitigarbha Sutra (地藏經). During the Tang dynasty, the Chinese translation of the sutra was completed in two fascicles by Master Siksananda (652-710) of Khotan, a kingdom located today in Hetian, Xinjiang, China. Master Siksananda was adept in both the Mahayana and the Theravada traditions of Buddhism and an expert in many other fields of study. He passed away in the tenth month of the first year of the Jingyun era. Other well-known sutras he translated include the eighty-fascicle version of the Flower Adornment Sutra, the seven-fascicle version of the Lankavatara Sutra, and the Prediction of Manjusri Attaining Buddhahood Sutra. Among the Buddhist community, the Ksitigarbha Sutra is lauded as the Buddhist sutra of filial piety. This sutra consists of the discourses delivered by the Buddha to his mother in the Trayastrimsa Heaven. The sutra discusses the filial practices of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva during his “causal practice,” the time when he was planting the causes for liberating sentient beings in the future, as well as the profound vows he made during previous lives: “Only after all beings have been guided to awakening will I myself attain bodhi; as long as the hells are not empty, I shall not become a Buddha,” and “If I don’t enter the hells, who will?” The sutra also discusses cause and effect, the consequences of our actions, as well as the reality of suffering in the hells. In addition, it emphasizes that those who listen to, read, recite, and practice according to the sutra will attain inconceivable merits and benefits and dissolve measureless negative karma. This sutra consists of thirteen chapters.

Contributors: Fo Guang Shan International Translation Center

Source: fgsitc.org

The Śūraṅgama Sutra

The Śūraṅgama Sūtra contains teachings from Yogācāra, Buddha-nature, and Vajrayana. It makes use of Buddhist logic with its methods of syllogism and the catuṣkoṭi "fourfold negation" first popularized by Nāgārjuna.

548 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Lăng Nghiêm Kinh

With Excerpts from the Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsüan Hua

Description: For over a thousand years, the Śūraṅgama Sūtra — the “Sūtra of the Indestructible”— has been held in great esteem in the Mahāyāna Buddhist countries of East and Southeast Asia. In China the Sūtra has generally been considered as important, and has been as popular as the Lotus Sūtra, theAvataṁsaka Sūtra, the Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra, the Heart Sūtra, and the Diamond Sūtra.

The appeal of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra lies in the broad scope of its teachings and in the depth and clarity of its prescriptions for contemplative practice. Its wealth of theoretical and practical instruction in the spiritual life often made it the first major text to be studied by newly ordained monks, particularly in the Chan School. Many enlightened masters and illustrious monastic scholars have written exegetical commentaries on it. To this day, for both clergy and laity in the Chinese Buddhist tradition, the Śūraṅgama Sūtra continues to be the object of devout study, recitation, and memorization.

Much of the Sūtra unfolds in the form of a dialogue between Buddha Śākyamuni and his cousin Ānanda, whose personal story provides a narrative frame for the discourse. The Buddha shows Ānanda how to turn the attention of his sense faculties inward in order to achieve a deeply focused state of meditation known as samadhi. The Buddha gives instruction in moral purity, in correct understanding of the mind, in avoidance of dangers that may be encountered when absorbed in meditation, and in the practice of the Śūraṅgama mantra, which lies at the heart of the Sūtra.

Source: buddhisttexts.org

The Noble Mahāyāna Sūtra “The Display of the Pure Land of Sukhāvatī” བ་བ་ཅན་ི་བད་པ། (PDF)

Shorter Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra (Also known as The Amitābha Sūtra)

23 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: A Di Đà Kinh

Introduction: Origin and History of “The Display of the Pure Land of Sukhāvatī”. The Display of the Pure Land of Sukhāvatī is the shortest of three sūtras that expound the Land of Delight, the pure realm of Amitābha, called Sukhāvatī. To distinguish among the three, they are sometimes referred to as the “smaller” and the “larger” Display of the Pure Land of Sukhāvatī, and The Amitāyus Meditation Sūtra. The smaller sūtra, according to the Sanskrit scholar Luis Gomez, first appeared in its written form during the first century C.E., possibly in what was then Northwest India and is now Pakistan.

The sūtra contains four main topics: (1) the description of Sukhāvatī; (2) the prerequisites needed to take birth in this realm; (3) praise of this discourse expressed by other buddhas; and (4) Buddha Śākyamuni’s supreme feat.

Summary: In the Jeta Grove of Śrāvastī, Buddha Śākyamuni, surrounded by a large audience, presents to his disciple Śāriputra a detailed description of the realm of Sukhāvatī, a delightful, enlightened abode, free of suffering. Its inhabitants are described as mature beings in an environment where everything enhances their spiritual inclinations. The principal buddha of Sukhāvatī is addressed as Amitāyus (Limitless Life) as well as Amitābha (Limitless Light). Buddha Śākyamuni further explains how virtuous people who focus single-mindedly on Buddha Amitābha will obtain a rebirth in Sukhāvatī in their next life, and he urges all to develop faith in this teaching. In support, he cites the similar way in which the various buddhas of the six directions exhort their followers to develop confidence in this teaching on Sukhāvatī. The sūtra ends with a short dialogue between Śāriputra and Buddha Śākyamuni that highlights the difficulty of enlightened activity in a degenerate age.

Translated by the Sakya Pandita Translation Group (International Buddhist Academy Division), under the patronage and supervision of 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha.

Source: 84000.co

The Dharma-Door of Praising Tathagata Akṣobhya’s Merits Sūtra

Sanskrit: Akṣobhyatathāgatasyavyūha Sūtra

Chapters: 6

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Kinh A Súc Bệ Phật

Akṣobhya meaning "Immovable One". One of the Five Wisdom Dhyanī Buddhas.

The Noble Mahāyāna Ākāśagarbha Sūtra ནམ་མཁའ་སང་པའ་མད

Sanskrit: Āryākāśagarbhanāmamahāyānasūtra

57 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Kinh Hư Không Tạng

 ​Summary: While the Buddha is dwelling on Khalatika Mountain with his retinue, an amazing display of light appears, brought about by the bodhisattva Ākāśagarbha’s liberating activities. As he joins the gathering, Ākāśagarbha manifests another extraordinary display, and the Buddha, praising his inconceivable accomplishments and activities, explains how to invoke his blessings. He sets out the fundamental transgressions of rulers, ministers, śrāvakas, and beginner bodhisattvas, and, after explaining in detail how to conduct the rituals of purification, encourages those who have committed such transgressions to turn to Ākāśagarbha. When people pray to Ākāśagarbha, he adapts his manifestations to suit their needs, appearing to them while they are awake, in their dreams, or at the time of their death. In this way, Ākāśagarbha gradually leads them all along the path, helping them to purify their negative deeds, relieve their sufferings, fulfill their wishes, and eventually attain perfect enlightenment.

Translated by the Sakya Pandita Translation Group (International Buddhist Academy Division), under the patronage and supervision of 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha.

Source: 84000.co

The Lotus Sūtra

Sanskrit: Saddharmapuṇḍarīka Sūtra

370 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Kinh Diệu Pháp Liên Hoa or shortened to Kinh Pháp Hoa

The Lotus Sūtra is one of the most important of all the Mahāyāna sūtras. The work has both literary and philosophical merit, combining verse and parables with clarity of insight, earning it a permanent spot in the history of Buddhism. In particular the concept of “One Vehicle,” which permeates the work, has had great influence on multiple schools of Japanese Buddhism.

Its notable contents (in 28 chapters) include:

  • Chapter 16, The Life Span of the Tathāgatā (Skt.: Tathāgatāyuṣpramāṇa-parivarta XV), especially important for its eulogy of Śākyamuni as the embodiment of the eternal life and as having attained enlightenment in the inconceivably remote past.
  • Chapter 25, The Universal Gate of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara (Skt.: Samantamukha-parivarta XXIV), describing the blessings of the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, was circulated in China and Japan as an independent sūtra and is still recited today.
  • Numerous popular parables including those of the three carts and the burning house, the wealthy man and his poor son, the three kinds of medicinal herbs and two kinds of trees, and the phantom city and the treasure land.

Source: Skt. Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-sūtra, translated by Kumārajīva into the Chinese asMiaofa lianhua jing (妙法蓮華經). 8 fascicles.

Source: bdkamerica.org

Apocryphal Scriptures

The Bequeathed Teaching Sutra, The Ullambana Sutra, The Sutra of Forty-two Sections, The Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment, The Sutra on the Profundity of Filial Love

170 Pages

This volume contains five scriptural texts that have been especially important and influential in the East Asian Buddhist tradition:

The Bequeathed Teaching Sutra contains the last teachings of Śākyamuni, delivered to the disciples assembled around his deathbed between two sal trees. In this last sermon Śākyamuni urges his disciples to strive for enlightenment through the practice of the three disciplines (precepts, meditation and wisdom), and after having expounded other concepts basic to Buddhist thought, he ends by saying that this is his last teaching. The sūtra has gained considerable popularity as it is said to record the Buddha’s last teachings, and it is held in especially high regard in the Zen sects.

Source: Translated into the Chinese by Kumārajīva as Fochuibo niepan lüeshuo jiaojie jing(佛垂般涅槃略説教誡經). 1 fascicle.

The Ullambana Sutra forms the basis of the Bon ceremony (Urabon-e) performed in Japan in memory of the dead. The sūtra relates how Maudgalyāyana, one of Śākyamuni’s disciples, asked Śākyamuni how he might save his mother who had fallen into the realm of hungry spirits (Skt.: preta). Maudgalyāyana was instructed to make offerings of food and drink on the fifteenth day of the seventh month (the final day of the three-month retreat during the rainy season), and upon doing so his mother was relieved of her agony. The Sanskrit word of ullambana in the title means "hanging upside down," a metaphorical reference to the suffering undergone in the realm of hungry spirits. Judging from the fact that the Bon ceremony is still performed in Japan today, one can say that this sūtra has had considerable influence.

Source: Skt. Ullambana-sūtra. Translated into the Chinese by Dharmarakṣa as Yulanpen jing (盂蘭盆經). 1 fascicle.

The Sūtra of Forty-Two Sections is said to be the first Buddhist scripture brought to China, but some scholars maintain that it is an apocryphal work, produced in China, without a direct basis in Indic literature. As the title suggests, it explains important tenets of Buddhist doctrine in 42 sections, and serves as a kind of introduction to Buddhism. Basic concepts, such as suffering, impermanence and non-self, and elements of Buddhist practice, such as compassion and alms-giving, are explained clearly by way of apt similes. Written simply, the sūtra was widely read in China, and there are as many as ten variants of the text. Source: Brought into the Chinese by Kāśyapamātaṅga and Zhu Falan as Sishierzhang jing(四十二章經). 1 fascicle. The Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment takes the format of a dialogue between the Buddha and twelve bodhisattvas, starting with Mañjuśrī, who each puts a question to the Buddha. The central theme is the concept of “perfect and immediate enlightenment” (Ch.: yuan dun), said to be the consummate teaching of Mahāyāna Buddhism. Although this sūtra is said to be an apocryphal work compiled in China, it was held in high regard in Chan schools. Note, however, that Dōgen, the founder of the Sōtō Sect in Japan, rejected it on the grounds that it differs in contents from other Mahāyāna sūtras.

Source: Brought into the Chinese by Buddhatrāta as Dafangguang yuanjue xiuduoluo liaoyi jing (大方廣圓覺修多羅了義經). 1 fascicle.

This Sūtra on the Profundity of Parental Love describes the deep love of parents for their children, and then recommends that to repay this parental love one should perform the Bon ceremony (Taishō 36) and recite and copy this sūtra. Judging from its unnatural format and rather laboured contents, it is generally considered that this sūtra was composed in China, probably as a result of Confucian influence upon Buddhism. However, it won great popularity, being even quoted in literary works, and many commentaries were written on it.

Source: Ch. Fumu enzhong jing (父母恩重經), likely composed in China. 1 fascicle.

Source: bdkamerica.org

The Sūtra of Queen Śrīmālā of the Lion's Roar and The Vimalakīrti Sutra

Sanskrit: Śrīmālādevī Siṃhanāda Sūtra and Vimalakīrti Nirdeśa Sūtra

232 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Thắng Man Sư Tử Hống Nhất Thừa Đại Phương Tiện Phương Quảng Kinh or shorterned to Thắng Man Kinh and Duy Ma Cật Sở Thuyết Kinh or shortened to Kinh Duy Ma Cật.

The Sutra of Queen Śrīmālā of the Lion's Roar, generally known by its abbreviated title of Śrīmālā-sūtra, was expounded by Śrīmālā, the daughter of King Prasenajit of Śrāvasti, under the inspiration of Śākyamuni. Its important subjects include the theory of the “One True Vehicle” and the dharmakāya. Distinguished from other sūtras with the leading role played by a woman, and with the guarantee given by Śākyamuni therein, the text celebrates the potential of all people to become Buddhas and provides textual authority to counteract cultural gender bias. In Japan this sūtra is further distinguished by the commentary (Taishō 106) attributed to Prince Shōtoku, included in his “Commentaries on Three Sūtras” (Jp.San-gyō gi-sho).

Source Skt. Śrīmālādevīsiṃhanāda-sūtra, translated into the Chinese by Guṇabhadra asShengman shizihou yisheng defang bianfang guang jing (勝鬘師子吼一乘大方便方廣經). 1 fascicle.

In The Vimalakīrti Sutra the protagonist is a layman by the name of Vimalakīrti, well-versed in the profundities of Mahāyāna Buddhism. He happens to fall ill, and the sūtra starts from the point where Śākyamuni, hearing of his illness, asks his disciples to go to visit him. However, since each of the disciples has in the past been got the better of by Vimalakīrti in some way or other, they all refuse to go; so in the end it is Mañjuśrī who agrees to visit him in their stead. As a result a discussion on the profound teachings of the Mahāyāna unfolds between Vimalakīrti and Mañjuśrī. This sūtra is held in high regard in Japan, not least because Prince Shōtoku included a commentary on it (Taishō 107) in his Commentaries on Three Sūtras (San-gyō-gi-sho). Beyond that, the text has considerable appeal due to its dramatic contents, and is an important key to an understanding of the profound thought of Mahāyāna Buddhism.

Source Skt. Vimalakīrtinirdeśa-sūtra. Translated into the Chinese by Kumārajīva asWeimojie suoshuo jing (維摩詰所説經). 3 fascicles.

Source: bdkamerica.org

The Vairocanābhisaṃbodhi Sutra

Sanskrit: Mahāvairocana Abhisaṃbodhi Vikurvita Adhiṣṭhāna Tantra

320 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Đại Nhật Kinh

The Vairocanābhisaṃbodhi Sutra is one of the basic sūtras of Esoteric Buddhism. It is generally known as the Mahāvairocana-sūtra and is considered to have been composed in western India around the middle of the seventh century C.E. It consists of 36 chapters, dealing with both the doctrinal aspects of Esoteric Buddhism and its practical side, describing as it does the procedure for various rituals. TheMahākaruṇāgarbhodbhava-maṇḍala (Maṇḍala Born from the Womb of Great Compassion) is based on this sūtra, and is so called because it represents pictorially the essence of a buddha, the spirit of which is compared to the compassion enveloping an embryo in a mother’s womb.

Source Skt. Mahāvairocanābhisambodhi-vikurvitādhiṣṭhāna-vaipulyasūtrendra- rājanāma-dharmaparyāya. Translated into the Chinese by Śubhakarasiṃha and I-hsing as Da Biluzhena chengfo shenbian jiachi jing (大毘盧遮那成佛神變加持經). 7 fascicles.

Source: bdkamerica.org

The Platform Sūtra of the Sixth Patriarch

BDK English Tripiṭaka Series

172 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra: Kinh Pháp Bảo Đàn

Here is the record of the life and teachings of Huineng, the influential Sixth Chan (Zen) Patriarch. Complete in one volume.

As noted in the Translator's Introduction, this was a text very clearly molded by its specific origins within the early Chan movement. The characters that appear in this important book are literary creations or pious fabrications and not historical figures. But one can argue that that it is the very fictional quality of the text that renders it important, that makes it true. While almost all the details of the text’s charming story are invented, it can be seen as more representative of the deepest religious sensibilities of the Chinese people than a journalistically accurate account could have ever been. We know that the text was enthusiastically adopted by centuries of Chinese Buddhists.

The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch consists of a record of the teachings of Hui-neng, the Sixth Patriarch of the Chan School in China, recorded by his disciple Fahai, and is known by several abbreviated titles such as Platform Sūtra or Platform Sūtra of the Dharma Treasure. It proclaims the independence of the Southern School of Chan from the Northern School on such subjects as "sudden enlightenment" (Ch. dun-wu) and the external expression of one’s real nature (Ch.jian-xing).

Source Ch. Liuzu dashi fabao tan jing (六祖大師法寶壇經), Compiled in the Chinese by Zong-bao, as recorded by Fa-hai et al. 1 fascicle.

Source: bdkamerica.org

The Three Pureland Sūtras

Larger Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra (Also known as The Infinite Life Sūtra or The Sūtra on the Buddha of Infinite Life), Amitāyurdhyāna Sūtra and the Shorter Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra (Also known as The Amitābha Sūtra)

188 Pages

Translated Vietnamese title of the 3 contained Sūtras: Phật Thuyết Đại Thừa Vô Lượng Thọ Trang Nghiêm Thanh Tịnh Bình Đẳng Giác Kinh or shortened to Vô Lượng Thọ Kinh, A Di Đà Kinh and Quán Vô Lượng Thọ Kinh.

The Larger Sutra on Amitāyus is also known as the Larger Sukhāvatīvyūha, and more informally as the Large Amida or Amitābha Sutra. It is one of the three basic sūtras of the Pure Land Faith. It relates how the mendicant monk Dharmākara, practicing under the Tathāgata Lokeśvararāja, made 48 vows to save all suffering people. To fulfil these vows he created a paradise in the west called Sukhāvatī, and in fulfilling his vows he became the Buddha Amitāyus. The sūtra states that if anyone believing in these 48 vows should chant the name of Amitāyus, he will be born in the paradise of Sukhāvatī and there become a buddha.

This Amitāyurdhyāna Sūtra or Sūtra on the Meditation of Amitāyus, known informally as The Meditation Sūtra or The Contemplation Sūtra, is one of the three basic sūtras of the Pure Land Faith. It relates the story of King Ajātaśatru and his mother Vaidehī. One day Vaidehī, who was in a state of continual anguish owing to the wicked practices of her son, invokes the help of Śākyamuni. He comes to her, and to assuage her anguish, shows her countless paradises in all directions,and asks her to choose one. She chooses the Sukhāvatī Paradise of Amitāyus in the west, and so Śākyamuni gave a detailed description of this paradise by means of 16 types of visualization.

The Smaller Sutra on Amitāyus is the shortest of the three basic sūtras of the Pure Land Faith, and is known informally as The Smaller Sukhātīvyūha or The Smaller Amida Sutra, and is frequently recited at religious services. It starts by describing the splendors of Sukhāvatī, the western paradise of Amitāyus, and then explains what must be done to be born there. The Buddhas of the six directions (east, west, north, south, above and below) extol the virtues of the Buddha Amitāyus, and in conclusion it is recommended that one should generate the desire to be born in this paradise by believing in and chanting the name of Amitāyus.

Source: bdkamerica.org

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