Format: Global Grey free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook
Pages (PDF): 280
Publication Date: 1884
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Volume XXI of The Sacred Books of the East. The Lotus Sūtra is one of the most popular and influential Mahāyāna sūtras, the oldest parts of the text (Chapters 1–9 and 17) being written down between 100 BC and 100 AD. It is written as a discourse delivered by the Buddha toward the end of His life.
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Thus have I heard. Once upon a time the Lord was staying at Râgagriha, on the Gridhrakuta mountain, with a numerous assemblage of monks, twelve hundred monks, all of them Arhats, stainless, free from depravity, self-controlled, thoroughly emancipated in thought and knowledge, of noble breed, (like unto) great elephants, having done their task, done their duty, acquitted their charge, reached the goal; in whom the ties which bound them to existence were wholly destroyed, whose minds were thoroughly emancipated by perfect knowledge, who had reached the utmost perfection in subduing all their thoughts; who were possessed of the transcendent faculties; eminent disciples, such as the venerable Agñâta-Kaundinya, the venerable Asvagit, the venerable Vâshpa, the venerable Mahânâman, the venerable Bhadrikal, the venerable Mahâ-Kâsyapa, the venerable Kâsyapa of Uruvilvâ, the venerable Kâsyapa of Nadi, the venerable Kâsyapa of Gayâ, the venerable Sâriputra, the venerable Mahâ-Maudgalyâyana, the venerable Mahâ-Kâtyâyana, the venerable Aniruddha, the venerable Revata, the venerable Kapphina, the venerable Gavâmpati, the venerable Pilindavatsa, the venerable Vakula, the venerable Bhâradvâga, the venerable Mahâ-Kaushthila, the venerable Nanda (alias Mahânanda), the venerable Upananda, the venerable Sundara-Nanda, the venerable Pûrna Maitrâyanîputra, the venerable Subhûti, the venerable Râhula; with them yet other great disciples, as the venerable Ananda, still under training, and two thousand other monks, some of whom still under training, the others masters; with six thousand nuns having at their head Mahâpragâpatî, and the nun Yasodharâ, the mother of Râhula, along with her train; (further) with eighty thousand Bodhisattvas, all unable to slide back, endowed with the spells of supreme, perfect enlightenment, firmly standing in wisdom; who moved onward the never deviating wheel of the law; who had propitiated many hundred thousands of Buddhas; who under many hundred thousands of Buddhas had planted the roots of goodness, had been intimate with many hundred thousands of Buddhas, were in body and mind fully penetrated with the feeling of charity; able in communicating the wisdom of the Tathâgatas; very wise, having reached the perfection of wisdom; renowned in many hundred thousands of worlds; having saved many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of beings; such as the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Mañgusrî, as prince royal; the Bodhisattvas Mahâsattvas Avalokitesvara, Mahâsthâmaprâpta, Sarvarthanâman, Nityodyukta, Anikshiptadhura, Ratnakandra, Bhaishagyarâga, Pradânasûra, Ratnakandra, Ratnaprabha, Pûrnakandra, Mahivikrâmin, Trailokavikrâmin, Anantavikrâmin, Mahâpratibhâna, Satatasamitâbhiyukta, Dharanîdhara, Akshayamati, Padmasrî, Nakshatrarâga, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Maitreya, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Simha.
With them were also the sixteen virtuous men to begin with Bhadrapâla, to wit, Bhadrapâla, Ratnikara, Susârthavâha, Naradatta, Guhagupta, Varunadatta, Indradatta, Uttaramati, Viseshamati, Vardhamânamati, Amoghadarsin, Susamsthita, Suvikrântavikrâmin, Anupamamati, Sûryagarbha, and Dharanidhara; besides eighty thousand Bodhisattvas, among whom the fore-mentioned were the chiefs; further Sakra, the ruler of the celestials, with twenty thousand gods, his followers, such as the god Kandra (the Moon), the god Sûrya (the Sun), the god Samantagandha (the Wind), the god Ratnaprabha, the god Avabhâsaprabha, and others; further, the four great rulers of the cardinal points with thirty thousand gods in their train, viz. the great ruler Virûdhaka, the great ruler Virûpâksha, the great ruler Dhritarâshtra, and the great ruler Vaisravana; the god Îsvara and the god Mahesvara, each followed by thirty thousand gods; further, Brahma Sahdmpati and his twelve thousand followers, the BrahmakAyika gods, amongst whom Brahma Sikhin and Brahma Gyotishprabha, with the other twelve thousand Brahmakdyika gods; together with the eight Nâga kings and many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of Nigas in their train, viz. the Nâga king Nanda, the Nâga king Upananda, Sâgara, Vâsuki, Takshaka, Manasvin, Anavatapta, and Utpalaka; further, the four Kinnara kings with many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of followers, viz. the Kinnara king Druma, the Kinnara king Mahâdharma, the Kinnara king Sudharma, and the Kinnara king Dharmadhara; besides, the four divine beings (called) Gandharvakâyikas with many hundred thousand Gandharvas in their suite, viz. the Gandharva Manogña, the Gandharva Manogñasvara, the Gandharva Madhura, and the Gandharva Madhurasvara; further, the four chiefs of the demons followed by many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of demons, viz. the chief of the demons Bali, Kharaskandha, Vemakitri, and Râhu; along with the four Garuda chiefs followed by many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of Garudas, viz. the Garuda chiefs Mahâtegas, Mahâkâya, Mahâpûrna, and Mahârddhiprâpta, and with Agâtasatru, king of Magadha, the son of Vaidehi.
Now at that time it was that the Lord surrounded, attended, honoured, revered, venerated, worshipped by the four classes of hearers, after expounding the Dharmaparyâya called 'the Great Exposition,' a text of great development, serving to instruct Bodhisattvas and proper to all Buddhas, sat cross-legged on the seat of the law and entered upon the meditation termed 'the station of the exposition of Infinity;' his body was motionless and his mind had reached perfect tranquillity. And as soon as the Lord had entered upon his meditation, there fell a great rain of divine flowers, Mandâravasâ and great Mandâravas, Mañgûshakas and great Mañgûshakas, covering the Lord and the four classes of hearers, while the whole Buddha field shook in six ways: it moved, removed, trembled, trembled from one end to the other, tossed, tossed along.