The Twelve Original Vows of Tathagata Medicine Guru with Lapis Lazuli Light

Under Imperial Order of Tang Dynasty
Translated into Chinese by Tripitaka Dharma Master Xuan Zang
Translated from Chinese into English
By Yutang Lin


The first great vow: In the future when I shall attain unsurpassable complete Enlightenment may my body be glowingly bright to shine upon immeasurable countless boundless worlds, and be adorned with the thirty-two marks of a great man and the eighty ensuing refined features. I shall render all beings to resemble me without differences.

The second great vow: In the future when I shall attain unsurpassable complete Enlightenment may my body be like Lapis Lazuli, transparent throughout and pure without blemish, with extensive brightness and majestic merits, well at ease, and adorned with aureole brighter than sun and moon. Sentient beings in hell would all be taught the right path. I would engage in all kinds of salvation activities as my intention moves along.

The third great vow: In the future when I shall attain unsurpassable complete Enlightenment may I employ countless boundless skillful means of wisdom to render all beings in possession of inexhaustible things of comfort but not to let sentient beings in want of anything.

The fourth great vow: In the future when I shall attain unsurpassable complete Enlightenment may I settle well all those who practice the heterodox ways onto the Bodhi path, and establish securely those who practice Sravakayana or Pratyeka-Buddha-yana in Mahayana.

The fifth great vow: In the future when I shall attain unsurpassable complete Enlightenment may the countless boundless sentient beings who would cultivate pure conducts in accordance with my teachings all attain no breach of silas and fulfill the three cumulative silas. If they fail to comply or violate silas, upon hearing my name, they would regain purity and not fall into bad realms.

The sixth great vow: In the future when I shall attain unsurpassable complete Enlightenment may those sentient beings who are physically inferior with incomplete senses, and are suffering from being ugly, retarded, blind, deaf, mute, victim of convulsion, crippled, humpbacked, leprous, lunatic, or sick with various diseases, upon hearing my name, all attain proper features, become smart, with all senses wholesome, and without any illness.

The seventh great vow: In the future when I shall attain unsurpassable complete Enlightenment may those sentient beings who are tormented by diseases but with neither help nor refuge, neither medical treatment nor medication, neither relatives nor family, yet in poverty with much hardship, upon hearing my name, all become free from diseases, attain peace and joy of body and mind, have abundance of family and possessions, and even up to all attain unsurpassable complete Enlightenment.

The eighth great vow: In the future when I shall attain unsurpassable complete Enlightenment may those women who are tormented by hundreds of sufferings of the female sex, and are extremely weary to the extent of wishing to give up their female bodies, upon hearing my name, all transform into men with proper male features, and even up to all attain unsurpassable complete Enlightenment.

The ninth great vow: In the future when I shall attain unsurpassable complete Enlightenment may I render all sentient beings escape the nets of evils, and become free from entanglements of heterodox ways. If they are trapped in all sorts of dense forest of perversive views, I will induce and introduce them to right views, gradually lead them to practice the Bodhisattva ways, and help them soon attain unsurpassable complete Enlightenment.

The tenth great vow: In the future when I shall attain unsurpassable complete Enlightenment may those sentient beings who are condemned by royal laws to be bound by ropes, lashed by whips, enchained in prisons, or executed, and are tormented by numerous other disasters and insults so that they are afflicted by sorrow and anguish, and are suffering in both body and mind, upon hearing my name, through the majestic supernatural power of my merits and virtue, all become free from all sorrows and sufferings.

The eleventh great vow: In the future when I shall attain unsurpassable complete Enlightenment may those sentient beings who are tormented by hunger and thirst, and, in order to obtain food, have committed all sorts of evil karma, will have the opportunity to hear my name and will then continue to repeat my name whole-heartedly. Then I shall first satisfy their physical needs with most wondrous foods and drinks, and afterwards provide them with the flavors of Dharma so as to establish them in ultimate peace and joy.

The twelfth great vow: In the future when I shall attain unsurpassable complete Enlightenment may those sentient beings who are poor without clothing, tormented day and night by mosquitoes, wasps, cold and heat, upon hearing my name will continue to repeat it whole-heartedly, and then they will obtain all sorts of most wondrous clothing just as they prefer them to be. They will also obtain all kinds of jewel ornaments, floral garlands, perfumes, drums and music, dancers, whatever their hearts desire will all be satisfied.


Translation completed on November 17, 2001
El Cerrito , California


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