Great-Power-Obtainer! What do you think of this? The Never-Despising Bodhisattva at that time was no one but myself. If I had not kept, read or recited this sūtra or expounded it to others in my previous existence, I should not have been able to attain Anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi so quickly. Because I kept, read and recited this sūtra, and expounded it to others under those past Buddhas, I attained Anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi quickly.
The Buddha gives this explanation to Great-Power-Obtainer Bodhisattva in Chapter Twenty of the Lotus Sūtra. The practice of Never-Despising Bodhisattva was to approach all beings and tell them, “I respect you deeply. I do not despise you. Why? Because you will be able to practice as a Bodhisattva and become a Buddha.” When the Buddha explains that Never-Despising Bodhisattva was one of his previous lives, he equates this respect for all beings with the practice of the Wonderful Dharma.
The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com