The Four Great Vows (四弘誓願)

The four great vows.
四 Pinyin: sì. Meaning: four.
弘 Pinyin: hóng. Meaning: expand, enlarge, great. Composition: 弓 + 厶 (“bow” + “mouth”).
誓願 Pinyin: shì-yuàn. Meaning: vow, pledge, oath. Composition: 誓 + 願  (“vow” + “wish/desire”)

Sentient beings are numberless, we vow to save them all.
眾生 Pinyin: zhòng-shēng. Meaning: All living things. Composition: 眾 + 生 (“everything” + “born”)
無邊 Pinyin: wú-biān. Meaning: without limit. Composition: 無 + 邊 (“no” + “border/boundary”)
度 Pinyin: dù. Meaning: save/liberate.

Delusions are endless; we vow to cut through them all.
煩惱 Pinyin: fán-nǎo. Meaning: kleśa; affliction. Composition: 煩 + 惱 (“unhappy/troublesome” + “unhappy/vexed”)
無盡 Pinyin: wú-jìn. Meaning: endless/inexhaustible. Composition: 無 + 盡 (“no” + “end/finish”)
斷 Pinyin: duàn. Meaning: cut off/sever/interrupt.

The teachings are infinite; we vow to learn them all.
法門 Pinyin: fǎ-mén. Meaning (literal): Dharma gate. Composition: 法 + 門 (“Dharma” + “gate”)
無量 Pinyin: wú-liàng. Meaning: immeasurable. Composition: 無量 (“no” + “measure”)
學 Pinyin: xué. Meaning: learn

The Buddha Way is inconceivable; we vow to attain it.
佛道 Pinyin: fó-dào. Meaning (literally): Buddha Dao.
無上 Pinyin: wú-shàng. Meaning: highest/ultimate. Composition: 無 + 上 (“no” + “up/above/superior”)
成 Pinyin: chéng. Meaning: succeed/accomplish/attain

Here is a link to a helpful pdf provided by the Village Zendo of NYC with 13 different English translations and the original Chinese. (Note that this appears to be the “Japanese” version of the Chinese characters, and is slightly different from what is in this post):

And this page at the terebess website has a bunch more translations (at least 8 of which are not among the 13 found in the Village Zendo site linked to above):

The above two links provide 21 different English language versions of the Four Great Vows, and I personally know of at least six other versions that are not on either of those lists.

Here is a video for the song 無盡 (“Endless”) by the Hong Kong “Cantopop” band “Supper Moment”:

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