Tonight, we did a Guru Rinpoche prayer. After which, Acho Rinpoche continued to expound the Lotus Sutra. Sakyamuni Buddha waited for this final moment in his life to transmit the ultimate teachings to his students, which would truly bring them onto the path to Buddhahood. It was also the time for him to prophesize their final attainment of Buddhahood in the far future, with their Buddha titles foretold.
A Vietnamese Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, had a very special experience when he recited the Lotus Sutra one day. “At night, when I was reciting the Lotus Sutra, suddenly I heard the sound of recitation resounded in the entire universe, earth seemed to have awaken within the vastness of space, and all kinds of flower blossomed fully! A brilliant jeweled stupa appeared, illuminating the whole universe. As I lifted my head and look upward into the night sky, I saw an oceanic assembly of Bodhisattvas appearing in the space, and I saw the hand of Sakyamuni Buddha within mine…”
In the history of ancient China, another Buddhist master by the name of Master Wisdom (538-597) also had a very special experience while reciting a chapter entitled “King of Medicine” within the Lotus Sutra that read “which is thus considered true diligence, true offering of Dharma to the Buddha.” At that juncture, he entered the Lotus Samadhi and witnessed the very assembly on top of the Vulture Peak, where Sakyamuni Buddha was still expounding the Lotus Sutra, with Sun Moon Lamp Buddha appearing in the same space too. Later, Master Wisdom founded the Tian Tai School which specialized in the propagation of the Lotus Sutra.
Anyone who recites any sentence within the Lotus Sutra, or by merely reciting the title of the sutra, will attain the state of Buddhahood one day! The Japanese Lotus Sect advocates the mere recitation of the title of Lotus Sutra as the main practice. Lotus Sutra is often being studied from two angles: its historical background and the miraculous phenomena such as the oceanic appearance of the enlightened ones, the appearance of the Jewel-rich Buddha Stupa from beneath the earth etc. Acho Rinpoche told us that the appearance of the Sun Moon Lamp Buddha will be accompanied by the Jewel-rich Buddha Stupa without fail due to the deep spiritual connection between the two. Thich Nhat Hanh expounded the Lotus Sutra from the third angle, emphasizing on the importance of “action”. Bodhisattva Despising No One is an exemplary role of “action”, where he would prostrate to everyone whom he met and addressed everyone as a Buddha. Such is the practice free of ego. When he was about to die, he heard the exposition of Lotus Sutra by the Magnificent Voice Buddha in space and immediately attained the ultimate state of liberation with his six sensual organs purified instantaneously. So, viewing everyone as a Buddha is the most expedient path to enlightenment! One who can internalise this teaching will attain the state of Buddhahood in the shortest time.
Acho Rinpoche also mentioned another enlightened being coming from a different world, Bodhisattva Wonderful Sound, who came from another Buddha Land to our world in order to hear the exposition of Lotus Sutra by Sakyamuni Buddha. At that juncture, a strong light was emitted from the forehead of Sakyamuni Buddha which illuminated all the Buddha Lands within the universe, including the Clear Light Sublime Pure Land where Bodhisattva Wonderful Sound was a resident. The Clear Light Sublime Buddha of that world advised Bodhisattva Wonderful Sound not to look down on Sakyamuni Buddha and his students in our world who were a lot smaller in size and our land which appeared to be uneven and filthy. It is obvious that we are not alone in this universe and the numerous worlds mentioned in the Buddhist doctrines far surpassed what the modern science can verify.
Finally, Acho Rinpoche advised us to copy the Lotus Sutra, recite it and be mindful about it during our daily activities while eating, walking and working etc. Eventually, we should truly attain the ultimate teachings expounded in the Lotus Sutra.
Homage to the Lotus Sutra! Sadhu! Sadhu!
Reported by Sun-Moon KFS on 5-5-2017 in Singapore