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NICHIREN LIBRARY RESONANT 28 NS 127 7 28

6 February 2015

WND I: 1
On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime

This letter was written to Toki Jōnin in the seventh year of Kenchō (1255), two years after Nichiren Daishonin established his teaching of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. At the time of this letter, the Daishonin was thirty-four years old and was living in Kamakura, the seat of the military government. Toki was a staunch follower of the Daishonin who lived in Wakamiya in Shimōsa Province. He received some thirty letters, including Letter from Sado and one of the major treatises, The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind. A retainer of Lord Chiba, the constable of Shimōsa, Toki had become a follower of the Daishonin around 1254.
Of all his writings from the mid-1250s, On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime focuses most clearly on the tenets of the Daishonin’s Buddhism; many of the other works of this period are aimed chiefly at refuting the erroneous doctrines of other schools and discussing theoretical questions. This short essay not only reflects the theories T’ien-t’ai formulated based on the Lotus Sutra, but also reveals the concrete practice for attaining Buddhahood—namely, chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo—that is missing in T’ien-t’ai’s theoretical framework.
Myoho-renge-kyo is the title of the Lotus Sutra, but to the Daishonin it is much more; it is the essence of the sutra, the revelation of the supreme Law itself. Apparent in this work are both the depth of his thought and his conviction that Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the only teaching that can lead people to Buddhahood in this lifetime.

Foreword

THE publication in a single volume of the translations of 172 writings of Nichiren Daishonin, including his five major works, is indeed wonderful news, not only for members of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), but for all English-speaking people interested in Buddhism. This volume is the translation of works in the Nichiren Daishonin gosho zenshū (The Complete Works of Nichiren Daishonin). Now a good half of the contents of that volume has been translated and published in English.
Looking back, I recall that the Gosho zenshū was published in April 1952, about one year after my mentor, Jōsei Toda, became the second president of the Soka Gakkai. Since then, the members of the Soka Gakkai in Japan have been fond of reading the Gosho zenshū as they have persevered in spreading the Buddhist teachings widely, exactly as the Daishonin willed, for the peace and prosperity of humankind.
Particularly since my visit to the United States in 1960, my first trip outside Japan, the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin have transcended national boundaries and spread to numerous countries around the world. Now the number of countries I have visited has also grown to fifty-four.
Today the expansion of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism to 128 countries and territories worldwide attests to the realization of these golden words of the Daishonin: “The moon appears in the west and sheds its light eastward, but the sun rises in the east and casts its rays to the west. The same is true of Buddhism. It spread from west to east in the Former and Middle Days of the Law, but will travel from east to west in the Latter Day” (p. 401).
A world religion invariably has its sacred scriptures, or original texts. In Buddhism, for instance, there are sutras that record the teachings of Shakyamuni; in Christianity, there is the Bible; in Islam, the Koran.
The scriptures of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism are called the “Gosho.” (“Go” is an honorific prefix and “sho” means writings; thus, literally, honorable writings.) These writings have a distinguishing feature that sets them apart from the sacred texts of other religions. It is the fact that the founder, Nichiren Daishonin, wrote those works himself. Though the originals of many of those works have been lost, many important writings, including more than half of those known as the ten major works, have been handed down to the present in their original form. Naturally, with the worldwide spread of this Buddhism a demand has grown for the translation of those works, and efforts are now being made in many countries in that direction.
The Daishonin’s successor, Nikkō Shōnin (1246–1333), envisioned early on that, for the sake of worldwide propagation, the writings of his teacher were certain to be translated in the future. He declared: “Just as when the Buddhism of India spread eastward, the Sanskrit texts were translated and introduced in China and Japan, so when the time comes to widely declare the sacred teachings of this country, the Japanese texts are sure to be translated and spread in China and India. There is no reason to argue over translations that will benefit far-off lands. I alone worry about changes being made according to personal views” (Gosho zenshū).
Buddhism calls our present age the Latter Day of the Law. It is a period described in the sutras as an evil age defiled by the five impurities, in which people’s lives are muddied, and their confusion of thought is extreme. I am convinced that the Gosho is the one book that can dispel the darkness of this period and illuminate the third millennium. I believe it is the Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin that is indeed the scripture for the Latter Day of the Law, the scripture for all eternity.
The Gosho is a work of faith, of philosophy, of daily living, of eternal peace, and of boundless hope. It is set with myriad jewels of guidance. SGI members have read a single passage of the Gosho with their entire life, and not only changed their lives for the better but also achieved their human revolution.
What is the purpose of our studying the Gosho? The answer is expressed clearly in the following passage: “Believe in the Gohonzon, the supreme object of devotion in all of Jambudvīpa. Be sure to strengthen your faith, and receive the protection of Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions. Exert yourself in the two ways of practice and study. Without practice and study, there can be no Buddhism. You must not only persevere yourself; you must also teach others. Both practice and study arise from faith. Teach others to the best of your ability, even if it is only a single sentence or phrase” (p. 386).
The main elements of the practice of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism are summed up in this passage. What is important is, first, faith; second, practice; and third, study. Strong faith leads us directly to Buddhahood. And it is practice and study that deepen and strengthen that faith. For us, study must never be a mere accumulation of knowledge. It must be strictly a practical study to deepen one’s own faith and elevate one’s own state of life.
Moreover, the path of practice and study leads to the Gohonzon and to society. Because of practice and study, we face the Gohonzon, recite the sutra, and chant daimoku. With the wisdom and life force gained thereby, we carry out our practice and study in the midst of society. Herein lies what we call the bodhisattva way. That is the action of leading other people toward lasting happiness while striving to establish enduring peace for humanity. That practice begins with the inner reformation of the individual, and through that practice, the substance of our lives is deepened and enriched. The ultimate of those changes is the attainment of Buddhahood in this lifetime, or in modern terms, human revolution or self-actualization.
When the Daishonin talks about the Lotus Sutra, it is no longer a mere sacred scripture of the past. How overjoyed those who heard his teachings must have been on learning that the Lotus Sutra is alive in the realities of life, and that it teaches one’s own precious dignity. Our attitude when we read the Gosho should be the same.
The Gosho was written in thirteenth-century Japan. No matter what idea one expresses, one can never avoid what the sociologist Karl Mannheim described as the “existential determination of knowledge.” That is, it is perfectly natural that ideas be bound by various conditions of the society and age that are quite unrelated to the ideas themselves.
Thus, the Daishonin’s writings also reflect the cultural and social conditions of his time. Nevertheless, universal principles both timeless and unchanging are beautifully expressed therein. Our responsibility, I believe, is to read and extract those principles, and bring them to life in the present.
To give just one example, the Daishonin writes, “Even if it seems that, because I was born in the ruler’s domain, I follow him in my actions, I will never follow him in my heart” (p. 579). In modern terms, we might say that this well-known passage from The Selection of the Time expresses the ideals of freedom of spirit, freedom of religion, and freedom of thought.
Because of the pioneering nature of the Daishonin’s ideas, he was rejected by the feudalistic society of his time. At the Daishonin’s asserting that a debate on the teachings—in other words, discussion—is the only fair means of determining the superiority of a religion, the eminent priests of various schools, who were in collusion with government authorities, responded with violence unacceptable in a religious person.
In that sense, the Gosho is also the record of the Daishonin’s confrontation with the leaders of the political and religious worlds of his day. And the motivating power for that unyielding struggle was none other than his strength of spirit. The Daishonin writes: “Everyone in Japan, from the sovereign on down to the common people, without exception has tried to do me harm, but I have survived until this day. You should realize that this is because, although I am alone, I have firm faith” (p. 614).
The Daishonin clearly describes his circumstances during this period in this passage of Letter from Sado: “It is the nature of beasts to threaten the weak and fear the strong. Our contemporary scholars of the various schools are just like them. They despise a wise man without power, but fear evil rulers. They are no more than fawning retainers. Only by defeating a powerful enemy can one prove one’s real strength. When an evil ruler in consort with priests of erroneous teachings tries to destroy the correct teaching and do away with a man of wisdom, those with the heart of a lion king are sure to attain Buddhahood. Like Nichiren, for example. I say this not out of arrogance, but because I am deeply committed to the correct teaching. An arrogant person will always be overcome with fear when meeting a strong enemy” (p. 302).
In the midst of that battle with authority and power, in which he never begrudged even his life, the meticulousness of the Daishonin’s concern for his followers is absolutely astonishing. In response to the offerings he received from them, he wrote letters to each one, noting the items they had sent, and encouraging them in their faith. And to those believers grieving for the husband or child they had lost, he extended the utmost sincerity, giving them the courage and hope to live.
Religion exists to resonate vibrantly within each person. Even if one discusses the happiness of all human beings, if it is spoken of apart from the happiness of a single human being, that is mere theory.
The Daishonin writes: “The heart of the Buddha’s lifetime of teachings is the Lotus Sutra, and the heart of the practice of the Lotus Sutra is found in the ‘Never Disparaging’ chapter. What does Bodhisattva Never Disparaging’s profound respect for people signify? The purpose of the appearance in this world of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, lies in his behavior as a human being” (p. 852).
It is when the fruits of studying the Gosho show in our own behavior that we can say we have truly read it.
Thus I am praying that, with great seeking spirit and deep faith, SGI friends throughout the world will tackle the serious study of the Gosho.
In conclusion, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to the staff of the Gosho Translation Committee, who were in charge of the translation and editing of this volume. I also offer my deep gratitude to Dr. Burton Watson, the translator of The Lotus Sutra, who made so many invaluable contributions in translation.

Daisaku Ikeda
President
Soka Gakkai International

WND II: 215
On the Ten Chapters
Background
On the Ten Chapters of Great “Concentration and Insight” was written in the fifth month of 1271 and sent to a disciple named Sammi-bō Nichigyō, who was studying at Mount Hiei, the center of the Tendai school. It is fairly clear from the contents that Nichiren Daishonin intended it as a guide to Sammi-bō for the study of T’ien-t’ai’s Great Concentration and Insight. It can be assumed from this letter that Sammi-bō belonged to a study group at Mount Hiei that was engaged in reading that work. The Daishonin may have been concerned that Sammi-bō might be swept along by the doctrinal and intellectual climate that prevailed then at Mount Hiei, which he regarded as misleading. At the end of this letter, he states, “After you have concluded the reading of Great Concentration and Insight, you may pass this letter around among the persons who attended the reading.” Thus the Daishonin was not simply intent upon cautioning Sammi-bō, but also wished to help his fellow students at Mount Hiei to learn the correct manner of reading Great Concentration and Insight, and thus come to understand the correct practice of the Lotus Sutra.
In this letter, first the Daishonin p.382explains the erroneous view of Great Concentration and Insight held by the students at Mount Hiei. Their understanding was that the perfect teaching of the sutras that preceded the Lotus Sutra and the perfect teaching of the Lotus were one and the same; thus the scholars at Mount Hiei had come to view the practice of the Nembutsu (meditation on Amida Buddha or recitation of his name), which is mentioned in Great Concentration and Insight, as the correct practice for the time. Regarding this, the Daishonin says that, though T’ien-t’ai’s work contains various quotations from the sutras preached before the Lotus and refers to the Nembutsu and other forms of practice, its true intent lies with the perfect teaching of the Lotus Sutra, which surpasses the perfect teaching of the other sutras.
Next, he touches on the ten chapters that make up Great Concentration and Insight, stating that the meditation on the three thousand realms in a single moment of life, which is the heart and core of T’ien-t’ai’s practice, is expressed in the seventh chapter.
Then, comparing the theoretical teaching and the essential teaching of the Lotus Sutra, he reveals that the doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life can be found only in the essential teaching, and the correct practice of the Lotus Sutra is found only in the meditation on the three thousand realms in a single moment of life and the chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. For ordinary persons, however, he states that chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo single-mindedly is sufficient.
Finally he thoroughly refutes the erroneous view of the students of Mount Hiei that one should carry out the practice of reciting the Nembutsu, a view based on their misunderstanding of T’ien-t’ai’s teachings. And he suggests that this letter be circulated among the students who are reading Great Concentration and Insight. He closes by addressing the issue of a lawsuit being pursued in Kamakura, about which no information is available today.

==
Foreword
I view with the greatest pleasure the publication of this English translation of the Ongi kuden, or The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, by Dr. Burton Watson, a translator of world renown. For it will introduce to the world at large the essence of East Asian Buddhism.
Dr. Watson is widely known for his deep understanding of Chinese literature and his translations of Ssu-ma Ch’ien’s Records of the Historian and of Chinese poetry. We first met in 1973. I had for some time thought of him as the most suitable person to undertake a translation of the Lotus Sutra, and I expressed the hope that he would one day gratify us with a translation done from Kumārajīva’s Chinese version of the text. I was of course aware that there were already a number of English translations of the sutra. My hope, however, was that he would produce a translation marked by stylistic beauty, one that would do justice to the literary qualities of the text and at the same time be easily understood by readers not already familiar with Buddhism. Dr. Watson, having agreed to my proposal, fulfilled his promise twenty years later with the publication of his translation of the Lotus Sutra. It has proved a major event in the history of world Buddhism, a powerful beacon to light the future of humankind.
In 1992, the year before Dr. Watson’s translation of the Lotus Sutra appeared, I met with him again. We talked about the Ongi kuden, which embodies Nichiren’s comments on the Lotus Sutra. Dr. Watson, who by this time had completed his translation of the sutra itself, expressed a deep interest in the manner in which Nichiren interpreted it. Aware of the many problems involved, he agreed nevertheless to undertake an English translation of the Ongi kuden as well. Now, a fitting adornment to his long career as a translator, his translation of that text is being published. I am confident that it will open up to the world the profound philosophical teachings of Buddhism and act as a joyous revelation to all humankind.
Numerous persons throughout the world who seek a deeper understanding of Buddhism have heard of the Ongi kuden, but only a few have had a glimpse of its contents. Many have expressed a strong desire to learn more about the text and have long wished for an English translation.
On the occasion of the publication of this translation, I would like here to say a brief word about my own understanding of the Ongi kuden.
As I recall, it was August of 1962 when I began a series of lectures on the Ongi kuden designed for college-level students who were members of the Soka Gakkai. I wanted to train future leaders of the movement and to make the profound philosophy of Nichiren accessible in contemporary terms. It was a time of nuclear armament, an age engulfed in hatred and mistrust, and I felt there was a deep need to replace these with a humanism based on mutual trust and harmony.
Generally speaking, Buddhism is viewed as an exploration of the inner world of the individual, focusing mainly upon meditation and the observance of religious precepts or rules. And in fact it has largely ignored the question of how these inner concerns of the individual can be applied to the outer world of society as a whole. Therefore few people perceive Buddhism as a philosophy for the attainment of world peace.
Nichiren, however, as he demonstrated in his famous work On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land, posited a fundamental truth or principle that a revolution beginning within the inner being of the individual can then bring about a similar revolution in the world at large.
Basing himself upon the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren did not look to some external being such as a Buddha or the gods as the source of this revolution in the individual and in society. Instead he perceived a Law or truth that permeates both the inner being of the individual and the life force of the universe as a whole, and sought to open up and disseminate an understanding of that truth. But this concept far transcended the ordinary thinking of the age in which he lived, and as a result, as the Lotus Sutra itself had predicted, he could not fail but encounter numerous grave difficulties. And indeed, the very fact that he endured such difficulties in the course of propagating the sutra was proof of the correctness of its teachings, and at the same time evidence that he was, as it were, “reading the Lotus Sutra” with his whole being, that he was a true “votary of the Lotus Sutra.”
In later years, when Nichiren retired to Mount Minobu, he delivered a series of lectures on the Lotus Sutra for the instruction of his disciples. He revealed the hidden meanings of the sutra passages that were so familiar to him, the meanings that earlier authorities on the sutra such as the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai and the Great Teacher Miao-lo had not fully brought to light. Nichiren, utilizing the work of these earlier commentators, in his own lectures on the sutra proceeded to make clear these hidden meanings.
His lectures were recorded and compiled by Nikkō, one of his closest disciples. Nichiren gave his approval to the work, whose completion is recorded as the first day of the first month of the first year of the Kōan era, which corresponds to the year 1278. It later came to be known as the Ongi kuden, or The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings.
The charge is often made that the Lotus Sutra, though abounding in highly vivid similes and parables, lacks philosophical content. If we look only at its surface meaning, we may perhaps agree with such an opinion. But Buddhism customarily applies three approaches in interpreting its writings, examining them first from the standpoint of the words of the text, then from that of the ideas or meaning implied by the words, and finally, from that of the underlying purport or purpose of the work.
Chinese authorities on the Lotus Sutra such as T’ien-t’ai and Miao-lo, by pondering the words of the sutra, had derived from them certain subtle ideas or doctrines, which they described in terms such as “the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds,” “three thousand realms in a single moment of life,” “the attainment of Buddhahood in the remote past,” “opening the near and revealing the distant,” or “the replacement of the three vehicles with the one vehicle.” But their commentaries had as yet not brought to light the underlying purpose or import of the Lotus Sutra.
Nichiren in his lectures on the sutra revealed that the purport or heart of the work is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and from that standpoint he proceeded to give his explication of the sutra as a whole. This may be termed an interpretation based on his observation of the mind, or the inner truth, implicit in the text, and it constitutes a philosophy of profound depth. Nichiren in effect infused new life into the Lotus Sutra.
The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings begins with an explication of the term Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. It then proceeds to cite key passages in each of the twenty-eight chapters of the Lotus Sutra, in some cases first introducing quotations from the commentaries of T’ien-t’ai or Miao-lo on these passages, in other cases proceeding directly to Nichiren’s interpretation, which, as mentioned earlier, is based upon his “observation of the mind.” The work concludes with commentary on key passages from two short sutras, the Immeasurable Meanings Sutra and the Universal Worthy Sutra, that have traditionally been regarded as prologue and epilogue, respectively, to the Lotus Sutra. In all, Orally Transmitted Teachings contains commentary on a total of 231 passages. Furthermore, there are two additional sections.
What is the basic philosophical outlook of Orally Transmitted Teachings? Various interpretations are possible, but my view is that ultimately it resides in the concept of the dignity of the human being and the dignity of life. In specific terms, it is the belief that ordinary people are capable of attaining Buddhahood, that ordinary people are in fact Buddhas.
In most religions, human beings are relegated to a level quite inferior to that of the sacred being or beings of the faith. But in a religion like Buddhism, whose basic mission is to elevate men and women to the highest plane of spiritual attainment, human beings are referred to rather as “children of the gods” or “children of the Buddha,” terminology that reflects the religion’s very reason for existing.
This fact is most clearly indicated in the following passage from Orally Transmitted Teachings. In the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha reveals that he attained Buddhahood in the far distant past. “It has been immeasurable, boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of nayutas of kalpas,” he explains, “since I in fact attained Buddhahood” (Lotus Sutra, p. 225).
Ordinarily, one would of course take the “I” in this utterance to refer to Shakyamuni himself. But Nichiren declares that the “I” refers to “the living beings of the Dharma-realm,” to “each and every one in the Ten Worlds.” He is saying that all beings in the Ten Worlds of existence have from the beginning been Buddhas. One might suppose that this is a statement of mere abstract principle. But Nichiren goes on to say, “Now Nichiren and his followers, those who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, are the original lords of teachings of the ‘Life Span’ chapter” (p. 126). That is, anyone who chants the daimoku, regardless of who the person may be, can perceive that he or she has “from the beginning been a Buddha.” In this way he demonstrates the concrete application of his earlier statement.
Thus, in a simple and straightforward pronouncement, he states the principle that ordinary people are identical with the Buddha. This view of human beings is one of the most outstanding characteristics of Orally Transmitted Teachings.
But then there is the problem of human suffering. It would not be too much to say that all human life is in a sense a battle, a trial of endurance. As Tolstoy has written, “All happy families are alike but an unhappy family is unhappy after its own fashion.” In life we are buffeted by a veritable storm of troubles: the death of kin, pronouncements of incurable illness, bankruptcy, job loss, dissension in the family. This is the true nature of life, and for that reason, people turn to the teachings of the Lotus Sutra in hope of finding some safety in the midst of such realities, for the “peace and security in their present existence” that the Lotus Sutra promises (Lotus Sutra, p. 99). But if such ills condemn human beings to unhappiness, then we would have to conclude that the happy human being exists only in fantasy.
Nichiren himself lived a life marked by repeated troubles and hardship. Twice condemned to exile, faced with execution, attacked by warriors and ruffians, subjected to abuse and slander, again and again his very existence was in danger. His was a life far removed from the “peace and security” described in the Lotus Sutra. And for that very reason, many people doubted that Nichiren was in fact the kind of “votary of the Lotus Sutra” who faithfully carries out the sutra’s injunctions.
In his lectures on the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren, viewing the course of his own life and pondering the harsh realities of human existence, declared, “You should understand that, when one practices the Lotus Sutra under such circumstances, difficulties will arise, and these are to be looked on as ‘peaceful’ practices” (p. 115). Such a statement would at first glance seem to contradict the Lotus Sutra itself. But rather than being a conclusion that contradicts the Lotus Sutra, it is one that brings to light the true meaning of the sutra, a meaning that lies deeper than the mere surface words of the text.
From his words we learn that happiness means not the absence of troubles but rather the refusal to be defeated by them, which is the true definition of happiness.
Nichiren goes on to state, “The Nirvana Sutra says, ‘The varied sufferings that all living beings undergo—all these are the Thus Come One’s own sufferings.’ And Nichiren declares that the varied sufferings that all living beings undergo—all these are Nichiren’s own sufferings” (p. 138). He announces that he will carry out an act of great compassion, sharing the sufferings of all beings and rescuing them from these sufferings. Thinking not of himself alone, he expresses a fervent desire to bring happiness to all human beings, showing through his own being the true way for a Buddhist believer to proceed.
I would like also to call attention to Nichiren’s comments on “The Bodhisattva Never Disparaging” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. The example of patience and perseverance that this bodhisattva presents, the power of a Law that seeks to save both believers and maligners alike, his practice of paying honor to the Buddha nature present in all beings as he “simply went about bowing to people” (Lotus Sutra, p. 267)—all this is a concrete demonstration of the belief that all people are capable of attaining Buddhahood. And Nichiren adopts this same practice as his own, developing it into a compassionate struggle to save all humankind through kōsen-rufu, or the wide propagation of the teachings.
Nichiren believed that the heart of Shakyamuni Buddha’s lifetime teachings lay in the Lotus Sutra, and that the heart of the Lotus Sutra’s practice lay in the “Never Disparaging” chapter. In one of his letters, he writes, “What does Bodhisattva Never Disparaging’s profound respect for people signify? The purpose of the appearance in this world of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, lies in his behavior as a human being.”1 This letter, which resounds with praise for the humanism of the Buddhist doctrine, stresses that the truth of Buddhism is to be found not in the words of the sutra alone, but in the Buddha’s aims as they are revealed in his actions as a human being.
Bodhisattva Never Disparaging bowed to persons of all kinds in order to awaken them to the reality that all possess the Buddha nature within themselves. In doing so, he gave expression to boundless courage and a faith that could not be shaken.
Nichiren in his comments on the “Never Disparaging” chapter lists fourteen different ways in which one could look at the act of obeisance performed by the bodhisattva as he “went about bowing to people.” In one of these he says, “It is like the situation when one faces a mirror and makes a bow of obeisance: the image in the mirror likewise makes a bow of obeisance to oneself” (p. 165). Here he is pointing to a highly important moral principle that appears to be lacking in modern society, namely, a spirit of mutual trust and mutual esteem, one that understands that when you show respect for others, they will show respect for you.
The principal cause for the sense of alienation that besets human beings in our present-day society is egotism. This is the conclusion reached in the discussions I held some years ago with the historian, Dr. Arnold Toynbee. And how is one to overcome this attachment to egotism? From a Buddhist point of view, it is to be accomplished by ridding human beings of their self-centeredness, of what Buddhism terms the “fundamental darkness” that enshrouds their lives. This is ignorance, a lack of awareness of the true dignity of their existence, of the fact that their own lives are embodiments of the Wonderful Law and that they themselves have from the beginning been Buddhas. And what can wipe out this ignorance is a firm faith, a faith that never doubts the Buddha nature within all men and women, never doubts the dignity of their inner beings. The engendering of such faith is now humankind’s greatest need, is it not?
An organization of people who are spreading Nichiren’s philosophy of peace and life, and who share its doctrines and ideals, exists at present in 190 different countries and regions of the world. The solidarity of men and women who are wakened to the true dignity of life will continue to expand and make it possible that war and terrorism be wiped out, and that poverty, destruction of the environment, and other global problems that now threaten humankind be solved. I firmly believe that that day will come, and my one great desire is that it may come as quickly as possible.
In closing, I would like to express my own heartfelt wish that readers will find in this book a fountain of inexhaustible wisdom and that it will enable them to live lives filled with boundless courage and hope.

Daisaku Ikeda
Part Two
Encouragements
( pp.189 – 199 )

1. The passage reads, “To put it briefly, all the doctrines possessed by the Thus Come One, all the freely exercised supernatural powers of the Thus Come One, the storehouse of all the secret essentials of the Thus Come One, all the most profound matters of the Thus Come One—all these are proclaimed, revealed, and clearly expounded in this sutra.”

Foreword
Fifty years ago, in 1952, the Soka Gakkai published the Nichiren Daishonin gosho zenshū (The Complete Works of Nichiren Daishonin). The publication project was initiated and supervised by Jōsei Toda, the second president of the Soka Gakkai. On the fiftieth anniversary of that important event, it is my pleasure to witness the publication of a new English dictionary of Buddhist terms, The Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism.
Since the publication of the Soka Gakkai edition of Nichiren’s writings, their translation into various languages has been progressing steadily. In the fall of 1999, the Soka Gakkai published The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, which contains English translations of fully half the writings in the Japanese edition, and those translations have been enthusiastically welcomed by persons interested in Nichiren Buddhism.
The members of the Soka Gakkai practice Nichiren Buddhism, which is based on the Lotus Sutra, a text embodying the essence of Mahayana Buddhism. Nichiren Buddhism has inherited the idea expressed in the sutra that all people are capable of achieving Buddhahood, and the great vow of the Buddha to enable all people to do so. The aim of Nichiren Buddhism is to realize that great vow in our present age, the Latter Day of the Law.
This new dictionary focuses largely on Nichiren Buddhism. But it is my conviction that by studying Nichiren Buddhism, one can familiarize oneself with the core of Mahayana Buddhist thought, which expresses the central teaching of the Buddha aimed at enabling everyone to attain enlightenment.
The Buddhist idea that everyone possesses the Buddha nature, or the potential for enlightenment, expresses a spirit of profound respect for human beings and leads naturally to a philosophy that deeply treasures life. This in turn can provide a spiritual and philosophical basis for dealing with such modern global issues as the protection of human rights, the preservation of the environment, and the attainment of world peace. In this sense, I believe it is extremely important to understand such Buddhist concepts and consider them in terms of their modern significance.
Mahayana Buddhism originated in India, and in the long process of its transmission to new lands with different cultures, it has evolved into a world religion. We are able to discern the beginnings of Mahayana within the Buddhism of India, but it began to flower and bear fruit in earnest as it encountered and spread among different cultures.
Within this universal religion called Mahayana Buddhism there are some ideas that appear to be contrasting or contradictory. The Lotus Sutra, however, sets forth principles that resolve and integrate those apparent contradictions. In addition, it contains a living system of thought and a spiritual tradition that clearly transmit the essence of Buddhism.
For example, regarding the method or way to achieve enlightenment, Buddhist tradition speaks of two contrasting approaches: the power of self and the power of another. The school of Buddhism known as Pure Land attributes salvation to the power of another, that is, to the saving grace of Amida Buddha, while Zen Buddhism advocates salvation through the power of self, or the discipline of seated meditation.
Each of those views offers a partial perspective and, taken by itself, may be considered biased or one-sided. Through the unifying principle expressed in the Lotus Sutra, however, those contrasting views are integrated and resolved, giving rise to the concept of the fusion of self and other. In short, salvation or enlightenment in Buddhism is best achieved by bringing forth the powers of the Buddha and the Law (the power of another) through the power of one’s own faith and practice (the power of self).
In another example, from a psychological perspective, earthly desires, which Buddhism regards as the cause of suffering, stand in stark contrast to bodhi, or the enlightenment of the Buddha. That is why early Buddhism taught that enlightenment can only be gained by extinguishing earthly desires.
Mahayana Buddhism, however, ultimately views enlightenment and desire as inseparable, in a relationship described as “two but not two.” It treats them as mutually inclusive aspects of the same reality. Though one may speak of desires and illusions, they originate from the essential nature of life itself, or the Dharma nature, and in that sense are no different from enlightenment.
The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai, in his work Great Concentration and Insight, states: “The foolish illusions of ignorance originate in the essential nature of phenomena. Because of the influence of delusions, the essential nature of phenomena changes into ignorance.” This expresses the principle of non-duality described in the phrase “earthly desires are none other than enlightenment.” The meaning of this principle is that, though one does not extinguish one’s desires and illusions, by developing the wisdom of enlightenment, one is no longer tormented by them; that is, desires and illusions cease to function as negative influences in one’s life.
The resolution of contending viewpoints in the above examples also suggests that, when we view things from the perspective of Buddhist wisdom, it is possible to transform the division and contention of today’s world into harmony and cooperation.
Naturally, human beings themselves are essential to this process. This is because the various contradictions we see in society and the world ultimately boil down to contradictions within the human being. Buddhism aims to shed light on and thoroughly examine the complex inner realm of the human being and thereby provide a broad and comprehensive overview of life itself.
When we assess things from this holistic perspective, it becomes evident that even life and death are actually “not two”; that is, they are one in their essential nature.
How do we keep ourselves at peace with and transcend the problem of death, our unavoidable destiny as human beings? In a speech I delivered in 1993 at Harvard University, I spoke of the Mahayana Buddhist view of life and death, and its aim “to enable us to know a deep and abiding joy in death as well as life.”
Once we are born into the world, none of us can escape death. To address and resolve the problems and suffering associated with life and death, living and dying, is perhaps the most important problem facing humanity in the twenty-first century.
Buddhism elucidates the essential equality present on the level of life itself. It enables people to make the most of their unique natures and qualities, just as “cherry, plum, peach, and apricot” blossoms, to cite a familiar Buddhist metaphor, each display unique color and fragrance. The aim of Buddhism is to enable people to bring forth and display the innate and enduring power of life itself, to remain unbent and unbowed by any hardship or opposition, and to fully enjoy a condition of absolute happiness—enduring happiness that emerges from within and is not dependent on externals. It is a philosophy of life reformation by which one can completely transform tragedy, even death, into profound joy based on an eternal view of life.
Buddhism places strong emphasis on the human heart and mind. We can summarize its message as follows: If people’s hearts and minds change, everything changes. It is the perspective of Buddhism that both conflict and peace arise from the human mind. Mind, however, is not limited to mere process of thought.
An early Buddhist text known as the Dhammapada reads: “Hard it is to train the mind, which goes where it likes and does what it wants. But a trained mind brings health and happiness.” And the same text states: “For hatred can never put an end to hatred; love alone can. This is an unalterable law” (Dhammapada, 3.35 and 1.5, trans. by Eknath Easwaran, Penguin Books, 1987).
The famous opening line of the Preamble to the UNESCO Constitution reads, “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.” In other words, only when human beings achieve real peace of mind can world peace be possible.
The fundamental goal of Buddhism is to enable people to build a “fortress of peace and happiness” within their hearts and minds. It is from here that the real path to world peace begins.
Buddhism enables everyone to achieve inner peace, which is inseparable from world peace, through a transformation of life, that most fundamental of changes that occurs through Buddhist practice. Global peace will, therefore, be realized if this principle and its practical application are shared among people.
A Buddhist writing states, “The Law does not spread by itself. Because the people spread it, both the people and the Law are respectworthy” (Gosho zenshū, p. 856).
If the Buddha, having awakened to the Dharma, or Law of life, had not endeavored to teach it to others, his enlightenment would have been incomplete. Moreover, even though the Buddha himself expounded this Law, without others to spread it, it would not have benefited the people.
We of the Soka Gakkai earnestly hope our publication of English works, such as the translation of Nichiren’s writings and this dictionary, may serve to make the wisdom of Buddhism accessible to more people, enabling them to find a way to true happiness and thereby contributing to the realization of a peaceful world. If, by encountering this dictionary, many people are able to deepen their understanding of and appreciation for Buddhist philosophy, I will be deeply gratified.
Finally, I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to those who have assisted with the preparation and editing of this dictionary.

Daisaku Ikeda
President, Soka Gakkai International

gandha [香・乾陀] (Skt, Pali; Jpn kō or kenda): Incense, fragrance, smell, scent, odor, or perfume. Gandha constituted important offerings to the Buddha and the Buddhist Order along with such offerings as pushpa (flowers) and dīpa (lamps). In ancient India, incense had a variety of customary uses: as a deodorant that was rubbed on the body, as a room freshener, and used to scent clothing, etc. Incense was produced from sandalwood, aloes wood, wood from other aromatic trees, and from flowers such as kunkuma (saffron). The “Teacher of the Law” (tenth) chapter of the Lotus Sutra reads: “If there are persons who embrace, read, recite, expound, and copy the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, even only one verse, and look upon this sutra with the same reverence as they would the Buddha, presenting various offerings of flowers, incense, necklaces, powdered incense, paste incense, incense for burning, silken canopies, streamers and banners, clothing and music, and pressing their palms together in reverence, then, Medicine King, you should understand that such persons have already offered alms to a hundred thousand million Buddhas and in the place of the Buddhas have fulfilled their great vow, and because they take pity on living beings they have been born in this human world.” The word gandha is an element of a number of Sanskrit Buddhist terms and proper names. For example, the Wisdom sutras describe Gandhavatī, City of Fragrances, as the place where Bodhisattva Dharmodgata preached on the perfection of wisdom. Gandhamādana, Mount Fragrant, is said to lie to the north of the Snow Mountains in Jambudvīpa. The trees on this mountain are said to give off a beautiful fragrance. Gandhakutī, hall of fragrance, means a room where the Buddha dwells. Tamālapattra-chandana-gandha, or Tamālapattra Sandalwood Fragrance, is the name Maudgalyāyana will have as a Buddha in a future life according to a prediction in the Lotus Sutra. Gods of music called gandharva, one of the eight kinds of nonhuman beings who protect Buddhism, are said to subsist on gandha, or fragrance.
Foreword
From early times the Lotus Sutra has been known as “the king of the sutras.” This is above all because it is “a scripture of great hope” that brings light to the hearts of all people.
The Lotus Sutra clearly and definitively reveals the buddha nature that is an integral part of the lives of all people. And it makes clear that the Buddha desires and acts so that all people, by opening up this buddha nature inherent within themselves, may attain the state of buddhahood for themselves. The sutra further stresses that the continued observance of such action is the true mission of the bodhisattva, and never ceases to praise the observance of this practice.
The buddha nature, which is inherent in all living beings, is a universal and fundamental source or fountain of hope. When it is fully brought to light, it allows all human beings to realize their highest level of personal development and to attain unparalleled happiness and good fortune. And the Lotus Sutra is the text that most forcefully asserts this truth.
The Lotus Sutra, which possesses the power to fulfill the hopes latent in the lives of human beings, spread from India to Central Asia, and from there to the countries of eastern Asia. In India and Central Asia various manuscripts of the sutra in Sanskrit and other languages of that area into which it was translated have been found. In the region of eastern Asia, it was translated into Chinese by Kumarajiva (344–413), and that is the version in which it has been read, recited, and best known by many people. In that form, we may say, it constituted one of the most important spiritual elements underlying the culture of China in the Six Dynasties, Sui, and Tang periods, and of Japan in the Heian period.
In particular, in China in the sixth century the Great Teacher Tiantai (538–597), on the basis of the Lotus Sutra, developed his system of interpretation known as “three thousand realms in a single moment of life,” which expounds the philosophy of hope embodied in the Lotus Sutra in a subtle and logically convincing manner. But although there had been, in the history of the transmission of the Lotus Sutra, efforts to transcend the barrier of cultural differences and bring out the universally valid nature of the sutra’s message, it would appear that the true worth of the Lotus Sutra had not, in this period before the appearance of Nichiren Daishonin (1222–1282), as yet been fully revealed.
Nichiren Daishonin in his writings states: “The heart of the Buddha’s lifetime of teachings is the Lotus Sutra, and the heart of the practice of the Lotus Sutra is found in the ‘Never Disparaging’ chapter. What does Bodhisattva Never Disparaging’s profound respect for people signify? The purpose of the appearance in this world of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, lies in his behavior as a human being” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, pp. 851–52).
By this the Daishonin means that the heart of the Lotus Sutra, the highest among all of Shakyamuni’s teachings, resides in the practice carried out by Bodhisattva Never Disparaging of respecting and paying reverence to all people. The life of each and every person is endowed with the buddha nature, the seed or potential for attaining buddhahood. So long as a person pursues the correct path, this seed will invariably sprout, blossom, and bear fruit. It was on the basis of this firm conviction that Bodhisattva Never Disparaging paid obeisance to every single person that he encountered.
To encourage and bring to fulfillment this practice of paying respect to others, we may say, constitutes the Buddha’s basic aim, the true message of the Lotus Sutra, and the true propagation of the Lotus Sutra. In order to achieve the ideals and spirit of the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren Daishonin made this most important practice the very core of his being. Moreover, he revealed Nam-myoho-renge-kyo of the Three Great Secret Laws1 as the manifestation of his own life embodying the buddha nature, and for the sake of all people of the future, opened up the path that would lead to inner transformation, or human revolution, and the creation of a peaceful and ideal society.
In the seventy-nine years since its founding in 1930, the Soka Gakkai, obeying the final instructions of Nichiren Daishonin, has wholeheartedly carried out this most important practice of the Lotus Sutra. As individuals among the populace have succeeded in attaining their own personal victory and realized full satisfaction in life, a rich human culture has blossomed into being, and a path has been opened for the establishment of world peace. And this path is now being spread throughout the entire globe.
For humankind as a whole, the twenty-first century represents the crucial, the now-or-never moment for the establishment of peace. Therefore I firmly believe that now is the time to work more tirelessly than ever to propagate and establish this philosophy of hope set forth in the Lotus Sutra, a scripture that delves into the very fundamentals of human life, and that this opportunity must not be missed. For that reason it is with profound joy that, at the start of this, the twenty-first century, I greet the publication of this Soka Gakkai edition of The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras as it makes its way out into the world.
I would like in conclusion to express my thanks to Dr. Burton Watson for his painstaking English translation of the three sutras.

Daisaku Ikeda
President of Soka Gakkai International
CHAPTER 28

Encouragements of the Bodhisattva Universal Worthy

At that time Bodhisattva Universal Worthy, famed for his freely exercised transcendental powers, dignity, and virtue, in company with great bodhisattvas in immeasurable, boundless, indescribable numbers, arrived from the east. The lands that they passed through one and all quaked and trembled, jeweled lotus flowers rained down, and immeasurable hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of different kinds of music played. In addition, surrounded by a great assembly of numberless heavenly beings, dragons, yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kimnaras, and mahoragas, human and nonhuman beings, each displayed his dignity, virtue, and transcendental powers.
When Bodhisattva Universal Worthy arrived in the midst of Mount Gridhrakuta in the saha world, he bowed his head to the ground in obeisance to Shakyamuni Buddha, circled around him to the right seven times, and said to the Buddha: “World-Honored One, when I was in the land of the buddha King Above Jeweled Dignity and Virtue, from far away I heard the Lotus Sutra being preached in this saha world. In company with this multitude of immeasurable, boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of bodhisattvas I have come to listen to and accept it. I beg that the world-honored one will preach it for us. And good men and good women in the time after the thus come one has entered extinction—how will they be able to acquire this Lotus Sutra?”
p.361The Buddha said to Bodhisattva Universal Worthy: “If good men and good women fulfill four conditions in the time after the thus come one has entered extinction, then they will be able to acquire this Lotus Sutra. First, they must be protected and kept in mind by the buddhas. Second, they must plant the roots of virtue. Third, they must enter the stage where they are sure of reaching enlightenment. Fourth, they must conceive a determination to save all living beings. If good men and good women fulfill these four conditions, then after the thus come one has entered extinction they will be certain to acquire this sutra.”
At that time Bodhisattva Universal Worthy said to the Buddha: “World-Honored One, in the evil and corrupt age of the last five-hundred-year period, if there is someone who accepts and upholds this sutra, I will guard and protect him, free him from decline and harm, see that he attains peace and tranquillity, and make certain that no one can spy out and take advantage of his shortcomings. No devil, devil’s son, devil’s daughter, devil’s minion, or one possessed by the devil, no yaksha, rakshasa, kumbhanda, pishacha, kritya, putana, vetada, or other being that torments humans will be able to take advantage of him.
“Whether that person is walking or standing, if he reads and recites this sutra, then at that time I will mount my six-tusked kingly white elephant and with my multitude of great bodhisattvas will proceed to where he is. I will manifest myself, offer alms, guard and protect him, and bring comfort to his mind. I will do this because I too want to offer alms to the Lotus Sutra. If when that person is seated he ponders this sutra, at that time too I will mount my kingly white elephant and manifest myself in his presence. If that person should forget a single phrase or verse of the Lotus Sutra, I will prompt him and join him in reading and reciting so that he will gain understanding. At that time the person who accepts, upholds, reads, and recites the Lotus Sutra will be able to see my body, will be filled with great joy, and will apply himself with greater diligence than ever. Because he has seen me, he will immediately acquire samadhis and dharanis. These are called the repetition dharani, the hundred, thousand, ten thousand, million repetition dharani, and p.362the Dharma sound expedient dharani. He will acquire dharanis such as these.
“World-Honored One, in that later time, in the evil and corrupt age of the last five-hundred-year period, if monks, nuns, laymen believers, or laywomen believers who seek out, accept, uphold, read, recite, and transcribe this Lotus Sutra should wish to practice it, they should do so diligently and with a single mind for a period of twenty-one days. When the twenty-one days have been fulfilled, I will mount my six-tusked white elephant and, with immeasurable numbers of bodhisattvas surrounding me and with this body that all living beings delight to see, I will manifest myself in the presence of the person and preach the Law for him, bringing him instruction, benefit, and joy. I will also give him dharani spells. And because he has acquired these spells, no nonhuman being will be able to injure him and he cannot be confused or led astray by women. I too will personally guard him at all times. Therefore, World-Honored One, I hope you will permit me to pronounce these dharanis.” Then in the presence of the Buddha he pronounced these spells:

adande dandapati dandavarte dandakushale dandasudhare
sudhare sudharapati buddhapashyane sarvadharani-
avartane sarvabhashyavartane su-avartane
samghaparikshani samghanirghatani asamge
samgapagate tri-adhvasamgatulya arate-prapte
sarvasamgasamatikrrante sarvadharmasuparikshite
sarvasattvarutakaushalyanugate simhavikridite1

“World-Honored One, if any bodhisattva is able to hear these dharanis, he should understand that it is due to the transcendental powers of Universal Worthy. If when the Lotus Sutra is propagated throughout Jambudvipa there are those who accept and uphold it, they should think to themselves: This is all due to the authority and supernatural power of Universal Worthy! If there are those who accept, uphold, read, and recite this sutra, p.363memorize it correctly, understand its principles, and practice it as the sutra prescribes, these persons should know that they are carrying out the practices of Universal Worthy himself. In the presence of immeasurable, boundless numbers of buddhas they have planted good roots deep, and the hands of the thus come ones will pat them on the head.
“If they do no more than copy the sutra, when their lives come to an end they will be reborn in the heaven of the thirty-three gods. At that time eighty-four thousand heavenly women, performing all kinds of music, will come to greet them. Such persons will put on crowns made of seven treasures and amidst the ladies-in-waiting will amuse and enjoy themselves. How much more so, then, if they accept, uphold, read, and recite the sutra, memorize it correctly, understand its principles, and practice it as the sutra prescribes. If there are persons who accept, uphold, read, and recite the sutra and understand its principles, when the lives of these persons come to an end, they will be received into the hands of a thousand buddhas, who will free them from all fear and keep them from falling into the evil paths of existence. Immediately they will proceed to the Tushita heaven, to the place of Bodhisattva Maitreya. Bodhisattva Maitreya possesses the thirty-two features and is surrounded by a multitude of great bodhisattvas. He has hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of heavenly women attendants, and these persons will be reborn in their midst. Such will be the benefits and advantages they will enjoy.
“Therefore persons of wisdom should single-mindedly copy the sutra themselves, or cause others to copy it, should accept, uphold, read, and recite it, memorize it correctly and practice it as the sutra prescribes. World-Honored One, I now therefore employ my transcendental powers to guard and protect this sutra. And after the thus come one has entered extinction, I will cause it to be widely propagated throughout Jambudvipa and will see that it never comes to an end.”
At that time Shakyamuni Buddha spoke these words of praise: “Excellent, excellent, Universal Worthy! You are able to guard p.364and assist this sutra and cause many living beings to gain peace and happiness and advantages. You have already acquired inconceivable benefits and profound great pity and compassion. Since long ages in the past you have shown a desire for supreme perfect enlightenment, and have taken a vow to use your transcendental powers to guard and protect this sutra. And I will employ my transcendental powers to guard and protect those who can accept and uphold the name of Bodhisattva Universal Worthy.
“Universal Worthy, if there are those who accept, uphold, read, and recite this Lotus Sutra, memorize it correctly, practice and transcribe it, you should know that such persons have seen Shakyamuni Buddha. It is as though they heard this sutra from the Buddha’s mouth. You should know that such persons have offered alms to Shakyamuni Buddha. You should know that the Buddha has praised such persons as excellent. You should know that such persons have been patted on the head by Shakyamuni Buddha. You should know that such persons have been covered in the robes of Shakyamuni Buddha.
“They will no longer be greedy for or attached to worldly pleasures, they will have no taste for the scriptures or jottings of the non-Buddhists. They will take no pleasure in associating with such people, or with those engaged in evil occupations such as butchers, raisers of pigs, sheep, chickens, or dogs, hunters, or those who offer women’s charms for sale. These persons will be honest and upright in mind and intent, correct in memory, and will possess the power of merit and virtue. They will not be troubled by the three poisons, nor will they be troubled by jealousy, self-importance, ill-founded conceit, or arrogance. These persons will have few desires, will be easily satisfied, and will know how to carry out the practices of Universal Worthy.
“Universal Worthy, after the thus come one has entered extinction, in the last five-hundred-year period, if you see someone who accepts, upholds, reads, and recites the Lotus Sutra, you should think to yourself: Before long this person will proceed to the place of enlightenment, conquer the devil hosts, and attain supreme perfect enlightenment. He will turn the wheel of p.365the Dharma, beat the Dharma drum, sound the Dharma conch, and rain down the Dharma rain. He is worthy to sit in the lion seat of the Dharma, amid the great assembly of heavenly and human beings.
“Universal Worthy, in later ages if there are those who accept, uphold, read, and recite this sutra, such persons will no longer be greedy for or attached to clothing, bedding, food, and drink, or other necessities of daily life. Their wishes will not be in vain, and in this present existence they will gain the reward of good fortune. If there is anyone who disparages or makes light of them, saying, ‘You are mere idiots! It is useless to carry out these practices—in the end they will gain you nothing!’ then as punishment for his offense that person will be born eyeless in existence after existence. But if there is anyone who offers alms to them and praises them, then in this present existence he will have manifest reward for it.
“If anyone sees a person who accepts and upholds this sutra and tries to expose the faults or evils of that person, whether what he speaks is true or not, he will in his present existence be afflicted with white leprosy. If anyone disparages or laughs at that person, then in existence after existence he will have teeth that are missing or spaced far apart, ugly lips, a flat nose, hands and feet that are gnarled or deformed, and eyes that are squinty. His body will have a foul odor, with evil sores that run pus and blood, and he will suffer from water in the belly, shortness of breath, and other severe and malignant illnesses. Therefore, Universal Worthy, if you see a person who accepts and upholds this sutra, you should rise and greet him from afar, showing him the same respect you would a buddha.”
When this chapter on the Encouragements of the Bodhisattva Universal Worthy was preached, bodhisattvas immeasurable and boundless as Ganges sands acquired dharanis allowing them to memorize a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, a million repetitions of the teachings, and bodhisattvas equal to the dust particles of the major world system perfected the way of Universal Worthy.
p.366When the Buddha preached this sutra, Universal Worthy and the other bodhisattvas, Shariputra and the other voice-hearers, and the heavenly beings and dragons, the human and nonhuman beings—the entire membership of the great assembly were all filled with great joy. Accepting and upholding the words of the Buddha, they bowed in obeisance and departed.

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