Tag Archives: LS15

Day 15

Day 15 concludes Chapter 10, The Teacher of the Dharma, and opens Chapter 11, Beholding the Stūpa of Treasures.

Having last month heard Great-Eloquence Bodhisattva ask to see Many-Treasures, we conclude today’s portion of Chapter 11, Beholding the Stūpa of Treasures with the Buddha emitting a ray of light that illuminates all the worlds of the 10 directions.

Thereupon the Buddha emitted a ray of light from the white curls [between his eyebrows, and faced the east]. The congregation saw the Buddhas of five hundred billion nayuta worlds, that is, as many worlds as there are sands in the River Ganges, in the east. The ground of those worlds was made of crystal. Those worlds were adorned with jeweled trees and garments, and filled with many thousands of billions of Bodhisattvas. Jeweled curtains were stretched and jeweled nets were hung over those worlds, where the Buddhas were expounding the Dharma with loud and wonderful voices. The congregation also saw that many thousands of billions of Bodhisattvas, with whom those worlds were filled, were expounding the Dharma to the living beings of those worlds.

The Buddha also illumined the worlds of the south, west, north, the four intermediate quarters, zenith, and nadir, with rays of light emitted from the white curls [between his eyebrows]. The worlds of those quarters looked like those of the east.

See The Three Assemblies

The Three Assemblies

[T]he place where the Sutra is delivered will be changed at the beginning of the next chapter. Up to and including this chapter, the Buddha has been speaking on Mount Sacred Eagle, near the city of Rajagriha. After a mysterious phenomenon takes place at the beginning of Chapter Eleven, and continuing until Chapter Twenty-two, his sermon will be delivered around a treasure tower (stupa) which is hanging in space. Since that part of the sutra is delivered from this new location, the section from Chapters Eleven to Twenty-two is referred to as the “Assembly in Space,” or “Assembly in the Sky.” The scenes before and after the assembly in the sky are called respectively, the “First Assembly on Mt. Sacred Eagle” and “Second Assembly on Mt. Sacred Eagle.”

Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

Day 15

Day 15 concludes Chapter 10, The Teacher of the Dharma, and opens Chapter 11, Beholding the Stūpa of Treasures.

Having last month heard the Buddha explained Many-Treasures Tathāgata’s great vow, Great-Eloquence Bodhisattva asks to see Many-Treasures.

Thereupon Great-Eloquence Bodhisattva, resorting to the supernatural powers of [Śākyamuni] Tathāgata, said to him, “World-Honored One! We wish to see that Buddha.”

The Buddha said to Great-Eloquence Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas:

“Many-Treasures Buddha made another great vow: ‘If a Buddha wishes to show me to the four kinds of devotees when my stūpa of treasures appears before him in order that l may be able to hear the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma [directly from him], he must call back all the Buddhas of his replicas who will be expounding the Dharma in the worlds of the ten quarters at that time. Then I will show myself [to the four kinds of devotees].’ Great-Eloquence! Now I will collect the Buddhas of my replicas who are now expounding the Dharma in the worlds of the ten quarters.”

Great-Eloquence said to him, “World-Honored One! We also wish to see the Buddhas of your replicas, bow to them, and make offerings to them.”

See Beholding the Stupa of Treasures

Beholding the Stupa of Treasures

This chapter opens with a miraculous phenomenon taking place while Sakyamuni is preaching. The ground suddenly splits open, and a huge Stupa (a round dome-shaped shrine), five hundred yojanas high and two hundred and fifty yojanas wide, springs up from underground and hangs in space before the Buddha. Some say that a yojana is about forty miles, and others argue that it is about seventy-five miles (the distance of a one-day trip by bullock cart). At any rate, an enormous stupa—huge beyond our imagination—suddenly appears. It is magnificent in appearance, adorned with jewels and ornaments.

At the sight of this stupa, the assembled congregation bursts into song, offers jewels and flowers before it, venerates it, honors it, and worships it. Then a loud voice of praise is heard from within the stupa:

Excellent, excellent! You, Sakyamuni, the World-Honored
One, have expounded to this great multitude the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law, the Teaching of Equality, the Great Wisdom, the Law for Bodhisattvas, the Law Upheld by the Buddhas. What you, Sakyamuni, the World-Honored One, have expounded is all true! (p. 181)

The speaker is a Buddha called Many-Treasures Tathagata (“Thus Come”), who resides within the stupa. Because he proves the authenticity of the Lotus Sutra, which is expounded by Sakyamuni, the World-Honored One, he is called the Validating Buddha. His Stupa is named the Stupa of Treasures.

Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

Day 15

Day 15 concludes Chapter 10, The Teacher of the Dharma, and opens Chapter 11, Beholding the Stūpa of Treasures.

Having last month heard Great Eloquence Bodhisattava ask about the loud voice that came from within the Stupa, he hear the Buddha’s reply.

The Buddha said to him:

“The perfect body of a Tathāgata is in this stūpa of treasures. A long time ago there was a world called Treasure-Purity at the distance of many thousands of billions of asaṃkhyas of worlds to the east [of this world]. In that world lived a Buddha called Many-Treasures. When he was yet practicing the Way of Bodhisattvas, he made a great vow: ‘If anyone expounds a sūtra called the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma in any of the worlds of the ten quarters after I become a Buddha and pass away, I will cause my stūpa-mausoleum to spring up before him so that 1 may be able to prove the truthfulness of the sūtra and say ‘excellent’ in praise of him because I wish to hear that sūtra [directly from him].”

“He attained enlightenment[, and became a Buddha]. When he was about to pass away, he said to the bhikṣus in the presence of the great multitude of gods and men, ‘If you wish to make offerings to my perfect body after my extinction, erect a great stūpa!’

“If anyone expounds the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma in any of the worlds of the ten quarters, that Buddha, by his supernatural powers and by the power of his vow, will cause the stūpa of treasures enshrining his perfect body to spring up before the expounder of the sūtra. Then he will praise [the expounder of the sūtra], saying, ‘Excellent, excellent!’

“Great-Eloquence! Now Many-Treasures Tathāgata caused his stūpa to spring up from underground in order to hear the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma [directly from me]. Now he praised me, saying, ‘Excellent, excellent!’ ”

See One Single Entity

One Single Entity

Let us go back for a moment to the Stupa of Treasures. Ordinarily a Stupa is a mausoleum where the relics (ashes) of Sakyamuni are enshrined. Once Sakyamuni is extinct, living beings can worship him only in his relics. The Sutra says that Many-Treasures Buddha will appear whenever and wherever the Lotus Sutra is expounded. This means that the living Sakyamuni, represented by his relics, and the Lotus Sutra are united as one single entity.

Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

Day 15

Day 15 concludes Chapter 10, The Teacher of the Dharma, and opens Chapter 11, Beholding the Stūpa of Treasures.

Having last month beheld the Stupa of Treasures, we hear a loud voice from within the Stupa.

Thereupon a loud voice of praise was heard from within the stupa of treasures:

“Excellent, excellent! You, Śākyamuni, the World-Honored One, have expounded to this great multitude the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma, the Teaching of Equality, the Great Wisdom, the Dharma for Bodhisattvas, the Dharma Upheld by the Buddhas. So it is, so it is. What you, Śākyamuni, the World-Honored One, have expounded is all true.”

Thereupon the four kinds of devotees [in the congregation], having seen the great stupa of treasures hanging in the sky, and having heard the voice from within the stupa, had delight in the Dharma, but wondered why these unprecedented things had happened. They rose from their seats, joined their hands together [towards the stupa] respectfully, retired, and stood to one side.

Thereupon a Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas called Great-Eloquence, having noticed that the gods, men and asuras of the world had doubts, said to the Buddha, “World-Honored One! Why did this stupa of treasures spring up from underground? Why was that voice heard from within [the stupa]?”

See A Perfect, Ideal World

A Perfect, Ideal World

[T]he emergence of a perfect, ideal world is represented by the Stupa of Treasures hanging in space, which now becomes the setting for preaching. The sky in general symbolizes eternity and constancy.

Thus each of the seemingly fantastic events in this chapter has a symbolic meaning of the Buddhist ideal. Based on these ideas, the following chapters will gradually disclose the central thoughts of the Lotus Sutra: (1) the concept of the Original Buddha, and (2) the notion that our World of Endurance is essentially the same as the Pure World.

Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

Day 15

Day 15 concludes Chapter 10, The Teacher of the Dharma, and opens Chapter 11, Beholding the Stūpa of Treasures.

Having last month concluded Chapter 10, The Teacher of the Dharma, we behold the Stupa of Treasures.

Thereupon a stupa of the seven treasures sprang up from underground and hung in the sky before the Buddha. The stupa was five hundred yojanas high and two hundred and fifty yojanas wide and deep. lt was adorned with various treasures. It was furnished with five thousand railings and ten million chambers. It was adorned with innumerable banners and streamers, from which jeweled necklaces and billions of jeweled bells were hanging down. The fragrance of tamalapattra and candana was sent forth from the four sides of the stupa to all the corners of the world. Many canopies, adorned with streamers, and made of the seven treasures-gold, silver, lapis lazuli, shell, agate, pearl and ruby were hanging in the sky [one upon another from the top of the stupa] up to the [heaven of the] palaces of the four heavenly-kings. The thirty-three gods offered a rain of heavenly mandārava-flowers to the stupa of treasures. Thousands of billions of living beings, including the other gods, dragons, yakṣas, gandharvas, asuras, garuḍas, kiṃnaras, mahoragas, men and nonhuman beings, also offered flowers, incense, necklaces, streamers, canopies and music to the stupa of treasures, venerated the stupa, honored it, and praised it.

Lotus World offers this on the arrival of the Stupa of Treasures:

The jeweled stupa arising from the earth represents the emergence of Buddhahood (the stupa) from the ground of Buddha-nature in people’s ordinary lives (the earth). The transformation of this world is a graphic reminder that this world is the real pure land where enlightenment actually occurs. The recall of the emanated Buddhas from the pure lands reveals that these idealized Buddhas are personifications of the enlightened qualities and inner life of the historical Shakyamuni Buddha. The image of Many Treasures Tathagata and Shakyamuni Buddha seated together symbolizes the unity of the true reality of life and the wisdom of the person who awakens to reality.Lotus World: An Illustrated Guide to the Gohonzon

Day 15

Day 15 concludes Chapter 10, The Teacher of the Dharma, and opens Chapter 11, Beholding the Stūpa of Treasures.

Having last month considered in gāthās the three things to do before expounding the Lotus Sūtra, we conclude Chapter 10.

If anyone speaks ill of you, or threatens you
With swords, sticks, tile-pieces or stones
While you are expounding this sūtra,
Think of me, and be patient!

My body is pure and indestructible.
I will appear in any of many thousands of billions of worlds
During many hundreds of millions of kalpas,
And expound the Dharma to the living beings.

If a teacher of the Dharma expounds this sūtra
After my extinction,
I will manifest the four kinds of devotees:
Bhikṣus, bhikṣunīs, and men and women of pure faith,
And dispatch them to him
So that they may make offerings to him,
And that they may lead many living beings,
Collecting them to hear the Dharma [from him].

If he is hated and threatened
With swords, sticks, tile-pieces or stones,
I will manifest men and dispatch them to him
In order to protect him.

If an expounder of the Dharma
Reads and recites this sūtra
In a retired and quiet place,
Where no human voice is heard,
I will show my pure and radiant body to him.
If he forgets a sentence or a phrase of this sūtra,
I will tell it to him
For his complete understanding.

Anyone who expounds this sūtra to the four kinds of devotees,
Or reads or recites this sūtra in a retired place,
After doing these [three] virtuous things,
Will be able to see me.

If he lives in a retired place,
I will dispatch gods, dragon-kings, yakṣas,
Demigods, and others to him,
And have them hear the Dharma [from him].

He will expound the Dharma with joy.
He will expound it without hindrance.
He will cause a great multitude to rejoice
Because he is protected by all the Buddhas.

Those who come to this teacher of the Dharma
Will be able to complete the Way of Bodhisattvas quickly.
Those who follow him and study will be able to see
As many Buddhas as there are sands in the River Ganges.

The Daily Dharma from April 18, 2017, offers this:

Anyone who expounds this sūtra to the four kinds of devotees,
Or reads or recites this sūtra in a retired place,
After doing these [three] virtuous things,
Will be able to see me.

The Buddha sings these verses to Medicine-King Bodhisattva in Chapter Ten of the Lotus Sūtra. While the Buddha was alive 2500 years ago, people traveled great distances and endure great hardships just to see him. Today, even though the man named Siddhartha Gautama is no longer in our world, we are assured that the ever-present Śākyamuni is always with us and leading us to his enlightenment. When we make the effort to keep, read, recite, copy and expound this Sūtra, it is as if we are traveling great distances and enduring great hardships.

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