The 7th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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誓願 (Skt pranidhana; Jpn seigan )
In Buddhism, vows that Buddhas and bodhisattvas take to lead living beings to enlightenment. There are two kinds of vows: universal and individual. The bodhisattvas make four universal vows when they embark on Buddhist practice:
(1) to save innumerable living beings,
(2) to eradicate unlimited earthly desires,
(3) to master inexhaustible doctrines, and
(4) to attain unsurpassed enlightenment.
Among individual vows, the forty-eight vows of Amida Buddha and the twelve vows of Medicine Master Buddha are well known.
These Buddhas made their respective vows in a previous existence before at-taining Buddhahood. Such vows made by Buddhas while engaged in bodhisattva