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Buddhist Prayers

1. Opening the Sūtra  2. Transferring Merit  3. Four Vast Vows  4. Universally Worthy Vow of the Ten Great Actions  5. Always Walking the Bodhisattva Way  6. Repenting of All Sins  7. Wishing to Be Reborn in the Pure Land  8. Supplicating to Be Reborn in the Pure Land  9. Ascending the Golden Steps  10. Praising Amitābha Buddha 


1. Opening the Sūtra (開經偈)

The unsurpassed, profound true Dharma
無上甚深微妙法
Is hard to encounter in billions of kalpas.
百千萬劫難遭遇
This I now have seen and heard, and can accept and uphold,
我今見聞得受持
Hoping to understand the true meaning of the Tathāgatas.
願解如來真實義


2. Transferring Merit (回向偈)

May the merit of my practice
願以此功德
Adorn Buddhas’ Pure Lands,
莊嚴佛淨土
Requite the fourfold kindness from above,
上報四重恩
And relieve the suffering of the three life-journeys below.
下濟三途苦
Universally wishing sentient beings,
普願諸眾生
Friends, foes, and karmic creditors,
冤親諸債主
All to activate the bodhi mind,
悉發菩提心
And all to be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss.
同生極樂國


3. The Four Vast Vows (四弘誓願)

Sentient beings are countless; I vow to deliver them all.
眾生無邊誓願度
Afflictions are endless; I vow to eradicate them all.
煩惱無盡誓願斷
Dharma Doors are measureless; I vow to learn them all.
法門無量誓願學
Buddha bodhi is unsurpassed; I vow to attain it.
佛道無上誓願成


4. The Universally Worthy Vow of the Ten Great Actions (普賢十大行願)

First, make obeisance to Buddhas.
一者禮敬諸佛
Second, praise Tathāgatas.
二者稱讚如來
Third, make expansive offerings.
三者廣修供養
Fourth, repent of karma, the cause of hindrances.
四者懺悔業障
Fifth, express sympathetic joy over others’ merits.
五者隨喜功德
Sixth, request Buddhas to turn the Dharma wheel.
六者請轉法輪
Seventh, beseech Buddhas to abide in the world.
七者請佛住世
Eighth, always follow Buddhas to learn.
八者常隨佛學
Ninth, forever support sentient beings.
九者恒順眾生
Tenth, universally transfer all merits to others.
十者普皆迴向


5. Always Walking the Bodhisattva Way (常行菩薩道)

May the three kinds of hindrances and all afflictions be annihilated.
願消三障諸煩惱
May I gain wisdom and true understanding.
願得智慧真明了
May all hindrances caused by sin be removed.
普願罪障悉消除
May I always walk the Bodhisattva Way, life after life.
世世常行菩薩道


6. Repenting of All Sins (懺悔偈)

The evil karmas I have done with my body, voice, and mind are caused by greed, anger, and delusion, which are without a beginning in time. Before Buddhas I now supplicate for my repentance.
往昔所造諸惡業 皆由無始貪瞋癡 從身語意之所生 今對佛前求懺悔
The evil karmas I have done with my body, voice, and mind are caused by greed, anger, and delusion, which are without a beginning in time. I repent of all sins, the cause of hindrances.
往昔所造諸惡業 皆由無始貪瞋癡 從身語意之所生 一切罪障皆懺悔
The evil karmas I have done with my body, voice, and mind are caused by greed, anger, and delusion, which are without a beginning in time. I repent of all the roots of sin.
往昔所造諸惡業 皆由無始貪瞋癡 從身語意之所生 一切罪根皆懺悔


7. Wishing to Be Reborn in the Pure Land (願生淨土)

I wish to be reborn in the Western Pure Land.
願生西方淨土中
I wish to have as my parents a lotus flower in nine grades.
九品蓮花為父母
When the flower opens, I will see that Buddha and realize that dharmas have no birth,
花開見佛悟無生
And I will have as my companions the Bodhisattvas who never regress.
不退菩薩為伴侶


8. Supplicating to Be Reborn in the Pure Land (求生淨土)

I single-mindedly take refuge in Amitābha Buddha in the World of Ultimate Bliss. Illuminate me with Your pure light and draw me in with Your loving, kind vows! Thinking only of You, I now call the name of the Tathāgata. For the sake of the Bodhi Way, I supplicate to be reborn in Your Pure Land.
一心皈命極樂世界阿彌陀佛。願以淨光照我、慈誓攝我。我今正念稱如來名,為菩提道求生淨土。
Before this Buddha attained Buddhahood in the past, he made a vow: “Suppose there are sentient beings that, with earnest faith and delight, wish to reborn in my land, even if by only thinking ten thoughts. If they should fail to be reborn there, I would not attain the perfect enlightenment.”
佛昔本誓:若有眾生欲生我國,志心信樂乃至十念,若不生者不取正覺。
My thinking of this Buddha is why I have gained entrance into the Tathāgata’s ocean of great vows. By the power of this Buddha’s lovingkindness, my sins will be expunged, and my roots of goodness will grow stronger. At the end of my life, I will know the coming of my time. My body will have no illness or suffering. My heart will have no greed or attachments. My mind will not be demented but will be peaceful as if in meditative concentration. This Buddha, holding a golden lotus-borne platform in His hands, together with a holy multitude, will come to receive me. In the instant of a thought, I will be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss. When the lotus flower opens, I will see this Buddha and hear the Buddha Vehicle, and my Buddha wisdom will immediately unfold. I will widely deliver sentient beings, fulfilling my bodhi vow.
以此念佛因緣,得入如來大誓海中。承佛慈力,眾罪消滅、善根增長。若臨命終,自知時至。身無病苦、心不貪戀、意不顛倒,如入禪定。佛及聖眾手執金臺來迎接我。於一念頃,生極樂國。華開見佛,即聞佛乘、頓開佛慧、廣度眾生滿菩提願。

Homage to all Buddhas of the past, present, and future, in worlds in the ten directions!
Homage to all Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas!
Homage to mahā-prajñā-pāramitā!
十方三世一切佛 一切菩薩摩訶薩 摩訶般若波羅蜜


9. Ascending the Golden Steps (上金階)

In the ocean-like lotus pond assembly, seated on lotus-borne platforms are Amitābha Tathāgata and Bodhisattvas Avalokiteśvara and Great Might Arrived, who welcome me to ascend the golden steps. I majestically declare my great vows, wishing to leave all afflictions behind.
蓮池海會 彌陀如來觀音勢至坐蓮臺 接引上金階 大誓弘開 普願離塵埃

Homage to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the ocean-like lotus pond assembly! (Repeat three times.)
蓮池海會佛菩薩 (三稱)


10. Praising Amitābha Buddha (讚阿彌陀佛)

Amitābha Buddha in a golden body is
阿彌陀佛身金色
Unsurpassed in His excellent appearance and radiance.
相好光明無等倫
The curling white hair between His eyebrows is like five Sumeru Mountains.
白毫宛轉五須彌
His blue eyes are as clear as four great oceans.
紺目澄清四大海
Present in His radiance are innumerable koṭis of magically manifested Buddhas
光中化佛無數億
And countless magically manifested Bodhisattvas.
化菩薩眾亦無邊
He has made forty-eight vows to deliver sentient beings,
四十八願度眾生
Enabling them to arrive in nine grades at the opposite shore.
九品咸令登彼岸

Namo Amitābha Buddha of great lovingkindness and great compassion, in the Western Land of Ultimate Bliss!
Namo Amitābha Buddha! (Say these words or “namo amituo fo” as many times as one wishes.)
南無西方極樂世界 大慈大悲阿彌陀佛
南無阿彌陀佛 (多稱)


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