To Be Born in the Pure Land

ARYA VASUBANDHU’S VERSES OF ASPIRATION FOR BIRTH

UPADESHA ON THE AMITAYUS SUTRA

 

O World-Honored One, with singleness of mind,

I take refuge in the Tathagata of Unhindered Light

Shining throughout the Ten Directions,

And aspire to be born in the Land of Peace and Bliss. (1)

 

Depending on the sutras’ exposition

Of the manifestation of true merit,

I compose verses of aspiration in condensed form,

Thereby conforming to the Buddha Dharma. (2)

 

When I contemplate the nature of that Land,

I find that it surpasses all states of existence in the three worlds.

It is ultimately like space,

Vast and without bounds. (3)

 

Out of the Great Compassion inherent in the Right Path

And from the root of supramundane good has it arisen.

It is completely radiant with pure light,

Like a mirror, or the sun, or moon. (4)

 

It is composed of rare jewels,

And endowed with exquisite adornments.

Its pure and blazing light is brilliant

And serene, illuminating the whole world. (5)

 

Jeweled ornaments, pliant and soft like grasses,

Bend to right and left.

They produce delightful sensations in one who touches them,

Surpassing the sensations produced when kachilindika grass is stroked. (6)

 

Myriad varieties of jeweled blossoms

Are scattered profusely among the ponds, streams, and springs.

When a soft breeze moves the flowers and leaves,

Reflections of light interweave and shimmer in all directions. (7)

 

The palaces and various towers

Command unobstructed views in the ten directions.

There are trees displaying many colors,

All surrounded by railings of precious gems. (8)

 

Nets strung with innumerable jewels

Hang across the sky.

When bells of various kinds ring out,

They proclaim the message of the excellent Dharma. (9)

 

Magnificent flowers and robes rain down,

And numerous varieties of incense pervade everywhere.

The Buddha’s wisdom is pure and brilliant like the sun;

It dispels the darkness of the world’s ignorance. (10)

 

The Sacred Name enlightens people far and wide;

It is subtle and wonderful and is heard everywhere in the ten directions.

The Land is firmly upheld by Amideva,

The Enlightened One, the Dharma-King. (11)

 

The hosts of sages in the likeness of pure flowers surrounding the Tathagata

Are born there, transformed from within the Flower of Enlightenment.

They enjoy the taste of the Buddhist Dharma,

Taking meditation and Samadhi as nourishment. (12)

 

Forever free from bodily and mental afflictions,

They always enjoy pleasure, without interruption.

In this realm of the goodness of the Mahayana

All beings are equal, and not even the names of unworthy beings are found. (13)

 

Inferior, deformed, deficient persons, and

Those having the seeds of the Two Vehicles are not born here.

Whatever aspirations sentient beings may have,

They will all be fulfilled. (14)

 

For this reason I aspire to be born

In Amideva Buddha’s Land.

He is seated on the pedestal of an excellent, pure lotus flower

Adorned with innumerable great treasures. (15)

 

His physical marks of excellence shine for one fathom;

His form is incomparably superior to that of any other being.

The wondrous voice of the Tathagata, like that of Brahma,

Is heard throughout the ten directions. (16)

 

Like earth, water, fire, wind,

And space, He has no discriminative thoughts.

Heavenly and human beings, unshakable in their spiritual attainments,

Are born out of the ocean of pure wisdom. (17)

 

Like Sumeru, the king of mountains,

Amideva is supreme, wonderful and unequaled.

Heavenly beings and valiant men

Worship, circumambulate round Him, and look up to Him adoringly. (18)

 

When I observe the Buddha’s Primal Vow Power,

I find that those who meet with it do not pass by in vain.

They are enabled to gain quickly

The great sea of the treasure of merit. (19)

 

The Land of Peace and Bliss is pure and serene;

The Buddha always turns the undefiled wheel of the Dharma.

Transformed Buddhas and Bodhisattvas illumine the whole world like the sun,

While remaining motionless like Mt. Sumeru. (20)

 

The pure, glorious light of the Bodhisattvas,

In a flash of thought and simultaneously,

Illumines each and every Buddha’s assembly

And gives benefit to multitudes of beings. (21)

 

They manifest heavenly musical instruments, flowers, robes,

Fine incense, and so forth, with which they worship the Buddhas.

They praise and extol the merits of the Buddhas

Without discriminative thoughts. (22)

 

If there is any world in the universe

Without the treasure of merit of the Buddha Dharma,

I resolve to be born there

And to preach the Dharma like a Buddha. (23)

 

I have written this discourse and composed verses

With the wish to see Amideva Buddha

And, together with all sentient beings,

Be born in the Land of Peace and Bliss. (24)

About Tashi Nyima

I am a Dharma student, and aspire to be a companion on the path. I trust that these texts can offer a general approach and basic tools for practicing the Buddha's way to enlightenment. ||| Soy un estudiante del Dharma, y aspiro a ser un compañero en el sendero. Espero que estos textos ofrezcan a algunos un mapa general y herramientas básicas para la práctica del sendero a la iluminación que nos ofrece el Buda.
This entry was posted in Practice Texts. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s