Day 9 covers Chapter 5, The Simile of Herbs, and introduces Chapter 6, Assurance of Future Buddhahood.
Having last month given the Assurance of Future Buddhahood for Maha-Kasyapa in prose, we repeat it in gathas:
Thereupon the World-Honored One, wishing to repeat what lw had said, sang in gathas:
I will tell you, bhiksus.
I see this Kasyapa
With the eyes of the Buddha.
He will become a Buddha
In his future life
After innumerable’ kalpas from now.
He will see in his future life
Three hundred billions
Of Buddhas, of World-Honored Ones.
He will make offerings to them,
And perform brahma practices
To obtain the wisdom of the Buddha.
Having made offerings
To the Most Honorable Bipeds,
He will study and practice
And become a Buddha on the final stage
Of his physical existence.
The ground [of his world] will be pure.
It will be made of lapis lazuli.
Many jeweled trees
Will stand on the roadsides.
The roads will be marked off by ropes of gold.
Anyone will rejoice at seeing them.
Fragrance will be sent forth from the trees;
And beautiful flowers will be strewn
On the ground, which will be adorned
With various wonderful things.
The ground will be even,
And devoid of mounds and pits.
The number of the Bodhisattvas
Will be beyond calculation.
They will be gentle.
They will have great supernatural powers.
They will keep the sutras of the Great Vehicle
Expounded by the Buddhas.
The Sravakas will have already eliminated asravas,
And reached the final stage of their physical existence.
They will become sons of the King of the Dharma.
Their number also will be beyond calculation.
Even those who have heavenly eyes
Will not be able to count them.
The duration of the life of that Buddha
Will be twelve small kalpas.
His right teachings will be preserved
For twenty small kalpas.
The counterfeit of his right teachings
Will be preserved also for twenty small kalpas.
All this is my prophecy
About the World-Honored One called Light.
Lotus World offers this about the prediction for Buddhahood of Maya-Kasyapa, who is present in Nichiren’s Gohonzon:
In the Lotus Sutra, the voice-hearers fall into three groups of superior capacity, intermediate capacity, and lesser capacity, depending on the manner in which they are able to understand the One Vehicle. Mahakashyapa, Katyayana, and Subhuti comprise the intermediate category. They require the preaching of parables, such as the parable of the burning house in Chapter 3, in order to comprehend the One Vehicle.
In the Lotus Sutra, Mahakashyapa, along with Subhuti, Katyayana, and Maudgalyayana all express their joy at hearing the teaching of the One Vehicle in Chapter 4. These four disciples then tell the Buddhist version of the parable of the prodigal son in that same chapter. In chapter five, the Buddha addresses the parable of the herbs to these four. In Chapter 6, the Buddha predicts the future buddhahood of these four disciples beginning with Mahakashyapa, who he announces will become Light Tathagata of the world Light Virtue.
Lotus World: An Illustrated Guide to the Gohonzon