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Interpreting a Lotus Sutra passage

CarlitaCarlita Phò thiện hạnh (Kind Virtue)United States Veteran

After Gongyo, I usually read from the Lotus Sutra or Gosho. I found this passage:

"The Bhagavat is truly marvelous. His actions are rare. He teaches the Dharma according to the natural capacities of the beings in the world through skillful means, wisdom, and insight. He leads sentient beings away from their various attachments. We have no words to describe The Buddha's qualities. Only the Buddha, the Bhagavat, is able to know our deep intentions and original vow." LS

If the mind is Buddha and Buddha is no other than the mind (WND), would we say this is an analogy of the wisdom and insight our true nature (Buddha-nature) is in us? Nichiren put more emphasis on The Dharma rather than The Buddha. So, when it says "The Buddha is able to know our deep intentions and original vow" what is that saying? Is it the historical Buddha who knows this by how he describes who he is (our mind personified?) as the many manifestations of himself: wisdom, compassion, etc? Is he really in us, as The Sutra (the Gohonzon) teaches?

How would we (any Buddhist) interpret this? Even in a general view.

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I would say that it is saying exactly what it means to say. That he teaches people according to their level of capacity of understanding and learning, and that he instructs those who wish to learn from him, to abandon unhealthy clinging and grasping.

    Buddha is Buddha. The Mind is Mind.
    If I may say so, I think you may be interpreting something either according to a human opinion (ie, not a teaching directly from the Suttas, but someone's later view) or you are embellishing something for yourself, in a way that is unnecessarily complicated.

    Please don't think I am insulting or admonishing you.
    It's simply my perception.

    RuddyDuck9
  • CarlitaCarlita Phò thiện hạnh (Kind Virtue) United States Veteran

    @federica said:
    I would say that it is saying exactly what it means to say. That he teaches people according to their level of capacity of understanding and learning, and that he instructs those who wish to learn from him, to abandon unhealthy clinging and grasping.

    Buddha is Buddha. The Mind is Mind.
    If I may say so, I think you may be interpreting something either according to a human opinion (ie, not a teaching directly from the Suttas, but someone's later view) or you are embellishing something for yourself, in a way that is unnecessarily complicated.

    Please don't think I am insulting or admonishing you.
    It's simply my perception.

    -sighs-

    I do take that as an insult. This is a general and direct question nothing complicated and nothing I am internally conflicted about. I also don't know how you got to that conclusion.

    -

    Nichiren did have a latter view of the Sutras; and, I agree with a lot of what he says about it because I can look at both the Pali and the Sutras and cross reference it. I don't use him as primary means of interpretation. I don't like limiting myself within one sutra, so I do read the suttas as well and cross reference them.

    My original question without the extra interpretation, I'm simply wondering from any Buddhist perspective if what I quoted is literal or not since The Buddha used a lot of analogies for his disciples to understand.

    I know we do not see the same in school; and, please don't make assumptions. It's a general question nothing complicated and I wish it I hope I didn't need to defend it either.

  • The monks who wrote it certainly intended for it to be literal. There is also nothing wrong with examining the ancient sutras and comparing that to later teachings. It's the age old issue of whether the Dharma is a work in progress or handed to us perfect and beyond re-interpreting.

    Carlita
  • CarlitaCarlita Phò thiện hạnh (Kind Virtue) United States Veteran

    @Cinorjer said:
    The monks who wrote it certainly intended for it to be literal. There is also nothing wrong with examining the ancient sutras and comparing that to later teachings. It's the age old issue of whether the Dharma is a work in progress or handed to us perfect and beyond re-interpreting.

    Thank you. It is a recurrent theme so far reading the full sutra. Yeah. Hopefully, it isn't something that will break tear apart the Buddhist communities. It's easier to learn from the Pali since The Buddha is more detailed in his teachings even though it's harder to read than the Lotus. The Lotus has a lot of analogies that it's hard to find the teachings that are in the Pali. Though, it's there just the disciples don't talk about it as much. It's more they are looking for the teacher to bring enlightenment rather than finding enlightenment in themselves.

    Cinorjer
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