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Sumati Sūtra Chinese-English Text 妙慧童女經

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Source of document: Taisho Tripitaka

Reference: T 12 336

Translator: Bodhiruci

Text Information
English translation: Yun, Venerable Master Hsing. Ten Paths to Happiness. Edited by John Gill and Jonathan Ko. Translated by Jason Greenberger. First edition. Los Angeles: Buddha’s Light Publishing, 2014. Reproduced with permission of BLP.

Sumati Sūtra (Miao Hui Tong Nu Jing, according to the Catalogue of the Kaiyuan Era on Buddhism, compiled by Liu Zhihou)

Translated by Tripiṭaka Venerable Bodhiruci in the Tang Dynasty, as an offering

[0081c12] 如是我聞
Thus I have heard:

[0081c12] 一時王舍城耆闍崛山比丘二百五十菩薩摩訶薩千人
At one time, the Buddha was joined by an assembly of one thousand two hundred and fifty monastics, as well as ten thousand great bodhisattvas, at Vulture Peak in Rajagrha.

[0081c14] 王舍城長者名為妙慧面貌端正容色姝好具足歡喜——過去無量諸佛親近供養善根
At that time, the daughter of an elder from Rajagrha, named Sumati, was eight years old. She had elegant, well-formed facial features and a beautiful complexion. In all other regards, she was pleasing to the eye and a pleasure to behold. This was due to the fact that, in her previous lives, she had paid homage and made offerings to all of the countless Buddhas, planting all wholesome roots.

[0081c16] 女人如來頂禮長跪合掌說偈言

 菩薩,  唯願。」
At that time, this young girl went to see the Tathagata. She paid homage to the Buddha, circumambulated him three times, knelt, joined her palms, and spoke in verse:
Supreme Perfect Enlightened One,
Bright light of this world,
Concerning bodhisattva's practices
I hope you will allow me to ask you questions.

[0081c21] 佛告妙慧:「解說。」
The Buddha said to Sumati, "Now you may ask as you please. I will explain and sever your doubts."

[0081c21] 爾時妙慧問曰
At that time, Sumati presented her questions to the Buddha in the form of a verse:

云何端正、  尊貴
 因緣,  眷屬
 云何,  化生
 蓮花,  世尊
 云何,  自在神通
 無量,  諸佛
 云何,  信受
 云何命終時,  諸佛
 聞說清淨,  苦惱
 無上!  唯願。」
How does one obtain elegant, proper form,
Wealth, and nobility?
Through what causes and conditions
Are families kept from destruction?

How can one see this body
Be reborn by transformation
Atop a thousand-petaled lotus
And make offerings to all World Honored Ones?

How can one attain
Supernatural powers, freely
Travel throughout innumerable realms,
And pay homage to all Buddhas?

How does one live blamelessly,
Ensure one's words are trusted by others,
Be pure, eliminate Dharma obstructions,
And forever leave behind all actions of Mara?

How can one, at the end of life,
See all Buddhas,
Hear the pure, pristine Dharma,
And no longer be subject to suffering?

Supremely honored one of great compassion,
I hope you will answer my questions.

[0082a05] 爾時佛告妙慧童女:「善哉善哉善能諦聽諦聽思念。」
At that time, the Buddha said to Sumati, "Excellent! Excellent! It is excellent that you are able to ask about such profound teachings. Listen well! Listen well! Think well upon this as I speak to you."

[0082a06] 妙慧白言:「唯然世尊。」
Sumati said, "Please do, World Honored One. I will joyfully listen."

[0082a08] 佛言:「妙慧菩薩成就四法端正何等一者二者大慈三者正法四者佛形像。」
The Buddha said, "Sumati, bodhisattvas use four methods to attain elegant, proper form. What four? First, do not give rise to anger when dealing with unwholesome friends. Second, tranquilly abide with great loving-kindness. Third, take deep joy in the true Dharma. Fourth, make Buddha images."

[0082a10] 爾時世尊而說偈言

善根增長、  慈心
 莊嚴,  一切眾生
At that time, the World Honored One spoke the following verse:
Anger ruins wholesome roots, so they no longer grow.
Make Buddha images with a kind heart and Dharma joy.
When one obtains a body fully adorned with all the auspicious signs.
All sentient beings will delight in seeing it.

[0082a14] 「復次妙慧菩薩成就四法富貴何等一者應時二者三者歡喜四者果報。」
"Once again, Sumati, bodhisattvas use four methods to obtain wealth and nobility. What four? First, give timely gifts. Second, [give] without contempt or arrogance. Third, give joyfully. Fourth, [give] with no expectation of reward."

[0082a16] 爾時世尊而說偈言

應時、  歡喜希求
At that time, the World Honored One spoke a verse:
Give timely gifts without contempt or arrogance.
Do so joyfully, with no expectation of reward.
Strive onwards in this manner in your constant cultivation.
Therein wealth and noble status will be obtained.

[0082a19] 「復次妙慧菩薩成就四法眷屬何等一者善能棄捨離間二者邪見眾生正見三者正法四者有情佛菩提。」
"Once again, Sumati, bodhisattvas use four methods to keep their families from destruction. What four? First, skillfully abandon divisive language. Second, persuade sentient beings marred by wrong view to abive in right view. Third, protect and ensure to continuation of the true Dharma. Fourth, teach all senitient beings to attain Buddhahood."

[0082a22] 爾時世尊而說偈言

捨離邪見、  正法護持
 安住眾生菩提,  眷屬
At that time, the World Honored One spoke a verse:
Abandon devisive language and wrong views.
The true Dharma has yet to perish. It can still be protected.
Lead sentient beings to abide in great enlightenment.
When this is accomplished, everyone will be kept from destruction.

[0082a25] 「復次妙慧菩薩成就四法化生蓮花何等一者末香如來塔廟二者損害三者如來安處四者佛菩提淨信。」
"Once again, Sumati, bodhisattvas use four methods to be born by transformation in the presence of a Buddha, atop a lotus throne. What four? First, offer flowers, fruits, and powdered incense at Tathagata stupas and temples. Second, never bring harm upon others. Third, make Tathagata images and place them upon lotus thrones. Fourth, develop a pure faith in the enlightenment of all Buddhas."

[0082a29] 爾時世尊而說偈言

花香支提、  不害造像
 菩提深信,  蓮花生
At that time, the World Honored One spoke a verse:
Spread flowers and incense over Buddhas and stupas,
Do not harm others, make Buddha images,
Have deep faith in great enlightenment,
And one will be born by transformation atop a lotus before a Buddha.

[0082b03] 「復次妙慧菩薩成就四法一佛土一佛土何等一者二者說法三者然燈供養如來四者禪定勤修。」
"Once again, Sumati, bodhisattvas use four methods to travel from one Buddha land to another. What four? First, do not hinder or become angry at the sight of others cultivating wholesomeness. Second, do not impede others from speaking the Dharma. Third, light lamp offerings at Tathagata stupas. Fourth, continuously cultivate all varieties of meditative concentration."

[0082b06] 爾時世尊而說偈言

 如來塔廟,  修習佛剎
At that time, the World Honored One spoke the following verse:
When seeing others cultivate wholesomeness and speak the true Dharma,
Do not hinder their efforts or criticize them.
Offer bright lamps at Tathagata stupas and temples,
and your cultivation of meditation will bring you to Buddha lands.

[0082b10] 「復次妙慧菩薩成就四法云何一者親近善友二者嫉妬三者名譽歡喜四者菩薩行。」
"Once again, Sumati, bodhisattvas use four methods to live blamelessly. What four? First, make good Dharma friends without flattery. Second, do not be jealous of others' accomplishments. Third, when others achieve fame, be happy for them. Fourth, while cultivating bodhisattva practices, do not slight or slander others."


 名譽歡喜、  菩薩
At that time, the World Honored One spoke the following verse:
Do not flatter good Dharma friends,
Do not become jealous of others' accomplishments,
Delight in the renown gained by others,
Do not slander bodhisattvas.
Then one will be blameless.

[0082b16] 「復次妙慧菩薩成就四法何等一者發言修行使相應二者善友三者過失四者說法惡心。」
"Once again, Sumati, bodhisattvas use four methods to ensure that people trust their every word. What four? First, always be consistent in your words and practice. Second, do not hide your wrongdoings from good Dharma friends. Third, do not seek fault in the Dharma one hears. Fourth, do not give rise to unwholesome thoughts towards those who speak the Dharma."

[0082b19] 爾時世尊而說偈言

發言修行相應、  善友
 ,  一切信受
At that time, the World Honored One spoke a verse:
Be consistent in your words and practice.
Do not hide your wrongdoing from good Dharma friends.
Do not seek fault in the Dharma one hears.
Then all your words will be believed and trusted.

[0082b22] 「復次妙慧菩薩成就四法法障清淨何等一者意樂二者聞甚深經誹謗三者新發意菩薩一切四者有情大慈平等。」
"Once again, Sumati, bodhisattvas have four methods to eliminate Dharma obstructions and be pure. What four? First, embrace the three categories of bodhisattva precepts. Second, after hearing the profound sutras, do not slander them. Third, see those who make their initial intention, then give rise to the mind of all wisdom. Fourth, treat all sentient beings with great loving-kindness and equanamity."

[0082b25] 爾時世尊而說偈言

意樂、  聞甚深經信解
 發心、  慈心普洽消除
At that time, the World Honored One spoke a verse:
Deeply embrace the discipline,
Listen to the profound sutras and have faith,
Venerate the initial intention as one would the Buddha,
And have a heart of universal loving-kindness. Then obstructions will be eliminated.

[0082b29] 「復次妙慧菩薩成就四法云何一者了知法性平等二者發起精進三者念佛四者一切善根迴向。」
"Once again, Sumati, bodhisattvas have four methods for avoiding Mara. What four? First, completely understand that Dharma nature is equal. Second, give rise to diligence. Third, constantly contemplate the Buddha. Fourth, dedicate the merit from all wholesome roots."

[0082c02] 爾時世尊而說偈言

平等、  精進如來
 迴向一切善根,  不能便
At that time, the World Honored One spoke a verse:
If one is able to know that Dharma nature is equal,
Constantly contemplate the Tathagata,
and dedicate the merit from all wholesome roots,
then the myriad Mara cannot hinder you.

[0082c06] 「復次妙慧菩薩成就四法臨命終諸佛現前何等一者有所令滿足二者善法信解三者諸菩薩莊嚴四者三寶勤修供養。」
"Once again, Sumati, bodhisattvas use four methods to ensure that they will be greeted by Buddhas at the end of life. What four? First, give gifts to satisfy the needs of others. Second, produce a deep faith in all wholesome teachings. Third, offer all bodhisattvas their ornaments. Fourth, diligently make offerings to the Triple Gem."

[0082c09] 爾時世尊而說偈言

有所令滿足、  信解
 三寶福田供養,  臨命終佛現前。」
At that time, the World Honored One spoke a verse:
Fulfill the needs of others,
Believe the profound Dharma and provide requisites,
Diligently make offerings to the Triple Gem as a field of merit,
And at the end of life the Buddha will appear.

[0082c13] 爾時妙慧童女佛說白言:「世尊菩薩奉行世尊於是四十一行佛教欺誑如來。」
At that time, the young girl Sumati, having heard the Buddha's words, said to him. "World Honored One, of all the bodhisattva practices the Buddha has spoken of, I vow to uphold and practice them. World Honored One, if I do not practice even one of these forty methods, then I will have turned my back on the Buddha's teachings and lied to the Tathagata."

[0082c17] 爾時尊者大目揵連妙慧:「菩薩可行殊勝大願於是自在?」
At that time, Venerable Maudgalyayana said to Sumati, "The bodhisattva path is very difficult to practice. Just now, you have made an extraordinarily great vow. Can you fulfill it with ease?"

[0082c20] 爾時妙慧白言:「尊者弘願真實不虛圓滿三千大千世界震動。」
At that time, Sumati said, "Venerable, if my vows are true, not false, and I am able to perfectly cultivate all these methods, then may this three thousand-fold world system quake in six ways, may wonderous flowers rain down from the heavens, and may heavenly drums beat of their own accord."
Once these words were spoken, out of empty space, flowers fell like rain, heavenly drums beat on their own, and the three thousand-fold world system quaked in six ways.

[0082c23] 是時妙慧目連:「如是真實未來成佛——如今釋迦如來——我國無有惡趣女人虛妄大眾身皆金色。」金色
The Sumati said again to Maudgalyayana, "In accordance with the truth I have spoken, in a future life, I will become a Buddha, just as Sakyamuni Tathagata is now. In my Buddha land, there [will be] no Mara, no rebirth in lower realms, and no one called 'woman.' If what I say is not false, may the bodies of all in this great assembly become gold in color!"
As these words were spoken, everyone became golden colored.

[0082c28] 爾時尊者大目揵連偏袒頂禮白言:「世尊發心菩薩諸菩薩摩訶薩。」
At that time, Venerable Maudgalyayana rose from his seat, bore his right shoulder, paid homage to the Buddha, and said, "World Honored One, I first prostrate myself before those bodhisattvas who have made their initial intention, and I will bow before all great bodhisattvas as well."

[0083a02] 爾時文殊師利法王子妙慧:「?」
At that time, Dharma Prince Manjusri, said to Sumati, "Upon what Dharma do you abide in to make such a sincere vow?"

[0083a03] 妙慧答言:「文殊師利何以故法界。」
Sumati said, "Manjusri, you should not ask that question. Why? There is no Dharma to abide in."

[0083a04] :「云何名為菩提?」
He further asked, "What is 'bodhi?'"

[0083a05] 答曰:「分別是名菩提。」
She said, "The Dharma of non-discrimination is 'bodhi.'"

[0083a05] :「云何名為菩薩?」
He further asked, "What are 'bodhisattvas?'"

[0083a06] 答曰:「一切虛空是名菩薩。」
She said, "[Those who] see all phenomena as empty are 'bodhisattvas.'"

[0083a06] :「云何名為菩提?」
He further asked, "What are bodhisattva practices?"

[0083a07] 答曰:「猶如陽焰菩提。」
She said, "Practices which are like a mirage or an echo from a valley. These are bodhisattva practices."

[0083a09] :「如是?」
He further asked, "Is there any hidden meaning to what you have said?"

[0083a09] 答曰:「不見。」
She said, "In what I have said, I do not see the wonderous Dharma as either hidden or overt."

[0083a10] :「如是一切凡夫菩提。」
He further asked, "If it is as you say, then all ordinary beings are enlightened!"

[0083a11] 答曰:「菩提凡夫何以故同一法界。」
She said, "Do you claim that enlightened beings and ordinary beings are different? Do not hold such a view. Why? Both share the same form in the Dharma realm. There can be no clinging or rejecting, as there is no formation or destruction."

[0083a13] :「幾何?」
He further asked, "How many are there who can understand this doctrine?"

[0083a14] 答曰:「若干幻化心所若干幻化眾生。」
She said, "However many illusory thoughts can be counted, that is how many sentient beings can understand this doctrine."

[0083a15] 文殊師利:「幻化如是心所法?」
Manjusri said, "If illusory forms are inherently non-existent, how can the mind and mental phenomena exist?"

[0083a16] 答曰:「法界乃至如來亦復如是。」
She said, "They are like the Dharma realm. It is neither existent nor non-existent. The Tathagata is also this way."

[0083a17] 爾時文殊師利白佛言:「世尊妙慧甚為希有成就如是。」
At that time, Manjusri said to the Buddha, "World Honored One, it is rare to encounter one like this girl, Sumati. She will be able to attain the patience of phenomena."

[0083a18] 佛言:「如是如是童女過去發菩提心三十無上菩提無生。」
The Buddha said, "It is so, it is so! Your words are true. This young girl already gave rise to the bodhi mind over thirty kalpas before I made my own supreme bodhi vow. She also guided you to abide in the patience of the non-arising of phenomena."

[0083a22] 爾時文殊師利作禮妙慧:「往昔無量供養親近。」
At that time, Manjusri rose from his seat, paid homage to her, and said to Sumati, "Innumerable kalpas ago, I mad offerings to you. How fortunate it is that I can learn from you again."

[0083a24] 妙慧:「文殊師利如是分別何以故分別無生。」
Sumati answered, "Manjusri, You should not make such discriminations. Why not? This is because, through non-discrimination, the patience of the non-arising phenomena is gained."

[0083a25] :「妙慧女身?」
He further asked, "Sumati, why have you not turned away from your female body?"

[0083a26] 妙慧答言:「女人不可
Sumati said, "The female form cannot be attained. What is there to turn away from?"

[0083a28] 「文殊師利疑惑如是真實來世得阿耨多羅三藐三菩提比丘出家
"Manjusri, I will now eliminate your doubts. Due to my sincere words, in the future, I will attain supreme, perfect enlightenment. After listening to my Dharma, all bhiksus will hear, 'well come,' and enter the path."

"In my land, all sentient beings are golden. All their necessities are provided, just like in the sixth heaven of the desire realm. Food and drink are abundant and appear at a thought. There [will be] no Mara, no rebirth in lower realms, and no one called 'woman.' There are seven treasure forests, netting of fine cloth and valuable jade, and seven treasure lotus flowers, all covered with jeweled canopies. It is similar to Manjusri's Pure Land: covered in rich adornments, without any difference."

[0083b07] 「虛妄大眾身皆金色女身變成男子三十比丘。」
"If what I have said is true and not false, may everyone in attendance take on a golden hue, and may my female body change and become male, appearing to be a thirty-year-old bhiksu well-versed in the Dharma."

[0083b08] 大眾金色妙慧菩薩三十比丘
After saying this, everyone in attendance turned golden. Sumati Bodhisattva changed from female to male, and appeared as a thirty-year-old bhiksu well-versed in the Dharma.

[0083b10] 是時地居天展轉:「妙慧菩薩摩訶薩來世得菩提佛剎功德如是。」
At that time, the heavenly beings who dwelled in Mount Sumeru descended to offer praise one at a time, "Excellent! Excellent! When the Great Sumati Bodhisattva attains bodhi, there will be a glorious pristine Buddha land. Such is her virtue."

[0083b13] 爾時佛告文殊師利:「妙慧菩薩來世正覺殊勝功德寶藏如來出現於世。」
At that time, the Buddha said to Manjusri, "In the future, this Sumati Bodhisattva will attain perfect enlightenment and be called Shusheng Gongde Baozang Tathagata [Excellent Virtuous Treasure Tathagata]."

As the Buddha spoke this sutra, thirty kotis of sentient beings came to reside upon supreme, perfect enlightenment, abiding in non-transgression. Eighty kotis of sentient beings left defilement far behind and obtained pure Dharma eyes. Eighty thousand sentient beings gained liberating wisdom.

[0083b17] 五千比丘菩薩乘退轉妙慧菩薩意樂善根威德殊勝脫身如來
There were five thousand bhiksus who were about to turn away from the bodhisattva path. But because they witnessed Sumati Bodhisattva's aspiration and wholesome roots, and saw her majestic virtue and excellent character, they removed their upper garments and offered them to the Tathagata.

[0083b21] 如是誓言:「我等以此善根決定阿耨多羅三藐三菩提。」
Having presented their offering, they made a great vow, "With these wholesome roots, we absolutely will achieve supreme perfect enlightenment."

These good men took their wholesome roots and dedicated the merit to supreme bodhi. They transcended ninety kalpas of the suffering of birth and death and came to abide in supreme perfect enlightenment, from which they would never regress.

[0083b25] 爾時世尊:「汝等來世千劫光明陽焰世界佛剎相次成佛同一辯才莊嚴如來出現於世
At that time, the World Honored One made a prophecy, "All of you will reside in a future known as the 'kalpa of undefiled light.' It will occur one thousand kalpas from now, in the Rare Endurable Buddha Land of the Mirage World. There, many will attain Buddhahood together, and share the name Biancai Zhuangyan Tathagata [Eloquent and Dignified Tathagata].

[0083b28] 「文殊師利如是法門大威德菩薩摩訶薩聲聞乘者利益
"Manjusri, this teaching posesses great majesty and virtue. It is able to bring great benefit to great bodhisattvas, and sravaka followers.

"Manjusri, there may be good men and women who pursue bodhi. But due to their lack of skillful means, they practice the six perfections for thousands of kalpas. Even if a person copied this sutra for a short half a month, the merit gained by this person would surpass the merit of the previous practitioner: saying it is one hundred kotis greater, one thousand kotis greater, or even one hundred thousand kotis greater is not enough to adequately convey the difference.

[0083c06] 「是故文殊師利如是微妙法門諸菩薩付囑來世受持讀誦為人解說譬如轉輪聖王出現於世所有七寶之後隱沒如是微妙法門流行諸如菩提流行正法
"Therefore, Manjusri, this teaching should be recorded as a sutra for all bodhisattvas. Now I am entrusting it to you. In future lives, receive, uphold, read, recite, and expound this sutra to others. It is as if a wheel-turning monarch was to appear in this world with his seven treasures. After he died, those treasures would disappear. But if this wonderous teaching became widespread throughout the world, the seven factors or awakening and others teachings will remain. However, should it not become widespread, the right Dharma will disappear.

[0083c12] 「是故文殊師利善男子善女人菩提應當發起精進書寫此經受持讀誦為人演說後世悔恨。」
"Therefore, Manjusri, good men and women who pursue bodhi should give rise to diligence, transcribe the sutra, receive it, uphold it, recite it, and expound it to others. This is my teaching. Upholding them so that no regrets will form in future ages."

[0083c14] 佛說此經妙慧菩薩文殊師利菩薩大眾阿修羅乾闥婆歡喜信受奉行
After the Buddha delivered this sutra, Sumati Bodhisattva, Manjusri Bodhisattva, and all the heavenly beings, humans, asuras, gandharvas, and other beings in attendance were all overjoyed at having heard the Buddha's teachings. They faithfully received this teaching and practice.

[End of Sumati Sūtra]

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