Tag Archives: LS13

Day 13

Day 13 covers all of Chapter 8, The Assurance of Future Buddhahood of the Five Hundred Disciples.

Having last month learned of Pūrṇa’s current practices in gāthās, we learn of his past practices.

Under hundreds of thousands of millions of past Buddhas,
This Pūrṇa practiced strenuously what he should do.
He expounded and protected
The teachings of those Buddhas.

In order to obtain unsurpassed wisdom,
He became the most excellent disciple
Of those Buddhas.
He was learned and wise.
He expounded the Dharma without fear,
And made his listeners rejoice.
He was never tired
Of helping those Buddhas do their work.

He obtained great supernatural powers
And the four kinds of unhindered eloquence.
Seeing who was clever, and who was dull,
He always expounded the Pure Dharma.

He expounded the dharma of the Great Vehicle
To hundreds of thousands of millions of living beings,
And caused them to dwell in the Dharma
So that the worlds of those Buddhas might be purified.

See The Best Preacher

The Best Preacher

Among the Buddha’s many followers, ten were outstanding. Each was famous for possessing a particular talent which excelled all others. For example, Sariputra was the wisest; Maha-Kasyapa was known for his good practices; Maha-Maudgalyayana was famed for his supernatural powers; Purna was the best preacher, distinguished for his eloquence. This meant that he was more than just a master of rhetoric and silvery words; he could preach with such clarity that through him people could understand the Buddha’s deep teachings, and free themselves from sufferings.

Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

Day 13

Day 13 covers all of Chapter 8, The Assurance of Future Buddhahood of the Five Hundred Disciples.

Having last month learned of Pūrṇa’s future as a Buddha, we repeat in gāthās.

Thereupon the Buddha, wishing to repeat what he had said, sang in gāthās:

Bhikṣus, listen to me attentively!
The Way practiced by my sons
Is beyond your comprehension
Because they learned how to employ expedients.

Knowing that people wish to hear
The teachings of the Lesser Vehicle,
And that they are afraid of having the great wisdom,
[My sons, that is,] the Bodhisattvas transform themselves
Into Śrāvakas or cause-knowers,
And teach the people with innumerable expedients.

Saying to the innumerable living beings, [for instance,]
“We are Śrāvakas.
We are far from the enlightenment of the Buddha,”
They save them, and cause them to attain [Śrāvakahood]
Even the lazy people who wish to hear the Lesser Vehicle
Will become Buddhas with this expedient in the course of time.

My disciples are performing
The Bodhisattva practices secretly
Though they show themselves in the form of Śrāvakas.
They are purifying my world
Though they pretend to want little
And to shun birth-and-death.
In the presence of the people,
They pretend to have the three poisons and wrong views.
They save them with these expedients.
They change themselves into various forms.
If I speak of all their transformations,
The listeners will doubt me.

See Performing Bodhisattva Practices Secretly

Performing Bodhisattva Practices Secretly

Sakyamuni repeated in verse what he had said in prose. One stanza reads:

My disciples are performing
The Bodhisattva practices secretly,
Though they show themselves in the forms of sravakas.
They are purifying my world,
Though they pretend to want little
And to shun birth and death.

The lines, “Though they pretend to want little and to shun birth and death,” represent sravaka-practices. The world of birth and death refers to this world, where we live with various desires and sufferings. “Hearers” of the Lesser Vehicle regarded such a world as unclean. They tried to rid themselves, not only of earthly desires, but even of the world itself, by entering some spiritual world, where they sought an ideal state of enlightenment. At first glance, this might seem admirable enough. But if they succeeded in cutting themselves off from the world, it would be impossible for them to save other creatures from suffering. Although Purna seemed to be performing these sravaka-practices, he was really practicing the Bodhisattva practice, helping to purify the world of the Buddha—that is, the world in which we live. Sakyamuni’s affirmation that Purna was secretly performing the Bodhisattva practice is attributed mainly to his efforts to expound the Dharma (teachings of the Buddha), in spite of his appearance of being a sravaka.

Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

Day 13

Day 13 covers all of Chapter 8, The Assurance of Future Buddhahood of the Five Hundred Disciples.

Having last month heard Śākyamuni praise Pūrṇa as the most excellent expounder of the Dharma, we learn of Pūrṇa’s future.

“Bhikṣus! Pūrṇa was the most excellent expounder of the Dharma under the seven Buddhas. He is the same under me. He will be the same under the future Buddhas of this Kalpa of Sages. He will protect the teachings of those Buddhas and help them propagate their teachings. After the end of this kalpa also he will protect the teachings of innumerable Buddhas, help them propagate their teachings, teach and benefit innumerable living beings, and cause them to aspire for Anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi. He will always make efforts to teach all living beings strenuously so that the worlds of those Buddhas may be purified. He will perform the Way of Bodhisattvas step by step for innumerable, asaṃkhya kalpas, and then attain Anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi in this world. He will be called Dharma-Brightness, the Tathāgata, the Deserver of Offerings, the Perfectly Enlightened One, the Man of Wisdom and Practice, the Well-Gone, the Knower of the World, the Unsurpassed Man, the Controller of Men, the Teacher of Gods and Men, the Buddha, the World-Honored One. The world of that Buddha will be composed of one thousand million Sumeru-worlds, that is, as many Sumeru-worlds as there are sands in the River Ganges. The ground [of that world] will be made of the seven treasures. It will be as even as the palm of a hand. There will be no mountains nor ravines nor ditches. Tall buildings adorned with the seven treasures will be seen everywhere in that world, and the palaces of gods of that world will hang so low in the sky that gods and men will be able to see each other. There will be no evil regions nor women. The living beings of that world will be born without any medium. They will have no sexual desire. They will have great supernatural powers, emit light from their bodies, and fly about at will. They will be resolute in mind, strenuous, and wise. They will be golden in color, and adorned with the thirty-two marks. They will feed on two things: the delight in the Dharma, and the delight in dhyāna. There will be innumerable, asaṃkhya Bodhisattvas, that is, thousands of billions of nayutas of Bodhisattvas. They will have great supernatural powers and the four kinds of unhindered eloquence. They will teach the living beings of that world. There will also be uncountable Śrāvakas there. They will have the six supernatural powers including the three major supernatural powers, and the eight emancipations. The world of that Buddha will be adorned with those innumerable merits. The kalpa [in which Pūrṇa will become that Buddha] will be called Treasure­Brightness; and his world, Good-Purity. The duration of the life of that Buddha will be innumerable, asaṃkhya kalpas, and his teachings will be preserved for a long time. After his extinction, stupas of the seven treasures will be erected [in his honor] throughout that world.”

Underscrore “He will always make efforts to teach all living beings strenuously so that the worlds of those Buddhas may be purified. He will perform the Way of Bodhisattvas step by step for innumerable, asaṃkhya kalpas, and then attain Anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi in this world.

Day 13

Day 13 covers all of Chapter 8, The Assurance of Future Buddhahood of the Five Hundred Disciples.

Having last month heard from Pūrṇa about how extraordinary the World-Honored One is, we hear Śākyamuni praise Pūrṇa,

“Do you see this Pūrṇa, the son of Maitrāyanī? I always praise him, saying that he is the most excellent expounder of the Dharma. I also praise him for his various merits. He strenuously protects my teachings, and helps me propagate them. He shows the Way to the four kinds of devotees, teaches them, benefits them and causes them to rejoice. He explains my right teachings perfectly, and gives great benefits to those who are performing brahma practices’ with him. No one except the Tathāgata excels him in eloquence. Do not say that he protects only my teachings and helps me propagate them! In his previous existence he also protected the right teachings of nine thousand million Buddhas and helped them propagate their teachings. Under those Buddhas also he was the most excellent expounder of the Dharma. He clearly understood the truth of the Void expounded by those Buddhas, and obtained the four kinds of unhindered eloquence. He always expounded the Dharma clearly and purely, with no doubtfulness. Although he had the supernatural powers of Bodhisattvas, he performed brahma practices throughout his previous existence. Therefore, the people of the world of the Buddha I under whom he performed brahma practices] thought that he was a Śrāvaka. He benefited many hundreds of thousands of living beings with this expedient, and also caused innumerable, asaṃkhya people to aspire for Anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi. He did the work of the Buddha, that is, taught all living beings so that the world of the Buddha might be purified.

Lotus World offers this on the topic of Pūrṇa and the major Śrāvakas:

“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. Shariputra represents the superior category. He is able to understand the Buddha’s teaching of the reality of all things, the declaration of the One Vehicle in chapter two of the Lotus Sutra, and receives the Buddha’s prediction that he will become Flower Light Tathāgata in chapter three. Maudgalyayana, Mahakashyapa, Katyayana, and Subhuti comprise the intermediate category. They require the preaching of parables, such as the parable of the burning house in chapter three, in order to comprehend the One Vehicle. … Purna, Ananda, and Rahula represent those of lesser capacity. They must learn the One Vehicle in the context of stories of their past lives showing their connection to the One Vehicle before they believe that it applies to them. …”Lotus World: An Illustrated Guide to the Gohonzon

Day 13

Day 13 covers all of Chapter 8, The Assurance of Future Buddhahood of the Five Hundred Disciples.

Having last month concluded Day 13, we start again from the top of Chapter 8, The Assurance of Future Buddhahood of the Five Hundred Disciples.

Thereupon Pūrṇa, the son of Maitrāyanī having heard from the Buddha the Dharma expounded with expedients by the wisdom of the Buddha] according to the capacities of all living beings, and having heard that [the Buddha] had assured the great disciples of their future attainment of Anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi, and also having heard of the previous life of the Buddha, and also having heard of the great, unhindered, supernatural powers of the Buddhas, had the greatest joy that he had ever had, became pure in heart, and felt like dancing [with joy]. He rose from his seat, came to the Buddha, and worshipped him at his feet with his head. Then he retired to one side of the place, looked up at the honorable face with unblenching eyes, and thought:

‘The World-Honored One is extraordinary. What he does is exceptional. He expounds the Dharma with expedients by his insight according to the various natures of all living beings of the world, and saves them from various attachments. The merits of the Buddha are beyond the expression of our words. Only the Buddha, only the World-Honored One, knows the wishes we have deep in our minds.’

See Thursday’s note for where I am and why I’m not adding any comment to these posts.

retreat photo
Kanjin Cederman Shonin and I in one of our many discussions.

Day 13

Day 13 covers all of Chapter 8, The Assurance of Future Buddhahood of the Five Hundred Disciples.

Having last month heard the Parable of the Priceless Gem in prose, we finish the chapter in gāthās.

Thereupon Ājñāta-Kauṇḍinya and the others, wishing to repeat what they had said, sang in gāthās:

Your assurance of our future Buddhahood
Gives us unsurpassed peace.
Hearing your voice, we have the greatest joy that we have ever had.
We bow to you, to the Buddha of Immeasurable Wisdom.

Now in your presence,
We reproach ourselves for our faults.
The Nirvāṇa we attained was
Only part of the immeasurable treasures of yours.
We were like a foolish man with no wisdom.
We satisfied ourselves with what little we had attained.

Suppose a poor man visited
His good friend, who was very rich.
The friend feasted him
With delicacies.

He fastened a priceless gem
Inside the garment of the man as a gift to him,
And went out without leaving a word.
The sleeping man did not notice [the gift].

The man woke up, and went to another country.
He worked to get food and clothing.
He had much difficulty
In earning his livelihood.

He satisfied himself with what little he earned.
He did not wish to get anything more.
He did not notice the priceless gem
Fastened inside his garment.

The good friend who gave the gem to the poor man
Happened to see him later.
He blamed him severely,
And showed him the gem fastened [inside the garment].

Seeing the gem,
The poor man had great joy.
Now he satisfied his five desires
With many treasures.

We are like the poor man.
In the long night you taught us
Out of your compassion towards us,
And caused us to aspire for unsurpassed [enlightenment].

Because we had no wisdom, we did not notice that.
The Nirvāṇa we attained was only part [of your wisdom].
Satisfying ourselves with it,
We did not wish to attain anything more.

Now you have awakened us, saying:
“What you attained was not true extinction.
When you have the unsurpassed wisdom of the Buddha,
You will attain true extinction.”

Hearing from you that we are assured
Of becoming Buddhas one after another,
And that our worlds will be adorned,
We are joyful in body and mind.

The Daily Dharma from May 21, 2016, offers his:

He satisfied himself with what little he earned.
He did not wish to get anything more.
He did not notice the priceless gem
Fastened inside his garment.

These verses are part of a story told by Ājñāta-Kauṇḍinya and other disciples in Chapter Eight of the Lotus Sūtra. It is about a man whose friend gives him a jewel while he is asleep. Not realizing he has this treasure, the man returns to his ordinary life, desperate to make a living and satisfy his ordinary desires. The story shows how we live when we forget about the jewel of Buddha nature we carry with us.

The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com


Day 13

Day 13 covers all of Chapter 8, The Assurance of Future Buddhahood of the Five Hundred Disciples.

Having last month heard the prediction of future Buddhahood for twelve hundred Arhats, we now hear the Parable of the Priceless Gem.

Thereupon the five hundred Arhats, having been assured by the Buddha of their future Buddhahood, felt like dancing with joy, stood up from their seats, came to the Buddha, worshipped him at his feet with their heads, and reproached themselves for their faults, saying:

“World-Honored One! We thought that we had already attained perfect extinction. Now we know that we were like men of no wisdom because we were satisfied with the wisdom of the Lesser Vehicle although we had already been qualified to obtain the wisdom of the Tathāgata.

“World-Honored One! Suppose a man visited his good friend. He was treated to drink, and fell asleep drunk. His friend had to go out on official business. He fastened a priceless gem inside the garment of the man as a gift to him, and went out. The drunken man did not notice what his friend had given him. After a while he got up, and went to another country. He had great difficulty in getting food and clothing. He satisfied himself with what little he had earned. Some time later the good friend happened to see him. He said, ‘Alas, man! Why have you had such difficulty in getting food and clothing? T fastened a priceless gem inside your garment on a certain day of a certain month of a certain year so that you might live peacefully and satisfy your five desires. The gem is still there, and you do not notice it. You are working hard, and worrying about your livelihood. What a. fool you are! Trade that gem for what you want! You will not be short of anything you want.’

“You, the Buddha, are like his friend. We thought that we had attained extinction when we attained Arhatship because we forgot that we had been taught to aspire for the knowledge of all things by you when you were a Bodhisattva just as the man who had difficulty in earning his livelihood satisfied himself with what little he had earned. You, the World-Honored One, saw that the aspiration for the knowledge of all things was still latent in our minds; therefore, you awakened us, saying, ‘Bhikṣus! What you had attained was not perfect extinction. I caused you to plant the good root of Buddhahood a long time ago. [You have forgotten this; therefore,] I expounded the teaching of Nirvāṇa as an expedient. You thought that you had attained true extinction when you attained the Nirvāṇa [ which l taught you as an expedient].’

“World-Honored One! Now we see that we are Bodhisattvas in reality, and that we are assured of our future attainment of Anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi. Therefore, we have the greatest joy that we have ever had.”

The Daily Dharma from May 5, 2017, offers this:

Ājñāta-Kauṇḍinya and the others gathered to hear the Buddha teach make this declaration in Chapter Eight of the Lotus Sūtra. He and the others thought that their existence was merely to hear and preserve what the Buddha taught them, and to transmit it to others. They believed they were incapable of becoming as enlightened as the Buddha, because the Buddha’s earlier teachings had only led them so far. With the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha reminds all of us of our decision to come to this world of conflict to benefit all beings. He awakens us to our capacity to see the world with his eyes and experience the joy of reality.

The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com

Day 13

Day 13 covers all of Chapter 8, The Assurance of Future Buddhahood of the Five Hundred Disciples.

Having last month covered predictions for Pūrṇa’s future, today we hear from the twelve hundred Arhats.

Thereupon the twelve hundred Arhats, who had already obtained freedom of mind, thought:

“We have never been so joyful before. How glad we shall be if we are assured of our future Buddhahood by the World-Honored One just as the other great disciples were!” Seeing what they had in their minds, the Buddha said to Maha-Kāśyapa:

“Now I will assure these twelve hundred Arhats, who are present before me, of their future attainment of Anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi one after another. My great disciple Kauṇḍinya Bhikṣu, who is among them, will make offerings to six billion and two hundred thousand million Buddhas, and then become a Buddha called Universal-Brightness, the Tathāgata, the Deserver of Offerings, the Perfectly Enlightened One, the Man of Wisdom and Practice, the Well-Gone, the Knower of the World, the Unsurpassed Man, the Controller of Men, the Teacher of Gods and Men, the Buddha, the World-Honored One. The others of the five hundred Arhats, including Uruvilvā-Kāśyapa, Gaya­Kāśyapa, Nadī-Kāśyapa, Kālodāyin, Udāyin, Aniruddha, Revata, Kapphina, Bakkula, Cunda, and Svāgata, also will attain Anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi, and become Buddhas also called Universal-Brightness.”

Thereupon the World-Honored One, wishing to repeat what he had said, sang in gāthās:

Kauṇḍinya Bhikṣu will see
Innumerable Buddhas.
After asaṃkhya kalpas from now,
He will attain perfect enlightenment.

He will emit great rays of light [from his body].
He will have all supernatural powers.
His fame will spread over the worlds of the ten quarters.
Respected by all living beings,
He will expound unsurpassed enlightenment to them.
Therefore, he will be called Universal-Brightness.

His world will be pure.
The Bodhisattvas [of that world] will be brave.
They will go up to the tops of wonderful, tall buildings,
And then go out into the worlds of the ten quarters.
There they will make the best offerings
To the Buddhas of those worlds.

After making offerings, they will have great joy.
They will return to their home world in a moment.
They will be able to do all this
By their supernatural powers.

[Universal-Brightness] Buddha will live for sixty thousand kalpas.
His right teachings will be preserved twice as long as his life;
And the counterfeit of them, also twice as long as his right teachings.
When his teachings are eliminated, gods and men will be sad.

The five hundred bhikṣus
Will become Buddhas one after another.
They also will be called Universal-Brightness.
One who has become a Buddha will say to another:
“You will become a Buddha after my extinction.
[The living beings of] the world
To be saved by that Buddha
Will be like those whom I am teaching today.”

The beauty of the worlds [of those Buddhas],
And the supernatural powers [of those Buddhas],
And the number of the Bodhisattvas and Śrāvakas [of those worlds],
And the number of kalpas of the lives [of those Buddhas],
Of their right teachings, and of the counterfeit of them,
Will be the same [as in the case of Kauṇḍinya].

Kāśyapa! Now you have heard of the future
Of the five hundred Arhats
Who have freedom of mind.
All the other Śrāvakas also will [become Buddhas].
Tell this to the Śrāvakas
Who are not present here!

Reviewing this prediction, it’s applicable to consider this from Lotus Path: Practicing the Lotus Sutra Volume 1:

In the Lotus Sutra the Buddha assures us our ability to attain enlightenment! Nichiren established the most efficacious manner to carry out the practice of the Lotus Sutra: chanting Odaimoku – Namu Myoho Renge Kyo – assures us of manifesting our inherent Buddhahood in this very lifetime.

There are numerous predictions in the Lotus Sutra of future enlightenment of various people representing all the conditions of enlightenment. So no matter how we may view our present condition, the cause for enlightenment exists in this very moment within the phrase of the Sacred Title of the Lotus Sutra.
Lotus Path: Practicing the Lotus Sutra Volume 1