Tag Archives: LS32

Day 32

Day 32 covers Chapter 28, The Encouragement of Universal-Sage Bodhisattva, closing the Eighth Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month heard Śākyamuni Buddha praise Universal Sage, we hear Śākyamuni Buddha’s instructions to Universal Sage.

“Universal-Sage! If you see anyone who keeps, reads and recites the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma in the later five hundred years after my extinction, you should think, ‘Before long be will go to the place of enlightenment, defeat Mara and his followers, attain Anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi, turn the wheel of the Dharma, beat the drum of the Dharma, blow the conch-shell horn of the Dharma, send the rain of the Dharma, and sit on the lion-like seat of the Dharma in the midst of the great multitude of gods and men.’

See The Encouragement of Universal-Sage Bodhisattva

The Encouragement of Universal-Sage Bodhisattva

The meaning of this chapter’s title is that Universal-Sage Bodhisattva (Samantabhadra) will appear before, protect, and encourage anyone who keeps and practices the Lotus Sutra, and he will have that person aspire to the Way to Buddhahood.

Introduction to the Lotus Sutra

Day 32

Day 32 covers Chapter 28, The Encouragement of Universal-Sage Bodhisattva, closing the Eighth Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month learned of the supernatural powers of Universal­Sage, we hear Śākyamuni Buddha praise him.

Thereupon Śākyamuni Buddha praised him, saying:

“Excellent, excellent, Universal-Sage! You will protect this sūtra so that many living beings may obtain peace and benefits. You have already obtained inconceivable merits and great compassion. You aspired for Anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi and vowed [to protect this sūtra] by your supernatural powers in the remotest pa t, and have been protecting this sūtra since then. By my supernatural powers, I will protect anyone who keeps your name.

“Universal-Sage! Anyone who keeps, reads and recites this Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma, memorizes it correctly, studies it, practices it, and copies it, should be considered to see me, and hear this sūtra from my mouth. He should be considered to be making offerings to me. He should be considered to be praised by me with the word ‘Excellent!’ He should be considered to be caressed by me on the head. He should be considered to be covered with my robe. He will not be attached to worldly pleasures. He will not like to read heretical scriptures or any other writings of heretics. He will not be intimate with heretics, slaughterers, boar-breeders, sheep-breeders, fowl-breeders, dog­breeders, hunters, prostitutes, or any other evil people. He will be upright. He will have correct memory and the powers of merits and virtues. He will not be troubled by the three poisons. He will not be troubled by jealousy, arrogance from selfishness, arrogance from self-assumed attainment of enlightenment, or arrogance from self-assumed acquisition of virtues. He will want little, know contentment, and practice just as you do.

The Daily Dharma from Jan. 5, 2017, offers this:

He will have correct memory and the powers of merits and virtues. He will not be troubled by the three poisons. He will not be troubled by jealousy, arrogance from selfishness, arrogance from self-assumed attainment of enlightenment, or arrogance from self-assumed acquisition of virtues. He will want little, know contentment, and practice just as you do.

The Buddha gives this description of the person who keeps and practices the Lotus Sūtra to Universal-Sage Bodhisattva (Fugen, Samantabhadra) in Chapter Twenty-Eight of the Lotus Sūtra. Powers of merits are what we have when we see things clearly. The three poisons are greed, anger and ignorance. The practice of Universal-Sage is to support and encourage everyone who takes on this difficult practice of the Wonderful Dharma. This is another Bodhisattva who gives us an example of how we can live in this world of conflict.

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

Day 32

Day 32 covers Chapter 28, The Encouragement of Universal-Sage Bodhisattva, closing the Eighth Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month heard Universal-Sage Bodhisattva’s dhārāṇi spells, we learn of the supernatural powers of Universal­Sage.

[He said to the Buddha:]

“World-Honored One! It is by my supernatural powers, know this, that a Bodhisattva can hear these dhārāṇis. Anyone who keeps the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma [while it is] propagated in the Jambudvipa, should think, ‘I can keep [this sūtra] only by the supernatural powers of Universal­Sage.’ Anyone who keeps, reads and recites this sūtra, memorizes it correctly, understands the meanings of it, and acts according to it, know this, does the same practices that I do. He should be considered to have already planted deeply the roots of good under innumerable Buddhas [in his previous existence]. He will be caressed on the head by the hands of the Tathāgatas. Anyone who copies this sūtra will be reborn in the Heaven of the Trāyastriṃs̒a Gods immediately after his present life. On that occasion, eighty-four thousand goddesses will come and receive him, making many kinds of music. A crown of the seven treasures will be put on his head, and he will enjoy himself among the ladies in waiting. Needless to say, [more merits will be given to] the person who [not only copies this sūtra but also] keeps, reads and recites it, memorizes it correctly, understands the meanings of it, and acts according to it. Anyone who keeps, reads and recites this sūtra, and understands the meanings of it, will be given helping hands by one thousand Buddhas immediately after his present life. He will be fearless. He will not fall into any evil region. He will be reborn in the Tusiita Heaven. There he will go to Maitreya Bodhisattva who, adorned with the thirty-two marks, will be surrounded by great Bodhisattvas, and attended on by hundreds of thousands of billions of goddesses. He will be given the benefits of these merits. Therefore, anyone who has wisdom should copy this sūtra with all his heart, cause others to copy it, and also keep, read and recite it, memorize it correctly, and act according to it.

“World-Honored One! I will protect this sūtra with my supernatural powers so that it may be propagated and not be destroyed in the Jambudvipa after your extinction.”

Rather than be distracted by the idea of being reborn in the Heaven of the Trāyastriṃsa Gods … [where] eighty-four thousand goddesses will come and receive him or reborn in the Tusiita Heaven … attended on by hundreds of thousands of billions of goddesses, let’s consider this description of Universal Sage Bodhisattva – Samantabhadra – by Taigen Daniel Leighton in his book Faces of Compassion:

Fugen, samantabhadra, Universal SageSamantabhadra is the bodhisattva of enlightening activity in the world, representing the shining function of wisdom. Samantabhadra also embodies the luminous web of the interconnectedness of all beings, and radiant visions that express it. …

Samantabhadra and Manjushri are often paired together as attendants on either side of Shakyamuni Buddha, with Manjushri on his lion representing the essence of wisdom, and Samantabhadra, mounted on an elephant, representing the application of wisdom actively benefiting the world.

On the Shutei Mandala Gohonzon, Universal Sage Bodhisattva is on the left of the Daimoku in the row below Śākyamuni, with Mañjuśrī on the right of the Daimoku beneath Many Treasures.
Lotus World: An Illustrated Guide to the Gohonzon

Day 32

Day 32 covers Chapter 28, The Encouragement of Universal-Sage Bodhisattva, closing the Eighth Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month heard Universal-Sage Bodhisattva’s vow, we hear instructions on how to study and the dhārāṇi spells:

“World-Honored One! The bhikṣus, bhikṣunīs, upāsakās or upāsikās who seek, keep, read, recite and copy this Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma in the defiled world in the later five hundred years after [your extinction], if they wish to study and practice this sūtra, should concentrate their minds [on study and practice] strenuously for three weeks. When they complete [the study and practice of] three weeks, I will mount a white elephant with six tusks, and appear before them with my body which all living beings wish to see, together with innumerable Bodhisattvas surrounding me. I will expound the Dharma to them, show them the Way, teach them, benefit them, and cause them to rejoice. I also will give them dhārāṇi spells. u they obtain these dhārāṇis, they will not be killed by nonhuman beings or captivated by women. Also I myself will always protect them. World-Honored One! Allow me to utter these dhārāṇis spells!”

Thereupon he uttered spells before the Buddha:

“Atandai (1), tandahatai (2), tandahatei (3), tandakusharei (4), tandashudarei (5), shudarei (6), shudarahachi (7), botsudahasennei (8), sarubadarani-abatani (9), sarubabasha-abataru (10), hu­abatani (11), sōgyahabishani (12), sōgyaneku-kyadani (13), asogi (14), sōgyahagyadai. (15), teirei-ada-sōgyatorya-aratei-haratei (16), sarubasogya-sammaji-kyarandai (17), sarubadaruma­shuharisettei (18), saru-basatta-rodakyōsharya-atogyadai (19), shin-abikiridaitei (20).”

The Daily Dharma from March 15, 2017, offers this:

Universal-Sage Bodhisattva (Fugen, Samantabhadra) makes this declaration to the Buddha in Chapter Twenty-Eight of the Lotus Sūtra. Nichiren interprets “the later five hundred years” as the time in which we live today. Universal sage describes the ways in which we can practice this Sūtra. To seek it is to find it in all aspects of our lives. To keep it is to rely on its teachings and have confidence in its ability to lead us to the Buddha’s wisdom. To read and recite it is to continue to remind ourselves and others of the details of the teachings. To copy it is to make it available to others. The merits we gain through these practices allow us to see the world for what it is and be part of making it better for everyone.

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

Day 32

Day 32 covers Chapter 28, The Encouragement of Universal-Sage Bodhisattva, closing the Eighth Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month learned the four things necessary to do to obtain this Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma, we hear Universal-Sage Bodhisattva’s vow.

Thereupon Universal-Sage Bodhisattva said to the Buddha:

“World-Honored One! If anyone keeps this sūtra in the defiled world in the later five hundred years after [your extinction], l will protect him so that he may be free from any trouble, that he may be peaceful, and that no one may take advantage [of his weak points]. Mara, his sons, his daughters, his subjects, his attendants, yakṣas, rākṣasas, kumbhāṇḍas, piśācakas, kṛtyas, pūtanas, vetādas or other living beings who trouble men shall not take advantage [of his weak points]. If anyone keeps, reads and recites this sūtra while he walks or stands, I will mount a kingly white elephant with six tusks, go to him together with great Bodhisattvas, show myself to rum, make offerings to him, protect him, and comfort him, because I wish to make offerings to the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma. If he sits and thinks over this sūtra, I also -will mount a kingly white elephant and appear before him. If he forgets a phrase or a gāthā of the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma, I will remind him of it, and read and recite it with him so that he may be able to understand it. Anyone who keeps, reads and recites the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma [after your extinction], will be able to see me with such joy that he will make more efforts. Because he sees me, he will be able to obtain samadhis and a set of dhārāṇis. The set of dhārāṇis will be the dhārāṇis by which he can memorize repetitions of teachings, the dhārāṇis by which he can memorize hundreds of thousands of billions of repetitions of teachings, and the dhārāṇis by which he can understand the expediency of the voice of the Dharma.

The Daily Dharma from April 13, 2017, offers this:

If anyone keeps, reads and recites this sūtra while he walks or stands, I will mount a kingly white elephant with six tusks, go to him together with great Bodhisattvas, show myself to him, make offerings to him, protect him, and comfort him, because I wish to make offerings to the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Universal-Sage Bodhisattva (Fugen, Samantabhadra) makes this vow to the Buddha in Chapter Twenty-Eight of the Lotus Sutra. Out of his gratitude for the teaching of the Wonderful Dharma, Universal Sage promises to encourage anyone who may be struggling in their practice of the Buddha Dharma. This is a reminder of how no matter what obstacles or difficulties we may encounter, great beings are helping us and we are in harmony with things as they truly are.

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

Day 32

Day 32 covers Chapter 28, The Encouragement of Universal-Sage Bodhisattva, closing the Eighth Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month concluded the Encouragement of Universal-Sage Bodhisattva, we return to the start of Chapter 28.

Thereupon Universal-Sage Bodhisattva, who was famous for his virtues and supernatural powers without hindrance, came from a world [in the distance of many worlds] to the east [of this Sahā-World]. He was accompanied by innumerable, uncountable great Bodhisattvas. All the worlds quaked as he passed through. [The gods] rained down jeweled lotus-flowers, and made many hundreds of thousands of billions of kinds of music. He was also surrounded by a great multitude of innumerable gods, dragons, yakṣas, gandharvas, asuras, garuḍas, kiṃnaras, mahoragas, men and nonhuman beings. They reached Mt. Gṛdhrakūṭa of the Sahā-World by their virtues and supernatural powers. [Universal-Sage Bodhisattva] worshiped [the feet of] Śākyamuni Buddha with his head, walked around the Buddha [from left] to right seven times and said to the Buddha:

“World-Honored One! I heard the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma, which you expounded in this Sahā World, from a remote world in which lives Treasure-Power­Virtue-Superior-King Buddha. I came here with many hundreds of thousands of billions of Bodhisattvas in order to hear and receive [this Sūtra]. World-Honored One! Tell me how the good men or women who live after your extinction will be able to obtain th.is Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma!”

The Buddha said to Universal-Sage Bodhisattva:

“The good men or women will be able to obtain this Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma after my extinction if they do the following four things: 1. secure the protection of the Buddhas, 2. plant the roots of virtue, 3. reach the stage of steadiness [in proceeding to enlightenment], and 4. resolve to save all living beings. The good men or women will be able to obtain this sūtra after my extinction if they do these four things.”

The Daily Dharma from May 29, 2017, offers this:

For us who aspire to this difficult practice of the Wonderful Dharma, the Buddha gives this guide in Chapter Twenty-Eight of the Lotus Sūtra. For us to have even heard of this sūtra in this life we must have already done these four things. In order to maintain this practice, we need to use the Buddha’s protection for the benefit of all beings, not just for our benefit alone. We need to nourish the virtuous seeds we have already planted, remain steady and confident on the path to enlightenment, and sustain our determination to maintain our respect for everyone.

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

Day 32

Day 32 covers Chapter 28, The Encouragement of Universal-Sage Bodhisattva, closing the Eighth Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month covered Sakyamuni’s prediction for those who keep, read and recite the sutra, we come to the conclusion.

When the Buddha expounded this chapter of the Encouragement of Universal-Sage, as many Bodhisattvas as there are sands in the River Ganges obtained the dhārāṇis by which they could memorize hundreds of thousands of billions of repetitions of teachings, and as many Bodhisattvas as the particles of dust of one thousand million Sumeru-worlds [understood how to] practice the Way of Universal-Sage.

When the Buddha expounded this sūtra, the great congregation including the Bodhisattvas headed by Universal-Sage, the Śrāvakas headed by Śāriputra, and the other living beings such as gods, dragons, men and nonhuman beings, had great joy, kept the words of the Buddha, bowed [to him], and retired.

[Here ends] the Eighth Volume of the Sūtra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

And again I look forward to starting again tomorrow.

Day 32

Day 32 covers Chapter 28, The Encouragement of Universal-Sage Bodhisattva, closing the Eighth Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month covered Sakyamuni’s instructions to Universal-Sage Bodhisattva, we come to the prediction of those who keep, read and recite the sutra.

“Universal-Sage! Anyone who keeps, reads and recites this sutra [in the later five hundred years] after [my extinction], will not be attached to clothing, bedding, food or drink, or any other thing for living. What he wishes will not remain unfulfilled. He will be able to obtain the rewards of his merits in his present life. Those who abuse him, saying, ‘You are perverted. You are doing this for nothing,’ will be reborn blind in their successive lives in retribution for their sin. Those who make offerings to rum and praise him, will be able to obtain rewards in their present life. Those who, upon seeing the keeper of this sutra, blame him justly or unjustly, will suffer from white leprosy in their present life. Those who laugh at him will have few teeth, ugly lips, flat noses, contorted limbs, squint eyes, and foul and filthy bodies, and suffer from bloody pus of scabs, abdominal dropsy, tuberculosis, and other serious diseases in their successive lives. Therefore, Universal-Sage! When you see the keeper of this sutra in the distance, you should rise from your seat, go to him, receive him, and respect him just as you respect me.

The Daily Dharma from Nov. 1, 2016, offers this:

The Buddha makes this promise to Universal-Sage Bodhisattva in Chapter Twenty-Eight of the Lotus Sūtra. When we who are living in this latter age of Degeneration keep and practice this Sūtra, we change the focus of our own existence. We lose our dependence on the things we thought we needed to make us happy, and thus learn to appreciate them for what they are. We set aside our fear of losing these things and gain the courage to handle situations we previously thought were impossible. We stop focusing on what we need to live and find gratitude for what sustains our lives.

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

Day 32

Day 32 covers Chapter 28, The Encouragement of Universal-Sage Bodhisattva, closing the Eighth Volume of the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Having last month covered the promise Sakyamuni makes to those who keep, read and recite the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma, we come to Sakyamuni’s instructions to Universal-Sage Bodhisattva.

Universal-Sage! If you see anyone who keeps, reads and recites the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma in the later five hundred years after my extinction, you should think, ‘Before long be will go to the place of enlightenment, defeat Mara and his followers, attain Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, turn the wheel of the Dharma, beat the drum of the Dharma, blow the conchshell horn of the Dharma, send the rain of the Dharma, and sit on the lion-like seat of the Dharma in the midst of the great multitude of gods and men.’

The Daily Dharma from Oct. 2, 2016, offers this:

The Buddha gives this instruction to Universal-Sage Bodhisattva (Fugen, Samantabhadra) in Chapter Twenty-Eight of the Lotus Sūtra. Nichiren explained that the later five hundred years mentioned in this passage is the time in which we are living today. The Buddha is therefore talking about all of us who practice the Wonderful Dharma. When we can grow our capacity to respect each other as we respect the Buddha, it inspires the respect at the core of all beings, and transforms this world.

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