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