The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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''Encouragements of the Bodhisattva Universal Worthy'' chapter
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"Encouragements of the Bodhisattva Universal Worthy" chapter
普賢菩薩勧発品 ( Jpn Fugen-bosatsu-kambotsu-hon )
Abbreviated as the "Universal Worthy" chapter or the "Encouragements" chapter. The twenty-eighth and last chapter of the Lotus Sutra. In the first part of the chapter, Bodhisattva Universal Worthy arrives from the land of The Buddha King Above Jeweled Dignity and Virtue in the east to pay homage to Shakyamuni Buddha and to hear him preach.
He says to Shakyamuni, "World-Honored One, when I was in the land of The Buddha King Above Jeweled Dignity and Virtue, from far away I heard the Lotus Sutra being preached in this saha World. In company with this multitude of immeasurable, boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of Bodhisattvas I have come to listen to and accept the Sutra.
I beg that the World-Honored One will preach it for us." He asks how one can acquire the Lotus Sutra after The Buddha's Death, and in answer to this Shakyamuni explains four conditions for doing so: to be protected and kept in Mind by the Buddhas, to plant the roots of Virtue, to enter the stage where one is sure of reaching Enlightenment, and to arouse the determination to save all living beings.
Bodhisattva Universal Worthy then vows to protect the Lotus Sutra and all those who embrace it in the Evil-ridden Latter Day of the Law.
Shakyamuni briefly explains the Blessings obtained through the practice of the Sutra and through the act of Offering alms to and praising its practitioners.
He says, "Therefore, Universal Worthy, if you see a person who accepts and upholds this Sutra, you should rise and greet him from afar, showing him the same respect you would a Buddha." Overjoyed to have heard the Lotus Sutra, all the assembly bow in obeisance to him and depart.
In the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, Kumarajiva's translation of the Sutra, this is the final chapter, but in the other versions—the Lotus Sutra of the Correct Law translated by Dharmaraksha and the Supplemented Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law by Jnanagupta and Dharmagupta the "Entrustment" chapter appears at the end of the twenty-seven chapter Sutra.