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Lotus Sutra

"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
the Buddha-wisdom."


-- 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 individual.

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.

The Nichiren Buddhist International Center, 29490 Mission Blvd. Hayward, California 94544, U.S.A.
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