The Lotus Sutra

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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Aemilius » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:55 am

In buddhist tantra it is different, male is Means (upaya) and female is Wisdom (prajña). This is in general, there are different classes of tantra, like mother tantra, father tantra and nondual tantra. and it gets quite complicated.
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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Noah » Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:34 pm

Hey Aemilius! Vajayana Buddhism and Tibetan are systematic methods of practice that use deep understanding of Dharma and individualized mind training to develop insights and liberation. I heard it put like this from a Rinpoche (paraphrased)- A serious Tantric practitioner first must study the Hinayana for 12 years, then Mahayana for 6, outer Tantra for 10 then can enter the Highest Tantra practice. I believe the understanding here is that the great Dharma has evolved. Has and will continue to evolve, ALL point to liberation/Enlightenment in accordance to what has come before it.
The Lotus Sutra is far more universal than any tantric teaching.
With this-
ram peswani wrote:
Noah wrote:
Noah wrote:I think I understand what you are saying here, let me try to say it again in a way that can be better understood


I ask- are the 2 "cosmic energies" you are refering to the yin/yang energy? This basic dualism?
I love the Dharma and believe in no "creator god" or any "G"od. I am if the same mind as well that if there is a figure to be worshiped as a guide it is the Eternal Buddha of the Lotus Sutra. Thank you for sharing and I think it is some truth in how you describe the differences in Awareness here. Example: many have an understanding of cause/effect, conditionality, rebirth and karma. When there is a belief in God- many subtle aspects of "reality" remain misunderstood as "God consciousness."









we in India say Shiva and Shakti
Yin/ yang is probably chinese.
Adam and eve is what christians call.
In nature they are Male and female
Male retains the ego, female devotion and service


and-

Aemilius wrote:In buddhist tantra it is different, male is Means (upaya) and female is Wisdom (prajña).


I believe we are all referring to the same 2 "cosmic energies" as provisional and limited by the context of language in Sutras and what we use to communicate here. :D
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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby dsaly1969 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:27 pm

This is an interesting thread. I practice with Rissho Kosei-kai from Japan which uses the Lotus Sutra as a central text, but I am greatly enjoying learning other perspectives from this thread. (Note - RKK is Nichiren influenced, but does not consider itself to be a Nichiren school.) BTW, Gene Reeves is a member of RKK too.

Here are some interesting, and free, online pdf resources from RIssho Kosei-kai on the Lotus Sutra.

Here is a link to the online and pdf version of the Kato translation of the Lotus Sutra:
http://www.rk-world.org/publications/lo ... a_toc.html

Here is a link to the online and pdf version of "A Guide to the THreefold Lotus Sutra" by Nikkyo Niwano:
http://www.rk-world.org/publications/guidels_toc.aspx

Here is a link to the online and pdf version of "Buddhism for Today" by Nikkyo Niwano which gives a modern interpretation and implications for Buddhist practice:
http://www.rk-world.org/publications/bu ... y_toc.aspx


Here are the primary RKK websites:
http://www.rk-world.org/home.aspx
http://www.buddhistcenter-rkina.org/
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Chapter 7 Parable of the Magic City

Postby Noah » Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:31 pm

The Buddha is speaking- the fact that his Disciples by use of the 3 Vehicles will gain attainment of "what they think of as nirvana" but the Buddha will be eternally teaching them over many lifetimes and other world systems to gradually bring all to the One Vehicle- Perfect Enlightenment (Buddhahood). "Because the Tathagata-wisdom is hard to believe and hard to understand." Even long devotees cannot fully grasp that Buddhahood is the only true liberation, ANY attainment short of Buddhahood (nirvana) must be done for the sake of all as one. Or else the attainment is ultimately empty (sunyata) and provisional. Just before the parable, Sakyamuni drives home yet again that the Tathagata teaches "nirvana" as attainment due to the nature of living beings, no other reason. And rightly proclaims, "be careful not to harbor fear!"
The wise and astute guide is the Buddha, the large group is anyone following the teachings even in a provisional manner. The region the company is trying to cross is fearful and massive, samsara. It is so large of an expanse that the company grows tired and asks to turn back. The guide is wise and out of compassion, uses a tactful method- creating a great and comfortable city for the followers to rest. When they are rested just as quickly as it appeared, the magic city disappears (empty) and the guide continues them on to the Place of Jewels, true goal (Buddhahood).
The Buddha says in no uncertain terms- "Take note and ponder that the nirvana that you have attained is not the real one!" It is ultimately empty of all, sunyata. Buddhahood is full of Abundance!

The perspective is gained from which the Sutra soon communicates the most magnificent spiritual vision imaginable. "Nirvana" is shown in its emptiness and Buddhahood (Perfect Enlightenment) is all there is.
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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Noah » Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:35 pm

Hey, dsaly! Very great, I have the Kato translation. It is wonderful :)
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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby dsaly1969 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:36 pm

You're welcome Noah. I ran across the Kato translation even before I saw the Watson translation. In fact this was the book that first introduced me to Rissho Kosei-kai. Besides "Buddhism for Today" which I recommend as reading for everyone interested in the Ekayana teaching of the Lotus Sutra, RKK has an extensive Lotus Sutra study class which I am hoping to participate in this summer.

I'm interested to know what other traditions we have represented in this discussion.. :smile:

Gassho,

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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Noah » Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:56 am

On reading and reflections in preparation for a post on the appearance within the Sutra of the Abundant Treasure stupa (tower), I think that the relation of the White Lotus Sutra to our understanding of cosmic evolution is significant. The teaching thus far is one of the process of Enlightenment energy toward Buddhahood as the energy that is that part of samsara (karma) over which the Buddha (Dharma) has influence. This is shown that Enlightenment is at is most essential view is part of all contributing to that energy (practice, all forms). Buddhahood is result of that process of evolution.

This Sutra through it's teachings brings the light the Buddha-nature of all sentient beings seen through Perfect Wisdom. Through it's images and parables- transcends the concepts of space and time and therefore makes it more accessible to the modern scientific/philosophical thinker. The common understanding of space and time are conventional and arbitrary in theories of particle physics and deep philosophy.

With the appearance of the Treasure stupa (tower), the Sutra takes a leap into this quantum world. Everything to follow will be from the point of view of Buddhahood eternally attained. To practice the true Dharma of the Lotus Sutra- Perfect Enlightenment is eternally present.

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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Aemilius » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:58 am

Noah wrote:Hey Aemilius! Vajayana Buddhism and Tibetan are systematic methods of practice that use deep understanding of Dharma and individualized mind training to develop insights and liberation. I heard it put like this from a Rinpoche (paraphrased)- A serious Tantric practitioner first must study the Hinayana for 12 years, then Mahayana for 6, outer Tantra for 10 then can enter the Highest Tantra practice. I believe the understanding here is that the great Dharma has evolved. Has and will continue to evolve, ALL point to liberation/Enlightenment in accordance to what has come before it.
The Lotus Sutra is far more universal than any tantric teaching.

ram peswani wrote:

we in India say Shiva and Shakti
Yin/ yang is probably chinese.
Adam and eve is what christians call.
In nature they are Male and female
Male retains the ego, female devotion and service



Aemilius wrote:In buddhist tantra it is different, male is Means (upaya) and female is Wisdom (prajña).



It is expressed in the Perfection of Wisdom sutras, which say that Perfection of Wisdom is Mother. Prajña (Perfect Wisdom) is refered to as She in the Perfection of Wisdom literature. So it does exist in the Mahayana Sutras.

Perfect Wisdom is called Mother of Jinas, because She gives rise to all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, (as well as Sravakas and Pratyeka buddhas).

[Edward Conze: Perfect Wisdom, Short Prajñaparamita Texts]
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Chapter 11 Beholding the Precious Stupa- Imagery in Action

Postby Noah » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:28 am

There is a chapter in which all other disciples are predicted to Buddhahood (Perfect Enlightenment). All are realizing their fate here, no matter their current attainment or realization, they are already bodhi-beings on the Bodhisattva path to Buddhahood! It is revealed that Sakyamuni Buddha and the disciple Ananda had at the same time, under the teaching of a previous Buddha, conceived of the aspiration to Perfect Enlightenment. Buddha Sakyamuni has gained the goal by focusing on active progress while Ananda has delighted in learning the Laws and keeping them. Ananda is predicted to keep the Laws of many future Buddhas on his long path to Perfect Enlightenment. All are future Buddhas- those who delight in the Sutra as it is preached and, anyone who has reverence for the Sutra after the Buddha Sakyamuni's parinirvana. We realize here that we are in the midst of an assembly of Buddhas! then...

A great tower rises from the earth and to the heavens. This tower is the stupa the ancient Buddha Abundant Treasures and it is the most magnificently adorned, precious and treasure-filled that you can imagine. The gods worship the stupa, all are shocked and filled with joy at the happening. The landscape (stage) of the Sutra has changed and as all honor and extoll the stupa, a voice comes from within "Excellent, excellent!" The assembly is confused as to why the sutpa has appeared and are told that it is a vow of this previous Buddha to appear wherever the Lotus Sutra is preached and bear testimony to it!

This image and the symbolism should be considered carefully- the great abundant treasure of the stupa is the inconceivable abundance in our spiritual practice when the White Lotus Sutra and it's teaching is made central. "Wherever the Sutra is preached" this stupa is manifest. The One Vehicle to Buddhahood is long and inconceivable to us, only Buddhas fully know, having already tread the path. We know from this happening that true spiritual practice is full, satisfying beyond belief, immeasurable in it's richness, magnificent. I am sure there is much more ideas that can be expressed spawning from this amazing, massive and multifaceted symbol.

The assembly is overwhelmed with joy and reverence for the Law and the stupa and wish to see the body of the Buddha inside, and the Sutra continues to shift...
In order for the body of Buddha Abundant Treasures to be shown, Sakyamuni must call all the Buddhas that have emanated from him to attendance! He lights up all of the worlds where a Buddha is preaching. The saha-world (earth) is purified and then a great many of surrounding worlds to accommodate an amazing number of Buddhas and their bodhisattva attendance. Straight and even, Lapis lazuli (glowing blue) for ground with golden chords separating as if a grid, jewels of all colors shining overhead. Here, we are in the quantum world. Fully illuminated Buddha-worlds, time and space transcended, Buddhas in the attendance of Buddhas in a setting visually evocative of a computer-world, all that can truly be said is- outside all form (space) and reference (time).
As soon as this condition is attained, Sakyamuni opens the door to the stupa with a great sound like a thunderbolt and Abundant Treasures is seated as if in meditation on a lion throne within. The assembly is amazed at seeing a Buddha that has been long extinct from the world and wish to rise up to the level the Buddha(s) are on to see clearly. Sakyamuni obliges them.
It is said (paraphrasing)- How can one, knowing that this unimaginable stupa and long-extinct Buddha arrives everywhere this Sutra is preached, not be zealous for the Law's sake?
Indeed, anyone who reads/sees/hears this Sutra and is joyful, has been in the presence of Abundant Treasures and his stupa. We choose to be born again and again, to slowly cultivate virtue and wisdom, out of compassion for those that have yet to take the vow. The Lotus is truly the highest teaching and the most protected by Buddhas and Bodhisattvas because of it's universal nature.
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Chapter 12-15 Teachings and Who can preach the Sutra?

Postby Noah » Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:20 am

The scene is truly incomprehensible- Sakyamuni Buddha is given a seat within the magnificent stupa along with Abundant Treasures. Both sharing the same lion throne within the stupa, the whole assembly rising up to the level of the two Buddhas, the whole earth and innumerable worlds around all purified glowing blue, millions of Buddhas in attendance, music and chanting in praise of the Dharma, sweet incense filling the air, a spectacular light show from the purified ground and jewel trees (not to mention the stupa's unimaginable magnificence), could the scale and magnitude be any greater? let's see :)

From this perspective Buddha Sakyamuni asks- "Who can publish abroad the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law after the parinirvana? Now is indeed the time" then we get a few very important teachings before the question is to be answered.
A story is told about how the evil Devadatta, in a previous life, proclaimed the Law Sutra to bodhisattva Sakyamuni! Devadatta was instrumental in Sakyamuni's Buddhahood and, it is said, will attain Buddhahood himself after many millions of rebirths! This teaching is indeed hard to believe, Sakyamuni says that anyone who can hear this teaching with a heart free from doubt will never fall to the lower realms of rebirth, but will be born among the Buddhas! Wherever he is born he will hear the Lotus Sutra, such is the power of the faith that even an "evil" person has Buddha-nature.
Two great Bodhisattvas are conversing and one asks if there is anyone in the world that, having diligently practiced this Sutra, can attain Buddhahood speedily? The answer is yes and, it is a female! the eight year old daughter of the Dragon King has keen faculties, compassionate heart and bodhi mind. She travels to a far off world, instantly attains Buddhahood, preaches the Lotus Sutra to beings and predicts many to Perfect Enlightenment!
The faith and devotion of the whole assembly is stronger and thousands upon thousands attain the bodhi-mind. Thousands attain non-returning to mortal life.

In the next chapter (thirteen) Two Great Bodhisattvas vow to proclaim and spread the Lotus Sutra. Five hundred Arhats that have received the prediction to Perfect Enlightenment (Buddhahood) also vow to publish the Lotus Sutra in the saha-world after the Buddha's parinarvana. Two Arhat females- Sakyamuni's aunt and wife, recieve their individual predictions to Perfect Enlightenment along with their followers and they make similar vow to uphold the Sutra. Then the great unfathomable millions of Bodhisattvas in attendance vow to also preach the Lotus Sutra in the saha-world (earth) after the Buddha's parinirvana but, the Buddha Sakyamuni is silent at this.

There is a wonderful teaching here- the Buddha is asked how one should preach the Sutra in the future. How should one conduct oneself to be assured success? Chapter 14- The Happy Life is one of my own favorite teachings of the whole Lotus Sutra. The Buddha states in plain terms the way one should conduct himself, body, speech and mind. Most high, the preacher of the Sutra must keep a mind of equanimity and compassion (love) toward ALL beings. This chapter is great and profound in it''s teaching, afterward the Buddha tells another parable:
A great king (Buddha) wishes to expand his domain by force, the evil kings (mara) around his domain do not obey his command so, he sends his armies (Bodhisattvas) to battle them. Being pleased with them, the king gives land, houses, cities and precious jewels (sutras, instruction, nirvana). Then, seeing his soldiers give themselves bravely and completely, the great king gives at last the crown jewel from his own head. The last and greatest thing that may not be given freely to anyone, this is the Lotus Sutra. The "mysterious treasury of all Buddhas," supreme above all teachings!

In Chapter 15- Springing up out of the Earth, we are brought back from the teachings to the action of the Lotus Sutra. All in attendance have made their vow to uphold and publish abroad the Lotus Sutra. Surely, with this great many of Bodhisattvas from other lands (as numerous as the sands of 8 Ganges rivers) proclaiming their intention, the success of the Lotus Sutra is assured. But the Buddha now proclaims that there is no need for the vow of these Bodhisattvas since he, in fact, has as many Irreversible Bodhisattvas as sixty-thousand Ganges rivers all with that same amount of followers each in the saha-world who are able to keep and preach the Sutra! When he speaks an amazing thing happens- the saha-world quakes and from below (infinite space, void, sunyata) an immeasurable, illimitable number of Bodhisattvas, beyond the powers of comprehension by calculation or comparison, spring forth.
It is amazing....a number so great that for each of the Bodhisattvas to approach the stupa, salute the Buddha Sakyamuni and Abundant Treasures, salute the Buddhas in attendance, fifty minor ages pass by. Time is shown to be truly transcended here again as, by the power of the Buddha Sakyamuni it seems to the assembly as half a day. The Bodhisattva Maitreya asks on behalf of himself and the Bodhisattvas in attendance who trained these millions upon billions of Irreversible Bodhisattvas in the Lotus Sutra? All are perplexed and confused. The Bodhisattva attendants of the emanated Buddhas from the other worlds ask the same question and are told to listen, Sakyamuni Buddha has been asked and will answer the question himself! The Buddhas know. Only the Buddhas know and now is the time for the highest, most profound teaching of all. Sakyamuni Buddha says "to cherish no doubt or fear, exert your faith and listen with believing heart."
Sakyamuni reveals that he has trained them all, they are his followers from ages ago! He has constantly taught, led and inspired in them the will for Perfect Enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings.

Faith and devotion as: the emotional response inspired by the teachings of the Lotus Sutra, are shown to be the power behind the teachings here. Faith that an "evil" person has essential Buddha-nature. Or, that a woman is equal to man in capacity for understanding and attainment, this is shown to be an amazing power for spiritual development. The faith and devotion must be placed in worthy ideals but, is not surpassed by wisdom. Indeed, it is a direct path to wisdom.
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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Noah » Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:21 am

I came to understand the Buddha Abundant Treasures as an "eternal" Buddha. In the sutra, the stupa will manifest and Abundant Treasures will live an give testimony, the splendor was the unknowable abundance if the spiritual life. It is amazing to think of this Buddha as using a great device- teaching the Law through the scientific and technological advancement of mankind. There is great opportunity to share the Dharma in scientific and philosophical terms, the more interested and involved with technology, the more common and mainstream deeper scientific understandings and theories are the closer more people are to the Dharma. It is a growing, a fluid understanding and may be changed and revised radically. Scientific theory of the nature of reality have come to break through the term "science" itself with the inseparability of conscious awareness. Sometimes new terms, more often with a redefining of term, the Enlightenment Energy (Buddha-field) of Abundant Treasures is causing the conditions for the emergence of Dharma.

Since it is understood in the light of Perfect Wisdom (prajaparamita) that there is no separate entities, all is by definition "inseparable"the Buddhas are truly "one." But more correct is "all." The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are indeed "Enlightenment energy." The teaching here is that this energy, once awakened in an individual, can never fail as long as the individual makes effort to grow in the Dharma. Time is gone so, it does not matter how long we wander samsara, if we keep doing good with the Dharma in mind practice mindfulness meditation, we are planting the seeds for a future Buddhahood that is assured.
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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby plwk » Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:15 am

...nor it is to regurgitate or rehash historical or traditional understandings of the Sutra. We can only try to expound the Lotus Sutra as our direct, individual understanding of the Buddha's teaching (Dharma).

Interesting...and the constant regurgitation of your ideas here is any better than reproducing works of scholars and masters on the same Sutra? Both have their own platforms and merits, no? Or is this the case of upholding one and disparaging the other?
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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Noah » Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:33 am

plwk wrote:
...nor it is to regurgitate or rehash historical or traditional understandings of the Sutra. We can only try to expound the Lotus Sutra as our direct, individual understanding of the Buddha's teaching (Dharma).

Interesting...and the constant regurgitation of your ideas here is any better than reproducing works of scholars and masters on the same Sutra? Both have their own platforms and merits, no? Or is this the case of upholding one and disparaging the other?


Thanks plwk! Yessir, there is much guidance in the way of exposition and traditional/historical understanding and great merit therein. I do not mean at all to claim comparable understanding or, "disparage" former understandings. I believe that there is a great future for the Dharma and indeed the "Enlightenment experience" ahead for humanity. Just as in all previous times and "cultural orientations" toward the Dharma, I think the teachings need just to be expressed in a new way to be understood more deeply by most who will look. :)
This outlook takes a fearless quality, here we are trying to express our individual understanding of the Lotus Sutra for the good of all. If one wants to delve into traditional/historical understandings of the meanings of the imagery of the Lotus Sutra, as this thread previously has shown, resources abound. No doubt, many parallels are to be found as understandings at their root are expressed in terms of the text itself, but, a new modern expression of the teaching (Dharma) is essential for it's growth.
In the case of "upholding one," yes as well- I uphold the changeable nature of the Dharma to being expressed in any terms that seek to describe (however provisionally and inadequate) the true nature of reality, I believe it is the "ideal" of physics and philosophy to do just that. To make an attempt to understand the Dharma in current, understandable by "most," terminology, I think is very worthy. It has to start somewhere, why not the Lotus Sutra? And, why not right here?

Please respond to this thread in the intention of expounding your own individual understanding of the Lotus Sutra. This is what I meant essentially as, one cannot have direct understanding of the expressions of former masters just as one is alienated from the deepest understanding on the Perfectly Enlightened. We can only begin right here to expresses in more "relative" terms to us, the Dharma. :)
Last edited by Noah on Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby plwk » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:05 am

Was it Harold Samuel who said location, location, location...

Interpretations, interpretations, interpretations...

This brings me back memories of Church days back then when there are some who insist that women should cover their heads and shut up in church and then impose the same on today's women, totally disregarding reading of the other parts of the Gospel and Pauline Epistles and then come out with a literalistic triumphant 'THERE YA GO. IT SAYS SO!' But this gang of fellas with horse blinkers on fail to see other historical, social & other aspects to be considered when reading this passage and other passages of scriptures... And female ordination? Because Mary, the Mother of Christ didn't get it, so all women shouldn't get it and just because he passed the keys to Peter? Yet in other passages, there is a 'priesthood of all believers' mentioned...

This polarisation thingy on women and Buddhahood must be a kosher topic for some with a trump card of the phallic species I guess... when one read this Devadatta Chapter with other Sutras like Vimalakirti, Srimala Devi, Vajracheddika Prajna Paramita, one gets an impression that all of that display by the dragon girl and her skeptical audience are somewhat made up of layers of Dharma teachings? Just google on the Nichiren and SGI stances plus other Traditions' commentaries on this Devadatta Chapter and one can find that varied teachings on this 'dragon girl: 8 years of age as a representation of our own 8 Sufferings, the dragon girl representing the unhindered Buddha potential in all of us as compared to Devadatta and how she displayed the social stigma of that exists those days on what they regarded women as, plus when Prajnakuta Bodhisattva and the Elder Sariputra played the 'devil's advocate' in asking or stating 'chauvinistic' questions on a female's Buddhahood potential, it was to awaken the audience to such facts of social discrimination back then and its attachment to the marks of a male or female. One even opined that since a woman cannot be a Mara King, that must be quite a 'trump card' or 'consolation' for the female over the male species huh?

I once read in a Nichiren forum where a poster opined that it would be quite arrogant to think that those in past ages and different cultures must conform to how we think on the issue of sexism these days given that women, in some cultures play a more dominant role than men as one instance...and vice versa with varying dynamics at play

Oh ya...the 'highest Sutra' thingy? Won't advocates of the Mahaparinirvana, Avatamsaka and Sutras be trumpeting the same? What's the context of 'highest', 'best'? In the Larger Amitayus Sutra, it's mentioned that the Sutra will last another hundred years more before departing from this Saha World but do we read of the same preservation for the Saddharmapundarika? But does that make either one more special or better? That would be like children declaring to each other about whose candy is the best rather than that seeing that candy best fits that child for that time, circumstance and affinity? Look at the posters in this thread? For some it either has nothing special about it but it's a wow factor for some? And given the flip side, wouldn't the vice versa happen as well?

Sutras like the Lotus and et al are not easy to read and understand, much less to practice and should be treated with all round perspectives instead of just the one that one is fond of, be it sectarian or personal agenda ones...
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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Mr. G » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:32 am

Off Topic Posts Split: Ram's Interpretation of the Lotus Sutra

Reminder: This thread is for the discussion of the Lotus Sutra - mainly traditional and academic discussion. Speculations, predictions and wide interpretations can be discussed in the split thread mentioned above or a new one can be started.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Wesley1982 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:20 am

Ngawang Drolma wrote:Here is a link to The Lotus Sutra text.

The Lotus Sutra or Sutra on the White Lotus of the Sublime Dharma is one of the most popular and influential Mahayana sutras in Asia and the basis on which the Tien Tai and Nichiren sects of Buddhism were established.

-History and background-

The Lotus Sutra was probably compiled in the first century BCE in Kashmir, India some 500 years after the death of Shakyamuni Buddha. Therefore, it is not included in the more ancient Āgamas nor in the parallel Sutta Pitaka of the Theravada Buddhists, both of which represent the older Buddhist scriptures which to a greater degree of certainty can be historically linked to the Buddha himself.

The Lotus Sutra purports to be a discourse delivered by the Buddha toward the end of his life. The tradition in Mahayana states that the Lotus Sutra was written down at the time of the Buddha and stored for five hundred years in the realm of the dragons (or Nagas). After this, they were reintroduced into the human realm at the time of the Fourth Buddhist Council in Kashmir. The tradition further claims that the teachings of the Lotus Sutra are higher than the teachings contained in the agamas and the Sutta Pitaka (the Sutra itself also claims this), and that humankind had been unable to understand the Lotus Sutra at the time of the Buddha (500 BCE).

These scholars have not released much on early fragments, except to say that they are not dependent on the Chinese or Tibetan Lotus sutras. Furthermore, other scholars have noted how the cryptic Dharani passages within the Lotus sutra represent a form of the Magadhi dialect that is more similar to Pali than Sanskrit. For instance, one Dharani reads in part: "Buddhavilokite Dharmaparikshite". Although the vilo is attested in Sanskrit, it appears first in the Buddhist Pali texts as "vilokita" with the meaning of "a vigilant looker" from vi, meaning eager like a passionless bird, and lok, meaning "look".

Source


Interesting. How much emphasis is placed on the faculty of seeing or sight? . .
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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Jikan » Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:58 pm

There is plenty to behold in the Lotus Sutra. However, the faculty of seeing is not particularly emphasized over the other sense faculties.
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The Lotus Sutra Mantra

Postby Leo Rivers » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:00 am

I stumbled into this translation of the words. Unlike the Prajnaparamita mantra which makes a straightforwards sense, this mystifies me.

For some reason it reminds me of an oracle designed with sections assigned to predict the status of the four stages of yoga practice.


From: http://www.mahajrya.org/daily.php

Sanskrit, then English


This looks like an oracle capable of giving alternative advice to discipline (approach)

adande Without punishment
dandapati Lord of the stick
dandavarte forbid by threat of punishment
dandakushale auspicious sticks
dandasudhare improvement stick

This looks like an oracle of measuring progress (close approach)

sudhare improvement
sudharapati Lord of improvement
buddhapashyane awakened rampart (of conscious stone)
sarvadharani-avartani complete spell repeated
sarvandhashyavartani complete service repeated
su-avartani moving repetition

This looks like an oracle of group practice (accomplishment)

samghaparikshani group of investigation
samghanarghatani group of hero’s warding
asamge from non-unity
samgapagate we come together
tri-adhvasamgatulya triple journey of the group
arate-prapty distant reach
savasamga samatikrante setting in motion the group crossing over

This looks like an oracle of accomplishment (great accomplishment)

sarvadharma suparikshite all dharmas well examined
sarvasattva rutakaushalyanugate complete being, resonating silk following
simhavikridite powerful one’s plaything

:focus:
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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Aemilius » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:37 am

Thank You!
I have wondered what am I actually saying when repeating this mantra? And I'm still not sure about it. Which means I'm not buying your explanation either. It is helpful anyway.
svaha
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Re: The Lotus Sutra Mantra

Postby Jikan » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:51 pm

Leo Rivers wrote:I stumbled into this translation of the words. Unlike the Prajnaparamita mantra which makes a straightforwards sense, this mystifies me.

For some reason it reminds me of an oracle designed with sections assigned to predict the status of the four stages of yoga practice.


From: http://www.mahajrya.org/daily.php

Sanskrit, then English


This looks like an oracle capable of giving alternative advice to discipline (approach)

adande Without punishment
dandapati Lord of the stick
dandavarte forbid by threat of punishment
dandakushale auspicious sticks
dandasudhare improvement stick

This looks like an oracle of measuring progress (close approach)

sudhare improvement
sudharapati Lord of improvement
buddhapashyane awakened rampart (of conscious stone)
sarvadharani-avartani complete spell repeated
sarvandhashyavartani complete service repeated
su-avartani moving repetition

This looks like an oracle of group practice (accomplishment)

samghaparikshani group of investigation
samghanarghatani group of hero’s warding
asamge from non-unity
samgapagate we come together
tri-adhvasamgatulya triple journey of the group
arate-prapty distant reach
savasamga samatikrante setting in motion the group crossing over

This looks like an oracle of accomplishment (great accomplishment)

sarvadharma suparikshite all dharmas well examined
sarvasattva rutakaushalyanugate complete being, resonating silk following
simhavikridite powerful one’s plaything

:focus:



Gah! It mystifies because it's nonsense. For some discussion on what's going on there, see this:

viewtopic.php?f=64&t=3949
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