Hymns on the Amida Sutra

Five Hymns


Seeing the sentient beings of the nembutsu
Throughout the worlds, countless as particles, in the ten quarters,
The Buddha grasps and never abandons them,
And therefore is named “Amida.”

Grasps (sesshu): Once grasped, one is never abandoned. Setsu means to pursue and grasp the one who seeks to run away. Setsu means to take in; shu means to receive and embrace.


The Buddhas, countless as the sands of the Ganges or as particles,
Reject the small good of the various practices
And all alike wholeheartedly encourage beings
To realize shinjin that is the inconceivable working of the Name.


The Buddhas of the ten quarters, countless as the sands of the Ganges,
Teach this dharma that is most difficult to accept;
For the sake of the evil world of the five defilements,
They bear witness to the teaching and protect beings who take refuge in it.


The Buddhas’ protection and witness
Arise from the fulfillment of the Vow of compassion;
So let those who attain the diamondlike mind
Respond in gratitude to Amida’s great benevolence.

Diamondlike: never defeated, never decaying, never rent.


To the evil sentient beings of wrong views
In this evil age of the five defilements, in this evil world,
The Buddhas, countless as the sands of the Ganges,
Give the Name of Amida, urging [them to entrust themselves to it].