26 June 2013

Lotus Sutra Study Questions 26

When it comes to Chapter 26 of the Lotus Sutra, "Study Questions" are not exactly possible from the point of view of practice.  This is because the practice described in it is not amenable to discussion.  It is not a teaching to be contemplated; it is something to be tried and experienced.  You have to be "game" for it, willing to try with an open mind.  By analogy:  you can try to question and discuss what the flavor of honey is, debate it and dissect it conceptually, take a stand for or against this or that characteristic you ascribe to it... or you can be smart about it and just taste some honey yourself. 

This practice is the chanting of dharani.  Each dharani is a series of syllables, not unlike a spell or incantation, that is charged with a certain capacity.  For instance, in Chapter 26, a number of dharani are transmitted to the assembly by different bodhisattvas, with the approval of Buddha Shakyamuni, in order to protect those who practice the teachings of the Lotus Sutra.  Chanting dharani is a spiritual practice that can serve a particular function in ordinary life, but are ultimately intended as means to the realization of the Dharma.

No comments:

Post a Comment