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Monday, September 17, 2018

The most important benefits of the Lotus Sutra

What are some of the benefits of faith in the Lotus Sutra? Parking Spaces? No. When we receive merits from Lord Shakyamuni Buddha we receive the merits needed to become a Buddha. In the Lotus Sutra Chapter Twenty-five, The Universal Gate of Kanzeon Bosatsu Fumonbon, we learn through fantastic imagery the promises of benefits that we inherit from Kannon or Kanzeon Bosatsu, literally, He Who Observes the Sounds of the World Bodhisattva. The Buddha describes the perils from which Avalokitesvara will save the people who have faith in the Lotus Sutra and these perils are repeated in the verse section [although they do not exactly match those in the prose section]. Please note how Nichiren Daishonin validates the Lotus Sutra by living the promises of the Sutra

Those who have faith in the Lotus Sutra and Lord Shakyamuni Buddha, in the following situations will be free from harm like Nichiren who lived nearly every line of the Lotus Sutra literally: 


1. If a man falls into a great fire, he will not burn. [unlike High Priest Nikkyo of the Nichiren Shoshu] 

2. If he is carried away by a great wave, he will find a shallow place. [exactly as Nichiren Daishonin during the Izu exile]

3. If he enters the sea in search of riches and a black wind carries the ship to the realm of the Rakushasa, he will be saved. [Nichiren Daishonin on his voyage to Sado] 

4. If he is about to be murdered, swords and weapons will break. [Nichiren Daishonin at Tatsunokuchi] 

5. If hordes of yakshas and Rakushasa try to do him harm, they will not even be able to see him. [Nichiren Daishonin as he escaped from Seichoji and Matsubagayatsu]

6. Regardless of guilt, if he is in fetters or stocks, they will be broken. [Nichiro in prison] 

7. If he is full of lust, he will be cured of it. [Nichiren remained a true celibate priest throughout his life] 

8. If bandits find travelers with precious gems on a dangerous road, the travelers will be saved. [Nichiren Daishonin at Komatsubara]

9. If full of anger, he will lose it. [Nichiren towards his faithful disciples]

10. If full of folly, he will be cured of it. [Nichiren Daishonin having chanted the Nembutsu]

11. If a woman wants a son, she will bear one. 

12. If a woman wants a daughter, she will bear one. 


1. If a man is pushed into a Pit of fire, the pit will turn into a pool. [Nichiren Daishonin's escape from his burning hut during the persecution at Matsubagayatsu,]

2. If he is afloat on a great sea in which there are fish, dragons, and ghosts, waves will not drown him. [Izu exile]

3. If he is pushed off the peak of Mount Sumeru, he will dwell in space like the sun. [Nichiren's (Sun Lotus') repeated exiles and banishments] 

4. If he is chased down a diamond mountain by an evil man, he will not be harmed. [Nichiren Daishonin's escape from Tojo Kagenobu on mount Kiyasumi]

5. If he is surrounded by bandits waving swords, their thoughts will be transformed to kindly ones. [Tatsunokuchi persecution]

6. If he faces execution, the executioner's sword will break. [Tatsunokuchi] 

7. If he is in a pillory with his hands and feet in stocks, he will gain release. [Nichiro]

8. If someone harms him through spells, curses, or poisons, the victim can send them back to plague their authors. [A). Nichiren was given food laced with poison. Before he ate it, he laid it down on a tree stump. A dog came by, took a few bites, and became violently ill. B). Those who suffered untoward deaths for persecuting Nichiren Daishonin] 

9. If he encounters Rakushasa, dragons, or ghosts, they will not harm him. [Nichiren encountering evil men on a daily basis, many of whom became his disciples]

10. If he is surrounded by beasts with sharp claws and teeth, they will flee. 

11. If confronted with snakes or insects breathing fire, the sound of one's voice will dispel them. 

12. If threatened with thunder, hail, or lightning, he will remain dry. [Nichiren in his many dilapidated huts]. 

13. If one has misfortunes and troubles, one can be rescued. [Nichiren on a daily basis] 

14. If one’s destiny is the world of hells, ghosts, or beasts, it can be changed. [Nichiren, according to Nichiren himself, in the Opening of the Eyes, The Selection of the Time, and Letter from Sado, for example]

15. The pains of birth, old age, sickness, and death can be alleviated. [Nichiren Daishonin as our example]. 

16. Darkness will be dispelled by the light of wisdom, which also subdues winds and flames. [Nichiren Daishonin subduing the Mongols with the Great Wind]

17. The agony of civil disputes on the battlefield will be avoided. [Komatubara persecution]

In the verse section, perils thirteen through sixteen are written in a different form from the earlier ones and are more comprehensive and general. 

The seventeenth peril is written in the same manner as the earlier ones but contains two distinct perils, as does the sixteenth. 

Between the prose and the verse section's lists of dangers, is a question by Aksayamati Bodhisattva about how Kannon moves within the world. The Buddha replies that the bodhisattva takes many different forms, as does Fine Sound Bodhisattva, described in chapter twenty-four. Kannon (Avalokitesvara) can appear as a Buddha, pratyekabuddha, or Sravaka; as Brahma, Indra, Lsvara, Mahesvara, Mahesana, or Vairsavana; as a minor king, rich man, householder, official, Brahman, bhikshu, Bhikshsuni, upasaka, Upasaka, wife of a householder, wife of a rich man, wife of an official, wife of a Brahman, boy, or girl; or as a god, dragon, yaksha, gandharva, Asura, garuda, kinnara, mahoraga; as a human, nonhuman, or Vajrapani. Aksayamati then presents a necklace to Kannon, who accepts and divides it, giving one part to Prabhutaratna and the other to Sakyamuni. The chapter ends with a statement that eighty-four thousand of the assembly embarked on the path to enlightenment.

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