ON THE TWO PRANIDHÂNAS,
THE 18TH AND 21ST, MISSING IN THE TEXT.
IN the Chinese translations of the Larger Sukhâvatî-vyûha, made by Sanghavarman, A. D. 252, and Bodhiruki, A. D. 693-713, there are altogether 48 Pranidhânas, not 46, as in the Sanskrit text. The 18th and the 21St in the translations are evidently wanting in the Sanskrit text, and the latter part of the 19th Pranidhâna in that text is the latter part of the lost 18th, according to the translations. This 18th Pranidhâna, however, is so important that it is called by Gen-ku, the teacher of Shin-ran, the founder of the Shin-shiu sect, 'the king of the Pranidhânas.'
Sanghavarman's translation of the 18th, 20th, and 21st is as follows;--
18. 'When I have obtained Buddhahood, if those beings who are in the ten quarters should believe in me with serene thoughts, and should wish to be born in my country, and should have say ten times thought of me (or repeated my name),--if they should not be born there, may I not obtain the perfect knowledge;--barring only those beings who have committed the five deadly sins, and who have spoken evil of the good Law.'
The 18th Pranidhâna in the Sanskrit text agrees with the 19th in both Chinese translations; but the 20th in these translations is somewhat shorter than the 19th in the Sanskrit text. The shorter translation is as follows:--
20. 'When I have obtained Buddhahood, if those beings who are in the ten quarters, after they have heard my name, should direct their thoughts towards my country and should plant the roots of merit (or prepare their stock of merit), and should bring them to maturity with their serene thoughts, and wish to be born in my country,--if they should not accomplish (their desire), may I not obtain the perfect knowledge.
21. 'When I have obtained Buddhahood, if gods and men in my country should not all be endowed perfectly with the thirty-two marks of the great man, may I not obtain the perfect knowledge.'
I have tried to restore the Sanskrit text for the above three Pranidhânas, in accordance with the Chinese translations.
The 18th may be formed chiefly out of the 19th in the text, something as follows;--
Note.--The fulfilment of this Pranidhâna is given in the text (p. 47. ll. 1-4). as the reason of the fulfilment of the I7th:--
In the Chinese translations, the exception of two kinds of beings is repeated at the end of this fulfilment.
The 20th (i.e. 19th in the text) may then be shortened like this:--
The fulfilment of this Pranidhâna may be the 27th chapter in the text, with the exception of some portion on the appearance of Amitâbha before a dying man, which belongs to the 19th (i.e. 18th in the text) Pranidhâna.
The 21st may be like this:--
This Pranidhâna is found in the Tibetan translation.
The fulfilment of this Pranidhâna is to be found in chap. 35 (p. 56) as follows:--