Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Lotus Sutra Chapters 9 & 10:

Chapter 9 continues more or less in the flavor of Chapter 8.

Chapter 10's a bit more interesting.

  • One should support those who expound from the Lotus Sutra.

  • Those who are hostile to those who expound from the Lotus Sutra aren't going to fare well.

  • And those who support this are indeed fortunate.

    ...[O]n any spot of the earth where this Dharmaparyâya [i.e., the Law of the Lotus Sutra] is expounded, preached, written, studied, or recited in chorus, on that spot, Bhaishagyarâga, one should build a Tathâgata-shrine, magnificent, consisting of precious substances, high, and spacious; but it is not necessary to depose in it relics of the Tathâgata. For the body of the Tathâgata is, so to say, collectively deposited there. Any spot of the earth where this Dharmaparyâya is expounded or taught or recited or rehearsed in chorus or written or kept in a volume, must be honoured, respected, revered, worshipped as if it were a Stûpa, with all sorts of flowers, incense, perfumes, garlands, ointment, powder, clothes, umbrellas, flags, banners, triumphal streamers, with all kinds of song, music, dancing, musical instruments, castanets, and shouts in chorus. And those, Bhaishagyarâga, who approach a Tathâgata-shrine to salute or see it, must be held to be near supreme and perfect enlightenment.

My reading of this - again as a lay person - is that what is really being promulgated is the use of skillful means as an adjunct to what was already widely considered to be Buddhism, along with generally "good karma" for acting in harmony with this sutra.

Whether the Lotus Sutra as a whole helped or hindered the growth or decline of Buddhism, I suppose one could debate, as one could see the use of skillful means as perhaps both supporting a more inclusive Dharma, yet possibly allowing (a "false detection") of things being peddled as the Dharma which were not conducive to the cultivation of generosity, wisdom or compassion.

No comments: