THE DHARMA FLOWER SUTRA SEEN THROUGH THE ORAL TRANSMISSION OF NICHIREN DAISHŌNIN
Synopsis of the Dharma Flower Sutra Trilogy
Several Tendai and Nichiren Schools envisage the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō) as composed of three consecutive sutras, or as a trilogy. The first sutra is defined as the opening sutra (kaigyō), the Sutra on Implications Without Bounds (Muryōgi-kyō). The second is the main body (hongyō), the Sutra on the White Lotus Flower-like Mechanism of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō Renge Kyō). And the third is the concluding text (kakkyō), the Sutra on Practising Meditation on the Bodhisattva Universally Worthy (Fugen, Samantabhadra) (Butsu setsu Kan Fugen Bosatsu gyōhō kyō).
The Sutra on Implications Without Bounds (Muryōgi-kyō)
The Sutra on Implications Without Bounds (Muryōgi-kyō), was translated from the Sanskrit into Chinese between 479 and 502 C.E., during the Ch’i (Sei) Dynasty, by Dharmajatayashas. The events in the sutra take place in Ōshajō (Rajagrha) [the capital city of the kingdom of Magadha, present-day Rajgir, Behar], and it comprises three chapters.
In the First Chapter on Meritorious Practices, apart from stating who was present in the assembly, as in most sutras, the Bodhisattva Universal Sublimity (Daishōgon, Mahāvyūha), who was the then representative of the persons in that meeting, praises the Buddha in the form of a metric hymn. This part of the sutra contains the thirty-four negations of who the Buddha actually is.
In the Second Chapter on the Exposition of the Dharma, all the implications of these facts recited by the Bodhisattva Universal Sublimity (Daishōgon, Mahāvyūha) are, as the Buddha expounds, all referring to a single Dharma, without his defining what this Dharma (Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō) actually is. At the time, there were various other mantric syllables, such as Om or Ā, etc., which conveyed similar concepts. Humankind had to wait for the appearance of Nichiren, in order to become the owner of the universal verbal equation. Then, after this passage in the sutric text, the Buddha states that for forty or so years he had not yet revealed the truth, showing that all his previous teachings were all preparatory and simply expedient means.
In the final chapter, the Third Chapter on the Ten Meritorious Virtues, the Buddha preaches that those who carry out the practices of this sutra will receive ten kinds of meritorious virtues. This sutra is then confided to the Bodhisattva Universal Sublimity (Daishōgon, Mahāvyūha), along with eighty thousand bodhisattvas who were present at the beginning of this sutra. They also make a vow to propagate it.
The Sutra on the White Lotus Flower-like Mechanism of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō Renge Kyō)
In the first chapter, First and Introductory Chapter, we have on Spirit Vulture Peak (Ryōjusen, Gridhrakūta) a vast assembly made up of various kinds of human beings and non-humans with human intelligence. After the Buddha had explained the Sutra on Implications Without Bounds (Muryōgi-kyō), a crystal clear, white ray of light shot out from the white tuft of hair between his eyebrows, that lit up the whole of the dimensions where existence occurs. The Bodhisattva Maitreya (Miroku) asks the Bodhisattva Mañjushrī (Monjushiri) what the meaning of this particular auspicious omen is. The Bodhisattva Maitreya (Miroku) replies that the Buddha is about to start his discourse on the Sutra on the White Lotus Flower-like Mechanism of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō Renge Kyō).
In the Second Chapter on Expedient Means, we have the Buddha serenely coming out of his profound meditation into the Sutra on Implications Without Bounds (Muryōgi-kyō), when he says to Sharihotsu (Shariputra) that the Buddha wisdom is without limits and then goes on to explain that, in spite of all dharmas coming into existence through causation, their real aspect is as they touch upon our six senses [seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, physical touch, and their effect on our respective minds]. The Buddha then goes on to say that the diversity of his teachings was an expedient means, destined for 1) the hearers of the Buddha’s voice who were the people that exerted themselves to attain the highest stage of the individual vehicle (shōjō, hīnayāna) through listening to the Buddha (shōmon, shrāvaka), 2) the category of persons who have become partially enlightened due to a profound search for the meaning of existence (engaku, hyakushibutsu, pratyekabuddha), and 3) people who due to Buddhist practice over a number of years have become altruists that strive to save humanity from itself, by means of the teaching of the Tathāgata (bosatsu, bodhisattva). These three categories of persons are referred to in the Buddha teaching as people of the three vehicles. Shākyamuni Buddha then makes the declaration that there is in fact only one bodhisattva vehicle.
In the Third Chapter on Similes and Parables, it starts with the joy of Sharihotsu (Shariputra). He fully understands that he is a believer in the Buddha teaching and that for every believer there is the attainment of enlightenment. The Buddha confers on Sharihotsu (Shariputra) the announcement of his future Buddhahood when, after an incalculable number of kalpas, he Sharihotsu (Shariputra) will become the Buddha Lotus Flower-like Resplendency (ke-kō, Padmaprabha). Even though this disciple of the Buddha has a feeling of enormous joy and happiness, it would seem that other followers still had doubts. To these, the Buddha replied with the parable of the burning house and the three kinds of carts (vehicle). There was an elder who was the owner of a large house that had caught on fire. He promised his many children three sorts of cart, in order to get them to leave the burning house, since they were all engrossed in their play, totally unaware of the impending danger. The owner of the house offered all of his children an enormous bullock cart, adorned with every luxury available. Although the Tathāgata had already explained the three different kinds of Buddha realisation according to the propensities of sentient beings, nevertheless, what they actually attain will be beyond their hopes and understanding.
In the Fourth Chapter on Faith leading to Understanding, four disciples of the Buddha express in terms of a parable what his work actually is, in delivering people from various sufferings that are mainly derived from their troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha). The son of a rich merchant leaves his father, in order to travel abroad. Eventually, this indigent son grows up and scrapes up a living by wandering from village to village as a hired labourer. His father has made efforts to find his son, but in the end he abandons his search and settles in a town where his business flourishes. One day by chance, the son arrives at the forecourt of the palace where his father conducts his affairs. The son does not recognise his father, but the father realises that this indigent individual is his lost son. Through coaxing and guile, the father gets his son to work for him, giving him tasks with greater responsibility, in order for his real nature to surface once again. In the end, the father and son are reunited, and the son inherits his father’s immense wealth.
Somehow or other in the teachings of the individual vehicle (shōjō, hīnayāna), the promise of an extinction into nirvana is now seen to be an expedient means, with the object of attracting sentient beings who had to go beyond this stage, in order to go towards the reality of being able to assimilate everything the Buddha had to say.
In the Fifth Chapter on the Parable of the Medicinal Herbs, the Buddha recounts another parable, which has more or less a similar intent as the others. The rain falls equally on each plant, which according to its size and nature absorbs and takes advantage of this moisture in different ways. There is only the single quality of the rain of the Dharma, but sentient beings construe it according to their various capacities. At the same time, the Buddha fully understands the multiplicity of different kinds of sentient beings. As the Dharma is a singularity, it should be realised that such a concept of leading sentient beings not to exist at all, so as not to suffer, can only be provisional.
In the Sixth Chapter on the Disclosure of the Future Record of Those who will Attain Enlightenment, the Buddha announces to the four disciples mentioned in the Fourth Chapter, in the same way as Sharihotsu (Shariputra), that they will attain the supreme enlightenment of Buddhahood.
In the Seventh Chapter on the Parable of the Imaginary City, there is a parable about sixteen princes who were sons of a Buddha in an inconceivably distant past and also the sixteenth son who became the historical Shākyamuni. All the members of this archaic Buddha’s family made their respective efforts to propagate the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō). But for the sentient beings that were able to listen to it, it was expounded in terms of so many expedient means. This implies the extinction into nirvana for both the hearers of the Buddha’s voice, who were people that exerted themselves to attain the highest stage of the individual vehicle (shōjō, hīnayāna) through listening to the Buddha (shōmon, shrāvaka), as well as the people who have become partially enlightened, due to a profound search for the meaning of life (engaku, hyakushibutsu, pratyekabuddha). The nirvana that was preached was comparable to the resting place that was an imaginary city made to appear magically in the wilds, by an astute caravan guide, for a group of people in search of a treasure, who had become exhausted through this journey. As soon as the strength of these travellers was restored, they were able to continue their journey towards the real extinction into nirvana, which is the enlightenment of the Buddha.
In the Eighth Chapter on the Prediction of Enlightenment for Five Hundred Disciples, the Buddha announces to Furuna (Pūrna-Maitrayani-putra) along with five hundred arhats (arakan) that they will attain perfect enlightenment. The Buddha then describes the terrains upon which they will depend for an existence as future Buddhas. The concept of extinction into nirvana for those who were simply content with the teachings of the individual vehicle (shōjō, hīnayāna) [is only a small grain of rice]. This notion is compared to an indigent person who was in great need as having a priceless gem sewn into the lining of his clothes and being completely unaware of it.
In the Ninth Chapter on the Announcement of the Future Attainment of Buddhahood of Both Those who Need and Do Not Need Instruction, Anan (Ānanda), who was the foremost disciple due to his infallible memory, and Ragora (Rahula), the son of Shākyamuni, also have their turn in hearing the prediction of their future Buddhahood.
In the Tenth Chapter on the Dharma as a Teacher, the Buddha describes to the Bodhisattva Sovereign Remedy (Yaku’ ō, Bhaishajya-rāja), as well as to another eighty thousand bodhisattvas, the meritorious virtues that can be obtained through holding to and propagating the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō), and also being protected by the Buddhas themselves. In this chapter, there is also the allusion to a person who digs into the soil in search of water. When the soil becomes moist, it is a sign that water is near at hand. In this way, the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō) suggests the proximity of perfect enlightenment.
In the Eleventh Chapter on Seeing the Vision of the Stupa made of Precious Materials, there is a stupa that rises out of the ground made of seven of the most precious materials of ancient India [gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, agate, ruby, and cornelian]. This stupa remains suspended in space. A voice comes out of the stupa, which is the voice of the archaic Buddha Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna) who had sworn the oath in the far distant past to confirm the truth of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō), with the presence of his body perfectly preserved in the stupa, for each Buddha who expounded it. The material world turns into a space to accommodate myriads of myriads of Buddhas who had come from all points of the cosmos to encourage Shākyamuni to open the stupa. Then Shākyamuni rises into empty space, opens the stupa, and sits beside the Buddha Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna). The whole assembly also rises into empty space. The chapter ends with a metric hymn praising the person or persons who are able to expound the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō). In order to fully understand the esoteric implications of this chapter, the reader should look into The Threefold Transmission on the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon) in this publication.
In the Twelfth Chapter on Daibadatta (Devadatta), the Buddha reveals that his contemporary archenemy, his cousin, “Afflicted by the deva” or Daibadatta (Devadatta), was in a former existence the disciple of a sannyasi [religious mendicant], who instructed Daibadatta (Devadatta) on the contents of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō). Daibadatta (Devadatta) receives the proclamation of his future Buddhahood from Shākyamuni. Also, the Bodhisattva Mañjushrī (Monjushiri) went to expound the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō) at the bottom of the sea. The Dragon King’s daughter, who was only eight years old, listens to this exposition and becomes enlightened. The little girl, who is a nonhuman with human intelligence [i.e., a dragon], then turns into a Buddha, much to the scepticism of Sharihotsu (Shariputra).
In the Thirteenth Chapter on Exhorting the Disciples to Receive and Hold to the Buddha Teaching, there are two nuns who receive the Buddha prediction of their future enlightenment. Also, there are crowds of sentient beings who are willing to take on all the teachings that the Buddha has taught them, even though in incarnations to come there will be humiliations and persecutions.
In the Fourteenth Chapter on Practising in Peace and with Joy, the Bodhisattva Mañjushrī (Monjushiri) asks the Buddha how bodhisattvas should hold to the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō) in the more unfavourable periods to come. He gets the reply that bodhisattvas must observe the four dharmas that are the rules for practising in peace and with joy. This sutra is compared to a pearl beyond price, which a general keeps in his chignon and never gives away to his warriors except for those who show particular bravery. It is precisely the same with the Buddha, who only teaches the Dharma Flower Sutra to disciples and followers who have fought against the unknowingness and empty-headedness with regard to the teaching of enlightenment.
In the Fifteenth Chapter on the Bodhisattvas who Swarm up out of the Earth, at a time when bodhisattvas had come from the ten directions to undertake to hold to the Dharma Flower Sutra, the Buddha replies that the many bodhisattvas from the dimension that has to be endured [i.e., our world] could do it perfectly well themselves. Just then the earth split open and bodhisattvas swarmed up from out of the earth. The Bodhisattva Maitreya (Miroku) asks himself as to where these bodhisattvas come from. Shākyamuni tells him that he himself converted them. But the Bodhisattva Maitreya (Miroku) is still taken aback; it would take myriads of kalpas to accomplish such a task. Then the Buddha realises that in his present incarnation he had only attained Buddhahood forty years previously, rather in the same way that a young man in his prime of twenty-five years points to a centarian and says that this is his son.
In the Sixteenth Chapter on the Lifespan of the Tathāgata, the Buddha incited the assembly to believe and comprehend his truthful discourses. What the Buddha was about to say is fundamentally important, which was “the esoterically hidden reaches of the Tathāgata”. He states, “Ever since I really became a Buddha, already an innumerable infinity of hundreds of thousands of myriads of myriads of myriads of kalpas have gone by.” Shākyamuni goes on to say that the lifespan of the Buddha is immense and, in actual fact, has never entered into the extinction of nirvana [life has always existed and existence will always continue to exist]. By saying this, the Buddha’s intention was to accelerate the trust of sentient beings by talking about his enlightenment and extinction, which is comparable to a doctor who had many children that had swallowed a poison in their father’s absence. The father, however, promised them an antidote. He carefully concocted this good medicine that had a perfect taste, which only a few children drank. The father then went abroad and sent a message to his children that he was dead. The children thinking they were now orphans remembered their father’s words and drank the good medicine to restore their health. The father returned to show himself to his children. Could one qualify such a scheme to cure his children as a dishonest and vulgar trick? Certainly this is not the case.
In the Seventeenth Chapter on Discerning the Meritorious Virtues, the Bodhisattva Maitreya (Miroku) describes the joyous reaction of the sentient beings who heard the revelation of the previous chapter. The Buddha also describes the benevolent, meritorious virtues for those who aid and abet the dissemination of this sutra.
In the Eighteenth Chapter on the Joy of the following Meritorious Virtues of Practice, those people who had listened to this sutra are filled with joy. They also in turn spread this teaching around [i.e., the eternity of existence and that all dharmas exist through causation]. Even after propagating this doctrine to the fiftieth person, this fiftieth individual will have enormous benefits. Even a great benefactor who over a period of eighty years encouraged numerous people to arrive at the stage of being free from all craving and rebirth (arakan, arhat) would not be comparable to the teacher who propagates the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō).
The Nineteenth Chapter on the Meritorious Virtues of the Teacher who Propagates the Dharma Flower Sutra describes purification of the organs of perception and the healthy condition of those who help in making the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō) public.
The Twentieth Chapter on the Bodhisattva Not Holding Anyone or Anything in Contempt Ever (Jōfukyō, Sadapāribbhūta) recounts that, in an inconceivably distant past, there was a bodhisattva-monk who demonstrated his veneration for all monks, nuns, and both male and female believers. Whomever he encountered he reassured that he would never look down on them and always reminded them that one day they would become Buddhas. But his fellow believers only showed their disdain and denigration for the Bodhisattva Not Holding Anyone or Anything in Contempt Ever (Jōfukyō, Sadapāribbhūta). However, his meritorious virtues led to his listening to the exposition of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō). This he expounded in turn, and his disciples were these arrogant believers who had made fun of him in the first place. The Bodhisattva Not Holding Anyone or Anything in Contempt Ever (Jōfukyō, Sadapāribbhūta) was none other than Shākyamuni in a former existence, and the disciples of that time are members of the present assembly.
In the Twenty-first Chapter on the Reaches of the Mind of the Tathāgata, the bodhisattvas who swarmed up out of the earth promise to expound the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō) in the future. The Buddha protrudes his tongue which reaches up to the heaven of Bonten (Brahmā). This is the symbol of the eternal truth of his doctrine. At the same time, he emits rays of coloured light from all the pores in his body. Shākyamuni is imitated by all the Buddhas who have come from the ten directions. All the Buddhas click their tongues and snap their fingers. The sound of these two gestures fills the whole of existence.
The Twenty-second Chapter on the Assignment of the Mission has all the features of a conclusion for this sutra. In the Sanskrit version, according to the French translator, Eugéne Burnouf, the Buddha emanations from the ten directions return to their original realms of existence. The Stupa of the Tathāgata Abundant Treasure(Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna) returns to its own dimension under the earth.
The Twenty-third Chapter on the Original Conduct of the Bodhisattva Sovereign Medicine (Yaku’ ō, Bhaishajya-rāja) relates that, in a former existence, this bodhisattva had burned his forearms as an offering to a Buddha who had expounded the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō). In this chapter, the Bodhisattva Sovereign Medicine (Yaku’ ō, Bhaishajya-rāja) achieves other ascetic exploits. This chapter then becomes a eulogy for those who make an offering of either a finger or a toe to the relics of a Buddha. Be that as it may, such an offering cannot be equated with the meritorious virtues of those who would teach someone else even four lines of a metric hymn from the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō). There is also a description of the meritorious virtues of those who have listened to and transmitted this chapter. Also, we have a mention of the Paradise of the Buddha of Infinite Light (Amida Butsu, Amitābha Buddha).
From here onwards, all the chapters consist of eulogies of other bodhisattvas, for example, the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō ‘on, Gadgadasvara), the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sounds of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon,Avalokiteshvara), King Utterly Embellished (Myōshōgonnō, Subhavyūha), and the Bodhisattva Universally Worthy (Fugen, Samantabhadra). These chapters were without doubt added on to the text because of their content.
[This synopsis makes a point that Chapter Twenty-two was the final chapter of this sutric text.]
The Twenty-fourth Chapter on the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō ‘on, Gadgadasvara) describes someone who came from an immensely distant existential dimension and who arrived at this Dimension that has to be Endured (shaba sekai, sahā-lokadhātu), with the intention of contemplating the body of the Buddha Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna). This Buddha had left the assembly in Chapter Twenty-two. The Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness(Myō ‘on, Gadgadasvara) also came to show his reverence for Shākyamuni and the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō). In this chapter, the Buddha explains what the practices were of the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness(Myō ‘on, Gadgadasvara) that brought him to his present state. After this bodhisattva had shown his reverence, he returned to his own dimension.
The Twenty-fifth Chapter on the Universal Gateway of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) is often published as an independent sutra. The Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) is also known throughout the Chinese-speaking world as Kuan Yin, who is frequently represented as a feminine personage. This chapter describes all the different kinds of protections this bodhisattva bestows on sentient beings.
The Twenty-sixth Chapter on Dhāranī describes dhāranī, which are Tantric invocations usually in Sanskrit but also have various readings in Chinese, Tibetan, Korean, and Japanese. These invocations are similar to mantras in Brahmanism, which permit the person who recites them to transform his or her attachments to phenomena (ke), which are also impermanent. The person reciting them is given the possibility that all dharmas are in essence relativity (kū, shūnyatā). Literally, the term dhāranī means “by something which is maintained and kept”. These invocations consist of esoteric syllables and are often regarded as the quintessence of a sutra. An esoteric implication is embodied in these syllables, which in most cases are completely devoid of any literal meaning for the listener.
The Twenty-seventh Chapter on the Original Behaviour of King Utterly Embellished (Myōshōgonnō, Subhavyūha) is about the two Buddhist sons of a non-Buddhist king. These two sons wish to go to the place where a Buddha is, in order to listen to the exposition of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō). However, there is every possibility that the father might not allow his sons to attend. In preparation to convince their father, the two sons show the king various supernatural prodigies, which take their father the king aback in awe. The king in turn goes to see the Buddha, where he receives the enunciation of his future Buddhahood.
The Twenty-eighth Chapter on the Persuasiveness and Quest [for Buddhahood] of the Bodhisattva Universally Worthy (Fugen, Samantabhadra) is the one in which the Bodhisattva Universally Worthy (Fugen, Samantabhadra), who came from the eastern regions to say to the Buddha Shākyamuni that he will protect those who hold to the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō) in the final period of the Dharma (mappō), also reveals a dhāranī. There are also new descriptions of the meritorious benefits for those who propagate the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō).
The Sutra on Practising Meditation on the Bodhisattva Universally Worthy (Fugen, Samantabhadra)
This sutra starts with Anan (Ānanda), Maitreya (Miroku), and Mahākashyapa (Makakashō) asking the Buddha how ordinary people might cleanse themselves of their wrongdoings and how they should purify their organs of perception [eyes, ears, nose, tongue, bodily touch, and the workings of the mind]. The Buddha answers by saying that they should learn the practice of the Bodhisattva Universally Worthy (Fugen, Samantabhadra). That is to say, if there are among the sentient beings that recite the sutras of the Universal Vehicle (daijō, mahāyāna), as well as carrying out its practices, those that wish to visualise the Bodhisattva Universally Worthy (Fugen, Samantabhadra), or the Buddha Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna), or even all the Buddha emanations of the ten directions, and also at the same time wish to purify their six sense organs of perception – so as to perceive existence in terms of supreme Utterness [which means to see existence visually as an artist, to hear existence like Beethoven or a Stockhausen, to be able to smell in the same way as a master scent-maker, to be able to taste food like a great chef, to feel forms like a sculptor, and to understand words like one of the great writers] – then they should learn the practice of the Bodhisattva Universally Worthy (Fugen, Samantabhadra).
In many texts, the Bodhisattva Universally Worthy (Fugen, Samantabhadra) is understood as the clear light which is often seen in visionary states. [Now at the present time, the all-embracing practice is to recite and have some understanding of Nam Myōhō Rengo Kyō] which is a simple phrase that involves the enlightenment of all the Buddhas.
The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden)
The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) consists of a series of notes on lectures on this sutra given by Nichiren Daishōnin on Mount Minobu, as written down by his disciple Nikkō Shōnin. This series of annotations began with a clear explanation of Nam(u) Myōhō Renge Kyō, which in English means, “to devote our lives to and found them on (Nam[u]) the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) [entirety of existence, enlightenment and unenlightenment] permeated by the underlying white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect (Renge) in its whereabouts of the ten [psychological] realms of dharmas [which is every possible psychological wavelength] (Kyō)”.
The title Ongi Kuden when literally translated begins with an honorific prefix “On”, followed by the word “gi”, which in this case means “implications”; and “Kuden” is a word meaning oral transmission. In order to make this title more explicit, I added the words Dharma Flower Sutra. This work is made up of explanations of various salient points from this sutra. If these explanations had never been recorded, then the Dharma Flower Sutra would have remained an abstrusely inaccessible, closed book. Instead, Nikkō Shōnin has made it possible for the people in the twenty-first century to discover the meaning of life, as well as providing a means of getting us to understand how existence works. This is the formula which scientists have been looking for. But, instead of a long string of Greek letters, we simply have (six or) seven syllables. If we were to recite them, they would open the door to inner realisations along with indestructible happiness.
The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) is made up of 231 explanatory comments. It also includes commentaries on the Sutra on Implications Without Bounds (Muryōgi-kyō) and the Sutra on Practising Meditation on the Bodhisattva Universally Worthy (Fugen, Samantabhadra). These two sutras are seen by Nichiren and Tendai practitioners as the sutras that record the promises of and lay open the Dharma Flower Sutra.
THE DHARMA FLOWER SUTRA SEEN THROUGH THE ORAL TRANSMISSION OF NICHIREN DAISHŌNIN by Martin Bradley
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada License.