Amida-kyo Sutra (阿弥陀経)

"Amida-kyo Sutra" (Sutra of Amida Buddha) is one of sutras of Mahayama Buddhism.
Its original title was "Sukharvativyuha Sutra" (Sukhāvatīvyūha in Sanskrit), which means 'the solemnity of gokuraku (the Pure Land).'
In order to distinguish it from "Muryoju-kyo sutra" (Sutra of Immeasurable Life) whose title is same in Sanskrit, it's also called "Smaller Sukharvativyuha Sutra." Its abbreviated title is "Shokyo" (Smaller Sutra) while that of "Muryoju-kyo Sutra" is "Daikyo" (Larger Sutra). Because "Amida-kyo Sutra" is the sutra whose content is the teachings preached that Shakyamuni had taught, not the one in which Shakyamuni replied to the questions raised by disciples, it is called 'Mumon jisetsu kyo' (the sutra whose content is not questions and answers but the preaching of Shakyamuni).

It is estimated that this sutra was created in Northern India in the first century. The original version written in Sanskrit still exists, as do the Chinese and Tibetan translations.

In Japan, it usually refers to "Bussetsu Amida-kyo Sutra" (translated by Kumaraju). Concerning the details, refer to the item of "Bussetsu Amida-kyo Sutra" below.

The original Sanskrit version was also introduced into Japan in ancient times, and during the Edo period it was published and became a subject of research.

Bussetsu Amida-kyo Sutra

"Bussetsu Amida-kyo Sutra:" One volume, translated by Kumaraju in the late Quin era (around 402).

It is one of the fundamental sacred scriptures of the Japanese Jodo (Pure Land) sect; together with Bussetsu Muryoju-kyo (the Sutra of the Buddha of Immeasurable Life) (translated by Koso) and "Bussetsu Kanmuryoju-kyo" (The Sutra of Contemplation on the Buddha of Immeasurable Life) (translated by Kyoryoyasha) they are collectively called 'The Jodo Sanbu-kyo' (the three main sutras of the Pure Land sect).

Because it's a very short sutra, its other name is "Shishi-kyo" (literally, the sutra of four papers).

"Taisho Shinshu Daizo-kyo Sutra" (Taisho Tripitaka) (hereinafter referred to as "Taishozo"): Volume 12, pp.346-348.

Among the existent translations, this is the one that reflects the original most faithfully.


First, it preaches the solemnity of Gokuraku Jodo (the Land of Perfect Bliss), where Amida-Nyorai resides. Next, it exhorts to embrace the name of Amida Buddha in order to leave this world and be born in the Pure Land. Finally, it exhorts various Buddha in Roppo-sekai (literally, the worlds of six directions) to believe in this teaching with praise and sincerity.

Bussetsu Sho Muryoju-kyo Sutra

"Bussetsu Sho Muryoju-kyo" (Lesser Sutra of the Buddha of Immeasurable Life): One volume, translated by Gunabadara of Sung (the Southern Court) (around 455).

Lost book.

Shosan Jodo Butsu Shoju-kyo Sutra

"Shosan Jodo Butsu Shoju-kyo" (Sutra on Pure Land and expounding method through the Grace of Buddha): One volume, translated by Genjosanzo of Tang (in 650).

"Taishozo:" Volume 12, pp.348-351

In this version, Roppo-sekai, which appeared in Kumaraju's translation, was increased to Jippo-sekai (literally, the world of ten directions). Also, some descriptions reflecting the philosophy of ethnic discrimination are seen in this book.

[Original Japanese]