23 January 2013

Lotus Sutra Study Questions 8

Chapter Eight of the Lotus Sutra picks up a theme developed in Chapter Six, in which four of the Buddha's foremost disciples are predicted to become Buddhas themselves.  In Chapter Eight, the Buddha declares that five hundred more of His disciples are destined to Buddhahood. 

Also, another parable is presented:  imagine that a friend has sewn into your jacket or shirt a jewel of limitless value, but you have forgotten about it and have wandered around struggling for cash, ignorant of the real wealth you possess.  Buddha-nature is like that:  it is yours and has been all along (everyone's really), but you may need someone to point this out to you and convince you to check the hem of your jacket...

In this chapter, two trends in the text come together:  first, the prediction that some disciples will become Buddhas, a club that is becoming less and less exclusive as the sutra progresses; and second, the reiterated teaching of Buddha-nature in all.  What do you make of this?  Where do you suppose the Buddha is going with this teaching?  More to the point, where does this lead in terms of practice and everyday life?

No comments:

Post a Comment