The Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom

The following is a text that I translated from Tibetan with a friend of mine, Roy Lee. As far as I know this text has never appeared anywhere in English before . . . but I could be wrong: 

THE SUTRA OF IMMEASURABLE LIFE AND WISDOM

 

Homage to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!

Thus have I heard:

     At one time the Buddha was staying by Sravasti, in Prince Jeta’s Grove, the garden of Anathapindika, together with a large company of monks, even one thousand two hundred and fifty, and numerous great Bodhisattvas.

     Then Buddha said to the youthful Manjusri, “Manjusri, in the heavens there is a world called Immeasurable Excellence, wherein abides a Tathagata, an Arhat, a fully enlightened Buddha called Exceedingly Definite Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, King of Brilliance. He engages in sustaining life, extending it to its limit, as well as in demonstrating Dharma to sentient beings.

     “Listen youthful Manjusri! The people of Jambuling have a short life span, merely one hundred years, and in general they die prematurely.

     “Whatever sentient being, Manjusri, proclaims the good qualities of, and praises the Tathagata Exceedingly Definite Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, or copies down the words of this discourse on Dharma, has others copy them, or just hears the name of it, or reads it and copies it into a book, memorizes it at home etc., or offers it flowers, incense, garlands, ointments and aromatic powders, they will Manjusri, instead of having their life exhausted, live for one hundred years. Whatever sentient being, Manjusri, hears, one-hundred and eight times, the name Exceedingly Definite Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, King of Brilliance, will also have their life extended. Whatever sentient being, when their life is almost exhausted, recites this name will also have their life extended. Therefore Manjusri, a son of a good family, or daughter of a good family, who, wishing to have a long life, hears the name of the Tathagata Immeasurable Life and Wisdom one hundred and eight times, or writes it down, asks another to write it down, or reads it, their excellence and well being will also be so. 

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Manjusri, whoever copies down the name of this Tathagata one-hundred and eight times, or has others copy it, or, memorizing it, copies it into a book, or reads it-whoever does this will, instead of having their life exhausted, live for one hundred years. And, at the time of their death, they will transmigrate to places such as the pureland of the Tathagata Immeasurable Life, The World of Immeasurable excellence.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Furthermore, nine hundred and ninety million Buddhas pronounced, with one thought and one voice, this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Furthermore, eight hundred and forty million Buddhas pronounced, with one thought and one voice, this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Furthermore, seven hundred and seventy million Buddhas pronounced, with one thought and one voice, this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Furthermore, six hundred and fifty million Buddhas pronounced, with one thought and one voice, this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Furthermore, five hundred and fifty million Buddhas pronounced, with one thought and one voice, this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Furthermore, four hundred and fifty million Buddhas pronounced, with one thought and one voice, this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Furthermore, three hundred and sixty million Buddhas pronounced, with one thought and one voice, this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Furthermore, two hundred and fifty million Buddhas pronounced, with one thought and one voice, this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Furthermore, as many Buddhas as there are grains of sand in the river Ganges, multiplied times ten,  pronounced, with one thought and one voice, this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Whoever copies down the words of this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, or has others copy them, will, rather than have their life become exhausted, have it grow strong and last one hundred years.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Whoever copies down the words of this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, or has others copy them, will never be reborn in the hell realm, the animal realm, or the land of Death; they will never be born into a life without leisure, and they will be able to recollect all their past lives, and where they were born.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Whoever copies down the words of this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, or has others copy them, will be doing the equivalent of having the eighty-four thousand collections of Dharma written out.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Whoever copies down the words of this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, or has others copy them, will be doing the equivalent of having the eighty-four thousand collections of Dharma manufactured and making them persevere.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Whoever copies down the words of this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, or has others copy them, will cause the five inexpiable sins to be totally purified.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Whoever copies down the words of this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, or has others copy them, will cause a heap of sin equal in size to Mt. Sumeru to be totally purified.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Whoever copies down the words of this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, or has others copy them, will provide no opportunity for either Mara, Kamadeva, yakshas or rakshasas to harm them.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Whoever copies down the words of this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, or has others copy them, will, at the time of their death, be directed by the prophecies of nine hundred and ninety million Buddhas. -One thousand Buddhas will stretch out their hands to them, and they will go from Buddhaland to Buddhaland.

     “Do not have doubt, hesitation, or indecision about this.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Whoever copies down the words of this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, or has others copy them, the Guardians of the Four Directions will follow like a shadow, protecting, saving and concealing them.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Whoever copies down the words of this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, or has others copy them, will be born in the Buddhaland of the Tathagata Amitabha, the World of Bliss.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Also, whatever place wherein this precious sutra is written becomes a stupa.

     “If these words enter into the ears of birds and deer, those born into the animal realm, then they will all become fully enlightened Buddhas.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Whoever copies down the words of this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, or has others copy them, will never be reborn as a woman.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Whoever, for the sake of this Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, this discourse on Dharma, gives away but a single coin, will be doing the equivalent of giving away a trichiliocosm filled with the seven precious substances.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Whoever makes an offering to this discourse on Dharma, makes an offering to all holy Dharmas.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “It is like this:

     “The heap of merit gained by offering the seven precious substances to the Tathagatas Chitraka, Top-Knot, Visvabhu, Lok-bar Tang Sel, Kanakamuni, Kasyapa and Shakyamuni is calculable, but the Immeasurable Life and Wisdom’s heap of merit is incalculable.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “It is like this:

     “The heap of merit gained by offering a collection of jewels piled as high as Mt. Sumeru is calculable, but the Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom’s heap of merit is incalculable.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “It is like this:

     “One by one the drops of water in the four great oceans can be calculated, but the Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom’s heap of merit is incalculable.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Whoever copies down the words of this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, or has others copy them, and prostrates and makes offerings to it, they are prostrating and making offerings to all the Tathagatas of all Buddhalands throughout the ten directions.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

“The Buddha, Power of Giving, perfectly excels.

That lion amongst men, realizes the power of giving;

As he enters into the City of Compassion,

The renown of the power of giving is circulated.

The Buddha, Power of Morality, perfectly excels.

That lion amongst men, realizes the power of morality;

As he enters into the City of Compassion,

The renown of the power of morality is circulated.

The Buddha, Power of Patience, perfectly excels.

That lion amongst men, realizes the power of patience;

As he enters into the City of Compassion,

The renown of the power of patience is circulated.

The Buddha, Power of Effort, perfectly excels.

That lion amongst men, realizes the power of effort;

As he enters into the City of Compassion,

The renown of the power of effort is circulated.

The Buddha, Power of Concentration, perfectly excels.

That lion amongst men, realizes the power of concentration;

As he enters into the City of Compassion,

The renown of the power of concentration is circulated.

The Buddha, Power of Wisdom, perfectly excels.

That lion amongst men, realizes the power of wisdom;

As he enters into the City of Compassion,

The renown of the power of wisdom is circulated.

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     After the Buddha pronounced these words, the youthful Manjusri, and the whole congregation and world with its gods, humans, asuras and ghandarvas, delighted, all praised his speech.

So ends the Mahayana Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom

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8 Responses to The Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom

  1. Wow, Brendan, this is quite an accomplishment. I’ve never heard of this sutra before, and it’s quite beautiful. Thanks so much to you and Roy for translating it.

    Though I am a bit disturbed by this line: ““Whoever copies down the words of this Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, or has others copy them, will never be reborn as a woman.”

  2. brendanconnell says:

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks. Yes, it is one that is mostly used in Tibetan culture for people who want to extend their lives.

    Obviously I don’t really like the line you are talking about either, but it is a translation. When I do translations I pretty much always put exactly what is written, whether I like it or not.

    I think the point is though, that you will be born in an easier existence and when this text was composed, there is little doubt that the life of a woman was more difficult—as it might very well be today.

    Also, I believe in Buddhism, there has traditionally been a belief that a woman could never attain Buddha-hood. So, naturally one would want to be reborn as a man.

  3. Tongela says:

    I appreciate your translation of this sutra. Will you please contact me? I have a few questions regarding other sutras.

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