Thus I have heard :
一時佛在忉利天， 為母說法。 爾時十方無量世界， 不可說，不可說， 一功諸佛，及大菩薩摩訶薩， 皆來集會， 讚歡釋迦牟尼佛， 能於五濁惡世，現不可思議，大智慧神通之力，調伏剛強眾生， 知苦樂法。 各遣侍者， 問訊世尊。
At one time, Buddha Sakyamuni appeared in Trayastrimsa Heaven to preach the Dharma for his mother, Lady Maya. At that time, uncountable Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas from the Ten Directions went there for these instructions. All the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas admired Buddha Sakyamuni for His ability to help all hard and violent living beings learn how to achieve happiness and rid themselves of distress. Every Buddha and Bodhisattva sent their envoys to request the World Honored One’s instructions.
When Buddha smiled, millions of bright clouds appeared.
放百千萬億大光明雲 ， 所謂大圓滿光明雲 ， 大慈悲光明雲 ， 大智慧光明雲 ，大般若光明雲 ， 大三昧光明雲 ， 大吉祥光明雲 ， 大福德光明雲， 大功德光明雲，大歸依光明雲，大讚歡光明雲，放如是等，不可說光朋雲已，又出種種微妙之音。
The Bright Cloud of Great Perfect Fullness, The Bright Cloud of Great Compassion, The Bright Cloud of Great Wisdom, The Bright Cloud of Great Prajna, The Bright Cloud of Great Samadhi, The Bright Cloud of Great Refuge, The Bright Cloud of Great Praise and countless others.
所謂：檀波羅蜜音， 尸波羅蜜音，羼提波羅蜜音， 毗離耶波羅蜜音， 禪波羅蜜音， 般若波羅蜜音， 慈悲音， 喜捨音， 解脫音， 無漏音， 智慧音， 大智慧音， 師子吼音， 大師子吼音， 雲雷音， 大雲雷音， 出如是等不可說不可說音已，
Following the bright clouds, he also emitted many kinds of wonderful subtle sounds. The Sounds of Contribution, The Sounds of Discipline, The Sounds of Patience, The Sounds of Dauntless Energy, The Sounds of Meditation, The Sounds of Enlightened Wisdom, The Sounds of Benevolence and Compassion, The Sounds of Joyous Giving, The Sounds of Release, The Sounds of No-Outflows, The Sounds of Wisdom, The Sounds of Great Wisdom, The Sounds of Lion’s Roar, The Sounds of Great Lion’s Roar, The Sounds of Thunderclouds, The Sounds of Great Thunderclouds and other endless sounds.
娑婆世界， 及他方國土， 有無量億天龍鬼神， 亦集到忉利天宮， 所謂四天王天，忉利夫， 須燄摩天， 兜率陀天， 化樂天， 他化自在天， 梵眾天， 梵輔天， 大梵天， 少光天， 無量光天， 光音天， 少淨天， 無量淨天 ，徧淨天， 福生天， 福愛天， 廣果天， 無想天， 無煩天， 無熱天， 善見天， 善現天， 色究竟天， 摩醯首羅天， 乃至非想非非想處天， 一切天眾， 龍眾，鬼神等眾， 悉來集會。
Uncountable billions of heavenly beings, dragons, ghosts and gods from the Saha World and many realms gathered in the Palace of Trayastrimsa Heaven. They came from the Heaven of Four Kings, the Heaven of Trayastrimsa, the Heaven of Suyama, the Heaven of Tusita, the Heaven of Transformation Happiness, the Heaven of Transformation Comfort, the Heaven of Brahma’s Multitudes, the Heaven of Brahma’s Ministers, the Heaven of Great Brahma, the Heaven of Little Light, the Heaven of Endless Light, the Heaven of Light and Sound, the Heaven of Little Purity, the Heaven of Endless Purity, the Heaven of Universal Purity, the Heaven of Blessing Birth, the Heaven of Blessing Love, the Heaven of Many Fruit, the Heaven Without Thought, the Heaven Without Upset, the Heaven Without Heat, the Heaven of Good Views, the Heaven of Good Manifestation, the Heaven of Ultimate Form, the Heaven of Mahesvara, the Heaven of Neither Thought Nor Non-Thought.
復有他方國土及娑婆世界， 海神、 江神、 河神、 樹神、 山神、 地神、 川澤神、苗稼神、 畫神、 夜神、 空神、 天神、 飲食神、 草木神、 如是等神， 皆來集會。
Numerous gods including the God of Oceans, the God of Rivers, the God of Streams, the God of Trees, the God of Mountains, the God of Earth, the God of Swamps, the God of Grains, the God of Days, the God of Nights, the God of Space, the God of Skies, the God of Food, the God of Grass and so on assembled for this teaching.
復有他方國土， 及娑婆世界， 諸大鬼王， 所謂惡目鬼王， 噉血鬼王， 噉精氣鬼王， 噉胎卵鬼王， 行病鬼王， 攝毒鬼王， 慈心鬼王， 福利鬼王， 大愛敬鬼王 ，如是等鬼王， 皆來集會。
Many ghost kings from other lands and the Saha World also joined this instruction. The Ferocious Eyes Ghost King, Drinking Blood Ghost King, Absorbing Vitality Ghost King, Embryo Eating Ghost King, Spreading Diseases Ghost King, Collecting Poisons Ghost King, Kind Heart Ghost King, Welfare People Ghost King, Protecting and Respecting People Ghost King and numerous ghost kings all assembled together.
爾時釋迦牟尼彿， 告文殊師利法王子菩薩摩訶薩：「汝觀是一切諸佛菩薩， 及天龍鬼神此世界， 他世界， 此國土， 他國土， 如是今來集會， 到忉利天者， 汝知數不？」
At that time, Buddha Sakyamuni asked Bodhisattva Manjushri, Mahasattva, “Do you know how many Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, heavenly beings, dragons, ghosts and gods from other lands and worlds are here in the Trayastrimsa Heaven for this instruction?”
文殊師利白彿言：「世尊， 若以我神力， 千劫測度， 不能得知。」
Manjushri answered, “World Honored One, even using my divine power for thousands of aeons, I still would not be able to calculate how many are here.”
佛告文殊師利：「吾以佛眼觀故， 猶不盡數。 此皆是地藏菩薩久遠劫來， 已度、當度、 未度；已成就、 當成就、 未成就。」
Buddha Sakyamuni said to Manjushri, “Even if I use my Buddha eye, I too cannot calculate them. These multitudes include all whom Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha has released, is releasing, and will release from suffering. That is, these multitudes include all living beings who live in the past, present and future!”
文殊師利白佛言：「世尊，我已過去久修善根， 證無礙智，聞佛所言， 即當信受。 小果聲聞，天龍八部， 及未來世諸眾生等， 雖聞如來誠實之語， 必懷疑惑。 設使頂受。 末免興謗。 唯願世尊， 廣說地藏菩薩摩訶薩，因地作何行？ 立何願？ 而能成就不思議事。」
Manjushri said to Buddha, “World Honored One, I have long cultivated good roots and have acquired extensive and profound wisdom. So, as soon as I hear anything the Buddha says, I understand and believe it immediately. However, other living beings may doubt Buddha’s sincere words. They might believe them temporarily but they cannot hold the words in their hearts, and will begin to doubt them and then criticize them, I hope the World Honored One can provide more detailed information about Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, Mahasattva, and tell us what this Bodhisattva did. What kind of vows did this Bodhisattva make that allowed him to achieve this inconceivable thing?”
佛告文殊師利：『譬如三千大千世界 ，所有草木叢林， 稻麻竹葦， 山石微塵， 一物一數， 作一恆河； 一恆河沙， 一沙一界， 一界之內， 一塵一劫； 一劫之內， 所積塵數， 盡充為劫， 地藏菩薩證十地果位以來， 千倍多於上喻， 何況地藏菩薩在聲聞 ，辟支佛地。
Buddha told Manjushri, “As an analogy, it is as if in the thousands of worlds, all the grasses, trees, bushes, straw, hemp, bamboo, reeds, mountains, stones, dust and every object is made into the Ganges River. And each grain of sand in the Ganges River becomes a great world. And each speck of dust in the each world is compared to an aeon. And within those aeons the specks of dust that would accumulate would also become aeons. Increase this amount a thousand times and this is how long Ksitigarbha has maintained the position of the Ten Ground – the highest ground or position that a Bodhisattva can reach.
文殊師利，此菩薩威神誓願不可思議 。 若未來世， 有善男子善女人， 聞是菩薩名字， 或讚歡， 或瞻禮， 或稱名， 或供養， 乃至彩畫刻鏤塑漆形像，是人當得百返生於三十三天， 永不墮惡道。
Manjushri, the power from Bodhisattva’s vow is unimaginable. In the future, if there is any good man or good woman who hears this Bodhisattva’s name, who praises, gazes at and worships, who recites the name Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha or make offerings and who paints, engraves, or moulds an image of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, he or she will go to that area of Heaven called ‘Thirty-Three Heaven’, more than one hundred times, and will never fall into the evil levels.
文殊師利， 是地藏菩薩摩訶薩，於過去久遠，不可說不可說劫前， 身為大長者子。時世有佛， 號曰師子奮迅具足萬行如來。時長者子，見佛相好， 千福莊嚴， 因問彼彿：「作何行願， 而得此相？」時師子奮迅具足萬行如來，告長者子：「欲證此身，當須久遠度脫一切受苦眾生。」
Manjushri, many aeons ago, this Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, Mahasattva, was the son of a powerful and rich person. At that time, there was a Buddha name ‘Lion-Lightning-Sprint-Vast-Tasks-Complete’ who had a very dignified appearance. The son asked what kind of vow he had made to achieve such a dignified appearance. Buddha Lion-Sprint told the son that if he wanted to have this appearance, he would have to relieve all living beings from suffering and distress.
文殊師利， 時長者子，因發願言：「 我今盡末來際。不可計劫， 為是罪苦六道眾生， 廣設方便， 盡令解脫， 而我自身，方成佛道。」
So therefore, Manjushri, he made a vow: “From now on for countless aeons, I will provide all kinds of possible ways to relieve all beings from suffering. I will not become a Buddha until they have all been released from pain.” So, even after such a long time, he still has not become a Buddha and still a Bodhisattva.
以是於彼佛前，立斯大願， 于今百千萬億那由他，不可說劫，尚為菩薩。 又於過去，不可思議阿僧衹劫， 時世有佛， 號曰覺華定自在王如來， 彼彿壽命，四百千萬億阿僧衹劫。像法之中， 有一婆羅門女， 宿福深厚， 眾所欽敬。 行住坐臥 ，諸天衛護。 其母信邪， 常輕三寶。是時聖女， 廣設方便， 勸誘其母，令生正見； 而此女母， 未全生信， 不久命終， 魂神墮在無間地獄。
Boundless aeons ago, there was a Buddha who lived on the earth. His name was Enlightenment-Flower-Self-Sufficient King and he had lived for innumerable aeons. During this time of the Dharma-Image Age, there was a girl who was born in the Brahmin caste, and because she had done so many good deeds everybody admired and respected her. Many gods from heavens protected her every move. However, her mother had improper beliefs and did not respect the Triple Gems. She used many ways to convince her mother of the truth of Buddha’s teachings, but her mother died before completely accepting them. Her soul fell into Endless Hell.
時婆羅門女， 知母在世，不信因果， 計當隨業， 必生惡趣。 遂賣家宅。 廣求香華。 乃諸供具， 於先佛塔寺，大興供養。 見覺華定自在如來， 其形像在一寺中， 塑畫威容。 端嚴畢備。
This daughter knew that her mother who did not believe in cause and effect, resulting in retribution, might have fallen into the evil level because of her karma. To save her mother, this daughter sold all her family possessions and properties to buy flowers and offerings for Buddha. She went to the temple in which there was a shrine to Buddha Enlightenment-Flower Self-Sufficient King, then contributed all her offerings.
時婆羅門女， 瞻禮尊容， 倍生敬仰。 私自念言：「 佛名大覺， 具一切智。 若在世時，我母死後， 儻來問佛， 必知處所。」
At the temple, gazing at and worshipping the venerable face of Buddha Enlightenment-Flower, this daughter spoke quietly to herself, “Buddha has complete wisdom. If Buddha were still in this world, I would be able to ask him where my mother is.”
時婆羅門女， 垂泣良久 ，瞻戀如來。 忽聞空中聲曰：「泣者聖女，勿至悲哀。 我今示汝母之去處。」
This daughter cried a long time and gazed tenderly at Buddha. Suddenly, there was a voice in the sky, “Saintly woman, do not grieve too much. I am now going to tell you where your mother is.”
婆羅門女合掌向空， 而白空曰：「是何神德，寬我憂慮！ 我自失母以來， 畫夜憶戀，無處可問， 知母生界。」
The daughter placed both her hands together gratefully and answered, ” Who are you that has come to comfort and relieve me of my anxiety? Since my mother passed away, I think of her day and night. I do not know where I can go to ask about her.”
時空中有聲，再報女曰：「 我是汝所瞻禮者：過去覺華定自在王如來。 見汝憶母， 倍於常情 眾生之分， 故來告示。」
The voice sounded in the sky again, “I am the Buddha you are worshiping, Buddha Enlightenment-Flower Self-Sufficient King. I know you miss your mother more than those ordinary beings. So I come especially to tell you.”
婆羅門女，聞此聲已， 舉身自撲， 肢節皆損。 左右扶持， 良久方蘇，
The daughter jumped up happily after listening to the words. She jumped so vigorously that she hurt her knees and fainted.
而白空曰：「願佛慈愍， 速說我母生界。 我今身心，將死不久。」 時覺華定自在王如來，
After she had revived, she said, “May Buddha be benevolent and compassionate. I know that I will not live long – please tell me where my mother is.”
告聖女曰：「汝供養畢， 但早返舍， 端坐思惟吾之名號， 即當知母所生去處。」
Buddha Enlightenment-Flower Self-Sufficient King said, “After your offerings here, go home and meditate on my name. Then you will know where your mother is.”
時婆羅門女，尋禮佛已，即歸其舍。 以憶母故， 端坐念覺華定自在王如來。 經一日一夜，忽見自身，到一海邊。其水涌沸， 多諸惡獸， 盡復鐵身。飛走海上，東西馳逐 。見諸男子女人， 百千萬數， 出沒海中， 被諸惡獸，爭取食噉。 又見夜叉，其形各異， 或多手多眼， 多足多頭， 口牙外出， 利刃如劍， 驅諸罪人， 使近惡獸。復自搏攫，頭足相就。其形萬類，不敢久視。時婆羅門女。以念佛力故，自然無懼。
The daughter meditated for one day and one night. Unexpectedly, she felt that she had arrived at a shore next to a sea with bubbling, boiling water. Many fierce beasts with iron bodies were flying and running back and forth above the sea. She saw many men and women who were eaten and bitten by evil blood-thirsty animals. She saw many monstrous devils with many hands, eyes, legs or heads. Their teeth grew out of their mouths and were sharp as swords. The devil frightened, chased and seized criminal persons, and twisted their heads and feet together. No one dared to willingly look at these terrifying sights. Because the daughter was meditating on Buddha, she was not afraid of these scenes.
有一鬼王， 名曰無毒 稽首來迎，白聖女曰：「善哉！菩薩！ 何緣來此？」
A ghost king named Poisonless greeted this saintly woman and said, “Excellent, Bodhisattva, why are you here?”
The Brahmin daughter asked of the Ghost King, “Where am I?”
無毒答曰：「 此是大鐵圍山， 西面第一重海 。」
Poisonless answered, “This is the first ocean of the western side of Big Iron-Fence Mountain.”
聖女問曰：「 我聞鐵圍之內， 地獄在中， 是事實不？」
The saintly woman asked, “I have heard that there is a hell inside the Iron-Fence Mountain. Is it true?”
無毒答曰：「 實有地獄 。」
Poisonless answered, “Yes, there indeed exists a hell.”
The saintly woman asked, “Why am I here?”
無毒答曰：「 若非威神， 即須業力， 非此二事， 終不能到 。」
Poisonless answered, “Only those with either a god’s power or those by their karma come here. If it were not because of these two things, you would not be able to come here.”
聖女又問：「 此水何緣， 而乃涌沸？ 多諸罪人， 及以惡獸？」
The saintly woman asked again, “Why does the sea keep boiling? Why are there so many criminal persons and fierce beasts?”
無毒答曰；「 此是閻浮提，造惡眾生， 新死之者， 經四十九日後， 無人繼嗣， 為作功德， 救拔苦難； 生時又無善因， 當據本業，所感地獄， 自然先渡此海。海東十萬由旬， 又有一海， 其苦倍此。彼海之東， 又有一海， 其苦復倍。三業惡因之所招感， 共號業海， 其處是也 。」
Poisonless answered, “These are those beings who committed bad actions in their past lives. If someone dies and no one arranges proper rituals or does good deeds to relieve their suffering during the first forty nine days after death, and he or she did not have any redeeming merits from benevolent actions when alive, he or she will fall into this hell in accordance with his or her own actions. On the way to hell, it is necessary to cross this sea of suffering first. Four million miles to the east of this ocean is another one, where the beings there suffer twice as much as in this ocean. East of this second ocean is another with even more suffering. These areas are called the Karma Oceans, and are caused by the three causes of Karma: body, speech and mind.”
The saintly woman asked the ghost king, “Where is hell?”
無毒答曰：「三海之內， 是大地獄， 其數百千，各各差別。 所謂大者，具有十八。次有五百， 苦毒無量。 次有千百， 亦無量苦。」
Poisonless answered, “Among these three oceans, there is Big Hell. This Big Hell is divided into hundreds or thousands of hells. Each divided hell is completely different from the others. The reason why this Hell ‘Big’ is that these hells are classified into five hundred or more small hells. Each hell contains endless sufferings. Within these five hundred hells, there are thousands of smaller hells which also contain boundless sufferings.”
The saintly woman asked the ghost king again, “My mother recently died, and I wonder where her soul has gone.”
The ghost king asked the saintly woman, “Bodhisattva, what did your mother do when she was alive?”
聖女答曰：「我母邪見，譏毀三寶，設或暫信， 旋又不敬。 死雖日淺，未知生。」
She answered, “My mother had improper beliefs and disrespected the Triple Gems. At one time she believed, and then soon after fell into disrespect.”
Poisonless asked, “Bodhisattva, what is your mother’s name?”
The saintly woman responded, “Both my parents are of the Brahmin caste. My father’s name is Sila Sudarshan, my mother’s Yueh Tili.”
無毒合掌啓菩薩曰：「願聖者卻返本處， 無至憂憶悲戀。 悅帝利罪女，生天以來， 經今三日。 云承孝順之子， 為母設供、修福， 布施覺華定自在王如來塔寺， 非唯菩薩之母， 得脫地獄， 應是無間罪人， 此日悉得受樂，俱同生訖。」
Poisonless placed both hands together and told Bodhisattva, “Please saintly woman, return home and do not be sad. The criminal woman Yueh Tili ascended to heaven three days ago. It is said she was saved by the filial piety of her daughter who made offerings at the temple of Buddha Enlightenment-Flower Self-Sufficient King for the purpose of saving her mother. Not only was your mother released from hell, but also as a result those other criminal persons in Endless Hell have been reborn.”
After the ghost king had finished speaking, he placed both his hands together in respect and withdrew.
婆羅門女尋如夢歸， 悟此事已， 便於覺華定自在王如來塔像之前， 立弘誓願：「願我盡未來劫， 應有罪苦眾生， 廣設方便使令解脫。」』
Within a short time, the Brahmin daughter woke up as if from a dream. Realizing the truth, she faced the statue of Buddha Enlightenment-Flower Self-Sufficient King and vowed, “May I use the future aeons to establish as many possible ways as I can in order to release from pain all beings who are suffering from their criminal behavior.”
Buddha told Manjushri, “The ghost king, Poisonless, is actually a Bodhisattva named Wealthy Leader now. And the Brahmin daughter is now Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha.”
May the merits and virtues accrued from this work adorn the Buddha’s Pure Land, repay the Four Kindness above and relieve the sufferings of those in the Three Realms below. May those who see, hear and read this sutra bring forth the Bodhi mind and live the teachings for the rest of this life, then be born together in the Land of Ultimate Bliss.