Tag Archives: LS14

Day 14

Day 14 covers all of Chapter 9, The Assurance of Future Buddhahood of the Śrāvakas Who Have Something More to Learn and the Śrāvakas Who Have Nothing More to Learn, and opens Chapter 10, The Teacher of the Dharma.

Having last month concluded Day 14’s portion of Chapter 10, The Teacher of the Dharma, we return to Chapter 9, The Assurance of Future Buddhahood of the Śrāvakas Who Have Something More to Learn and the Śrāvakas Who Have Nothing More to Learn.

Thereupon Ānanda and Rāhula thought, ‘We are always thinking: How glad we shall be if we are assured of our future Buddhahood!’ They rose from their seats, came to the Buddha, worshipped his feet with their heads, and said to him:

“World-Honored One! We think that we also are qualified to be assured [of our future Buddhahood]. Only you, the Tathāgata, are our refuge. We are known to all gods, men and asuras of the world. Ānanda always protects the store of the Dharma as your attendant. Rāhula is your son. If you assure us of our future attainment of Anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi, the wishes not only of us but also of others will be fulfilled.”

Thereupon the two thousand disciples [composed of the two kinds of Śrāvakas]: the Śrāvakas who had something more to learn and the Śrāvakas who had nothing more to learn, also rose from their seats, bared their right shoulders, came to the Buddha, joined their hands together with all their hearts, looked up at the World­Honored One, begged him just as Ānanda and Rāhula did, and stood to one side of the place.

See Purna’s Exception

Purna’s Exception

“Hearers” of the Lesser Vehicle usually sought as their goal the fulfillment of their own private training. They expected others to imitate the strict practices which they performed, and had little patience with ordinary people caught up in the problems of everyday life.

Purna was an exception. He looked like a sravaka, but he went about preaching the law to common people, and doing so with such eloquence that he was able to cause many of them to aspire to supreme-perfect-enlightenment. Therefore, in reality he was not a sravaka at all, but a Bodhisattva (one who devotes his life to helping others). Any Bodhisattva must also be a preacher (otherwise he cannot help anyone), and that is why a Bodhisattva is called a “teacher of the law.” From Chapter Ten on, the Lotus Sutra will clarify the mission of Bodhisattvas. (Here it is only suggested.)

Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

Day 14

Day 14 covers all of Chapter 9, The Assurance of Future Buddhahood of the Śrāvakas Who Have Something More to Learn and the Śrāvakas Who Have Nothing More to Learn, and opens Chapter 10, The Teacher of the Dharma.

Having last month heard in gāthās of the merits of making offerings to the keeper of the Sūtra, we hear the merits of anyone who keeps this sūtra in the future and conclude Day 14’s portion of Chapter 10, The Teacher of the Dharma.

Anyone who keeps this sūtra in the future
Should be considered
To have been dispatched by me
To the world of men in order to do my work.

Whoever for as long as a kalpa,
With evil intent and flushed face,
Speaks ill of me,
Will incur immeasurable retributions.
Whoever for even a moment
Reproaches those who read, recite and keep
The Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma
Will incur even more retributions.

Whoever for as long as a kalpa
Joins his hands together towards me
And praises me with innumerable gāthās
In order to attain the enlightenment of the Buddha,
Will obtain innumerable merits
Because he praises me.
Whoever praises the keeper of this sūtra
Will obtain even more merits.

For eight thousand million kalpas
Offer to the keeper of this sūtra
The most wonderful things to see,
Hear, smell, taste and touch!

If you make these offerings,
And hear [this sūtra] even for a moment,
You will rejoice and say,
“Now I have obtained great benefits.”

Medicine-King! I will tell you.
The Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma
Is the most excellent sūtra
That I have ever expounded.

See The Messengers of the Buddha

The Messengers of the Buddha

Sakyamuni’s prophetic statements on religious practices in the future, or after his extinction, are the major characteristics of the Lotus Sutra, and cannot be found in any other sutra. In a time when Sakyamuni no longer exists physically, Bodhisattvas are to play the leading role in his place. … Bodhisattvas have the heart of the Buddha, and their deeds manifest his will. This is why the Lotus Sutra entitles Bodhisattvas to be the teachers of the Dharma. In this sense, Bodhisattvas, or the teachers of the Dharma, can be considered as substitutes for the Buddha. What is more, their role can be considered even more important than that of the Buddha himself after his extinction. Sakyamuni stresses this in his … statement to Bodhisattva Medicine-King:

Medicine-King! If after my extinction, anyone expounds even a single verse or phrase of this Sutra to even one person, he or she should be considered to be my messenger, sent by me to do my work. Needless to say, those who expound the Sutra in public are also great Bodhisattvas. Even if an evil person speaks ill of me or slanders me in my presence, he is not as sinful as the person who reproaches laymen or monks for reading and reciting the Lotus Sutra (p. 172).

Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

Day 14

Day 14 covers all of Chapter 9, The Assurance of Future Buddhahood of the Śrāvakas Who Have Something More to Learn and the Śrāvakas Who Have Nothing More to Learn, and opens Chapter 10, The Teacher of the Dharma.

Having last month heard the warning against disparaging those who uphold the Lotus Sūtra and learned adornments of those who practice, we repeat in gāthās.

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

If you wish to dwell in the enlightenment of the Buddha,
And to obtain the self-originating wisdom,
Make offerings strenuously to the keeper
Of the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma!

If you wish to obtain quickly the knowledge
Of the equality and differences of all things,
Keep this sūtra, and also make offerings
To the keeper of this sūtra!

Anyone who keeps
The sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma,
Know this, has compassion towards all living beings
Because he is my messenger.
Anyone who keeps
The Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma
Should be considered to have given up his pure world and come here
Out of his compassion towards all living beings.

Know that he can appear wherever he wishes!
He should be considered
To have appeared in this evil world
In order to expound the unsurpassed Dharma.

Offer flowers and incense of heaven,
Jeweled garments of heaven,
And heaps of wonderful treasures of heaven
To the expounder of the Dharma!

Join your hands together and bow
To the person who keeps this sūtra
In the evil world after my extinction,
Just as you do to me!

Offer delicious food and drink,
And various garments to this son of mine,
And yearn to hear the Dharma [from him]
Even if for only a moment!

See The Most Profound of All Sutras

The Most Profound of All Sutras

Sakyamuni’s words about the teachers of the Dharma being “messengers of the Buddha” clearly state the significance of their roles. He now goes on to explain this matter in more detail:

I have expounded many sutras (in the past). I am now expounding this Sutra (in the present). I will also expound many more sutras (in the future). The total number of these sutras is countless. This Lotus Sutra is the most difficult of all of them to understand and believe. This Sutra is the store of the hidden core of all the Buddhas; it is the greatest sutra ever expounded. Because it is so difficult to understand, many people despise it even now during my lifetime. Needless to say, many other people will hate it all the more after my extinction

The Lotus Sutra is now declared to be the most profound of all the sutras. Because of its profundity, it is difficult for ordinary people to believe and understand. If after the Buddha’s extinction, the teachers of the Dharma expound this most profound of all sutras, they are sure to be misunderstood and resented. They may even be persecuted by jealous opponents (for preaching universal salvation and abolishing distinctions between religions). The Sutra will go on to state plainly that teachers of the Dharma can expect the worst from their future audiences.

Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

Day 14

Day 14 covers all of Chapter 9, The Assurance of Future Buddhahood of the Śrāvakas Who Have Something More to Learn and the Śrāvakas Who Have Nothing More to Learn, and opens Chapter 10, The Teacher of the Dharma.

Having last month heard the explanation of the Buddha’s messengers, we hear a warning against disparaging those who uphold the Lotus Sūtra and learn adornments of those who practice.

“Medicine-King! An evil man who speaks ill of me in my presence with evil intent for as long as a kalpa is not as sinful as the person who reproaches laymen or monks with even a single word of abuse for their reading and reciting the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

“Medicine-King! Anyone who reads and recites the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma, know this, will be adorned just as I am. I will shoulder him. Wherever he may be, bow to him! Join your hands together towards him with all your heart, respect him, make offerings to him, honor him, and praise him! Offer him flowers, incense, necklaces, incense powder, incense applicable to the skin, incense to burn, canopies, banners, streamers, garments, food and various kinds of music! Make him the best offerings that you can obtain in the world of men! Strew the treasures of heaven to him! Offer him heaps of the treasures of heaven! Why is that? It is because, while he is expounding the Dharma with joy, if you hear it even for a moment, you will immediately be able to attain Anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi.”

See The Direct Object of Worship

The Direct Object of Worship

Since the physical body of the Buddha no longer exists after his extinction, the direct object of our worship should then become his teachings, whose substance is preserved in the form of the Sutra or a scroll of the Sutra. The Sutra is the spirit of the Buddha, or another form of his manifestation. If we focus on the time after the Buddha’s extinction, the Sutra or a scroll of the Sutra replaces his physical manifestation. In this sense, respecting and making offerings to the Sutra or a scroll of the Sutra is exactly the same as respecting and making offerings to the Buddha himself. Indeed, when we believe, worship, and make offerings to the Lotus Sutra, we in fact believe, worship, and make offerings to the living Buddha. Furthermore, through these practices, we are considered to be worshiping the Original Buddha of Eternal Existence. This chapter and those which follow will gradually clarify what we mean by this.

Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

Day 14

Day 14 covers all of Chapter 9, The Assurance of Future Buddhahood of the Śrāvakas Who Have Something More to Learn and the Śrāvakas Who Have Nothing More to Learn, and opens Chapter 10, The Teacher of the Dharma.

Having last month heard that anyone who rejoices, even on a moment’s thought, at hearing even a gāthā or a phrase of the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma will attain Anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi, we continue with the explanation of the Buddha’s messengers.

“Medicine-King! lf anyone asks you who will become a Buddha in his future life, answer that such a person as previously stated will! Why is that? The good men or women who keep, read, recite, expound and copy even a phrase of the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma, and offer flowers, incense, necklaces, incense powder, incense applicable to the skin, incense to burn, canopies, banners, streamers, garments and music to a copy of this sūtra, or just join their hands together respectfully towards it, should be respected by all the people of the world. All the people of the world should make the same offerings to them as they do to me. Know this! These good men or women are great Bodhisattvas. They should be considered to have appeared in this world by their vow to expound the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma out of their compassion towards all living beings, although they already attained Anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi [in their previous existence]. Needless to say, those who keep all the passages of this sūtra and make various offerings to this sūtra [are great Bodhisattvas]. Medicine King, know this! They should be considered to have given up the rewards of their pure karmas and appeared in the evil world after my extinction in order to expound this sūtra out of their compassion towards all living beings. The good men or women who expound even a phrase of the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma even to one person even in secret after my extinction, know this, are my messengers. They are dispatched by me. They do my work. It is needless to say this of those who expound this sūtra to many people in a great multitude.

The Daily Dharama from July 24, 2017, offers this:

The good men or women who expound even a phrase of the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma even to one person even in secret after my extinction, know this, are my messengers. They are dispatched by me.

The Buddha declares these lines to Medicine-King Bodhisattva at the beginning of Chapter Ten of the Lotus Sūtra. When we are caught up in the suffering and unhappiness of this world of conflict, we can yearn for an escape from its troubles. We can believe that living in this world was not our choice, that we are here by chance or due to an obligation we no longer want to meet. When the Buddha reminds us that we are Bodhisattvas, beings whose existence is for the benefit of all beings, we realize that both the joys and the suffering we experience are for the benefit of others.

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

Day 14

Day 14 covers all of Chapter 9, The Assurance of Future Buddhahood of the Śrāvakas Who Have Something More to Learn and the Śrāvakas Who Have Nothing More to Learn, and opens Chapter 10, The Teacher of the Dharma.

Having last month concluded Chapter 9, we move to Chapter 10, The Teacher of the Dharma.

Thereupon the World-Honored One said to Medicine-King Bodhisattva in the presence of the eighty thousand great men:

“Medicine-King! Do you see the innumerable gods, dragon­kings, yakṣas, gandharvas, asuras, garuḍas, kiṃnaras, mahoragas, men, and nonhuman beings, and [the four kinds of devotees:] bhikṣus, bhikṣunīs, upāsakās, and upāsikās, and those who are seeking Śrāvakahood or Pratyekabuddhahood or the enlightenment of the Buddha in this great multitude? If in my presence any of them rejoices, even on a moment’s thought, at hearing even a gāthā or a phrase of the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma, I will assure him of his future Buddhahood, saying to him, ‘You will be able to attain Anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi.’ ”

The Buddha said to Medicine-King:

“If after my extinction anyone rejoices, even on a moment’s thought, at hearing even a gāthā or a phrase of the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma, I also will assure him of his future attainment of Anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi. If anyone keeps, reads, recites, expounds and copies even a gāthā of the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma, and respects a copy of this sūtra just as he respects me, and offers flowers, incense, necklaces, incense powder, incense applicable to the skin, incense to burn, canopies, banners, streamers, garments and music to it, or just joins his hands together respectfully towards it, Medicine-King, know this, he should be considered to have appeared in the world of men out of his compassion towards all living beings, although he already made offerings to ten billion Buddhas and fulfilled his great vow under those Buddhas in a previous existence.

The Daily Dharma from April 20, 2017, offers this:

The Buddha declares these lines to Medicine-King Bodhisattva at the beginning of Chapter Ten of the Lotus Sūtra. We might believe that everything happens by chance, or that we were sent into this life by someone who is testing us. This Sūtra awakens us to our existence as Bodhisattvas who asked to be born in this world of suffering out of our vow to benefit all beings.

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