''Bodhisattva Wonderful Sound'' chapter
Bodhisattva Wonderful Sound'' chapter
妙音菩薩品 ( Jpn Myo’on-bosatsu-hon )
Abbreviated as the "Wonderful Sound" chapter. The twenty-fourth chapter of the Lotus Sutra. It describes a bodhisattva named Wonderful Sound who possesses the faculty of assuming at will any of thirty-four forms in order to propagate the Lotus Sutra. At the beginning of the chapter, Shakyamuni emits a beam of light from the knob of flesh on top of his head and another beam from the tuft of white hair between his eyebrows, illuminating innumerable Buddha lands to the east, beyond which is a land called Adorned with Pure Light. In this land dwells the Buddha Pure Flower Constellation King Wisdom, who is attended by Bodhisattva Wonderful Sound. The beam of light emanating from Shakyamuni Buddha fully illuminates this land as well. At that time, Wonderful Sound announces to the Buddha Pure Flower Constellation King Wisdom that he will go to the saha world to make offerings to Shakyamuni Buddha. After first causing eighty-four thousand jeweled lotus blossoms to appear magically on Eagle Peak, he arrives with a retinue of eighty-four thousand bodhisattvas. Bodhisattva Flower Virtue asks Shakyamuni Buddha about what causes Bodhisattva Wonderful Sound has created in order to acquire his supernatural powers. Shakyamuni replies that in the remote past Wonderful Sound served a Buddha named Cloud Thunder Sound King for twelve thousand years, employing one hundred thousand kinds of musical instruments to provide an offering to the Buddha and presenting to him eighty-four thousand alms bowls made of the seven kinds of treasures. As a result of this devotion, he acquired his supernatural abilities. He is said to have the power to appear as a god, a human being, a dragon, a demon, or in other forms in order to preach the Lotus Sutra. Shakyamuni describes thirty-four forms that Bodhisattva Wonderful Sound assumes in order to save the people. After making offerings to Shakyamuni Buddha, Wonderful Sound returns to his original land.