Deciphering the Lotus Sutra: Commentary by Nichiren Daishonin (Chapter 2)

Deciphering the Lotus Sutra: Commentary by Nichiren Daishonin (Chapter 2)


Point Seven, regarding the passage “Now I, joyful and fearless, / in the midst of the bodhisattvas, / honestly discarding expedient means, / will preach only the unsurpassed way.”


Words and Phrases, volume four, says, “The three lines of verse beginning with the line ‘in the midst of the bodhisattvas’ refer to p.42the moment when the true teaching is revealed. The five vehicles [or the teachings for achieving the realms of human beings, heavenly beings, voice-hearers, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas] are distorted teachings, not straightforward. The connecting teaching and the specific teaching are one-sided and secondary, not the correct and primary teaching. But now the Buddha discards all these biased and distorted teachings and honestly preaches only the one way.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The bodhisattvas referred to here are the bodhisattvas that dwell in the ninth of the nine worlds. Again, bodhisattvas also refers to all living beings. Now it means Nichiren and his followers. Again, the heavenly gods and benevolent deities are also bodhisattvas.

“Honestly” refers to the principle that earthly desires are enlightenment and the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana. The “one way” that the commentary speaks of is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Now, in the Latter Day of the Law, it is Nichiren and his followers, is it not, who honestly work to propagate the one way?

Source: Nichiren Library

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