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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:51 pm 
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A Prayer for Birth in Sukhāvatī, by Dol-po-pa shes-rab rgyal-mtshan

Homage to Lokeśvara! I prostrate to the Unsurpassable Subduer, the One who has Passed Beyond, the Foe Destroyer, the Fully and Perfectly Enlightened Buddha, the one of boundless life and wisdom called the King of Majestic Brilliance.

As prophesied by Buddha Amitāyus who grants the siddhi of longevity and immortality for [the benefit of] all those migrating beings inflicted by birth, aging, sickness and death, I too shall say this prayer of aspiration from previous lives: Whichever beings in this world-system hear my name, may they arrive in my field, without turning back for even a single lifetime.

As written in the Sukhāvatī-sūtra, through your unsurpassed power and wish to lead beings, I too shall go for refuge to Buddha Amitāyus. Having discarded my physical body, may I take birth in the Land of Bliss.

Through the power of completing unlimited prayers, whose qualities like strings of beads are praised by all the Buddhas of the ten directions, may I spontaneously arise in Sukhāvatī.

May I spontaneously arise in Sukhāvatī, where Amitābha, the Leader of Men, dwells, Avalokiteśvara, the powerful one [Vajrapāṇi], and many other countless Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

May I spontaneously arise in Sukhāvatī, a precious land as smooth as the palms of our hands, encircled by golden lattices and filled with many marvelous lotuses.

May I spontaneously arise in Sukhāvatī, where from the top of each lotus limitless light-rays radiate, emanations of the Buddhas of the ten directions spreading from all places.

May I spontaneously arise in Sukhāvatī, where trees of all varieties are made of seven precious substances appearing colourful and in good form, delightful to behold, pervaded in all directions by pleasant sounds.

May I spontaneously arise in Sukhāvatī, where many kinds of flocks of birds are manifestations of the Sugata, producing melodious sounds and praises, recalling the Protector of all [beings].

May I spontaneously arise in Sukhāvatī, where delightful streams endowed with sweet fragrance sing constant praises of the qualities of the Subduer.

May I spontaneously arise in Sukhāvatī, where gods and humans with golden complexion, attired in beautiful clothes and decked with ornaments, enjoy immeasurable bliss in the practice of the dharma.

May I spontaneously arise in Sukhāvatī, where nourishment, clothing, bedding, medicine, monastic robes, and jewelled mansions manifest the moment one wishes them.

May I spontaneously arise in Sukhāvatī, where material offerings, such as canopies and banners, and whatever one desires, appear instantly through the power of the aspirations of the Protector.

May I spontaneously arise in Sukhāvatī, where one attains supernormal powers, such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, retrocognition, and superior intelligence.

May I spontaneously arise in Sukhāvatī and directly discern, at the moment of death, the prophesy granted by ninety-nine million and a thousand rejoicing Buddhas extending their hands in salutation.

May I spontaneously arise in Sukhāvatī when I and all others are about to die, and Amitābha, the Leader of Beings and King of Dharma, along with hundreds of ordained monks appear lovingly before me and encircle me.

Having seen the Protector and his retinue, may there spring to my mind the highest joy, and with no loss of awareness, may I spontaneously arise in Sukhāvatī.

May these aspirational prayers be fulfilled through the blessings of Avalokiteśvara, King of the World, through powerful prayers to the source of all phenomena, the great force of Amitābha’s blessings, the power of whatever merit has been accumulated by all beings, the blessings of the Mahāmudrā of Clear Light, and the blessings of the truth of the Three Jewels. No sooner have I discarded this impure body, may I spontaneously arise in Sukhāvatī, and soon after being born there, may I complete the ten levels and engender emanations in all directions to serve others.

Translated by Georgios Halkias.

Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong - Nyoshul Khen
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:59 am 
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Dolpopa's response to doubts posited by intellectuals, from his commentary on the large Sukhavativyuha Sutra, trans. Matthew Kapstein.

    Now this must be said to remove error and doubt: about [this sutra] some kalyanamitras hold, "Because ordinary persons are not born in Sukhavati, the present ordinary persons who exist will not be born there despite their efforts". But this will harm sentient creatures, for it gives rise to error and doubt where they are not appropriate. For among the bhikshu-bodhisattva Dharmakara's forty-nine vows, the eighteenth rightly dispels [such doubts]. How so? Because it makes clear that when an individual reaches the time of death, the Buddha Amitabha, together with his retinue, will appear before him, whereupon with joyful confidence [that individual] will go to Sukhavati. As the Buddha Shakyamuni has declared this, [such persons] will come to be exalted individuals (Arya) during the intermediate state at the moment of death. This has some significance as does the passage in the Buddhavatamsaka that begins:

      When I come to the time of my death,
      May all obscuraitons be removed,
      And seeing Amitabha directly
      May I go to Sukhavati field.

    Again, there are some who say, "In the Gathadvayavyakhyana, composed by Acarya Sundaravyuha, and in the Sutralamkarabhasya and the Sutralamkaravrttibhasya, the statement that by praying one may be born in Sukhavati is said to be an example of a temporally displaced intention [whereby "rebirth" may refer to a birth many lifetimes removed], so even if you were to practice in accord with what is stated in this sutra, you will not be born in that field in the next life". But this also harms sentient creatures by becoming the basis for the rejection of the doctrine and doubt. It is to be dispelled by this monk's [Dharmakara's] nineteenth vow. How does that dispel it? It is because it says here that it is not enough to have prayed, but that one must also have parted from the [five] deeds bringing immediate retribution and from the rejection of the doctrine, and have engendered the enlightened attitude tenfold --it says thus that [rebirth in Sukhavati] will not be achieved by prayer alone. And it is because it exemplifies a temporally displayed intention only inasmuch as the intention is directed to prayer alone [that is to say, if prayer is taken as the sole relevant factor, the rebirth in Sukhavati may be lifetimes removed]. Therefore, there is no contradiction whatsoever here, and the intentions [of the sutra and of the aforementioned commentaries] are in accord.

    Further, consider whether or not that monk's forty-nine vows were realized or not. If they were realized, then because the eighteenth and nineteenth must also have been realized, it is not appropriate to harbor error and doubt about them. But if they were not realized, that would contradict [Buddha Shakyamuni's] declaration that since that monk had become manifestly and perfectly awakened in Sukhavati ten aeons had passed, and also contradict the [declaration of Amitabha's] names and characteristics that were forthcoming when [Ananda inquired] whether or not he had realized [buddhahood]. And it would contradict the assertion that the great sons of the Conqueror [the bodhisattvas], without having fulfilled the three special objectives, do not disclose the genuine limit.

    Therefore, suspecting that error about this would arise, the Buddha Shakyamuni well instructed the Conqueror's son Ajita in many ways regarding the faults of harboring doubt, with significant examples and so on, and declared that numberless and immeasurable buddhas of the ten directions spoke similarly. For this reason, having abandoned those faults [of error and doubt], you should believe in just what [the Buddha] has declared and, having once and again accumulated many immeasurable roots of virtue, perform pure prayers once and again. Thus, you must strive decisively. If you do this, there can be no doubt that you will be born miraculously in a lotus in Sukhavati, where doubtlessly you will come to possess many virtues in accord with [Dharmakara's] forty-nine vows.

Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong - Nyoshul Khen
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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