Pratyutpanna Samādhi Sūtra

The Pratyutpanna Samādhi Sūtra (Sanskrit; traditional Chinese: 般舟三昧經; ; pinyin: Bānzhōu Sānmèi Jīng) is an early Mahayana Buddhist scripture, which probably originated around the 1st century BCE in the Gandhara area of northwestern India. The full title for this text is Pratyutpannabuddha Saṃmukhāvasthita Samādhi Sūtra, which translates to, "Sūtra on the Samādhi for Encountering Face-to-Face the Buddhas of the Present".[1]

The Pratyutpanna Samādhi Sūtra was first translated into Chinese by the Kushan Buddhist monk Lokaksema in 179 CE, at the Han capital of Luoyang.[2] This translation is, together with the Prajnaparamita Sutra, one of the earliest historically datable texts of the Mahayana tradition.

The Pratyutpanna Samādhi Sūtra contains the first known mentions of the Buddha Amitābha and his pure land, said to be at the origin of Pure Land Buddhism in China:[3]

Bodhisattvas hear about the Buddha Amitābha and call him to mind again and again in this land. Because of this calling to mind, they see the Buddha Amitābha. Having seen him they ask him what dharmas it takes to be born in the realm of the Buddha Amitābha. Then the Buddha Amitābha says to these bodhisattvas: "If you wish to come and be born in my realm, you must always call me to mind again and again, you must always keep this thought in mind without letting up, and thus you will succeed in coming to be born in my realm.

The full practice developed by Zhiyi is 90 days long.[4][verification needed] Lay practitioners often take a much shorter time. Any practice that exceeds one day requires a bystander called a dharma protector (護法) to look after the practitioner. The exercise includes constant walking or praying to Amitabha, sometimes accompanying or helped by the bystander. The practitioner should avoid sitting, laying, resting or sleeping during the period of practice. The bystander would warn the practitioner if he or she engages in prolonged resting. Very few Buddhists practice this. Yinguang (印光) suggested that people should practice the much easier recitation of name of the Buddha nianfo instead.[5][verification needed] But some buddhists have said that they feel healthier after the practice.[6][7][verification needed][8][verification needed][9][verification needed][10][verification needed]