What appeals to you about the Lotus Sutra?

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Re: What appeals to you about the Lotus Sutra?

Post by bodhisattva » Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:20 am

When I heard about the Lotus Sutra I wanted to convert it to a poetic format.
I did some chapter conversions in trying out various formats. Example:
"Former Affairs of the Bodhisattva Medicine King"

Then I did a poetic adaptation of the entire Lotus Sutra without reading it all first, using the H. Kern translation. After doing the adaption I saw that the original verses appeared easier to read, which made the beauty of the sutra easier to understand for me. I enjoy the descriptions of the Buddha fields of lapis lazuli, etc. "The Apparition of a Stûpa" chapter is very descriptive of fantastic worlds and the scope of time. The stories provide insight. It is not a rule-book.

Here is a sample of the poetic adaptation:

Chapter VI
of Future Destiny

After pronouncing
these stanzas
the Lord addressed
the complete assembly
of monks :
I announce to you, monks,
I make known to you
that the monk Kâsyapa,
my disciple,
here present,
shall do homage
to thirty thousand
kotis of Buddhas ;
shall respect, honour,
and worship them ;
and shall keep the true law
of those Lords and Buddhas.
In his last bodily existence
in the world Avabhâsa,
(i.e. lustre),
in the age Æon Mahâvyûha
(i.e. great division)
he shall be a Tathâgata,
an Arhat, &c. &c.,
by the name
of Rasmiprabhâsa
(i.e. beaming with rays).
His lifetime shall last
twelve intermediate kalpas,
and his true law
twenty intermediate kalpas ;
the counterfeit of his true law
shall last as many
intermediate kalpas.
His Buddha-field
will be pure, clean,
devoid of stones, grit, gravel ;
of pits and precipices ;
devoid of gutters
and dirty pools ;
even, pretty, beautiful,
and pleasant to see ;
consisting of lapis lazuli,
adorned with jewel-trees,
and looking
like a checker-board
with eight compartments
set off with gold threads.
It will be strewed
with flowers,
and many hundred thousand
are to appear in it.
As to disciples,
there will be innumerable
hundred thousands
of myriads of kotis of them.
Neither Mâra the evil one,
nor his host
will be discoverable in it,
though Mâra
and his followers
shall afterwards be there ;
for they will apply
themselves to receive
the true law
under the command
of that very Lord
And on that occasion
the Lord uttered
the following stanzas :

With my Buddha-eye, monks,
I see that
the senior Kâsyapa here
shall become a Buddha
at a future epoch,
in an incalculable Æon, after
he shall have paid homage
to the most high of men.

This Kâsyapa shall see
fully thirty thousand
kotis of Ginas,
under whom he shall lead
a spiritual life for the sake
of Buddha-knowledge.

After having paid homage
to those highest of men
and acquired
that supreme knowledge,
he shall
in his last bodily existence
be a Lord of the world,
a matchless, great Seer.

And his field
will be magnificent,
excellent, pure,
goodly, beautiful,
pretty, nice,
ever delightful,
and set off with gold threads.

That field, monks,
appearing like a board
into eight compartments,
will have several jewel-trees,
one in each compartment,
from which issues
a delicious odour.

It will be adorned
with plenty of flowers,
and embellished
with variegated blossoms ;
in it are no pits
nor precipices ;
it is even, goodly, beautiful.

There will be found
hundreds of kotis
of Bodhisattvas,
subdued of mind
and of great magical power,
mighty keepers of Sûtrântas
of great extension.

- End of Sample --

"The Lotus Sutra" adaptation by Lance Carter
(Over 28,700 lines of verse that is faithful
to the translation of Hendrik Kern.)
Paperback: 394 pages
ISBN: 978-1935057109
ISBN: 978-1935057079

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