It is generally considered by modern scholarship to be apocryphal , a composition originally written in Chinese. The text begins with a story where a prince named Ajatashatru was enticed by the villain Devadatta to murder his father, King Bimbisara , in order to ascend the throne. Ajatashatru kills his father, and nearly kills his mother, Queen Vaidehi, but after advice from his other ministers, he relented and threw his mother in prison. Lamenting her fate, Queen Vaidehi prays to Gautama Buddha for help, and he is able to visit her. Shakyamuni smiles, emitting light from his mouth, and goes on to tell Vaidehi how to be reborn in the Pure Land. This tale references historical incidents of the Haryanka dynasty of Magadha , India, and the religious tension between Gautama Buddha and his brother-in-law, Devadatta.
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The text follows the Taisho Tripitaka edition, vol. At one time the Buddha was staying on the Vulture Peak in Rajagriha [a] with a large assembly of twelve hundred and fifty monks. He was also accompanied by thirty-two thousand bodhisattvas led by Manjushri, the Dharma Prince. Instigated by his wicked friend, Devadatta, he seized his father, King Bimbisara, confined him in a room with seven-fold walls, and forbade all the court officials to visit the king.
Vaidehi, the king's consort, was devoted to him. After having bathed and cleansed herself, she spread over her body ghee and honey mixed to a paste with wheat flour, filled her ornaments with grape juice and secretly offered this food and drink to the king.
He ate the flour paste and drank the juice and then asked for water. Having rinsed his mouth, he joined his palms in reverence and, facing the Vulture Peak, worshipped the World-Honored One from afar, said, "Mahamaudgalyayana is my close friend.
I beseech you to have pity on me and send him here to give me the eight precepts. Day after day he came like this to give him the eight precepts. Three weeks passed in this way. Because he had eaten the flour-paste and heard the Dharma, he appeared peaceful and contented.
The monks Mahamaudgalyayana and Purna come here through the air to expound the Dharma to him. It is impossible to stop them. Those monks are evil, for with their delusive magic they have kept this wicked king alive for many days.
At that time the king had a minister named Candraprabha who was intelligent and wise. Together with Jivaka he made obeisances to the king and said, "Great King, according to a certain Vedic scripture, since the beginning of this cosmic period, there have been eighteen thousand wicked kings who have killed their fathers out of their desire to usurp the throne, but we have never heard of anyone who has committed the outrage of killing his mother.
Your Majesty, if you commit such an outrage, you will bring disgrace upon the ksatriya class. As your ministers, we cannot bear to hear what people will say. As this would be the act of an outcaste, we could no longer remain here. Agitated and frightened, Ajatashatru said to Jivaka, "Are you not on my side? Now I am in deep sorrow and distress. Since there is no way of my coming to look upon your august countenance, World-Honored One, I pray you send the Venerable Mahamaudgalyayana and the Venerable Ananda here to see me.
Then she bowed towards the Buddha in the distance. Even before she raised her head, the World-Honored One, who was then staying on the Vulture Peak, knew Vaidehi's thoughts and immediately ordered Mahamaudgalyayana and Ananda to go to her through the air; he himself disappeared from the mountain and reappeared in the inner chamber of the royal palace.
He was the color of purple gold and was seated upon a lotus-flower of a hundred jewels. He was attended by Mahamaudgalyayana on his left and Ananda on his right. Shakra, Brahma, the guardian gods of the world and other devas were in the air about him. Scattering heavenly blossoms like rain, they paid homage to the Buddha.
When she saw the World-Honored One, Vaidehi tore off her ornaments and prostrated herself on the ground. Weeping bitterly, she said to the Buddha, "O World-Honored One, what bad karma did I commit in former lives that I have borne such an evil son?
I wonder, World-Honored One, what karmic relations could have made you a relative of Devadatta? I do not wish to live in this defiled and evil world of Jambudvipa where there are hells, realms of hungry spirits, animals and many vile beings.
I wish that in the future I shall not hear evil words or see wicked people. World-Honored One, I now kneel down to repent and beg you to take pity on me. I entreat you, O Sun-like Buddha, to teach me how to visualize a land of pure karmic perfection. Returning to the Buddha, the light settled on his head and transformed itself into a golden platform resembling Mount Sumeru.
On the platform appeared the pure and resplendent lands of all the Buddhas in the ten quarters. Some of these lands were made of seven jewels, some solely of lotus-flowers; some resembled the palace in the Heaven of Free Enjoyment of Manifestation by Others, while some were like a crystal mirror in which all the lands in the ten quarters were reflected.
Innumerable Buddha-lands like these, glorious and beautiful, were displayed to her. Vaidehi then said to the Buddha, "O World-Honored One, these Buddha-lands are pure and free of defilement, and all of them are resplendent.
I beseech you, World-Honored One, to teach [c] me how to contemplate that land and attain samadhi. Although the old king was confined, with his unhindered mind's eye he saw the World-Honored One in the distance. He knelt down in homage to the Buddha and effortlessly made spiritual progress until he reached the Stage of a Non-returner.
Fix your thoughts upon and contemplate that Buddha-land, then you will accomplish the pure acts. I shall describe it to you in detail with various illustrations, so that all ordinary people in the future who wish to practice the pure karma may also be born in that Western Land of Utmost Bliss. Whoever wishes to be born there should practice three acts of merit: first, caring for one's parents, attending to one's teachers and elders, compassionately refraining from killing, and doing the ten good deeds; second, taking the three refuges, keeping the various precepts and refraining from breaking the rules of conduct; and third, awakening aspiration for Enlightenment, believing deeply in the law of causality, chanting the Mahayana sutras and encouraging people to follow their teachings.
These three are called the pure karma. I, the Tathagata, shall discourse on pure karma for the sake of all sentient beings of the future who are afflicted by the enemy, evil passions.
It is very good, Vaidehi, that you have willingly asked me about this. Ananda, you must receive and keep the Buddha's words and widely proclaim them to the multitude of beings. I, the Tathagata, shall now teach you, Vaidehi, and all sentient beings of the future how to visualize the Western Land of Utmost Bliss.
By the power of the Buddha all will be able to see the Pure Land as clearly as if they were looking at their own reflections in a bright mirror. Seeing the utmost beauty and bliss of that land, they will rejoice and immediately attain the insight into the non-arising of all dharmas. Since you have not yet attained the divine eye, you cannot see that which is distant.
But the Buddhas, Tathagatas, have special ways to enable you to see afar. But after the Buddha's passing, sentient beings will become defiled and evil, and be oppressed by the five kinds of suffering.
How then will those beings be able to see the Land of Utmost Bliss of Amitayus? How do you contemplate? All sentient beings [a] except those born blind--that is, all those with the faculty of sight--should look at the setting sun. Sit in the proper posture, facing west. Clearly gaze at the sun, with mind firmly fixed on it; concentrate your sight and do not let it wander from the setting sun, which is like a drum suspended above the horizon.
Having done so, you should then be able to visualize it clearly, whether your eyes are open or closed. This is the visualizing of the sun and is known as the first contemplation. To practice in this way is called the correct contemplation, and to practice otherwise is incorrect. Envision the western quarter as entirely flooded by water. Then picture the water as clear and pure, and let this vision be distinctly perceived. Keep your thoughts from being distracted.
After you have visualized the water, envision it becoming frozen. After you have visualized the ice as transparent to its depth, see it turning into beryl.
When you have attained this vision, next imagine that the beryl ground shines brilliantly, inside and out, and that this ground is supported from below by columns, which are made of diamond and the seven jewels and hung with golden banners.
These columns have eight sides and eight corners, each side being adorned with a hundred jewels. Each jewel emits a thousand rays of light, each ray in turn having eighty-four thousand colors.
As they are reflected on the beryl ground, they look like a thousand kotis of suns, so dazzling that it is impossible to see them in detail. The land is divided into areas made of one or the other of the seven jewels, so the partitions are quite distinct. Each jewel emits a flood of light in five hundred colors. The light appears in the shape of a flower or a star or the moon; suspended in the sky, it turns into a platform of light, on which there are ten million pavilions made of a hundred jewels.
Both sides of this platform are adorned with a hundred kotis of flowered banners and innumerable musical instruments. As eight pure breezes arise from the light and play the musical instruments, they proclaim the truth of suffering, emptiness, impermanence and no-self.
This is the visualizing of the water and is known as the second contemplation. Except when sleeping, always keep it in mind. If you attain a state of samadhi, you will see this ground so clearly and distinctly that it will be impossible to describe it in detail.
This is the visualizing of the ground and is known as the third contemplation. If one has attained a vision of the ground of that land, the evil karma which one has committed during eighty kotis of kalpas of Samsara will be extinguished, and so one will certainly be born in the Pure Land in the next life. Do not doubt this.
To practice in this way is called the correct contemplation, and to practice otherwise [b] is incorrect. This is how to do so. Visualize each one and then form an image of seven rows of trees, each being eight thousand yojanas high and adorned with seven-jewelled blossoms and leaves.
Each blossom and leaf has the colors of various jewels. From the beryl-colored blossoms and leaves issues forth a golden light. From the crystal-colored issues forth a crimson light. From the agate-colored issues forth a sapphire light. From the sapphire-colored issues forth a green pearl light. Coral, amber and all the other jewels serve as illuminating ornaments. Splendid nets of pearls cover the trees. Between these seven rows of nets covering each tree there are five hundred kotis of palaces adorned with exquisite flowers, like the palace of King Brahma, where celestial children naturally dwell.
Each of these children wears ornaments made of five hundred kotis of Shakra-abhilagna-mani-gems, which light up a hundred yojanas in all directions, like a hundred kotis of suns and moons shining together, and so it is impossible to describe them in detail.
Manifold jewels intermingle, producing the most beautiful colors. From among the leaves appear wonderful blossoms which spontaneously bear fruits of seven jewels.
Amitayus Sutra and Mantra (Audio)
Other Religions. But it is said it carries a large spiritual benefit to sentient beings. You can read it to acquire a long life for yourself or your loved ones, or may be some important projects, purify karma and collect great merits to be reborn in the Pure Land of Amitayus. As it is said in the sutra itself, you can collect great merits by re-writing it as a spiritual practice that brings benefits. It is very beneficial to print it out for people who have a cancer and for the success of projects and activities.
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Amitayus Long Life Sutra
Thus have I heard: At one time the Buddha dwelt in Rajagriha, on Vulture Peak, with a large assembly of Bhikkhus and with thirty-two thousand Bodhisattvas, with Manjushri the Dharma-Prince at the head of the assembly. At that time, in the great city of Rajagriha there was a prince, the heir-apparent, named Ajatasatru. He listened to the wicked counsel of Devadatta and other friends and forcibly arrested Bimbisara his father, the king, and shut him up by himself in a room with seven walls, proclaiming to all the courtiers that no one should approach the king. The chief consort of the king, Vaidehi by name, was true and faithful to her lord, the king.