These Bodhisattvas had existed in the void beneath the World of Endurance. They had emerged because they heard the voice of Sakyamuni. Each of them was the leader of a great multitude, and was accompanied by as many attendants as sixty times the number of sands in the River Ganges.
Each of the Bodhisattvas who had sprung up soared into the sky, approached Many-Treasures Buddha and Sakyamuni in the Stupa of Treasures, and bowed before them. They also venerated each of the manifestations of Sakyamuni Buddha who had come from the ten directions in space, and praised them all as only Bodhisattvas know how to praise Buddhas. During this time, Sakyamuni and all the assembly remained silent. A long time passed—about fifty small kalpas—but the supernatural powers of Sakyamuni made the congregation feel as if it were only half a day.Introduction to the Lotus Sutra