Six difficult and nine easy acts
six difficult and nine easy acts
六難九易 (Jpn rokunan-kui )
A series of comparisons set forth by Shakyamuni in the "Treasure Tower" (eleventh) chapter of the Lotus Sutra to show how difficult it will be to embrace and propagate the sutra in the evil age after his death.
The six difficult acts are
(1) to propagate the Lotus Sutra widely,
(2) to copy it or cause someone else to copy it,
(3) to recite it even for a short while,
(4) to teach it even to one person,
(5) to hear of and accept it and inquire about its meaning, and
(6) to maintain faith in it.
The nine easy acts are
(1) to teach innumerable sutras other than the Lotus Sutra;
(2) to take up Mount Sumeru and hurl it across countless Buddha lands;
(3) to kick a major world system into a different quarter with one's toe;
(4) to stand in the Summit of Being Heaven and preach innumerable sutras other than the Lotus Sutra;
(5) to grasp the sky with one's hand and travel around with it;
(6) to place the earth on one's toenail and ascend to the Brahma Heaven;
(7) to carry dry grass on one's back into the great fires occurring at the end of the kalpa without being burned;
(8) to preach eighty-four thousand teachings and enable one's listeners to obtain the six transcendental powers; and
(9) to enable innumerable people to reach the stage of arhat and acquire the six transcendental powers.
By citing these impossible feats as "easy," Shakyamuni emphasizes the extreme difficulty of embracing the sutra and teaching it to others in the evil age that he predicts will come after his death.