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 future as a Buddha named Dharma-Brightness, we hear from 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.”

See Early Disciples

Early Disciples

Kaundinya was one of Sakyamuni’s original disciples who followed him when he first gave up his princely throne and set forth on the quest for enlightenment. There had been five of them, and together with their master they had performed arduous ascetic practices (practices which Sakyamuni later said were useless). After the Buddha attained enlightenment, these five ascetics became his first disciples.

Others of the five hundred arhats included Uruvilva-Kasyapa, Gaya-Kasyapa, Nadi-Kasyapa, and Aniruddha. The first three arhats were three of the Kasyapa brothers, who had once been leaders of a group of fire-worshippers. It is said that originally these brothers had bitterly opposed Sakyamuni, and had used supernatural powers to discredit him. They were defeated, however, and they together with most of their followers became loyal disciples of the Buddha. Aniruddha, another of the arhats mentioned, was a cousin of Sakyamuni. He was famous for his clairvoyance, the alleged power of seeing beyond the natural range of the senses. It is said that during his early days of severe ascetic practices, he went blind. In place of his natural sight, he developed clairvoyance.

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 past practices in gāthās, we learn of his future as a Buddha named Dharma-Brightness.

In the future also he will make offerings
To innumerable Buddhas, protect their right teachings,
Help them propagate their teachings,
And purify their worlds.

He will always fearlessly expound the Dharma
With expedients.
He will save countless living beings
And cause them to have the knowledge of all things.

He will make offerings to many Tathāgatas
And protect the treasure-store of the Dharma.
After that he will be able to become a Buddha
Called Dharma-Brightness.

His world will be called Good-Purity.
It will be made of the seven treasures.
His kalpa will be called Treasure-Brightness.
There will be Bodhisattvas [in his world],
Many hundreds of millions in number.
They will have great supernatural powers.
They will be powerful and virtuous.
They will be seen throughout that world.

Innumerable Śrāvakas will organize the Saṃgha.
They will have the three major supernatural powers,
The eight emancipations,
And the four kinds of unhindered eloquence.

The living beings of that world will have no sexual desire.
They will be born without any medium.
They will be adorned with the marks [of the Buddha].
They will not think
Of any other food [than the two kinds of food]:
The delight in the Dharma, and the delight in dhyāna.
There will be neither women nor evil regions
In that world.

Pūrṇa Bhikṣu will be able to obtain
All these merits,
And have his pure world
Inhabited by many sages and saints.
I have innumerable things to say of him.
I have told you only a few of them.

See The Ideal Life

The Ideal Life

Purna was assured of his future Buddhahood in a realm to be called Excellent-Purity. The sutra gives some details about this pure land, where the inhabitants will know only happiness. “They will feed on two things: delight in the Dharma and delight in dhyana (meditation)” (p. 155).

A good meal is one of life’s most delectable joys. A meal also supplies us with physical strength. In the Pure Land, receiving the Dharma (truth) and feeling peace of mind after entering dhyana will be the joy and sustenance of life. In short, the sutra teaches us that the ideal life consists of feeding our hearts just as we feed our bodies.

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 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