The Lotus Sūtra is one of the most important of all the Mahāyāna sūtras, and especially in Japan, where it is popularly known as the Hoke-kyō. Here we offer the authoritative second revised edition, complete in one volume.
The Lotus Sutra (Second Revised Edition)
The Lotus Sūtra is one of the most important of all the Mahāyāna sūtras. The work has both literary and philosophical merit, combining verse and parables with clarity of insight, earning it a permanent spot in the history of Buddhism. In particular the concept of “One Vehicle,” which permeates the work, has had great influence on multiple schools of Japanese Buddhism.
Its notable contents (in 28 chapters) include
- Chapter 16, The Life Span of the Tathāgatā (Skt.: Tathāgatāyuṣpramāṇa-parivarta XV), especially important for its eulogy of Śākyamuni as the embodiment of the eternal life and as having attained enlightenment in the inconceivably remote past.
- Chapter 25, The Universal Gate of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara (Skt.: Samantamukha-parivarta XXIV), describing the blessings of the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, was circulated in China and Japan as an independent sūtra and is still recited today.
- Numerous popular parables including those of the three carts and the burning house, the wealthy man and his poor son, the three kinds of medicinal herbs and two kinds of trees, and the phantom city and the treasure land.
Skt. Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-sūtra, translated by Kumārajīva into the Chinese as Miaofa lianhua jing (妙法蓮華經). 8 fascicles.
Table of Contents
A Message on the Publication of the English Tripiṭaka NUMATA Yehan v
Editorial Foreword MAYEDA Sengaku vii
Publisher’s Foreword John R. McRae ix
Translators’ Introduction Tsugunari Kubo and Akira Yuyama xiii
The Lotus Sutra
Chapter I. Introduction 3
Chapter II. Skillful Means 23
Chapter III. A Parable 47
Chapter IV. Willing Acceptance 79
Chapter V. Herbs 95
Chapter VI. Prediction 103
Chapter VII. The Apparitional City 113
Chapter VIII. The Five Hundred Disciples Receive Their Predictions 139
Chapter IX. The Predictions for Those Who Still Have More to Learn and for Those Who Do Not 151
Chapter X. The Expounder of the Dharma 157
Chapter XI. The Appearance of a Jeweled Stupa 167
Chapter XII. Devadatta 179
Chapter XIII. Perseverance 187
Chapter XIV. Ease in Practice 193
Chapter XV. Bodhisattvas Emerging from the Earth 209
Chapter XVI. The Lifespan of the Tathāgata 223
Chapter XVII. Description of Merits 233
Chapter XVIII. The Merits of Joyful Acceptance 245
Chapter XIX. The Benefits Obtained by an Expounder of the Dharma 251
Chapter XX. Bodhisattva Sadāparibhūta 265
Chapter XXI. The Transcendent Powers of the Tathāgata 271
Chapter XXII. Entrustment 277
Chapter XXIII. Ancient Accounts of Bodhisattva Bhaiṣajyarāja 279
Chapter XXIV. Bodhisattva Gadgadasvara 289
Chapter XXV. The Gateway to Every Direction [Manifested by Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara] 295
Chapter XXVI. Dhāraṇī 303
Chapter XXVII. Ancient Accounts of King Śubhavyūha 307
Chapter XXVIII. Encouragement of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra 313
A List of the Volumes of the BDK English Tripiṭaka (First Series) 345