Tag Archives: LS16

Day 16

Day 16 concludes Chapter 11, Beholding the Stūpa of Treasures, and completes the Fourth Volume of the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month witnessed the stūpa of treasures opened, we see Many Treasures offer half of his seat to Śākyamuni.

Having seen that the Buddha, who had passed away many thousands of billions of kalpas before, had said this, the four kinds of devotees praised him, saying, “We have never seen [such a Buddha as] you before.” They strewed heaps of jeweled flowers of heaven to Many-Treasures Buddha and also to Śākyamuni Buddha.

Thereupon Many-Treasures Buddha in the stūpa of treasures offered a half of his seat to Śākyamuni Buddha, saying, “Śākyamuni Buddha, sit here!”

Śākyamuni Buddha entered the stūpa and sat on the half-seat with his legs crossed. The great multitude, having seen the two Tathāgatas sitting cross-legged on the lion-like seat in the stūpa of the seven treasures, thought, “The seat of the Buddhas is too high. Tathāgata! Raise us up by your supernatural powers so that we may be able to be with you in the sky!”

See The Difficulty

The Difficulty

Many-Treasures then calls Sakyamuni to join him inside the stupa, offering him half of his seat. Thus Many-Treasures and Sakyamuni sit side by side, sharing the same seat.

Since the seat of the two Buddhas is too high for the congregation to see, Sakyamuni raises them up into the sky by his supernatural powers. Then he says to them, “I shall soon enter into Nirvana. Is there anyone here who is willing to expound the Lotus Sutra in the world after my extinction? I wish to hand it on to someone so that it can be perpetuated” (p. 187).

This statement is followed by verses explaining how difficult it will be to expound the Lotus Sutra after his extinction.

He lists nine examples of unimaginable difficulty, and then stresses in six articles that those hardships are nothing compared to the demanding mission of his followers. The first part of the teaching is as follows:

It is not difficult to expound all the other sutras, as many as there are sands in the River Ganges. It is not difficult to grasp Mount Sumeru and hurl it to a distance of countless Buddha worlds. It is not difficult to move a world composed of one thousand million Sumeru-worlds with the tip of a toe and hurl it to another world. It is difficult to expound this Sutra in the evil world after my extinction (p. 190-1).

Day 16

Day 16 concludes Chapter 11, Beholding the Stūpa of Treasures, and completes the Fourth Volume of the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month witnessed arrival of the replicas of Śākyamuni, we see the stūpa of treasures opened.

Thereupon Śākyamuni Buddha, having seen that all the Buddhas of his replicas had already arrived and sat on the lion-like seats, and also having heard that they had told their attendants of their wish to see the stūpa of treasures opened, rose from his seat, and went up to the sky. All the four kinds of devotees stood up, joined their hands together towards him, and looked up at him with all their hearts. Now he opened the door of the stūpa of the seven treasures with the fingers of his right hand. The opening of the door made a sound as large as that of the removal of the bolt and lock of the gate of a great city. At that instant all the congregation saw Many Treasures Tathāgata sitting with his perfect and undestroyed body on the lion-like seat in the stūpa of treasures as if he had been sitting in dhyāna-concentration. They also heard him say:

“Excellent, excellent! You, Śākyamuni Buddha, have joyfully expounded the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma. I have come to hear this sūtra [directly from you].”

See The Ideal World of the Lotus Sutra

The Ideal World of the Lotus Sutra

In [Chapter Eleven, Beholding the Stupa of Treasures], the cosmos is so sublimely depicted that we feel as if we are seeing a drama in space. This majestic picture is a symbolic representation of the ideal world of the Lotus Sutra.

Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

Day 16

Day 16 concludes Chapter 11, Beholding the Stūpa of Treasures, and completes the Fourth Volume of the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month witnessed Śākyamuni preparing for the arrival of his replicas, the Buddhas of the replicas arrive and send their representatives to greet Śākyamuni.

Thereupon the Buddhas of the replicas of Śākyamuni Buddha in the worlds of the east, who were expounding the Dharma in those worlds numbering hundreds of thousands of billions of nayutas, that is, as many as there are sands in the River Ganges, came [to this expanded world]. So did the Buddhas of the worlds of the nine other quarters. They sat on the seats [under the jeweled trees]. [The Sahā-World and] the four hundred billion nayuta worlds of each of the eight quarters[, which were amalgamated into one Buddha world,] were filled with those Buddhas, with those Tathāgatas.

Thereupon one of the Buddhas on the lion-like seats under the jeweled trees, wishing to inquire after Śākyamuni Buddha, gave a handful of jeweled flowers to his attendant, and said to him, [wishing to] dispatch him:

“Good man! Co to Śākyamuni Buddha who is now living on Mt. Gṛdhrakūṭa! Ask him on my behalf, ‘Are you in good health? Are you peaceful? Are the Bodhisattvas and Śrāvakas peaceful or not?’ Strew these jeweled flowers to him, offer them to him, and say, ‘That Buddha sent me to tell you that he wishes to see the stūpa of treasures opened.”‘

All the other Buddhas also dispatched their attendants in the same way.

See Unification of the One Buddha Śākyamuni

Unification of the One Buddha Śākyamuni

[T]he Sutra says that innumerable Buddhas or duplicates of Śākyamuni in the worlds of the ten directions were assembled in one place. Each of the duplicates can be seen as a manifestation of Śākyamuni himself, who took the forms of other Buddhas in order to expound the Dharma in other worlds. Now they were all assembled in one place, meaning that all the Buddhas throughout space were unified at that moment by the one Buddha Śākyamuni.

Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

Day 16

Day 16 concludes Chapter 11, Beholding the Stūpa of Treasures, and completes the Fourth Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month heard the Buddhas of the worlds of the ten quarters announcing their plans to visit the Sahā World, we witness Śākyamuni preparing for the arrival of his replicas.

At that time each of the Buddhas was accompanied by an attendant who was a great Bodhisattva. Some of the Buddhas came under the jeweled trees in the Sahā-World. The jeweled trees were five hundred yojanas tall, and adorned with branches, leaves, flowers and fruits. Under the jeweled trees were lion-like seats five yojanas tall, adorned with great treasures. The Buddhas sat cross-legged on the seats [under the jeweled trees]. The seats [under the jeweled trees] in the [Sahā-World composed of] one thousand million Sumeru-worlds were, however, too few to receive all the Buddhas of Śākyamuni Buddha’s replicas who were to come from the worlds even of one of the ten quarters. [Seeing this,] Śākyamuni Buddha purified two hundred billion nayuta worlds of each of the eight quarters [neighboring the Sahā-World] to receive all the Buddhas of his replicas. The hells, the regions of hungry spirit , the regions of animals, and the regions of asuras [of those worlds] were eliminated; and the gods and men [of those worlds] were removed to other worlds. The ground of those purified world became lapis lazuli. The worlds were adorned with jeweled trees five hundred yojanas tall. The trees were adorned with branches, leaves, flowers and fruits. Under the trees were lion-like seats of treasures five yojanas tall, adorned with various treasures. The great oceans, rivers, the Mucilinda Mountains, the Maha-Mucilinda Mountains, the Surrounding Iron Mountains, the Great Surrounding Iron Mountains, the Sumeru Mountains, and all the other great mountains [of those worlds] were eliminated, and all those worlds were amalgamated into one Buddha-world [that is, into the world of Śākyamuni Buddha). The jeweled ground of this [expanded] world was even. Jeweled curtains and canopies adorned with streamers were hung over this [expanded] world; the incense of great treasures, burned; and jeweled flowers of heaven, strewn over the ground.

Śākyamuni Buddha again purified two hundred billion nayuta more worlds of each of the eight quarters [neighboring the expanded world] to seat all the Buddhas of his replicas. The hells, the regions of hungry spirits, the regions of animals, and the regions of asuras [of those worlds] were eliminated; and the gods and men [of those worlds] were removed to other worlds. The ground of those purified worlds became lapis lazuli. The worlds were adorned with jeweled trees five hundred yojanas tall. The trees were adorned with branches, leaves, flowers and fruits. Under the trees were lion-like seats of treasures five yojanas tall, adorned with great treasures. The great oceans, rivers, the Mucilinda Mountains, the Maha-Mucilinda Mountains, the Surrounding lron Mountains, the Great Surrounding Iron Mountains, the Sumeru Mountains, and all the other great mountains [of those worlds] were eliminated, and all those worlds were amalgamated into one Buddha-world [that is, into the world of Śākyamuni Buddha]. The jeweled ground of this [expanded] world was even. Jeweled curtains and canopies adorned with streamers were hung over this [expanded] world; the incense of great treasures, burned; and jeweled flowers of heaven, strewn over the ground.

See Triple Purification of the Worlds

Triple Purification of the Worlds

Great-Eloquence Bodhisattva wants to see Many-Treasures for himself, and he makes his desire known to Sakyamuni. The Buddha replies:

Many-Treasures Buddha made another great vow: “If any Buddha wishes to show me to the people when my Stupa of treasures appears before him so that I may be able to hear the Lotus Sutra, all his duplicate Buddhas in the worlds of the ten directions must be recalled. Then I will show myself before the people.”

Then Sakyamuni emitted a ray of light from the white curls between his eyebrows. The ray of light illumined the east, where the people saw innumerable Buddhas of innumerable worlds. Illuminated by the ray of light, those Buddhas of the worlds of the ten directions came pouring into the World of Endurance (our world) to make offerings to Sakyamuni Buddha and Many-Treasures Tathagata. At that moment, the World of Endurance was purified. The ground of the world became lapis lazuli; the roads were marked off by golden ropes; all cities, rushing torrents, and mountains (barriers which divide people from each other) were eliminated. Each of the arriving Buddhas was accompanied by an attending Bodhisattva. They all came to the purified World of Endurance, and sat under jeweled trees on lion-like thrones. All the thrones in the one thousand million Sumeru-worlds (inhabited worlds) were too few to accommodate so many Buddhas, so Sakyamuni purified two hundred billion nayuta [one nayuta is one hundred thousand million] other worlds to receive them. Still there was not enough room for them all, so Sakyamuni purified two hundred billion nayuta more worlds in eight directions of space to receive them (p. 183-4).

This is called the “triple purification of the worlds.”

Day 16

Day 16 concludes Chapter 11, Beholding the Stūpa of Treasures, and completes the Fourth Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month adjusted the split in Chapter 11 between Day 15 and Day 16, we begin with the Buddhas of the worlds of the ten quarters announcing their travel plans.

Thereupon each of the Buddhas of the [ worlds of the] ten quarters said to the Bodhisattvas under him, “Good men! Now I will go to Śākyamuni Buddha of the Sahā-World. I also will make offerings to the stūpa of treasures of Many-Treasures Tathāgata.”

At that instant the Sahā-World was purified. The ground of the world became lapis lazuli. The world was adorned with jeweled trees. The eight roads were marked off by ropes of gold. The towns, villages, cities, oceans, rivers, mountains, forests and thickets were eliminated. The incense of great treasures was burned; mandārava flowers, strewn over the ground; and jeweled nets and curtains with jeweled bells, hung over the world. The gods and men were removed to other worlds except those who were in the congregation.

Underscore At that instant the Sahā-World was purified.

Day 16

Day 16 concludes Chapter 11, Beholding the Stūpa of Treasures, and completes the Fourth Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Last month I started Day 16’s portion of Chapter 11, Beholding the Stūpa of Treasures, but I’ve decided to move where I make that break. As a result, last month’s portion, plus the portion below have been moved into the end of Day 15.

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!’ ”

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.”

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.

Next month I’ll begin again with what is now the start of Day 16’s portion of Chapter 11, Beholding the Stūpa of Treasures. Most breaks between days are clearly marked, e.g. the transition from prose to gāthās or the end of a chapter. But a few are more difficult for me to discern. In those cases I’ve used “logical” breaks, e.g. in Chapter 3, A Parable, between Day 5, which ends with Śāriputra asking Śākyamuni to remove the doubts of the four kinds of devotees, and the start of Day 6, where Śākyamuni responds.

The Day 15-Day 16 split is different in that there are several Shindoku words that I recognize such as “zen zai” which means excellent, “butsu” which means Buddha, “bo satsu” which is Bodhisattva and “shaka muni” which is Śākyamuni. For several months I’ve realized my Day 15-Day 16 split had been misplaced, but only this month did I sit down with both books.

The split in Myoho Renge Kyo Romanized occurs at: ni ji jip po sho butsu, kaku go shu bo satsu gon, zen nan shi, ga kon o o, sha ba se kai, shaka muni bus sho…

I’ve placed that split in Senchu Murano’s translation at: “Thereupon each of the Buddhas of the [ worlds of the] ten quarters said to the Bodhisattvas under him, “Good men! Now I will go to Śākyamuni Buddha of the Sahā-World. …”

Eventually I hope to verify all of the breaks.