By Gene Reeves
The Lotus Sutra is among the significant texts of Mahayana Buddhism, either studied and used as a devotional textual content in almost all sects and faculties of Buddhism all through East Asia. Its teachings offer a foundation for key Buddhist principles resembling Buddha nature, the bodhisattva approach, skillful capacity, and the dharma instructor. Familiarity with it's crucial for figuring out Zen and different sorts of Buddhism originating in East Asia. Gene Reeves' new translation makes this crucial textual content extra available and interesting than ever. With over twenty years of study and instructing below his belt, Reeves is taken into account via many the world’s optimal professional at the Lotus Sutra. This translation, a testomony to his services, presents readers from drastically various backgrounds with the chance to appreciate and make the most of the knowledge of this nice textual content.
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Extra resources for The Lotus Sutra: A Contemporary Translation of a Buddhist Classic
For Erik Zurcher has shown that here there is a deliberate reference to the messianic figure Prince Moonlight, the subject of an earlier spurious prophecy to the Sui ancestors of the empress, which he translates: 'He will patronise Buddhism on a grandiose scale, notably by the reproduction and spread of holy texts, the making of Buddha images of every kind, and the establishment of Buddha sanctuaries in all parts of the empirem. In the original 'reproduction' does not plainly signify printing, but 'sanctuary' does stand for stilpa.
Natural vigour and skilful use of cosmetics meant that she was even by the extraordinary standards of her career a rather exceptional old lady-a sort of Mae West figure, but with real pretensions to divinity. To judge from conventional sources, she was mainly engaged towards the end in an attempt to construct one last massive Buddha image. One of her earlier grandiose efforts made of lacquer still survived somehow, even though the structure destined to house it had not reached completion 104 . This new statue, however, was to be of bronze, and to stand on a mountain slope to the north of the city.
But here, as we shall see, the evidence of archaeology, unknown until the late twentieth century, does allow us to conclude that by 706 at the latest in Korea both three dimensional and textual relics were used in conjunction-and in the latter case, the text in question was so newly translated that it must have been deliberately distributed by the central authorities in China, whether at the behest of the empress herself or of her successor. And it must be stressed that there is plenty of evidence, some of which we shall review shortly, to show that the empress continued to be obsessed with relics and stupas for the rest of her reign.
The Lotus Sutra: A Contemporary Translation of a Buddhist Classic by Gene Reeves