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The Dharma Flower Sutra seen through the Oral Transmission of Nichiren Daishōnin:The Twelfth Chapter on Daibadatta (Devadatta)

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The Dharma Flower Sutra
seen through the Oral Transmission of
Nichiren Daishōnin


The first important point, with regard to Daibadatta (Devadatta).

In the eighth volume of the Textual Explanation of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke Mongu), it says, “While in the teachings of the original archetypal state, his dimension was pure and fresh (honmon). But, in the teachings derived from the external events of the Buddha Shākyamuni’s life and work (shakumon), he was revealed as being ‘Afflicted by the Deva’.”

The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden)states that the original dimension of Daibadatta (Devadatta) is Mañjushrī (Monjushiri). (He is one of the more important bodhisattvas of the universal vehicle (daijō, mahāyāna), who is the personification of the wisdom of all the Buddhas.) The teachings of the original archetypal state (honmon) imply that his original dimension was pure and fresh. (In India where the universal vehicle (daijō, mahāyāna) was evolved, “pure and fresh” is the opposite of “hot and dusty”.) But, in the teachings derived from the external events of the Buddha Shākyamuni’s life and work (shakumon), the person Daibadatta (Devadatta) was shown to be “Afflicted by the Deva”. Pure and cool suggests water as a representation of the cycles of living and dying, as being none other than nirvana (in the sense that is the absolute quality of all existence (shinnyo, tathāta)). “Afflicted by the Deva” suggests fire and that our troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha) are not separate from enlightenment (since both of these conditions are activities of the mind).

Now Nichiren and those that follow him reverently recite Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō, which means to devote our lives to and found them on (Nam(u)) the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) (entirety of existence) permeated by the underlying white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect (Renge) in its whereabouts of the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas (Kyō), and are themselves feeling that their troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha) are not separate from enlightenment (which is also in our heads) and the cycles of living and dying are none other than nirvana.

Daibadatta (Devadatta) is another name for Myōhō Renge Kyō (which entails his real identity as the absolute quality of existence), and in a past life, he was the sannyasi Ashi (Asita) (sannyasi being an Indian ascetic). Ashi is another name for the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma). In the Chinese transliteration of this Sanskrit name, the syllable “a” in Ashi means “being devoid of”.

The Dharma that has no identity of self is the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma). In the eighth volume of the Textual Explanation of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke Mongu), it says, “It is by means of the Dharma that has no identity of self (which is the highest teaching) whereby sentient beings are cleansed.” Since the name of the sannyasi Ashi is another expression for the three thousand realms of dharmas that are inherent in the one instant of thought (ichinen sanzen), therefore, you should think about the one instant of thought containing three thousand existential spaces, which has no particular identity of its own.


At that time, the Buddha told all the bodhisattvas, deva (ten), humankind, and the monks, nuns, and also both the male and female believers: “During the course of innumerable kalpas, I have continuously been born as the sovereign of a kingdom where I have made the vow to make the endeavour to achieve a mind that is unsurpassably enlightened, without ever thinking of abandoning the necessary practices to attain it. I have always striven for the fulfilment of the six means that ferry sentient beings over the sea of living and dying to the shore of nirvana (haramitsu, pāramita).”

(The “six means that ferry sentient beings over the sea of living and dying to the shore of nirvana” (i.e., the six (haramitsu, pāramita) are 1) (fuse, dāna) charity or giving, including teaching the truth to others; 2) (jikai, shîla) keeping the rules of the monastic order; 3) (ninjoku, kshānti) patience under insult; 4) (shōjin, vîrya) diligence, concentration, and progress; 5) (zenjō, dhyana) fixed meditation or deep contemplation; 6) (chie, prajñā) wisdom, the power to discern reality, which is to understand existence in terms of the one instant of thought containing three thousand existential spaces (ichinen sanzen). It is this last of these “six means” that carries sentient beings such as us across the sea of incarnate lives to the shore of nirvana.)

I practised charity in my mind without any stinginess whatsoever – neither as regards elephants, horses, the seven precious materials, provinces, cities, wives, children, slaves or servants; not even with my head, eyes, marrow, brain, body, flesh, hands, or feet. Nor did I spare my bodily existence. At that time, the lifespan of humankind and the people was incredibly long. For the sake of the Dharma, I threw away and abandoned the kingdom and throne, entrusting the power of the state to the crown prince. I beat on a drum and proclaimed to the four quarters that I was seeking the Dharma: Is there anyone who can explain the universal vehicle (daijō, mahāyāna) to me? Until the end of my life, I shall make offerings to and be an errand boy to such a person.”

At that time, there was a sannyasi who addressed the sovereign, saying, “I am in possession of the universal vehicle (daijō, mahāyāna), which has the title of the Sutra on the White Lotus Flower-like Mechanism of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō Renge Kyō). You do not contradict me, so I will be pleased to explain it to you.”


The second important point, on the passage, “I am in possession of the universal vehicle (daijō, mahāyāna), which has the title of the Sutra on the White Lotus Flower-like Mechanism of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō Renge Kyō). You do not contradict me, so I will be pleased to explain it to you.”

The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) says that, with regard to the explanation of the Sutra on the White Lotus Flower-like Mechanism of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō Renge Kyō) (and the sannyasi Ashi’s injunction), “If you do not contradict me, so I will be pleased to explain it to you,” the ideogram for “if” can be read and understood as “you”. Tendai (T’ien T’ai) comments on this, by saying, “the sovereign accepted the teaching and reverently practised it”.

Now, Nichiren and those that follow him reverently recite Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō which means to devote our lives to and found them on (Nam(u)) the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) (entirety of existence) permeated by the underlying white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect (Renge) in its whereabouts of the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas (Kyō). Without contradicting Nichiren, they are pleased to explain the significance of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō). The sannayasi Ashi here means Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō.


On hearing the words of the sannyasi, the sovereign was delighted and overjoyed. From then onwards, he followed the sannyasi, giving him all that he needed – collecting fruit, drawing water, gathering firewood, and preparing his meals – even to the point of letting the sannyasi, use the sovereign’s person as a seat or a bed. Neither the sovereign’s mind nor body was ever worn down. He reverently served the sannyasi in this manner for a thousand years, in order to understand the Dharma. He served the sannyasi diligently and waited upon him, so that he would lack nothing.


The third important point, on the passage: “collecting fruit, drawing water, gathering firewood, and preparing his meals”.

The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) states that collecting fruit in this particular passage refers to the kinds of troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha) brought about by thoughtlessness (chi). Drawing water refers to the kinds of troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha) brought about by greed (don). Gathering firewood represents the kinds of troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha) brought about by anger (jin). And preparing food represents the kinds of troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha) brought about by haughtiness (man). Here in the text of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō), there are eight kinds of subservience listed that the sovereign performed for the sannyasi Ashi. Outside of these eight kinds of subservience, the sovereign did not perform any other activity in order to receive the transmission of the Sutra on the White Lotus Flower-like Mechanism of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō Renge Kyō).

Now, Nichiren and those that follow him, reverently recite Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō which means to devote our lives to and found them on (Nam(u)) the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) (entirety of existence) permeated by the underlying white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect (Renge) in its whereabouts of the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas (Kyō). This can be equated with the thousand years of the sovereign’s subservience to the sannyasi Ashi. Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō again stands for the three thousand existential realms in every instant of mental activity (ichinen sanzen). This is the remedy to heal the errors of greed, anger, thoughtlessness, and haughtiness.


Thereupon the World Honoured One, wishing to reiterate the significance of what he had said, expressed it in the form of a metric hymn.

I am aware of kalpas past,
when I was the king
of a secular state.
I never took pleasure
in the five desires (1) for wealth, 2) sexual love, 3) eating and drinking, 4) renown, and 5) sleep).
I beat on a gong to proclaim
to the four directions of the compass
that I was in search of the person
who was in possession
of the all-embracing Dharma,
who was also capable
of explaining its meaning.
I would become
that person’s server and slave.
At that time,
there was the sannyasi Ashi,
who came to propose
to the great king, saying:
I am in possession
of the subtle Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma),
which is a rarity
in the ordinary world.
If you are capable of doing
the necessary practices,
I must indeed
expound it for you.
Thereupon the sovereign
was enthralled,
and his heart
was filled with joy.
He immediately followed
the sannyasi
and offered him
everything he needed.
The king collected firewood,
picked fruits and berries,
so as to make offerings
to the sannyasi
at the appropriate seasons.
Because the sovereign
was taken up with
and engrossed in the concept
of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma),
his body and mind
never became worn out or fatigued.


The fourth important point, on the sentence. “Because the sovereign was taken up with and engrossed in the concept of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma), his body and mind never became worn out or fatigued.”

The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) says that the two words “body” and “mind” refer to the acceptance of the transmission that both the physical and psychological aspects (of our lives) are the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma) (which is the entirety of existence).

Now, Nichiren and those that follow him reverently recite Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō which means to devote our lives to and found them on (Nam(u)) the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) (entirety of existence) permeated by the underlying white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect (Renge) in its whereabouts of the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas (Kyō). Thereby their Buddha natures become manifest, with their respective persons just as they are. “Mind and body never becoming worn out or fatigued” refers to the one instant of thought containing three thousand existential spaces (ichinen sanzen) (in the sense that this equation points to the tirelessness and eternity of both physical and mental existence).


It was for the benefit
of all sentient beings
that I diligently sought after
the all-embracing Dharma.
Also, it was not for myself
that I derived no pleasure
from the five desires (1) for wealth, 2) sexual love, 3) eating and drinking, 4) renown, and 5) sleep).
Hence, in the role of a sovereign,
in my quest for this Dharma
and finally realising
the state of enlightenment,
it is I who is talking to you now.

The Buddha then said to the monks: The sovereign at that time was I in person. The sannyasi at that time is now Daibadatta (Devadatta). It was due to the friendship of the then Daibadatta (Devadatta) that I was fully able to realise to the full the six kinds of observance that take people from the shores of mortality to the shore of nirvana (haramitsu, pāramitā). (They are 1) charity, giving, including imparting the Dharma to others; 2) keeping the moral precepts of the religious order; 3) patience and forbearance under insult; 4) diligent zeal and progress; 5) meditation or contemplation; 6) wisdom, the power to discern the reality of existence. It is this last observance (haramitsu, pāramitā) which carries the practitioners across the seas of incarnate life to the shore of nirvana.) Also, I learned compassion and the joy of renouncing worldly things.

Again, I was able to arrive at an existence that is endowed with the thirty-two distinguishing physical characteristics of a Buddha. (These are 1. flat soles, 2. the wheel of the Dharma on the soles of his feet, 3. slender fingers, 4. tender limbs, 5. webbed fingers and toes, 6. round heels, 7. long legs, 8. muscular legs like those of a royal stag, 9. arms reaching below the knees, 10. retracted penis like that of a stallion, 11. an arm span equal to the height of the body, 12. light radiating through the pores of his body, 13. curly black body hair, 14. a golden-hued body, 15. light radiating from his person three metres in all directions, 16. firm tender calves, 17. legs, palms, shoulders, and the neck of the same proportions, 18. fleshy armpits, 19. a dignified stance like that of a lion, 20. a body that stands up straight, 21. full shoulders, 22. forty teeth, 23. firm white teeth, 24. four white canine teeth, 25. full jowls like those of a lion, 26. a saliva that adds to the taste of food, 27. a broad flat tongue, 28. a voice that is resonant and can penetrate long distances, 29. blue eyes, 30. eyes full of compassion, 31. a curl of white hair between his eyebrows, 32. a glandular protraction at the top of the head.) Along with the eighty secondary distinctive marks of a Buddha, my person endowed with a presence that is of a pure powdered golden hue.

Furthermore, I have acquired the ten powers of a Buddha. (These are knowing 1) what is right or wrong in every situation; 2) what the karma is of every being, past, present, and future; 3) all the stages of meditative liberation (zenjō, dhyāna) and concentration (sanmai, samādhi); 4) what the powers and faculties are of all beings; 5) the desires and moral direction of every being; 6) the actual circumstances of every individual; 7) the tendencies and the consequences of all dharmas; 8) the causes of why people die and of every kind of good and evil; 9) the finality of all beings in nirvana, and 10) the elimination of every kind of illusion or delusion.) In addition, I am endowed with the four kinds of fearlessness. (They are 1) the fearlessness of the Buddha which arises from his total enlightenment, 2) the perfection of his character, 3) fearlessness with regard to opposition, and 4) the ability to end all suffering.)

Apart from all this, I am capable of the four dharmic virtues (which are 1) giving what others like, in order to induce them to become involved with the Buddha teaching, 2) affectionate speech with the same purpose, 3) conduct profitable to others, in order to lead people onto the path of Buddhahood, 4) cooperation with and the adaption of oneself to others, so as to lead them into the truth), together with the eighteen uncommon merits of a Buddha. (These are 1) faultlessness in body, an absence of afflictions, because of religious practise with its monastic precepts, meditation, wisdom, and compassion; 2) faultlessness in speech and the perfect power to make people become enlightened; 3) faultlessness in having no attachment to anything, because he is in profound meditation; 4) perfect impartiality, because he leads people to enlightenment without any distinction; 5) the mind of a Buddha is always in deep meditation (sanmai, samādhi), even though he is walking, sitting, or lying down; 6) a Buddha knows everything; there is nothing that can remain unknown to him; 7) a Buddha never tires of leading people to Buddhahood; 8) a Buddha never tires of helping people; 9) a Buddha never ceases to meditate on every dharma of the past, present, and future; 10) a Buddha increasingly keeps up his perfect wisdom; 11) being enlightened, a Buddha is always free from all attachment; 12) a Buddha has always the clear, free function of the intelligence of the enlightened; 13) a Buddha has perfect bodily function that proceeds from his wisdom in teaching; 14) a Buddha has perfect oral function based on his wisdom; 15) a Buddha has perfect wisdom in teaching, so as to cut away all afflictions; 16) a Buddha has an unrestricted perception of the past; 17) an unrestricted perception of the future, and 18) an unrestricted perception of the present.)

Moreover, I am endowed with the reaches of the mind of the enlightened, as well as being capable of teaching the path of enlightenment. Finally, I have become universally and correctly enlightened, as well as being capable of teaching the path of enlightenment. Finally, I have become universally and correctly enlightened, and also I have saved many sentient beings, all on account of the beneficial friendship (zenchishiki) of Daibadatta (Devadatta).

The Buddha then addressed the monks, nuns, and lay believers both male and female, saying: Daibadatta (Devadatta) will certainly attain the state of Buddhahood, after the innumerable kalpas. He will be called the Tathāgata Sovereign of the Deva (Tennō Nyorai), Worthy of Offerings, Correctly and Universally Enlightened, Whose Knowledge and Conduct is Perfect, Completely Free from the Cycles of Living and Dying, With a Complete Understanding of the Realms of Existence, Lord Supreme, the Master who Brings the Passions and Delusions Under Control, the Teacher of Humankind and the Deva, the Buddha, and the World Honoured One. His world will be called the Path of the Deva (Tendō). He will abide in the world for twenty medium kalpas, where he will widely propagate the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma) for the benefit of sentient beings.

There will be as many sentient beings who are as numerous as the grains of sand in the Ganges, who will attain the fruition of the individual vehicle (shōjō, hīnayāna). Countless sentient beings will be awakened to partial enlightenment due to a profound search for the meaning of existence (hyakushibutsu, pratyekabuddha). Also, there will be as many sentient beings, that are as numerous as the grains of sand in the Ganges, who will be awakened to the unsurpassable path of Buddhahood, or attain the bodhisattva stage where they become fully aware of the Dharma essence (hosshō, Dharmatā) that underlies all existence, and who will never abandon their practise.

After the Buddha Sovereign of the Deva (Tennō Butsu) has passed over to his final extinction in nirvana (hannehan, parinirvana), his Dharma in its correct form will last for twenty medium kalpas. As a reliquary, his whole body intact will be placed in a stupa that has been built with seven precious materials (1) gold, 2) silver, 3) lapis lazuli, 4) crystal, 5) agate, 6) ruby, and 7) cornelian). Its height will be sixty yojanas, and it will be forty yojanas wide. All the deva (ten) and ordinary people will scatter on it various kinds of flowers, smear fragrant ointments, burn incense, sprinkle coloured powders, scatter garments and garlands, erect tubular-shaped banners and precious parasols. They will play music and sing praise, render homage and make other offerings to this stupa made of the seven precious materials. Innumerable sentient beings will arrive at the highest stage of the individual vehicle (shōjō, hīnayāna).

Innumerable sentient beings will become partially enlightened due to a profound search for the meaning of existence (hyakushibutsu, pratyekabuddha). Also, an inconceivable number of sentient beings will resolve to attain supreme enlightenment, without ever renouncing their practices.

The Buddha addressed the monks, saying: In the ages to come, if there are men and women who are believing and convinced, who will listen to this Chapter on Daibadatta (Devadatta) in the Sutra on the White Lotus Flower-like Mechanism of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō Renge Kyō) with a purity of mind and faithful reverence, without raising any doubts or quandaries, they will neither fall into the realms of suffering (jigokukai), nor into the dimensions of hunger, craving and addiction (gakikai), nor in the space of instinctual animality (chikushokai). They will be born in a place in the presence of the Buddhas of all the ten directions, where they will continually hear this sutra. If they are born among the deva (ten) or humankind, they will experience the superlative joy of Utterness. If these people come into existence right in front of the Buddha, they will be born by metamorphosis from a white lotus.

At that moment, a bodhisattva called Accumulated Wisdom (Chishaku, Jñānākara) was accompanying the World Honoured One Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna) in the direction of the lower regions. He said to this Buddha, “We ought to go back to our original terrain.”

But the Buddha Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna) said to the Bodhisattva Accumulated Wisdom (Chishaku, Jñānākara), “Good Sir, you should wait a little while. Here is a bodhisattva called Mañjushrī (Monjushiri), whom you should meet, in order to discuss the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma). Afterwards, you can return to your original terrain.”

Then, at that moment, Mañjushrī (Monjushiri) was seated on a white lotus flower as large as a cart wheel that had a thousand petals. He was accompanied by other bodhisattvas who were also seated upon white lotus flowers of a precious material. They had spontaneously surged up from the ocean that is the abode of the Dragon King Sāgara (Shakkara), where he had his palace. The bodhisattvas remained in empty space and then made their way to Spirit Vulture Peak (Ryōjūsen, Grdhakūta). Getting down from their lotus flowers, they approached the Buddhas and bowed their heads in reverence, to the feet of the two World Honoured Ones. After having shown their obeisance, they went in the direction of the Bodhisattva Accumulated Wisdom (Chishaku, Jñānākara), where they all greeted each other and then sat to one side.

The Bodhisattva Accumulated Wisdom (Chishaku, Jñānākara) asked Mañjushrī (Monjushiri), “When you went to the palace of the dragons, what is the number of sentient beings you converted?

Mañjushrī (Monjushiri) replied, “Their number is incalculable. Such a number cannot be reckoned; the mouth cannot put this number into words, nor can the mind work it out. But wait a minute, you can have proof.”

The Bodhisattva Accumulated Wisdom (Chishaku, Jñānākara) had not yet finished talking to the innumerable bodhisattvas who were seated on white lotus flowers of a precious material. They had come out of the sea, arrived at Spirit Vulture Peak (Ryōjūsen, Grdhakūta), and were suspended in empty space. All of these bodhisattvas had been converted and ferried across the seas of mortality to the realisation of nirvana by Mañjushrī (Monjushiri). Equipped with all the bodhisattva practices, they all explained the six practises which, when practised to perfection, can ferry people over the seas of living and dying to the shore of nirvana (haramitsu, pāramitā). (These are 1) charity, giving, including imparting the Dharma to others; 2) keeping to the precepts of the monastic order; 3) patience under insult; 4) zeal and fervent progress; 5) profound meditation or contemplation; 6) wisdom, the power to discern what the truth is. It is this last pāramitā that carries people across the seas of incarnate existence to the shore of nirvana.) Those who were originally people who exerted themselves to attain the highest of the teachings of the individual vehicle (shōjō, hīnayāna) through listening to the Buddha teaching (shōmon, shrāvaka) (people who would be the intellectuals of today) explained the merits of the practises of intellectual inquiry. Now, all these bodhisattvas practised the meaning of the white lotus flower-like mechanism of cause, concomitancy and effect which are the constituents of the relativity (, shūnyatā) that underlies the entirety of existence, as understood in the teaching of the universal vehicle (daijō, mahāyāna).

Mañjushrī (Monjushiri) said to Accumulated Wisdom (Chishaku, Jñānākara), “This is how my conversion through teaching at the bottom of the sea has actually taken place.”

There and then, the Bodhisattva Accumulated Wisdom (Chishaku, Jñānākara) expressed his praise in terms of a metric hymn.

With universal wisdom,
you have converted
uncountable sentient beings
and ferried them
across the sea of mortality
to the shore of nirvana.
Now, in this great assembly,
where we and I myself
have already seen
and heard your exposition
of the real aspect of all dharmas
that has made
the single vehicle of the Dharma
apparently clear,
you have guided
numerous sentient beings
towards a rapid attainment
of enlightenment.

Mañjushrī (Monjushiri) said, “In the middle of the ocean, I only continuously propagated and explained the Sutra on the White Lotus Flower-like Mechanism of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō Renge Kyō).”


The fifth important point, on the above sentence in the sutra: “In the middle of the ocean, I only continuously propagated and explained the Sutra on the White Lotus Flower-like Mechanism of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō Renge Kyō).”

The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) says that the word “I” designates Mañjushrī (Monjushiri), and the word “ocean” refers to the ocean of consecutive lives and deaths. The word “only” indicates that in the text “there is only one vehicle of the Dharma” (to cross over this ocean), and the word “continuously” refers to the phrase, “I am continuously here explaining the Dharma.” Myōhō Renge Kyō are the words, languages, sounds, and utterances that occur in the realms of dharmas that is the Dharma realm itself.

Now, Nichiren and those that follow him reverently recite Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō which means to devote our lives to and found them on (Nam(u)) the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) (entirety of existence) permeated by the underlying white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect (Renge) in its whereabouts of the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas (Kyō). So, the continuity of living and dying is the all-embracing ocean, which is the sea that is not separate from the intrinsic quality of all suchness (shinnyo, tathatā). As for the word “I”, it points to the wisdom of the realms of dharmas, which is the Dharma realm that is embodied in the personage of Mañjushrī (Monjushiri).

Accumulated Wisdom (Chishaku, Jñānākara) questioned Mañjushrī (Monjushiri) out of curiosity: “Is not this sutra profoundly deep, and is it not subtle and all-embracing, which among the sutras, is the treasure of the Dharma that is rarely found in this world? Would it not be that, if sentient beings were to diligently make an effort to practise the teachings of this text, they would quickly attain the state of enlightenment?”

Mañjushrī (Monjushiri) said, “There is the daughter of the Dragon King Sāgara (Shakkara) who has just become eight years old . . . ”


The sixth important point, with regard to the above sentence from the sutric text, “There is the daughter of the Dragon King Sāgara (Shakkara) who has just become eight years old . . . ”

The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) says that here the words “eight years old” suggest the eight fascicles (scrolls) of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō), in which Daibadatta (Devadatta) represents the dimension of suffering (hell) (jigokukai) and the daughter of the Dragon King alludes to the dimension of Buddhahood (bukkai). Hence, these two dimensions indicate that each of the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas is mutually contained in each other, and they perpetuate throughout every instant in our lives and deaths.

(There are ten particular categories of psychological dimensions (jikkai) specified by Tendai (T’ien T’ai), that mutually contain the other ten (psychological) realms of dharmas within each other, so that each instant that we live, our minds are endowed with a hundred different categories of psychological dimensions (here referred to as realms of dharmas). These become ten times the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas, which come to a hundred. These hundred realms of dharmas are then multiplied by the ten different ways in which dharmas make themselves perceptible to our various senses (nyoze). There are now a thousand qualities of suchness (nyoze). These thousand ways in which dharmas make themselves perceptible to our various senses or qualities of suchness (nyoze) are again multiplied by the three existential spaces (seken) upon which sentient beings depend for an existence, all of which takes place in every instant in our lives. All of this is referred to as the one instant of thought containing three thousand existential spaces (ichinen sanzen).)

The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) also says that the eight years of the age of the Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) alludes to the eight fascicles (scrolls) of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō), and, at the same time, this connotation also refers to the eight kinds of suffering that are brought about by our troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha). (These are 1) the suffering that derives from being born and having to grow up; 2) the suffering that comes from our having to mature and the anxieties of becoming old; 3) the sufferings from sickness and poor health; 4) the sufferings brought about by our worries of what might happen in the after-death state (chū’in, antarābhava, Tibetan bardo); 5) the suffering that comes from being apart from those whom we love; 6) the suffering that arises from being together with those whom we dislike; 7) the suffering that comes from the fact that we cannot always have what we want; 8) the sufferings that come about due to the fact that we are attached to the five aggregates (go’on, pañcha skandhāh), which are the constituents of our bodies and minds.)

Therefore, we should realise that the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō) is the means whereby we can open up our inherent Buddha nature, with our persons just as they are. This is also implied by the case of the eight-year-old daughter of the Dragon King (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā), who also arrived at this state of Buddhahood. The eight kinds of suffering are not something apart from the eight fascicles (scrolls) of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō).

The eight kinds of suffering and the eight fascicles (scrolls) of the Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) are all similar concepts that are all expressed as analogous figures of speech. One meaning of the expression “eight years old” is to be read and understood as opening up the deepest recesses of the mind. These deepest recesses refer to the whole of the mind of the daughter of the Dragon King, which was offered up to the three thousand existential spaces. These three thousand existential spaces are all contained in each and every instant in our minds – and this is the whole content of the eight fascicles (scrolls) of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō). As a result, the expression “eight years old” stands for the opening up of the wisdom and perception of Buddhahood.

The passage in the sutric text from the line, “capable of attaining enlightenment”, means that “she had taken refuge in and made her way into understanding the fundamental teaching of the sutra on the white lotus flower-like mechanism that underlies the entirety of existence.” In the sutric text, between these two phrases already quoted, the expression “she was able to put into words what went on in her mind” refers to the karmic actions that are brought about through speech. The expression, “her wilfulness was restrained and sensitive”, refers to the karmic workings produced by the mind. And the lines, “she was capable of holding to every part of the sutra and could enter into perfect absorption of the profoundest theme of her meditation” (sanmai, samādhi), indicates the karmic workings of the body or physical actions.

These three kinds of verbal, mental, and physical karma are not separate from the three virtues of the entity of the Dharma itself (hosshin, Dharma-kāya), the wisdom it entails (hōshin, sambhoga-kāya), and the manifestations of Buddhahood that are perceptible for the benefit of unenlightened sentient beings (ōjin, nirmāna-kāya), or the three aspects of reality – 1) (kūtai) the relativity of the lotus flower-like mechanism, the noumena and non-substantiality that underlie all existence; 2) (ketai) even though existence is in fact non-substantial, it has nevertheless a provisional reality; 3) (chūkai) the combination of the two aspects of reality which is termed the middle way.

Also, The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) says that the phrase, “what went on in her mind”, has the sense that each and every instant of mental activity and the concept of “being able to put into words” refer to the three thousand (which are the totality of the) existential spaces (seken) in the mind of the Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā). The passage, “she has taken refuge in and made her way into understanding the fundamental teaching of the Sutra on the white Lotus flower-like Mechanism that underlies the entirety of existence”, indicates as to how the Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) accepted and held to the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō). The words “years old”, which, earlier on, have been referred to as “the deepest recesses of the mind”, is the jewel of enlightenment which is the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma). The number eight alludes to the opening up of our bodies and minds, so as to become aware of the white lotus flower-like mechanism that is the way in which the entirety of existence works.


“. . . . whose wisdom and discernment had keen roots and who understood very well the faculties, the kind of actions, and the karma of sentient beings. She was in possession of various sacred formulas, whose power was in the sounds of their pronunciation (dhāranî). Also, she was capable of receiving and holding to all the profoundly deep esoteric store (hizō) that the Buddhas had expounded, as well as being capable of entering into the perfect absorption of the profoundest theme of her meditation (sanmai, samādhi), along with fully understanding what the whole of the Dharma was about.

“In just a fraction of a second, her mind opened up into one of being enlightened, in such a way that she could never return to her former unenlightened state. Her ability to express this experience was without any obstacle whatsoever. She looked upon sentient beings with the same innocent affection as a little baby. She had endowed herself fully with merits, and, when she expressed her thoughts in words, they were always broad and all-embracing and underlined with the subtle wisdom of Utterness. She was full of loving-kindness and tolerance; her wilfulness was restrained and sensitive, so that she was able to attain enlightenment.”

The Bodhisattva Accumulated Wisdom (Chishaku, Jñānākara) said, “I saw the Tathāgata Shākyamuni incessantly practise severe austerities for uncountable kalpas, in order to store up merit and amass virtues, in his quest for the path of Buddhahood. If one is to think in terms of the three thousand all-embracing thousands of existential dimensions, there is not a single place, not even the size of a mustard seed, where Shākyamuni as a bodhisattva has not given up his body and life for the sake of sentient beings. Nevertheless, it is after all these kinds of events, in one life after another, that he arrived at the path of enlightenment. I cannot believe that this little girl could become correctly and universally enlightened, in just a fraction of a second.”

Before the Bodhisattva Accumulated Wisdom (Chishaku, Jñānākara) was able to finish expressing his biased opinion, when the daughter of the Dragon King (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) appeared in front of the two of them. She bowed respectfully, then sat to one side, and recited the following metric hymn.


The seventh important point, on the passage, “Before the Bodhisattva Accumulated Wisdom (Chishaku, Jñānākara) was able to finish expressing his biased opinion, when the daughter of the Dragon King (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) appeared in front of the two of them. She bowed respectfully, then sat to one side, and recited the following metric hymn.”

The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) says that this particular text clearly indicates that our inherent unenlightenment is in no way separate from the fundamental essence of the Dharma, in the sense that it is enlightenment. It is for this reason that, before the Bodhisattva Accumulated Wisdom (Chishaku, Jñānākara) was able to finish his biased opinion, the Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) made her reply in three and a half sentences, in the form of a metric hymn.

This kind of biased opinion stems from the first period of Shākyamuni’s provisional teachings, which was not long after his enlightenment under the bodhi tree. This was a particular teaching (bekkyō) for his bodhisattva companions at that time. (It was expounded that the practises that led to the attainment of Buddhahood were a long process that was spread out over numerous kalpas, as opposed to the ever-present essence of the Dharma that is in all of us.) These particular teachings (bekkyō) also represent our inherent unenlightenment.

The reply of the Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) is based on the all-inclusive teaching (of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō)), which is the expression of the Dharma itself in the sense that it is the manifestation of enlightenment. The Bodhisattva Accumulated Wisdom (Chishaku, Jñānākara) in this case represents our fundamental and inherent unenlightenment. (This is the part of us that does not want to look into or is completely bewildered as to what the constituents of life really are.) The Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) represents women whose minds are opened up to the real essence of the Dharma, which is enlightenment. As a result, our inherent unenlightenment is not separate from enlightenment. In the same way, our enlightenment contains all the ingredients of our inherent unenlightenment.

Now Nichiren and those that follow him reverently recite Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō, which means to devote our lives to and found them on (Nam(u)) the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) (entirety of existence) permeated by the underlying white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect (Renge) in its whereabouts of the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas (Kyō), and thereby are comparable to the Bodhisattva Accumulated Wisdom (Chishaku, Jñānākara), who was unable to finish expressing his biased opinion. At the same time, this can be regarded as the unenlightenment of the Bodhisattva Accumulated Wisdom (Chishaku, Jñānākara), in his inability to believe that an eight-year-old girl could attain enlightenment in a fraction of a second.

The phrase “inability to believe” means to have doubts and be at a standstill. To have doubts and be at a standstill is said to be our causal and basic insensibility. The reason why the Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) is said to represent the real essence of the Dharma or enlightenment is expressed when she says in the text of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō), “I make the teaching of the universal vehicle (daijō, mahāyāna) intelligibly clear, in order to extricate sentient beings from suffering.”

The Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) was the eight-year-old offspring of her father, who was a dragon (rather like what we see in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese traditional art). The words “dragon king’s” and “daughter” imply that both father and daughter attained Buddhahood at the same time.

The reason for this sutric passage concerning the daughter of the Dragon King is that it has already been said that Ryūnyo (Nāgakanyā) was the daughter of the Dragon King, so that we know that her father was the Dragon King and that she was an eight-year-old girl. Hence, it is in this Chapter on Daibadatta (Devadatta), where it emphasizes the point that women can attain to the state of Buddhahood.

Her father attained enlightenment in the First and Introductory Chapter, wherein all the eight dragon sovereigns are mentioned. Nevertheless, we can say that both father and daughter attained enlightenment simultaneously, in the sense that the First and Introductory Chapter is the prelude to the contents of the whole sutra.

“On hearing this teaching, I have opened up my mind to the reality behind the seeming and (that all existence is endowed with a Buddha nature that even unwittingly strives for enlightenment (bodai, bodhi))” are the words that the Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) used when she reprimanded the Bodhisattva Accumulated Wisdom (Chishaku, Jñānākara). As a result, the Buddha is completely aware of the fact that it is only I who has reached enlightenment. Only the Buddha can verify this.

When she referred to liberating sentient beings from suffering, she intended to save women in particular. The three sentences and a half in the form of a metric hymn of praise allude to each single instant of mental activity containing three thousand existential spaces (ichinen sanzen). The lines in the metric hymn, “profoundly acquainted with the ingredients of misdeeds and happiness, and shining everywhere in all the ten directions”, refer to the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas (jikkai).

What is especially noteworthy with regard to this eight-year-old daughter of the Dragon King’s realisation of Buddhahood is that it refers to the ancestors of the rulers and emperors who held to the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō). The first human sovereign of Japan was the Emperor Jimmu. The Emperor Jimmu was the son of Ugayafuki-aezu-no-mikoto, who was the fifth of the five generations of divinities of the earth. The mother of Ugayafuki-aezu-no-mikoto was Princess Toyotama, the daughter of the Dragon King Sāgara (Shakkara), and an elder sister of the eight-year-old daughter of the Dragon King (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā). (Although the first legendary emperor of Japan was the Emperor Jimmu, much of the early chronology of this country is somewhat mythological and existed before records were written. However, legends play an equal role in a nation’s literature, as well as how the people of a country see themselves.)

The profoundest and deepest implication is that the ancestors of the rulers of Japan were people who did the practices of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō). Accordingly, this single Chapter on Daibadatta (Devadatta) is a sword and an esoteric Dharma to be worn at the waist wherever we may go, in order to cut down the enemy that is our troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha), our inherent unenlightenment; also to cut through the ropes of living and dying, to which we are attached and that love so much.

The Chinese Emperor Kōsu (Kao Tsu) 206 BCE, who was the father of the Kan (Han) dynasty, had a three-foot sword which does not measure up to the blade of the single sword of wisdom. Utterness (Myō) is that blade of the single sword of wisdom, with which we can cut through the ropes of living and dying as well as our troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha).

Here in this text, Daibadatta (Devadatta) represents blazing fire, the Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) is shown to be a huge serpent, and Mañjushrī (Monjushiri) is that sword of wisdom. There is an orally transmitted teaching that all these personages in the sutric text are represented by the venerated vermillion manifestation of the Sovereign whose Wisdom is Immovable (Aka Fudō Myō’ō), who sits cross-legged and is surrounded by an aura of blazing fire, with a sword of wisdom that is wrapped around by a dragon in his right hand and a noose in his left.

Daibadatta (Devadatta) represents our troublesome worries not being separate from enlightenment (bonnō soku bodai). The Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) represents the cycles of living and dying being none other than the state of enlightenment attained by Shākyamuni (nehan, nirvāna). The name Mañjushrī (Monjushiri) can be translated as the “Merits of Utterness”, which contain both the elements of living and dying as well as our troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha). This actual chapter in the sutra is able to lead people into understanding the meaning of existence (and what can be done about all that is wrong in our lives).


Profoundly acquainted
with the ingredients
of wrongdoing and happiness,
and shining everywhere
in all the ten directions
as the entity of the Dharma
and the subtlety of Utterness
that is completely endowed
with the thirty-two
special characteristics of a Buddha,
along with the eight secondary marks
which are used to adorn
the body of the Dharma,
whom deva (ten) and humankind
regard with veneration,
the Buddha is looked upon
with reverence and respect,
by all the dragons (ryū, nāga) and deities,
as well as all the various kinds
of sentient beings.
There are none
who do not revere the enlightened.
Those who have heard that
I have attained Buddhahood,
only the Buddha
can really prove this.
I make the teaching
of the universal vehicle (daijō, mahāyāna)
intelligibly clear,
in order to extricate
sentient beings from suffering.

Thereupon Sharihotsu (Shariputra) said to the Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā), “You claim to have attained the unsurpassable path of enlightenment. This is something that is hard to believe. What is the reason for this? The bodies of women are obscene, and they are not a receptacle for the Dharma. So how can they attain perfect enlightenment? The path to Buddhahood stretches out a long way. You have to pass through innumerable kalpas, diligently and laboriously accumulating practises and carrying them out to their perfection. Then, it is only after such a mighty effort that you will attain such a realisation. Furthermore, the bodies of women have five inherent obstacles. In the first place, they cannot become a sovereign of the Brahmanic deva (Bontennō). Secondly, they cannot become Taishaku (Indra, the sovereign of the thirty-three deva (ten) on Mount Sumeru, in the dimensions where desires and wants exist). Thirdly, women cannot become a sovereign of the demons (ma’ō). Fourthly, women cannot become a sage-like sovereign whose chariot wheels roll everywhere without hindrance (tenrinnō, chakravartin). And, in the fifth place, they cannot attain Buddhahood. So how can a person with a body of a woman quickly realise the state of enlightenment?” (This passage refers to the Brahmanical prejudices that were common at the time of Shākyamuni, which was around three thousand years ago.)

At that time, the Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) was in possession of a precious jewel, whose value was that of one billion worlds, constituting the domain of the Buddha, one thousand times one thousand times makes a billion. (A world or a realm of existence in the Buddha teaching refers to the existential space where sentient beings have appetites and desires which are incarnated in a subjective materiality, with physical surroundings that, at the same time, are endowed with the relativity of the numinous realms of fantasies, dreams, visions, thoughts and ideas (sangai, triloka).)


The eighth important point, on the passage, “At that time, the Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) was in possession of a precious jewel, whose value was that of one billion worlds, constituting the domain of the Buddha, one thousand times one thousand times makes a billion.”

In the eighth volume of the Textual Explanation of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke Mongu), it says that the Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) making a gift of the jewel implies full understanding of the all-inclusive teaching of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō).

The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) says that the word “a” in the expression “a precious jewel”, in the quotation in the title of this important point, is symbolic of the Dharma or the realms of dharmas whose underlying white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect permeates the entirety of existence (Myōhō Renge Kyō). The jewel itself refers to the whole (tai) of the white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect that permeates the entirety of existence (Myōhō). In this context, the word “Utterness” (Myō) implies the totality of mind.

Whereas the worddharmas” () or Dharma () implies the whole of physical existence, here the dharmas of physicality refer to the jewel itself. But the dharmas of the mind are the adjective “precious”. The Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma) is the inseparability of matter and mind. The place where the concept of the one instant of mental activity is expressed is in the Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) making an offering of the precious jewel to the Buddha (since each tiny event in our lives involves all space, all time, simultaneously and without effort).

The eighth volume of the Textual Explanation of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke Mongu) explains this as the Dragon King’s daughter’s full understanding of the all-inclusive teaching (enge) of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō) as being the one instant of mental activity containing three thousand existential spaces. While the precious jewel was still in the hand of the Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā), it symbolised the essential qualities of life, which were the inherent workings in her mind that consisted, in reality, of the nine realms of dharmas only (kukai). When the Buddha accepted the precious jewel as a token of her enlightenment, it was no longer symbolic of her Buddha nature in theory. It became the manifestation of her realm of Buddhahood as a matter of fact. This realm of Buddhahood is the essence or nature of the Dharma and is sometimes referred to as “satori”.

Between these two actions, we have the concept that our inherent Buddha nature is not separate from the cultivation of it through practice. The expression “very quickly”, which earlier in the sutric text is referred to as “in a fraction of a second”, can be equated with the “sudden attainment of the realisation of Buddhahood”. In the expression, “along with the Dharma gateways of a sudden confirmation of the fundamental terrain of Buddhahood”, all is the same as in the phrase, “whereupon there will be a swift attainment to the unsurpassable path of Buddhahood”.

In the term “the reaches of the mind”, the words “the mind” represent the dharmas of the mind, but the words “the reaches” refer to the dharmas of materiality.

When the Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) says, “Watch me attain Buddhahood” (open up her inherent Buddha nature, with her person just as it was), Sharihotsu (Shāriputra) thought sourly that she was talking about her own enlightenment. But, in this situation, she was scolding Sharihotsu (Shāriputra).

The word “watch” or “observe”, in the sense of paying attention, is found in the six stages of practise in Tendai’s (T’ien T’ai) Desistance from Troublesome Worries in Order to See Clearly (Maka Shikan). (They six stages are 1) all beings have an inherent and primordial Buddha nature, at least in principle (risoku); 2) the apprehension of the title and theme (daimoku) as well as its meaning implies that those who learn it and have faith in it can open up their inherent Buddha nature, with their persons just as they are (myōji soku); 3) those people (of the Tendai School), who go beyond words and their meaning as well as practising and looking into themselves, are observing their minds (kangyō soku); 4) this refers to the stage of semblance to purity (sōji soku); 5) this applies to the people who are aware of the truth and are progressing into experienced proof (bunshin soku); 6) this designates the attainment of perfect enlightenment (kukyō soku).)

Here, in the words, “to pay attention to” or “to watch”, in the context of these six stages of practice, it should be understood that the second stage, which is the apprehension of the title and theme (daimoku) as well as its meaning, implies that those who learn it and have faith in it can open up their inherent Buddha nature, with their persons just as they are. Consequently, when people hear Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō, they can single-mindedly sit at the place of the path of enlightenment (i.e., where they practise) and attain a realisation of Buddhahood that is not unreal.

To make the meaning of the sutric text clear, with regard to the passage “she changed into a man”, this means that the Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) had already arrived at the archetypal state of Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō, which means to devote our lives to and found them on (Nam(u)) the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) (entirety of existence) permeated by the underlying white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect (Renge) in its whereabouts of the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas (Kyō).


It was something
that happened very quickly.
Sharihotsu (Shariputra) replied,
“Yes it was very quick.”
The Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) then said,
“Now, with the reaches of your mind,
watch me attain Buddhahood.
Furthermore, it will happen
quicker than ever.”

There and then, the whole assembly saw the Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) suddenly turn into a man who was endowed with all the merits of the bodhisattva practices, after which she went off towards an immaculate realm of existence in the southerly direction, where she sat upon a lotus flower of precious materials and realised the universally correct enlightenment, with the thirty-two physical distinguishing features of a Buddha, as well as the eighty secondary marks of the enlightened. There, she expounded the Dharma, for the benefit of all sentient beings.

At that time, all the bodhisattvas of the Dimension that has to be Endured (shaba sekai, sahā-lokadhātu), as well as all the people who strove to attain the fruition of the individual vehicle (shōjō, hīnayāna) through listening to the Buddha (shōmon, shrāvaka), deva (ten), dragons (ryū, nāga), the eight classes of sentient beings as well as humans and non-humans with human intelligence, all saw the Dragon King’s daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) from afar attain the state of enlightenment, as well as expounding the Dharma to the deva (ten) and humankind in the assembly of that time. Their hearts were filled with joy, and everybody rendered homage, from a long way off. Uncountable sentient beings, on hearing the Dharma, came to understand it and arrived at the stage of non-regression (futaiten). Also, innumerable sentient beings received the annunciation of their future attainment to the path of Buddhahood.

The earth trembled in that immaculate terrain (i.e., the east rose and the west sank; the west rose and the east sank; the north rose and the south sank; the south rose and the north sank; the middle rose and the borders sank; the borders rose and the middle sank). In the Dimension that has to be Endured (shaba sekai, sahā-lokadhātu), three thousand sentient beings reached the stage of non-regression. Another three thousand persons were awakened to seeking enlightenment and also received the annunciation of their future Buddhahood. Both the Bodhisattva Accumulated Wisdom (Chishaku, Jñānākara) and Sharihotsu (Shāriputra), as well as the whole assembly, all took faith in and accepted what they saw.

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