10 Inspirational Quotes about Compassion in the Lotus Sutra

10 Inspirational Quotes about Compassion in the Lotus Sutra

The term “compassion” is the one of the most frequently mentioned key words in the Lotus Sutra. It appears in the Lotus Sutra for more than a hundred times. This shows that the Lotus Sutra is a teaching of profound compassion for the happiness of all living beings.

In the Lotus Sutra, the expressions of compassion come in different forms. Generally speaking, compassion is a verb, an action; it is not merely a lovey dovey kind of emotional feeling. The compassion of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas is expressed in their actions of teaching the Law of Buddhahood to living beings via the skillful means, using their divine powers to help those in the midst of adversities as well as to protect those in the midst of catastrophic calamities, heal those who are stricken with pains and sufferings, fulfill the wishes of people put their faith in the power and compassion of the Buddha.

Here are the 10 inspirational and meaningful quotes extracted from the Lotus Sutra:


Quote #1: Brahma King’s Hymn of Praise to the Buddha

‘A great teacher among the Heaven and Human,

a person of deep compassion and benevolence

for living beings everywhere in the ten directions,who brings blessings and benefits to all of them. (LS 7: 3.7)

who brings blessings and benefits to all of them. (LS 7: 3.7)


Quote #2: Great Compassion is a Pivotal Quality of a Dharma Teacher to Expound the Lotus Sutra

“To expound the Lotus Sutra widely for the four groups, these virtuous men and women should enter the sanctuary of Tathagata, put on the robe of Tathagata, and sit on the throne of Tathagata. The ‘sanctuary of Tathagata’ is a mind of great mercy and compassion toward all living beings, the ‘robe of Tathagata’ is a heart of gentleness and patience, and the ‘throne of Tathagata’ is the awareness of the emptiness of all phenomena. By anchoring upon these principles, they are empowered to extensively expound the Lotus Sutra for bodhisattvas and the four groups of people with an unflagging mind. (LS 10:2.11)


Quote #3: Compassion is the Essential Virtue of a Bodhisattva’s Practice

Because Devadatta was a good friend of mine, I was able to fully master Six Paramitas; develop benevolence, compassion, joy, and non-attachment; and be endowed with Thirty-Two Features, Eighty Types of Physical Elegance, purplish-golden skin, the Ten Powers, Four Kinds of Fearlessness, Four Social Rules, Eighteen Distinctive Qualities, and Divine Powers of the Way. Hence, the reason I was able to attain Supreme Perfect Enlightenment to widely save all living beings was solely due to the good friend of mine—Devadatta.” (LS 12: 2.2)


Quote #4: A Compassionate Mind to Treat All Living Beings as Children

Manjushri replied: “Yes, the Dragon King Sagara’s daughter who has just turned eight years old. Wise and intelligent, she readily understands the karma of all living beings. Having obtained the dharani, she is able to embrace and uphold the profound Secret Treasury as revealed by the Buddhas. She is also able to enter deep meditation and achieve full understanding of various doctrines. In an instant, she is awakened to the aspiration of enlightenment and attains the stage of non-regression. She has acquired an unhindered eloquence and a compassionate mind that treats all living beings as her children. Her merits are accomplished. Her thoughts and discourses are as subtly wonderful as they are magnanimous. Compassionate and benevolent in disposition, gentle and elegant in determination, she has attained enlightenment.” (LS 12: 3.10)


Quote #5: Great Compassion Means Refraining from Engaging in the Debate of the Dharma

“Moreover, they should avoid engaging in frivolous debate over different doctrines as this will result in disputes. Instead, they should view all living beings with great compassion. Specifically, they should view Tathagatas as their benevolent fathers and bodhisattvas as their great teachers. They should always worship mahasattvas everywhere in the ten directions with deep reverence. (LS 14: 4.3)


Quote #6: Compassion Means Gentleness, Forbearance, and Diligence

“True children of the Buddhas will always expound the Law

with gentleness and forbearance,

with an all-embracing compassion,

without the mind of slothfulness or negligence. (LS 14: 4.8)


Quote #7: Compassion Means Trying All Means to Lead People to Full Enlightenment  

“O Manjushri! Moreover, during the latter age when the Law is about to perish, bodhisattvas-mahasattvas who are able to accept and embrace the Lotus Sutra should cultivate minds of great compassion for lay disciples, monks, or nuns. As for those who are not bodhisattvas, they should also cultivate minds of great compassion by thinking as such: ‘These people have suffered great losses! Although Tathagata uses the expedient methods to expound the Law according to the capacities of people, they have not been able to hear, become aware of, or be awakened to the Law. Nor do they inquire, believe, or understand the Law. Even though these people do not inquire, believe, or understand the Lotus Sutra, once I attain Supreme Perfect Enlightenment, I will use my divine powers and the power of wisdom to lead them in embracing the Law.’ (LS 14: 5.1)


Quote #8: Compassion Means Widely Propagating the Law of Buddhahood in the Lotus Sutra

He then touched the crowns of the bodhisattvas-mahasattvas three times before continuing with the declaration: “For immeasurable hundreds of thousands of millions of billions of asamkhya kalpas, I have practiced this Law of Supreme Perfect Enlightenment that is rare and difficult to attain. Now I have entrusted the Law to you. You must accept, embrace, read, recite, and proclaim the Law broadly so that all living beings have the opportunity to hear and understand the Law. Why? This is by virtue of the great compassion and mercy of Tathagata. He is not parsimonious, neither is he fearful. Hence, he is able to bestow upon all living beings the Buddha-wisdom, the Tathagata-Wisdom, and the Intuitive Wisdom. In essence, Tathagata is the great benefactor for all living beings. (LS 22: 1.2)


Quote #9: Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is the Personification of Profound Compassion

“Perfect in all-encompassing merits,

he views all living beings with the eyes of compassion.

Infinite is his ocean of blessings,

all of you should worship him!” (LS 25: 2.24)


Quote #10: Compassion Means Protecting the Dharma of Buddhahood taught in the Lotus Sutra

Thereafter, Shakyamuni Buddha extolled him, saying: “Excellent, excellent! O Universal Worthy! Because you are able to shield and support the Lotus Sutra for the peace, joy, and benefit of all living beings, you have already accomplished extraordinary merits and displayed profound compassion. Since the remote past, you have already awakened a desire to attain Supreme Perfect Enlightenment and have taken a vow to use your divine powers to guard and protect the Lotus Sutra. I will use my divine powers to guard and shield those who are able to accept and embrace the name of Bodhisattva Universal Worthy. (LS 28: 2.1)


Find out how compassion is taught in the Lotus Sutra through Minerva’s new book Mindfulness of Buddhahood in Life: Revolutionary Insights of the Lotus Sutra

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