so the Lotus Sutra is deeply important to me. It's profoundly important to East Asian Buddhism. It isn't important to Tibetan Buddhists or Theravada Buddhism. That's their choice.
That is because the Yogacara of the Abhidharmasutra, Asanga and the Vasubandhu of the commentaries, can be read as a return to the Middle Way as a responce to extremes taken by some enthusiast proponants of the emptiness logic Nagarjuna initiated on one hand and the reification of a Tathagata initiated by the Śrīmālādevī Siṃhanāda Sūtra on the other.
This Classical (practice self-defined) Yogacara was within a few generations diverted by India's new love affair with logic into a new school of Yogacara which presented a Yogacara unable to compete popularly with the appeal of rhetorical emptiness arguements in the colleges and the popularity of devotional Buddhism that preferred the apparant atman-clone offered by a concretized albeit transcendant Tathagata definition of Buddha. That is why Tibet has an emptiness school sutra explination and the Kagud call their Tathagata/Empty of Other re-interpretation of the 5 Maitreya Texts a "yogacara" view. Ee gads! Some times it seems they pour this single interpretation like catsup over everything.
The only known Indian commentary on the Lotus Sutra was by the Vasubandhu of the commentaries, and it purposefully steered the Lotus Sutra away from it's Tathaga-sutra school roots by imposing a more emptiness school defination on it. I have communicated with the editor of the sanskrit Lotus and he told me that there was only 4 references to emptiness meditaion in a technical sense in the Lotus. After I researched this and got back to him he agreed to drop it to two.
Did you know the opening scened is IDENTICAL in the Lotus Sutra and the Prajna Mother in 8000 lines? I just found a new sutra that is half way between these two!Bibliographic information
Title Vasubandhu's Commentary to the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-sūtra: A Study of Its History and Significance
Author Terry Rae Abbott
Publisher University Microfilms, 1986
Original from the University of Michigan
Digitized Jun 29, 2009
Length 440 pages