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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Verse section of the Bodhisattva Never Despise Chapter of the Lotus Sutra

"In the past there was a buddha 
Styled King of Majestic Voice, 
Boundless in divine wisdom, 
Leader of all creatures; 
Gods, men, dragons, spirits 
All paid homage to him. 
After this buddha's extinction, 
When the Law drew near its end, 
There existed a bodhisattva 
Whose name was Never Despise. 
At that time the four groups 
Were devoted to [material] things. 
The Bodhisattva Never Despise 
On approaching them 
Would address them thus: 
'I may not despise you; 
You are followers of the Way 
And will all become buddhas.' 
When they had heard it, they 
Contemned or reviled him. 
Bodhisattva Never Despise 
Bore it all patiently. 
When his sins were expiated 
And his end was drawing near, 
He heard this sutra 
And his organs were clarified. 
By his transcendent power 
He prolonged his period of life 
And again, to all the people, 
Widely preached this sutra. 
The groups [formerly] devoted to things 
All received from this bodhisattva 
Instruction and perfection, 
Being led to abide in the Buddha-way. 
Never Despise, his lifetime ended, 
Met with countless buddhas, 
And through his preaching of this sutra 
Obtained inestimable happiness. 
Gradually perfecting his merits, 
He soon accomplished the Buddha-way. 
The Never Despise of that time 
Is really I myself. 
The four groups of that time, 
Attached to [earthly] things, 
Who heard Never Despise say, 
'You are to become buddhas,' 
And who because of this 
Met with countless buddhas 
Are the bodhisattvas of this assembly, 
The host of five hundred, 
And also the four sections 
Of pure believers, men and women, 
Who are now before me 
Listening to the Law. 
I, in my former lives, 
Exhorted these people 
To hear and receive this sutra, 
The peerless Law, 
And revealed and taught it to men, 
That they might abide in nirvana. 
Age by age have [I] received and kept 
This so [wonderful] a sutra. 
During myriads of kotis and kotis of kalpas 
Of inconceivable reach, 
Rare are the times that have heard 
This Law-Flower Sutra. 
During myriads of kotis and kotis of kalpas 
Of inconceivable reach, 
Buddhas, world-honored ones, 
At rare times preach this sutra. 
Therefore let his followers, 
After the Buddha's extinction, 
On hearing such a sutra as this, 
Not conceive doubt or perplexity. 
But let them wholeheartedly 
Publish abroad this sutra, 
And age by age meeting buddhas, 
They will speedily accomplish the Buddha-way."

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