''Encouraging Devotion'' chapter
"Encouraging Devotion" chapter
勧持品 ( Jpn Kanji-hon )
The thirteenth chapter of the Lotus Sutra. In the beginning of the chapter, Bodhisattva Medicine King and his retinue of twenty thousand bodhisattvas make a vow before Shakyamuni Buddha to propagate the Lotus Sutra in this saha world after his death. Meanwhile, a vow of propagation in other worlds is made by five hundred arhats who have received a prophecy of enlightenment and by eight thousand other voice-hearers, some still learning and others with nothing more to learn. Shakyamuni then bestows a prophecy of enlightenment on Mahaprajapati, his maternal aunt, and Yashodhara, who was his wife before he renounced the secular world. These two and their retinue of six thousand nuns also vow to spread the Lotus Sutra after the Buddha's death. Then "eight hundred thousand million nayutas of bodhisattvas" make a vow to teach the sutra in the frightful evil age after the Buddha's death. Their vow is stated in verse form and is often referred to as the twenty-line verse of the "Encouraging Devotion" chapter. It enumerates the types of persecutions that will be met in propagating the Lotus Sutra in that latter age. Miao-lo (711-782) of China later summarized these persecutions and their perpetrators as the "three kinds of enemies" or "three kinds of arrogance and presumption." See also three powerful enemies; twenty-line verse.