"The Buddha appeared in this world to purify all beings
by having them open the treasury of the Buddha-wisdom
which they are unaware of possessing within themselves.
The Buddhas appeared in this world to show the Buddha-wisdom
to them. The Buddhas appeared in this world to have them
understand what the Buddha-wisdom is. The Buddhas have
appeared in this world to lead them into the path of
-- LOTUS SUTRA - Chapter II
The Lotus Sutra is composed of twenty-eight chapters which the
faithful believe "transmit the Law" representing the culmination
of the essence of the teachings of Sakyamuni Buddha. The Law is
transmitted in beautiful prose and verse in terms of humorous parables,
allegories, metaphors, fantastic descriptions of supernatural visions
and metaphysical discussion. This panoramic totality gives it dimensions
of cosmic proportions in space and time. The variegated nature of
the Lotus teachings is associated with Sakyamuni's inclination to
exercise "tactfulness" and "expedience" to accommodate
all manner of capacities and temperaments that exist among his listeners.
Ultimately these different gateways lead to the Path.
Two broad themes reveal themselves in the Lotus Sutra. The first,
developed over the first fourteen chapters, is the reality of intrinsic
commonality that prevails in the nature of all human beings. Achieving
Enlightenment consists of awakening the seed of Buddhahood in an
The other broad theme, expounded over the remaining fourteen chapters
is the eternalness of the Buddha. That the historical Sakyamuni
Buddha, born and attaining enlightenment in India. was but a temporal
form of the primeval Buddha who was enlightened in the remotest
past and lives on eternally with no birth or death. Regardless of
the age we live in the Buddha is always among us and points to the
Path of Buddhahood.