Thereupon Universal-Sage Bodhisattva said to the Buddha:
“World-Honored One! If anyone keeps this sūtra in the defiled world in the later five hundred years after [your extinction], I will protect him so that he may be free from any trouble, that he may be peaceful, and that no one may take advantage [of his weak points].”
Universal-Sage Bodhisattva (Fugen, Samantabhadra) makes this vow to the Buddha in Chapter Twenty-Eight of the Lotus Sutra. In this world of conflict, it can seem like very few people are practicing the Buddha Dharma with us. Nichiren compared those beings alive in this world of conflict to the amount of soil in the whole earth, while those who keep and practice the Lotus Sūtra are like the dirt under a fingernail. The vow of Universal-Sage reminds us that innumerable beings support our practice and that in turn, we support them with our practice.
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