Day 12

Day 12 concludes Chapter 7, The Parable of the Magic City, and completes the Third Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month concluded Chapter 7, The Parable of the Magic City, we begin Day 12’s portion.

“Thereupon the Brahman-heavenly-kings of the five hundred billion [worlds], having praised the Buddha with these gāthās, said to him, ‘World-Honored One! Turn the wheel of the Dharma so that
all living beings may be peaceful, and that they may be saved!’ They said in gāthās:

World-Honored One, turn the wheel of the Dharma,
Beat the drum of the Dharma as sweet as nectar,
Save the suffering beings,
And show them the way to Nirvāṇa!

Assent to our appeal!
You studied the Dharma for innumerable kalpas.
Expound it with your exceedingly wonderful voice
Out of your compassion towards us!

“Thereupon Great-Universal-Wisdom-Excellence Tathāgata, having assented to the appeals made by the Brahman-heavenly­kings of the words of the ten quarters and also by the sixteen princes, turned the wheel of the teaching [of the four truths] three times, making twelve proclamations altogether. The wheel of this teaching could not be turned by any other one in the world, be he a śramaṇas, a brahmana, a god, Mara or Brahman. The Buddha said, ‘This is suffering. This is the cause of suffering. This is extinction of suffering. This is the Way to extinction of suffering.’

“Then he expounded the teaching of the twelve causes, saying, ‘Ignorance causes predisposition. Predisposition causes consciousness. Consciousness causes name-and-form. Name­and-form causes the six sense organs. The six sense organs cause impression. Impression causes feeling. Feeling causes craving. Craving causes grasping. Grasping causes existence. Existence causes birth. Birth causes aging-and-death, grief, sorrow, suffering and lamentation. When ignorance is eliminated, predisposition is eliminated. When predisposition is eliminated, consciousness is eliminated. When consciousness is eliminated, name-and-form is eliminated. When name-and-form is eliminated, the six sense organs are eliminated. When the six sense organs are eliminated, impression is eliminated. When impression is eliminated, feeling is eliminated. When feeling is eliminated, craving is eliminated. When craving is eliminated, grasping is eliminated. When grasping is eliminated, existence is eliminated. When existence is eliminated, birth is eliminated. When birth is eliminated, aging-and-death, grief, sorrow, suffering and lamentation are eliminated.’

See Teachings for Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas