Amitabha Sutra is the popular colloquial name for the Shorter Sukhavativyuha Sutra (Chinese: 阿彌陀經; ||pinyin]]: Ā mí tuó jīng; jp: Amida kyō; vi: A di đà kinh), or the Buddha's Discourse of the Amitabha Sutra, is a Mahayana Buddhist text. It is one of the primary sutras recited and upheld in the Pure Land Buddhist schools.
It was translated from Sanskrit into Chinese by the Tripitaka Master Kumarajiva in 402, but may have existed in India as early as year 100, and composed in Prakrit language. The bulk of the text, considerably shorter than other Pure Land sutras, consists of a discourse which the Buddha gave at Jeta Grove in Sravasti to his disciple Shariputra. The talk concerned the wondrous adornments that await the righteous in the Western Pure Land (Chinese: 西方極樂國), as well as the beings that reside there, including the buddha Amitabha. The text also describes what one must do to be reborn there.
In Pure Land and Chan Buddhism, the sutra is often recited as part of the evening service (Chinese: 晚課; ||pinyin]]: wǎn kè), and is also recited as practice for practitioners. It is also frequently recited at Buddhist funeral services, in the hope that the merit generated by reciting the sutra may be transmitted to the departed.
A common format for the recitation of the Amitabha Sutra may include some or all of the following:
- Praise for the Incense Offering (盧香讚)
- Praise to the Lotus Pond (蓮池讚)
- The Amitabha Sutra (阿彌陀經)
- Pure Land Rebirth Dharani (往生咒).
- Amitabha Gatha (彌陀偈)
- Recitation of Amitabha Buddha's Name (佛號)
- Transfer of Merit (迴向)
- ↑ Hanh, Thich Nhat (2003). Finding our True Home: Living in the Pure Land Here And Now. Parallax Press. pp. 11 and 12. ISBN 1888375345.
- English translation of the Amitabha Sutra 
- Chinese / English bilingual version of the Amitabha Sutra