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 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

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 prediction for the two thousand Śrāvakas, we conclude Chapter 9 in gāthās.

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

I assure the future Buddhahood
Of these two thousand Śrāvakas
Who are now present before me.
They will become Buddhas in their future lives.

They will make offerings to as many Buddhas
As the particles of dust as previously stated.
They will protect the store of the teachings of those Buddhas,
And attain perfect enlightenment.

They will go to the worlds of the ten quarters.
Their [Buddha-]names will be the same.
They will sit at the place of enlightenment
And obtain unsurpassed wisdom at the same time.

Their [Buddha-]names will be Treasure-Form.
[The adornment of] their worlds, [the number of] their disciples,
[The duration of the period of] their right teachings,
[And that of] the counterfeit of them will be the same.

By their supernatural powers, they will save
The living beings of the worlds of the ten quarters.
Their fame will extend far and wide.
They will enter into Nirvana in the course of time.

Thereupon the two thousand Śrāvakas, of whom some had something more to learn while others had nothing more to learn, having heard the Buddha assure them of their future Buddhahood, danced with joy, and sang in a gāthā:

You, the World-Honored One, are the light of wisdom.
Hearing from you
That we are assured of our future Buddhahood,
We are as joyful as if we were sprinkled with nectar.

The Daily Dharma from May 11, 2017, offers this on the response of the 2,000 Śrāvakas:

These verses are sung by two thousand of the Buddha’s disciples in Chapter Nine of the Lotus Sūtra. When these followers of the Buddha were told that they would become as enlightened as he was, then many others like them realized that they too had this capacity. The superiority of the Lotus Sūtra lies not in having better explanations of what the Buddha taught, or in some supernatural ability it has to change the world. The superiority of the Lotus Sūtra is its completeness. It leads all beings to the joy of enlightenment.

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 heard of Rāhula’s future, we hear the prediction for the two thousand Śrāvakas.

Thereupon the World-Honored One saw the two thousand Śrāvakas, of whom some had something more to learn while others had nothing more to learn. They were gentle, quiet and pure. They looked up at the Buddha with all their hearts.

The Buddha said to Ānanda, “Do you see these two thousand Śrāvakas, of whom some have something more to learn while others have nothing more to learn?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Ānanda! These people will make offerings to as many Buddhas, as many Tathāgatas, as the particles of dust of fifty worlds. They will respect those Buddhas, honor them, and protect the store of their teachings. They will finally go to the worlds of the ten quarters and become Buddhas at the same time. They will be equally called Treasure-Form, 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. They will live for a kalpa. They will be the same in regard to the adornments of their worlds, the number of the Śrāvakas and Bodhisattvas of their worlds, the duration of the preservation of their right teachings, and the duration of the preservation of the counterfeit of their right teachings.”

These Śrāvakas show that the Lotus Sutra leads all beings to the joy of enlightenment.

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 Ānanda’s reaction to his prediction of Buddhahood, we come to Rāhula’s future.

Thereupon the Buddha said to Rāhula:

“In your future life you will become a Buddha called Walking-On-Flowers-Of-SevenTreasures, 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. [Before you become that Buddha,] you will make offerings to as many Buddhas, as many Tathāgatas, as the particles of dust of ten worlds. [Before you become that Buddha,] you will become the eldest son of those Buddhas just as you are now mine.

“The adornments of the world of Walking-On-Flowers-Of­-Seven-Treasures Buddha, the number of the kalpas for which that Buddha will live, the number of his disciples, the duration of the preservation of his right teachings, and the duration of the preservation of the counterfeit of his right teachings will be the same as in the case of Mountain-Sea-Wisdom-Supernatural-Power­King Tathāgata.

“After you become the eldest son of the [Mountain-Sea-Wisdom-Supernatural-Power-King] Buddha, you will attain Anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi [, and become Walking-On-Flowers-Of-Seven­Treasures Buddha].”

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

When I was a crown prince,
Rāhula was my eldest son.
When I attained the enlightenment of the Buddha,
He received the Dharma, and became the son of the Dharma.

In his future life he will see
Many hundreds of millions of Buddhas,
Become the eldest son of those Buddhas, and seek
The enlightenment of the Buddha with all his heart.

Only I know his secret practices.
He shows himself
To all living beings
In the form of my eldest son.

He has many thousands of billions of merits.
His merits are countless.
He dwells peacefully in the Dharma of the Buddha,
And seeks unsurpassed enlightenment.

Rev. Ryusho JeffusLecture on the Lotus Sutra offers this about Rāhula:

It is the ordinary day-to-day practice that each of us performs that is actually the great secret practice of Rahula. It isn’t fame or acquiring a big name that is required to attain enlightenment. It isn’t being famous that will lead others to practice the Lotus Sutra. It is our practice of the Lotus Sutra in our everyday lives that will enable countless others just like us to ultimately take faith in the Lotus Sutra. We should not be discouraged, instead we can look at Rahula who will become Walking-On-Flowers-Of-Seven-Treasures Buddha and we too can walk on the flowers of the seven treasures of Myoho-Renge-Kyo.Lecture on 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 complaint of the Bodhisattvas who are miffed that no Bodhisattva has been offered a prediction of Buddhahood, we hear Ānanda’s reaction to his prediction of Buddhahood.

Having heard from the Buddha that he was assured of his future Buddhahood, and that his world would be adorned, Ānanda was able to fulfill his wish. He had the greatest joy that he had ever had. At that moment he recollected the store of the teachings of many thousands of billions of past Buddhas perfectly and without hindrance as if he had heard those teachings just now. He also recollected his original vow.

Thereupon Ānanda sang in gāthās:

You, the World-Honored One, are exceptional.
You reminded me of the teachings
Of innumerable Buddhas in the past
As if I had heard them today.

Having no doubts, I now dwell peacefully
In the enlightenment of the Buddha.
I will expediently become the attendant
Of future Buddhas, and protect their teachings.

The Daily Dharma from Nov. 27, 2016, offers this:

You, the World-Honored One, are exceptional.
You reminded me of the teachings
Of innumerable Buddhas in the past
As if I had heard them today.

Ānanda, the Buddha’s cousin and one of his leading disciples, sings these verses in Chapter Nine of the Lotus Sūtra. In the Story, Ānanda had just been personally assured by the Buddha that he would become a Buddha himself in a future life. All the teachings of the Buddha across all time are always available to us. What prevents us from hearing them and putting them into practice is nothing more than our own attachment to our suffering and our doubts about our capacity for wisdom and compassion. When we take to heart the assurance that we and all beings can become enlightened, it clears away our delusion and allows to see the Buddha teaching us in all aspects of our lives.

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