Pure Land Buddhist Scriptures

Lotus Sutra

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LOTUS SUTRA

 

This famous Buddhist scripture is said to have been written between 150 B.C.E and 100 C.E in northern India. It records the last significant sermon of the historical Buddha and is therefore seen as the summit of his teaching. One of the central themes of this sutra is its teaching of the One Vehicle that unifies the major Buddhist sects, the so- called "Hinayana" and "Mahayana," by teaching that they are just "skillful means" to lead people of different capacities to the same truth called dharma. What is also important to note is the sutra's emphasis on faith and devotion and the idea that all beings are already Buddhas in the ultimate dimension. In chapter two, the Buddha said, "Have no further doubts; rejoice greatly in your hearts, knowing that you will become Buddhas."

 

Furthermore, there is a strong egalitarian tendency that levels spiritual hierarchies that is also pro-laity, pro-family and pro-woman. In addition, the Lotus Sutra had influenced great religious reform movements in the past such as the formation of Shin, Zen and Nichiren Buddhism. These reform traditions emphasize the single practice approach that is uniquely suited for anybody regardless of capacity. The single practice approach of Shin Buddhism centers on the voicing of the Nembutsu-namu-Amida-Butsu, In Zen, the practice focuses on sitting meditation practice and in Nichiren, the practice is the chanting the daimoku. Of course, there is much more to the Lotus Sutra than stated above so we suggest taking our Opening of the Heart of the Cosmos Workshop to learn more.

CLICK HERE to read the Lotus Sutra

 
A Guide to the Threefold Lotus Sutra, written by Nikkyo Niwano. This is a concise and totally understandable book to one of the supreme scriptures of Mahayana Buddhism and is one of the greatest religious classics like the Bible and the Koran.

CLICK HERE to read the commentary of the Lotus Sutra.