The Sūtra of the Great Vow of Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva (Kṣitigarbha Sūtra) is a story about the Buddha teaching to his mother in the Palace of Trāyastriṃśa Heaven about the merits of Kṣitigarbha. It was translated into Chinese, assumedly from Sanskrit, by the monk Śiksānanda from Khotan circa 700....
At that time, Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva mahāsattva said to the Buddha, “World Honored One, today for the sake of all future beings I will explain some things regarding life and death that are of great benefit to them. I only hope that the World Honored One will listen to what I have to say.”
The Buddha said to Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva, “Today, with your great compassion you desire to save all suffering beings in the Six Realms, explaining unimaginable things. Today is a good time to do that. Please go ahead and speak. I will soon attain final Nirvāṇa and will soon help you complete your vow. I also hope that all the beings in the present and future will not suffer.”
Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva said to the Buddha, “World Honored One, uncountable asaṃkhyeya kalpas ago a Buddha called Boundless Body Tathāgata came into this world. If a man or a woman hears this Buddha's name and this immediately produces respect in the person then that will transcend forty kalpas of serious offenses. How much more would the merit be if the person were to make offerings to a moulded figure or painting of the Buddha? That person would receive immeasurable and unlimited merit [puṇya].
“Also, in the past, as many kalpas ago as there are grains of sand in the Ganges, a Buddha called Jewel Nature Tathāgata came into this world. I a man or a woman heard this Buddha's name then in the snap of the fingers the person would make up their mind to take refuge. That person would never retreat from the unsurpassed path.
“There was also a Buddha that came into the world in the past called Red Lotus Supreme Tathāgata. If a man or a woman heard this Buddha's name or if the sound of his name passed through a person's ears then that person would be reborn in the Six Heavens of the Desire Realm and not regress for a thousand lifetimes. How much more so for a person who mindfully called the Buddha's name?
“Also in the past, an indescribable number of asaṃkhyeya kalpas ago, a Buddha came into the world called Lion's Roar Tathāgata. If a man or a woman heard this Buddha's name then that person would take refuge with a single thought. That person would meet an uncountable number of Buddhas who would make a prediction about that person attaining enlightenment.
“Also, in the past a Buddha called Krakucchanda Buddha came into this world. If a man or a woman heard this Buddha's name, wholeheartedly revere and worship the Buddha, or repeatedly praise the Buddha then in the present kalpa that person will become a great Brahma in the Thousand Buddha Assembly and receive superior predictions.
“Also, in the past a Buddha called Vipasyin came into the world. If a man or a woman heard this Buddha's name then that person would never fall into an evil rebirth but always be born in the Heavenly and Human realms and enjoy wonderful bliss.
“Also in the past, an indescribable number of asaṃkhyeya kalpas ago, a Buddha came into the world called Jeweled Victory Tathāgata. If a man or a woman heard this Buddha's name then that person would never fall into an evil rebirth always residing in the heavens and would enjoy wonderful bliss.
“Also, in the past a Buddha called Jewel Appearance Tathāgata came into the world. If a man or a woman heard this Buddha's name then that person would be born with a respectful mind and not be a person for long before becoming an Arhat as a result.
“Also in the past, an indescribable number of asaṃkhyeya kalpas ago, a Buddha came into the world called Kasaya Banner Tathāgata. If a man or a woman heard this Buddha's name then that person would transcend the offenses committed for the lives of over one hundred mahākalpas.
“Also, in the past a Buddha called Great Open Mountain Tathāgata came into the world. If a man or a woman heard this Buddha's name then that person would meet as many Buddhas as there are grains of sand in the Ganges River, teach the Dhárma widely, and attain enlightenment.
“Also, in the past indescribable Buddhas called Pure Moon Buddha, Mountain King Buddha, Wise Victory Buddha, Pure Name King Buddha, Wise Susiddhikara Buddha, Unexcelled Buddha, Wonderful Sound Buddha, Full Moon Buddha, and Moon Face Buddha.
“World Honored One, all the present and future sentient beings, whether human or heavenly, whether men or women, if the only recite one Buddha's name then they will attain immeasurable virtue [puṇya]. How much merit will they attain if they recite the names of many Buddhas? At the time these sentient beings are born and at the time they die they obtain great benefit, sufficent to prevent them from falling into an evil rebirth. If a person who is about to die has family dependents and even just one of them recites a Buddha's name loudly for the sick person then when the sick person dies the karmic results of their wrongdoing will be absolved, even offenses deserving Fivefold Relentless Retribution. Although the offenses deserving Fivefold Relentless Retribution are extremely serious that those who commit them will experience Avīci Hell for hundreds of millions of kalpas without any chance of escape. However, if someone else recites a Buddha's name near the time of death of such a person then the person's guilt will gradually be eliminated. How much better will this be for a sentient being who chants a Buddha's name of his own volition. The merit [puṇya] gained will be unlimited. This will extinguish immeasurable wrongdoings.”