Buddhist things, and the Lotus Sutra – Chapter 16

I’ve been studying Nichiren Buddhism for some time, and at His request, I received Gohonzon during my week AFK – my guest was the person who introduced me to the practice and flew 3500 miles to be there for the ceremony.  Since I’ve started studying Buddhism in more depth, I’ve come to realize that Loki has said some things to me that are Buddhist as fuck, and I haven’t written about them here because I’m much newer to Buddhism than Paganism; maybe at some point I’ll share when I feel like i can field more questions rather than passing them on to someone else.  I have been tremendously tickled to find evidence of lay nuns in among Nichiren Daishonen‘s disciples. I have more thinky thoughts on my experiences of Loki as a Buddha (and for my purposes, a Buddha is a wise teacher, and there are many of those, both of the fleshy and disembodied variety), but for now I’ll leave y’all with Chapter 16 of the Lotus Sutra, which is good fodder for thought on the long fallow period between monotheism’s domination of western religion and the resurgence of polytheistic and Pagan traditions today.

At that time, the World Honored One [Shakyamuni Buddha], … spoke verses, saying,

From the time I attained Buddhahood,
The eons that have passed
Are limitless hundreds of thousands of myriads
Of kotis of asamkhyeyas in number.
I always speak the Dharma to teach and transform
Countless millions of living beings,
So they enter the Buddha Way.
And throughout these limitless eons,
In order to save living beings,
I expediently manifest Nirvana.
But in truth I do not pass into quiescence.
I remain here, always speaking the Dharma.
I always stay right here,
And using the power of spiritual penetrations,
I cause inverted living beings,
Although near me, not to see me.
The multitudes see me as passing into quiescence.
They extensively make offerings to my sharira.
All cherish ardent longing for me,
And their hearts look up to me in thirst.
Living beings, then faithful and subdued,
Straightforward, with compliant minds,
Single-mindedly wish to see the Buddha,
Caring not for their very lives.
At that time I and the Sangha assembly
All appear together on Magic Vulture Mountain,
Where I say to living beings
That I am always here and never cease to be.
But using the power of expedient devices
I manifest “ceasing” and “not ceasing” to be.
For living beings in other lands,
Reverent, faithful, and aspiring,
I speak the Unsurpassed Dharma.
But you who do not hear this
Think that I have passed into quiescence.
I see living beings
Sunk in misery, and yet
I refrain from manifesting for them
In order to cause them to look up in thirst,
Then, when their minds are filled with longing,
I emerge and speak the Dharma.
With such powerful spiritual penetrations,
Throughout asamkhyeyas of eons,
I remain always on Magic Vulture Mountain
And also dwell in other places.
When beings see the eon ending
And ravaged by the great fire,
My land is peaceful and secure,
Always filled with gods and humans,
Gardens and groves, halls and pavilions,
And various precious adornments.
There are jeweled trees with many flowers and fruits
Where living beings roam in delight.
The gods play celestial drums,
Always making various kinds of music,
And mandarava flowers
Are scattered on the Buddha and the great assembly.
My Pure Land is not destroyed,
But the multitudes see it being burned entirely.
Worried, terrified, and miserable,
Such ones are everywhere.
All these beings with offenses,
Because of their evil karmic causes and conditions,
Pass through asamkhyeyas of eons,
Without hearing the name of the Triple Jewel.
All who have cultivated merit and virtue,
Who are compliant, agreeable, and honest
They all see me
Here, speaking the Dharma.
Sometimes for this assembly,
I speak of the Buddha’s life span as limitless.
To those who see the Buddha only after long intervals,
I speak of the Buddha as being difficult to meet.
The power of my wisdom
The unlimited illumination of my wisdom
Is such that my life span is one of countless eons
Attained through long cultivation and work.
Those of you with wisdom,
Should not have doubts about this.
Cut them off entirely and forever,
For the Buddha’s words are real, not false.
They are like the clever expedients of the physician
Who, to cure his insane children,
Is actually alive, yet says he is dead,
And none can say that he speaks falsely.
I, too, am like a father to the world,
Saving all from suffering and woe.
But to living beings, inverted as they are,
I speak of cessation, although I actually remain.
Otherwise, because they often see me,
They would grow arrogant and lax.
Unruly and attached to the five desires,
They would tumble into the evil paths.
I am ever aware of living beings
Those who practice the Way and those who do not.
I speak various Dharmas for their sakes
To save them in an appropriate manner.
I am always thinking,
“How can I cause living beings
To enter the Unsurpassed Way
And to quickly perfect the body of a Buddha?”
via Lotus Sutra – Chapter 16.

8 Comments

  1. It’s been years and years and years since I studied anything Buddhism like, but I have said from the beginning that Poseidon is very, very Zen. Buddhism and yoga ideas and practices inform my devotional acts and my spiritual foundation more than anything Hellenic. It’s fun. I’m so not surprised, knowing Loki and knowing Buddhism, to hear that it’s a nice fit. YAY!!!

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