Oral Transmission by Nichiren Daishonin on Chapter 25: Universal Gateway of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara


Chapter 25 is the chapter on Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara or Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds. Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is a renowned bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism.

This is the oral transmissions by Nichiren Daishonin with regards to Guan Yin as found in The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings that is translated by Burton Watson:

Chapter 25: The Universal Gateway of the Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds 

The record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This chapter is one of profound secrecy. It is a chapter that deals with the averting of disaster and prolonging of one’s lifespan. It is called the king among pivotal sutras. For this reason, it is customary to assert with regard to this chapter that through it one may carry on the teachings of the highest stage of enlightenment.

The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai, in addition to his three major works, also produced The Profound Meaning of the the “Perceiver of the World’s Sounds” Chapter, and the Great Teacher Chang-an likewise wrote a commentary in two volumes on the same chapter. It is indeed a chapter of great secrecy.

Just as the words gen and moku are two different names for the same thing, the eye, so the words the “Perceiver of the World’s Sounds” chapter (also known as the Perceiver of the World’s Sounds Sutra) and the Lotus Sutra are two names for the same thing. That is to say, the eye of the “Perceiver of the World’s Sounds” chapter represents the essence of the Lotus Sutra. The essence is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Source: The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p239 

Image: Northern Song Dynasty wood carving of Guanyin, c. 1025. Male bodhisattva depiction with Amitābha’s crown.

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