Tag Archives: LS28

Day 28

Day 28 covers all of Chapter 24, Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva, and concludes the Seventh Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month considered Flower-Virtue Bodhisattva’s question and Śākyamuni Buddha’s answer, we consider Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattvas transformations.

“Flower-Virtue! Now you see Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva here and nowhere else. But formerly he transformed himself into various living beings and expounded this sūtra to others in various places. He became King Brahman, King Sakra, Freedom God, Great-Freedom God, a great general in heaven, Vaisravana Heavenly-King, a wheel-turning-holy-king, the king of a small country, a rich man, a householder, a prime minister, a brahmana, a bhikṣu, a bhikṣunī, an upāsakā, an upāsikā, the wife of a rich man, that of a householder, that of a prime minister, that of a brahmana, a boy, a girl, a god, a dragon, a yakṣa, a gandharva, an asura, a garuda, a kiṃnara, a mahoraga, a human being or a nonhuman being. [After he transformed himself into one or another of these living beings,] he expounded this sūtra, and saved the hellish denizens, hungry spirits, animals, and all the other living beings in the places of difficulties. When he entered an imperial harem, he became a woman and expounded this sūtra.

See Devoting Ourselves to Service and Welfare of Others

Devoting Ourselves to Service and Welfare of Others

The samadhi by which one can transform himself into other living beings is a power of concentration acquired by practice. Such a miraculous phenomenon may sound impossible. However, when we sincerely devote ourselves to the service and welfare of others, we can reach a stage of nonself—real selflessness—and become one with them. In appearance, we may even look like one of them. An adult playing happily with children may look like a child himself. He may feel like a child, too. The children may even consider him to be one of them. Such “transformations” are far from impossible, but they do require a special state of mind. The samadhi by which one can transform himself into other living things is an expression of the Bodhisattva-spirit of devoting one’s self to others. Wonderful-Voice can transform himself into thirty-four bodies. In the next chapter, we meet a famous Bodhisattva with similar abilities.

Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

Day 28

Day 28 covers all of Chapter 24, Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva, and concludes the Seventh Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month the arrival of Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva in the Sahā World, we consider Flower-Virtue Bodhisattva’s question and Śākyamuni Buddha’s answer.

Thereupon Flower-Virtue Bodhisattva said to Śākyamuni Buddha:

“World-Honored One! What root of good did this Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva plant and what kind of meritorious deeds did he do in order to obtain this supernatural power?”

Śākyamuni Buddha said to Flower-Virtue Bodhisattva:

“There was once a Buddha called Cloud-Thunder-Sound-King, the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Samyak-sambuddha. His world was called Appearance-Of-All-Worlds; and the kalpa in which he lived, Gladly-Seen. [There lived] a Bodhisattva called Wonderful-Voice [under that Buddha. The Bodhisattva] offered hundreds of thousands of kinds of music and eighty-four thousand patras of the seven treasures to Cloud-Thunder-Sound-King Buddha for twelve thousand years. Because of this, he was able to appear in the world of Pure-Flower-Star-King-Wisdom Buddha, and obtain supernatural power such as this.

“Flower-Virtue! What do you think of this? Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva who had offered the music and the jeweled bowls to Cloud-Thunder-Sound-King Buddha [at that time] was no one but this Wonderful-Virtue Bodhisattva-mahāsattva [whom you see here now].

“Flower-Virtue! This Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva already made offerings to innumerable Buddhas, attended on them, and planted the roots of virtue a long time ago. He also already saw hundreds of thousands of billions of nayutas of Buddhas, that is, as many Buddhas as there are sands in the River Ganges.

What root of good, indeed.

Day 28

Day 28 covers all of Chapter 24, Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva, and concludes the Seventh Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month witnessed Many Treasures Buddha invite Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva to come to the Sahā World, Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva arrives in the Sahā World.

[Before he started,] he stepped on a platform of the seven treasures. The platform went up to the sky seven times as high as the tala[-tree, and moved through the sky, carrying him]. Together with the Bodhisattvas surrounding him respectfully, he came to Mt. Gṛdhrakūṭa of this Sahā-World, and descended from the platform of the seven treasures. He came to Śākyamuni Buddha, carrying with him a necklace worth hundreds of thousands. He worshipped the feet of the Buddha with his head, offered the necklace to the Buddha, and said to him:

“World-Honored One! I bring you a message from Pure-Flower-Star-King-Wisdom Buddha. [He wishes to say this.] Are you in good health? Are you happy and peaceful or not? Are the four elements of your body working in harmony or not? Are the worldly affairs bearable or not? Are the living beings easy to save or not? Do they not have much greed, anger, ignorance, jealousy, stinginess and arrogance, or do they? Are they not undutiful to their parents, or are they? Are they not di respectful to śramaṇas, or are they? Do they not have wrong views, or do they? Are they not evil, or are they? Do they not fail to control their five desires, or do they? World-Honored One! Did they defeat the Maras, who are their enemies, or not. Is Many-Treasures Tathāgata, who passed away a long time ago and has now come here riding in the stupa of the seven treasures, hearing the Dharma or not? [Pure-Flower-Star-King-Wisdom Buddha] also wishes to know whether Many-Treasures Tathāgata is peaceful and healthy, and able to stay long or not World-Honored One! Now I wish to see Many-Treasures Buddha World-Honored One! Show him to me!”

Thereupon Śākyamuni Buddha said to Many-Treasure Buddha, “This Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva wishes to see you.”

Thereupon Many-Treasures Buddha said to Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva:

Excellent, excellent! You have come here to make offerings to Śākyamuni Buddha, hear the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma, and see Mañjuśrī and others.”

The Daily Dharma from April 19, 2017, offers this:

The passage above is how Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva greets Śākyamuni Buddha in Chapter Twenty-Four of the Lotus Sūtra. This Bodhisattva asks not only about the Buddha, but about those whom the Buddha benefits with his teaching. The Buddha answers that those he teaches have prepared through innumerable lives to receive his wisdom. The questions of Wonderful-Voice show how we obscure the teaching through our delusion and attachments.

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

Day 28

Day 28 covers all of Chapter 24, Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva, and concludes the Seventh Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month witnessed a great omen in the Sahā World, Many Treasures Buddha calls for Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva to come to the Sahā World.

Mañjuśrī said to the Buddha:

“World-Honored One! What root of good did he plant and what kind of meritorious deed did he do in order to obtain this great supernatural power? What samadhi did he practice? Tell us the name of the samadhi! We also wish to practice it strenuously so that we may be able to see how tall he is and how he behaves himself. World-Honored One! Cause me to see him by your supernatural powers when he comes!”

Thereupon Śākyamuni Buddha said to Mañjuśrī, “This Many-Treasures Tathāgata, who passed away a long time ago, will cause him to appear before you all.”

Thereupon Many-Treasures Buddha called [loudly] to [Wonderful-Voice] Bodhisattva [from afar], “Good man! Come! Mañjuśrī, the Son of the King of the Dharma, wishes to see you.”

Thereupon Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva, accompanied by eighty-four thousand Bodhisattvas, left his world [for the Sahā World]. As they passed through the [one hundred and eight billion nayuta] worlds, the ground of those worlds quaked in the six ways; lotus flowers of the seven treasures rained [on those worlds], and hundreds of thousands of heavenly drums sounded [over those worlds] although no one beat them. The eyes of [Wonderful-Voice] Bodhisattva were as large as the leaves of the blue lotus. His face was more handsome than the combination of thousands of millions of moons. His body was golden-colored, and adorned with many hundreds of thousands of mark of merits. His power and virtue were great. His light was brilliant. His body had all the characteristics of the muscular body of Narayana.

This time through I am struck by the roles played here: Mañjuśrī asks Śākyamuni to be able to see Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva. Śākyamuni says Many-Treasures Buddha can make that happen. Many-Treasures Buddha issues his invitation, and in response Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva, accompanied by eighty-four thousand Bodhisattvas, makes his way to the Sahā World. Just something to ponder.

Day 28

Day 28 covers all of Chapter 24, Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva, and concludes the Seventh Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month heard Pure-Flower-Star-King-Wisdom Buddha’s travel advice to Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva, we witness a great omen in the Sahā World.

Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva said to the Buddha “World-Honored One! I can go to the Sahā-World by your powers, by your supernatural powers of traveling, and by your merits and wisdom which adorn me.”

Thereupon Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva entered into a samadhi. He did not rise from his seat or make any other movement. By the power of this samadhi, he caused eighty-four thousand lotus flowers of treasures to appear in a place not far from the seat of the Dharma situated on Mt. Gṛdhrakūṭa. Those flowers had stalks of jambunada gold, leaves of silver, stamens of diamond, and calyxes of kimsuka treasures.

Thereupon Mañjuśrī, the Son of the King of the Dharma, having seen these lotus-flowers, said to Śākyamuni Buddha:

“World-Honored One! What does this omen mean? Tens of millions of lotus-flowers have appeared. They have stalks of jambunada gold, leaves of silver, stamens of diamond, and calyxes of kimsuka treasures.”

Thereupon Śākyamuni Buddha said to Mañjuśrī:

“This means that Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva-mahāsattva, surrounded by eighty-four thousand Bodhisattvas, is coming from the World of Pure-Flower-Star-King-Wisdom Buddha to this Sahā World in order to make offerings to me, attend on me, bow to me, make offerings to the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma, and hear it.”

And this time through I ponder Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva’s declaration: “World-Honored One! I can go to the Sahā-World by your powers, by your supernatural powers of traveling, and by your merits and wisdom which adorn me,” especially imaging the decorations representing the Buddha’s merits and wisdom.

Day 28

Day 28 covers all of Chapter 24, Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva, and concludes the Seventh Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month met Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva in the All-Pure-Light-Adornment World, we hear his request to visit the Sahā World and Pure-Flower-Star-King-Wisdom Buddha’s travel advice.

When he was illumined by the light of Śākyamuni Buddha, he said to the Pure-Flower-Star-King-Wisdom Buddha:

“World-Honored One! I wish to visit the Sahā-World, bow to Śākyamuni Buddha, attend on him, and make offerings to him. I also wish to see Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva, who is the Son of the King of the Dharma. [I also wish to see] Medicine-King Bodhisattva, Brave-In-Giving Bodhisattva, Star-King-Flower Bodhisattva, Superior-Practice-Intent Bodhisattva, Adornment-King Bodhisattva, and Medicine-Superior Bodhisattva.”

Thereupon Pure-Flower-Star-King-Wisdom Buddha said to Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva:

“Do not despise that world! Do not consider it to be inferior [to our world]! Good Man! The Sahā-World is not even. It is full of mud, stones, mountains’ and impurities. The Buddha [of that world] is short in stature! So are the Bodhisattvas [of that world]. You are forty-two thousand yojanas tall. I am six million an eight hundred thousand yojanas tall. You are the most handsome. You have thousands of millions of marks of merits, and your light is wonderful. Do not despise that world when you go there! Do not consider that the Buddha and Bodhisattvas of that world are inferior [to us]! Do not consider that that world is inferior [to ours]!”

The Daily Dharma from June 28, 2016, offers this:

In Chapter Twenty-Four of the Lotus Sūtra, the Buddha sends a light from his forehead to the world in which Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva lives. When that Bodhisattva saw this light from Śākyamuni Buddha, he asked permission from the Buddha he was attending to visit our world of conflict. The instruction he receives from his Buddha reminds us that no matter what advantages we have gained from our practice of the Buddha Dharma, these do not make us any better or worse than those we are determined to benefit.

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

Day 28

Day 28 covers all of Chapter 24, Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva, and concludes the Seventh Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month witnessed Śākyamuni Buddha illumining one hundred and eight billion nayuta Buddha-worlds, we now meet Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva in the All-Pure-Light-Adornment World.

At that time there was a Bodhisattva called Wonderful-Voice in the All-Pure-Light-Adornment World. He had already planted roots of virtue a long time ago. He had already made offerings to many hundreds of thousands of billions of Buddhas, and attended on them. He had already obtained profound wisdom. He had already obtained hundreds of thousands of billions of great samadhis, that is, as many great samadhis as there are sands in the River Ganges, such as the samadhi as wonderful as the banner of a general, the samadhi for the traveling of the king of the stars, the samadhi for freedom from causality, the samadhi for the seal of wisdom, the samadhi by which one could understand the words of all living beings, the samadhi by which one could collect all merits, the samadhi for purity, the samadhi for exhibiting supernatural powers, the samadhi for the torch of wisdom, the samadhi for the Adornment-King, the samadhi for pure light, the samadhi for pure store, the samadhi for special teachings, and the samadhi for the revolution of the sun.

And I pause here to consider what this bodhisattva had already accomplished.

Day 28

Day 28 covers all of Chapter 24, Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva, and concludes the Seventh Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month completed Chapter 24, we start again.

Thereupon Sakyamuni Buddha [faced the east and] emitted rays of light from the fleshy tuft on his head, that is, from one of the marks of a great man, and also from the white curls between his eyebrows. The light illumined one hundred and eight billion nayuta Buddha-worlds, that is, as many worlds in the east as there are sands in the River Ganges. There was a world called [All-] Pure-Light-Adornment [in the east] beyond those worlds. In that world was a Buddha called Pure-Flower-Star-King-Wisdom, the Tathagata, 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. He expounded the Dharma to a great multitude of innumerable Bodhisattvas who were surrounding him respectfully. The ray of light, which was emitted from the white curls [between the eyebrows] of Sakyamuni Buddha, also illumined that world.

Darkness or light. Hidden or revealed. Delusion or realization. One truth.

Day 28

Day 28 covers all of Chapter 24, Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva, and concludes the Seventh Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Last month covered the benefits obtained by Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva-mahasattva, and now we return to the All-Pure-Light-Adornment World and complete Chapter 24.

Thereupon Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva-mahasattva made offerings to Sakyamuni Buddha and to the stupa of Many­Treasures Buddha, [benefited the living beings of the Saha­World,] and left for his home world] accompanied by the eighty-­four thousand Bodhisattvas. As they passed through the [one hundred and eight billion nayuta] worlds, the ground of those worlds quaked in the six ways; lotus-flowers of treasures rained down; and hundreds of thousands of billions of kinds of music were made. Having reached his home world, accompanied by the eighty-four thousand Bodhisattvas who surrounded him, he came to Pure-Flower-Star-King-Wisdom Buddha. He said to the Buddha:

World-Honored One! I went to the Saha-World and benefited the living beings there. I saw Sakyamuni Buddha and the stupa of Many-Treasures Buddha. I bowed and made offerings to them. I also saw Manjusri Bodhisattva, the Son of the King of the Dharma. [I also saw] Medkine-King Bodhisattva, Endeavor-Power-Obtainer Bodhisattva, Brave-In-Giving Bodhisattva, and others. I also caused these eighty-four thousand Bodhisattvas to obtain the ability to practise the samadhi by which they could transform themselves into any other living being.

When [Sakyamuni Buddha] expounded this chapter of the Coming and Going of Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva, forty-two thousand gods obtained the truth of birthlessness, and Flower-­Virtue Bodhisattva obtained the ability to practice the samadhi for the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

I’m pondering the position of gods and the truth of birthlessness. The truth of birthlessness is first mentioned in the Devadatta chapter as something to which some of his disciples will aspire. In The Variety of Merits, six hundred and eighty billion nayuta livings beings obtained the truth of birthlessness after Sakyamuni revealed the duration of his life in the previous chapter. Realizing the truth of birthlessness is one of the benefits obtained by a woman, reborn a man, who hears of the Previous Life of Medicine-King Bodhisattva. And, finally, 68,000 people obtained the truth of birthlessness when the Buddha expounded the Dharanis chapter.

Today’s quote from Awakening to the Lotus offers this on life and death and, I suppose, birthlessness:

The suffering of birth, old age, sickness, and death are facts of everyone’s lives. No matter how developed science may become or how far medicine may advance, these cannot be avoided. Buddhism teaches, however, that when a person discovers that he or she exists within the life of the Eternal Buddha and can perceive the great stream of life flowing endlessly from the past through the present and into the future, he or she will escape the suffering that these events normally cause.
Awakening to the Lotus