Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

From the Overview

The most complete collection of Buddhist scriptures, the Taisho Edition, consists of 3,497 works. Among them, 1,487 are called sutras, and consist of sermons preached by the Buddha. Among these more than a thousand sutras, the Lotus Sutra, or Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law, is the most popular and best known. When Buddhism was introduced into Japan in the mid-sixth century, Prince Shotoku lectured on this sutra and wrote a book on it called Hokke Gisho (A Commentaty on the Lotus Sutra). About two hundred years later, in the early Heian Period (794-1185), Saicho, who is also known as Great Master Dengyo, established a Buddhist school on Mt. Hiei, whence he propagated the Lotus teachings throughout the country. His school, the Tendai (“Heavenly Terrace”), was for many centuries the most influ ential in the country. …

Nichiren, who also studied the Lotus Sutra there, founded his sect on doctrines resting squarely on faith in the Lotus Sutra. He devoted his whole life to advocating it and putting its teachings into practice. While other Buddhist sects today read it as a supplemental scripture, the Nichiren lineage considers the Lotus Sutra to be its basic text.


This book is an English translation of Shinjo Suguro’s Kokekyo Kogi, vols. 1 & 2, published in Japanese in 1993. This translation was done by Daniel B. Montgomery and the Nichiren Buddhist International Center and published in 1998.


Note: Quotes from this book will appear in connection with the daily posts in the 32 Days of the Lotus Sutra project. One quote a day will be published with each day’s portion of the Lotus Sutra until all of the selected quotes have been published.


 
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