Celebrating Upholders of the Lotus Sutra

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Celebrating Upholders of the Lotus Sutra

Post by DGA »


In the above-linked discussion, a question was raised regarding what it means to be an "upholder of the Lotus Sutra." Malcolm made the claim that, from the perspective of traditional (Indian) Mahayana, one who upholds the totality of Mahayana teachings would be one who upholds the Lotus Sutra, since the canon of Mahayana sutras was taken together. I

It seems to me that one could be an upholder of the Lotus Sutra without even having read that text, so long as that person understood and promoted the Ekayana teaching. It seems myopic and a bit neurotic to assume that one needs to cite only one text, and dismiss all others as irrelevant or worse, in order to uphold the teaching of this singularly interesting, but still canonical, Mahayana sutra. But that's a separate issue.

To the immediate point ,here are some upholders of the Lotus Sutra that I would like to celebrate. They upheld the entirety of the Mahayana in a way that was durable and effective through time. I rejoice in their great merit, and in those of their followers. This is not an exclusive canon, but a recuperation of those who I suspect are not adequately appreciated in English-language discourse.

Shan Tao

I could go on, but I think I've made my intention clear enough. But in case I didn't, here it is:

May the Dharma flourish here and in all lands. I rejoice in the creative and persistent teachings of these and all other great masters of the past, present, and the future, and their efforts to maintain the Mahayana against extraordinarily challenging conditions. Ennin is an excellent example on this point. Consider his diary:

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