The Amitabha/Amitayus Pure Land Rebirth Mantra in Sanskrit (Long version) – Essence of Buddhism
Our Buddha – Shakyamuni Buddha, told us to not recite his name, but the name of another Buddha – Amitabha Buddha (also called Amitayus Buddha) so that we can rely on this Buddha’s great vow to take us to his Pure Land name Sukhavati when we die – the Land of Ultimate Bliss/the Land of Ultimate Happiness.
There, we will be transformationally born from 9 different grades of Lotus and never again fall into the 3 evil destinies of the Hells, the Hungry Ghost realm or the Animal realm – we will never again be reborn into these destitute realms when we die IF we are able to call upon the power of Amitabha Buddha to take us to his land.
The more we recite the name of this Buddha, the more superior our lotus will be in the Pure Land. There whole Sutras telling of this and real life stories of real people achieving rebirth there. Some of my friends have also related stories of their family members saying that they were going to Buddha’s land before they went.
Now in addition to reciting Amitabha Buddha’s name (e.g., saying Amitofo or Namo Amitofo in mandarin), Amitabha also has a mantra.
There are 2 versions:
The Long Version of the Amitabha Pure Land Rebirth Mantra:
Namo Ratna Trayaya
Namah Arya Amitabhaya Tathagataya Arhate Samyaksambuddhaya
Sarva Karma Klesha Ksayam Kare Svaha
How to memorize the long version
Namo Ratna Trayaya
- Namo means Homage.
- Ratna means Jewel.
- Tray – means Tri or 3.
So the first lines Homage to the Triple Jewel – the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
Namo Arya Amitabhaya Tathagataya Samyaksambuddhaya
- Arya means noble. Amitabhaya – is Amitabha Buddha’s name. So this line means Homage to the Noble Amitabha.
- Arhate – means Arhat or Arahant – and enlightened one.
- Tathagata – means Thus Come One. Tathata is Thusness or Suchness. This is another name for a Buddha.
- Samyaksambuddhaya – means completely enlightened Buddha
So this is like the full title of Amitabha Buddha. So these first few lines is invoking the Triple Jewel and invoking Amitabha Buddha himself.
- Tadyatha means – it goes like this, meaning – this particular mantra of Amitabha Buddha goes like this.
- Om – is often used to start and end mantras.
Now the long rebirth mantra – most of the mantra itself that follows starts with Amrta.
- Amrta means immortal or eternal. It also means not dead – deathless (which is another name for Nirvana) or indestructible – vajra – another quality of Nirvana – it is not born and so, can never die, was never produced and so, can never be destroyed, has no beginning and so, can never end. It also means final emancipation – Nirvana. It is also likened to ambrosia – a special food or drink of the gods which when you eat it, grants you immortality or when Gwan Yin sprinkles sweet dew over you, your karmic obstacles from the bad karma that you’ve committed, will be dissipated.
So the mantra itself starts with just Amrta itself. Then Amrtod.
Then it starts with Amrta for every line until Gamine
So all you need to remember is:
Amrta for every line followed by
So Amrta before all of the above
Then the last amrta is
Then the 2 Sarva’s:
- Sarva Karma Klesha Ksayam Kare Svaha
Sarva means all. So all karma and kleshas (afflictions)
Svaha means so be it. It’s used to end many mantras.
Namo Amitabhaya Tathagata
Amrta Siddham Bhave
Kirta Kare Svaha
Essence of Buddhism