Wonderful Dharma Lotus Sutra
Translation into Chinese by Tripitaka Master Kumarajiva of Yao Qin Dynasty (ca. A.D.400)
Chapter Twenty-seven -- The Past Deeds of King Wonderful
AT THAT TIME the Buddha told the great
assembly, "Long ago, in the distant past, uncountable, boundless, inconceivable
asamkhyeyas of eons ago, there was a Buddha by the name of Cloud Thunder Sound
Constellation King Flower Wisdom, Tathagata, Arhat, Samyaksambuddha. The name of
his country was Adorned by Light, and the name of his eon was Delight to
"Within the Dharma of that Buddha, there was a king by the name
of Wonderful Adornment. The wife of the king was called Pure Virtue. She had two
sons, the first named Pure Storehouse, the second named Pure Eye. These two sons
had mighty spiritual powers, blessings, virtues, and wisdom. They had long
cultivated the path practiced by the Bodbisattvas dana-paramita, shila-paramita,
kshanti-paramita, virya-paramita, dhyana-paramita, and prajna-paramita; the
paramita of skillful means; kindness, compassion, joy, and giving as well as the
Thirty-seven Dharmas Aiding the Path. They had completely understood and
penetrated all of these. They had also obtained the Bodhisattva's Pure Samadhi;
the Samadhi of Sun and Stars; the Samadhi of Pure Light; the Samadhi of Pure
Form; the Samadhi of Bright and Pure Illumination; the Samadhi of Extensive
Adornment; and the Samadhi of the Storehouse of Great Awesome Virtue. All of
these samadhis they had also completely penetrated."
At that time the
Buddha, wishing to guide King Wonderful Adornment and also to be compassionate
towards and mindful of living beings, spoke the Dharma Flower Sutra.
two sons, Pure Storehouse and Pure Eye, went before their mother, placed their
palms together and said, "We entreat you, Mother, to visit the Buddha Cloud
Thunder Sound Constellation King Flower Wisdom. We should follow, draw near to,
make offerings to, and worship him. Why? The Buddha is speaking the Dharma
Flower Sutra for all the hosts of gods and humans. We should listen to it and
The mother said to her sons, "Your father believes in an
externalist way and is deeply attached to the dharmas of Brahmanism. You should
ask him if he wants to go along."
With their palms together, Pure
Storehouse and Pure Eye said to their mother, "We are Dharma Princes, and yet we
have been born into this house of deviant views!"
The mother replied,
"Out of concern for your father, you should manifest spiritual transformations.
If he sees them, his mind will be purified, and perhaps he will permit us to go
to the Buddha."
Then, out of concern for their father, the two Sons rose
up into Space to the height of seven tala trees and manifested various spiritual
In space they walked, stood, sat, and reclined. From the
upper part of their bodies, they emitted water; and from the lower part, fire.
From the lower part of their bodies, they emitted water; and from the upper
part, fire. They manifested in huge bodies filling up all of space, and then
they manifested as being small. From being small, they again manifested as being
large. In space, they disaippeared and then suddenly reappeared on the earth.
They entered the earth as if it were water, and walked on the water as if it
Manifesting such spiritual transformations of all kinds, they
led their father's mind to purity, belief, and understanding.
sons' spiritual powers, the father rejoiced greatly and gained what he had never
experienced before. Placing his palms together, he said to his sons, "Who is
your Master? Whose disciples are you?"
The two sons said, "Your Majesty!
He is the Buddha Cloud Thunder Sound Constellation King Flower Wisdom. He now
sits on the Dharma seat beneath the seven treasures Bodhi tree proclaiming the
Dharma Flower Sutra for all the hosts of gods and humans. He is our teacher; we
are his disciples."
The father said to his sons, "I now also wish to meet
your Master. Let us go there together!"
The two sons then came down from
space, went to their mother, and with their palms joined, said, "Our father, the
king, now believes and understands. He has been able to bring forth the resolve
for anuttarasam yaksambodhi. For the sake of our father, we have carried out the
Buddha's work. We pray, Mother, that you will give us permission to leave the
home-life and cultivate the Way under that Buddha's guidance."
time the two sons, wishing to restate their intention, spoke verses to their
We pray our mother will let us go
Leave the home-life
and become Shramanas.
The Buddhas are extremely hard to meet,
will follow the Buddha in study.
As rare as the udumbara flower,
harder to meet, is the Buddha;
It's difficult, too, to cast off difficulty.
So please let us leave the home-life!
The mother then said, "I
permit you to leave home. Why? Because the Buddhas are difficult to get to
The two sons then said to their parents, "Good indeed, Father
and Mother! It is time, if you please, to go to the Buddha Cloud Thunder Sound
Constellation King Flower Wisdom, to draw near to him and make offerings. Why is
this? The Buddhas are as difficult to meet as the udumbara flower. It is also as
difficult as it would be for a one-eyed tortoise to meet with a hole in a
floating log. But our blessings from former lives are deep and thick, and so in
this life we have encountered the Buddhadharma. Therefore, Father and Mother,
hear us and allow us to leave the home-life. Why? The Buddhas are difficult to
get to meet, and such a time is hard to encounter."
At that time
eighty-four thousand women in the palace of King Wonderful Adornment all became
capable of receiving and upholding the Dharma Flower Sutra.
Bodhisattva Pure Eye had already long ago penetrated the Samadhi of the Dharma
Flower. The Bodhisattva Pure Storehouse had already, for uncountable hundreds of
thousands of myriads of kotis of eons, penetrated the Samadhi of Separation from
All Evil Destinies, because he wished to cause all living beings to leave the
The king's wife obtained the Samadhi of the Buddha's
Accumulation and was able to know all the secret treasuries of the
The two sons, using the power of such expedients, skillfully
taught their father, leading his mind to belief and understanding, and causing
him to take delight in the Buddhadharma.
Then, King Wonderful Adornment,
together with his assembled ministers and retinue; Queen Pure Virtue, together
with her maidservants and retinue; and the king's two sons, together with
forty-two thousand people, all went to the Buddha. Upon arrival, they bowed with
their heads at the Buddha's feet, circumambulated him three times, and withdrew
to one side.
That Buddha then spoke the Dharma for the king's
instruction, bringing him benefit and delight, and the king rejoiced
Then King Wonderful Adornment and his wife removed their pearl
necklaces, valued in the hundreds of thousands, and scattered them over the
Buddha. In space, the necklaces transformed into a jeweled terrace with four
pillars. In the center of the terrace was a large jeweled couch upon which were
spread hundreds of thousands of myriads of heavenly garments. And on top of them
was a Buddha seated in full lotus, emitting great light.
Wonderful Adornment had this thought, "The Buddha's body is rare, upright,
splendid, and distinguished."
The Buddha Cloud Thunder Sound
Constellation King Flower Wisdom then told the four assemblies, "Do you see King
Wonderful Adornment who stands before me with his palms joined? This king shall
become a Bhikshu within my Dharma. Diligent in his cultivation of the Dharmas
that Aid the Buddha Way, he shall become a Buddha by the name of Sala Tree King.
His country shall be called Great Light. His eon shall be called Great Lofty
King. The Buddha Sala Tree King shall have a host of uncountable Bodhisattvas as
well as uncountable Hearers. His country will be flat and even. Thus shall be
his merit and virtue."
The king then immediately conferred his country
upon his younger brother, and together with his wife, his two children, and his
retinue, left home within the Buddhadharma to cultivate the Way.
leaving the home-life, for eighty-four thousand years the king was always
diligent and vigorous in his cultivation of the Wonderful Dharma Flower Sutra.
Afterwards he obtained the Samadhi of the Adornment with All Pure Merit and
He immediately rose up into space to the height of seven tala
trees and said to the Buddha, "World Honored One, my two sons have already done
the Buddha's work. With spiritual penetrations and transformations, they have
turned me away from deviant thought and caused me to abide securely within the
Buddhadharma and to meet with the World Honored One. These two sons are my Good
and Wise Advisors. Wishing to arouse in me the good roots planted in former
lives and to benefit me, they came to be born in my household."
time the Buddha Cloud Thunder Sound Constellation King Flower Wisdom told King
Wonderful Adornment, "So it is, so it is, just as you say. If good men or good
women have planted good roots, in life after life they may gain a Good and Wise
Advisor. The Good and Wise Advisor can do the Buddha's work, instruct, benefit,
and delight them, and cause them to enter anuttarasamyaksambodhi.
King, you should know that a Good and Wise Advisor is a great causal condition,
for he teaches and guides people, and causes them to see the Buddha and to bring
forth the resolve for anuttarasamyaksambodhi.
"Great King, do you see
these two children? In the past, these two children made offerings to Buddhas
equal in number to the grains of sand in sixty-five hundred thousand myriads of
kotis of nayutas of Ganges Rivers, drawing near them with reverence. In the
presence of those Buddhas, they received and upheld the Dharma Flower Sutra.
Pitying living beings with deviant views, they led them to abide in proper
King Wonderful Adornment then came down from space and said to the
Buddha, "World Honored One, the Thus Come One is extremely rare. By means of his
merit and virtue and wisdom, the flesh cowl atop his head dazzles brightly. His
eyes are long and broad, violet in color. The hair-mark light between his
eyebrows is as white as the glistening moon. His teeth are white, even, and
always shining. His lips are a fine red color like the bimba
Having thus praised the Buddha for his uncountable hundreds of
thousands of myriads of kotis of meritorious virtues, King Wonderful Adornment
then, in the presence of the Thus Come One, single-mindedly placed his palms
together and further said to the Buddha, "World Honored One, the Thus Come One's
Dharma is unique, perfect in the accomplishment of inconceivable, subtle, and
wonderful merit and virtue. His teachings on the practice of morality lead to
security, joy, and goodness. From this day forward, I shall never again follow
the course of my own mind. I will never give rise to deviant views, arrogance,
anger, or any other evil thoughts."
Having said that, he bowed to the
Buddha and left.
The Buddha told the great assembly, "What do you think?
Could King Wonderful Adornment have been anyone else? He was just the present
Bodhisattva Flower Virtue. His wife, Queen Pure Virtue, was just the Bodhisattva
Mark of Shining Adornment now in the presence of the Buddha, who, out of pity
for King Wonderful Adornment and his retinue, was born among them.
two sons are the present Bodhisattva Medicine King and Bodhisattva Medicine
Superior. The Bodhisattva Medicine King and the Bodhisattva Medicine Superior
have accomplished such great merit and virtue as this. In the presence of
uncountable hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of Buddhas, they have
already amassed the roots of virtue and accomplished inconceivable wholesome
merit and virtue.
"If a person knows the names of these two Bodhisattvas,
all the world with its population of gods and humans should do obeisance to
When the Buddha spoke this chapter, "The Past Deeds of King
Wonderful Adornment," eighty-four thousand people were removed from the dust and
separated from defilement. They obtained the Purity of the Dharma Eye with
respect to all dharmas.
Chapter Twenty-eight -- The Encouragement of Universal Worthy
AT THAT TIME Universal Worthy Bodhisattva,
renowned for his comfort, spiritual powers, and awesome virtue, came from the
east together with uncountable, boundless, incalculable great Bodhisattvas. The
countries they passed through quaked, and jeweled lotuses rained down while
uncountable hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of kinds of music
He was also accompanied by and surrounded by a great host of
countless gods, dragons, yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras,
mahoragas, humans, nonhumans, and so forth. Each was manifesting the power of
awesome virtue and spiritual penetrations.
Arriving at Mount Gridhrakuta
in the Saha world, they bowed in obeisance to Shakyamuni Buddha, circumambulated
him seven times to the right and said to the Buddha, "World Honored One, in the
country of the Buddha Superior King of Jeweled Awesome Virtue, I heard from afar
that in the Saha world, the Dharma Flower Sutra was being spoken. I have come
with uncountable, boundless hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of
Bodhisattvas to hear and receive it. I only pray that the World Honored One will
speak it. After the passing of the Thus Come One, how is a good man or a good
woman to obtain the Dharma Flower Sutra?"
The Buddha told Universal
Worthy Bodhisattva, "If a good man or a good woman accomplishes the Four
Dharmas, he will attain the Dharma Flower Sutra after the passing of the Thus
Come One. First, he is the object of the Buddha's mindfulness and protection.
Second, he amasses the roots of virtue. Third, he enters the collection of
proper concentrations. Fourth, he brings forth the mind to rescue all living
"If a good man or a good woman in this way accomplishes these
Four Dharmas, he is certain to gain this Sutra after the passing of the Thus
Universal Worthy Bodhisattva then said to the Buddha, "World
Honored One, in the last five hundred years, in the turbid, evil world, if there
are those who receive and uphold this Sutra, I shall protect them, keep them
from harm, and cause them to be peaceful and secure. No being will be able to
take advantage of them, be it a demon, a demon son, a demon daughter, a demon
subject, or one possessed by a demon, a yaksha, rakshasa, kumbhanda, pishacha,
kritya, putana, vetala, or any tormentor of human beings none shall get at
"If there is a person reading or reciting this Sutra, whether
walking or standing, I will at that time mount my royal white elephant with six
tusks and together with a host of Great Bodhisattvas go to that place, manifest
my body, make offerings, protect him, and comfort his mind, and also make
offerings to the Dharma Flower Sutra.
"Should a person be sitting and
pondering over this Sutra, I will at that time again mount my royal white
elephant and manifest before him. If he should forget a line or a verse of the
Dharma Flower Sutra, I will teach it to him, and read and recite it with him
until he becomes fluent. Upon seeing me, the one who receives, upholds, reads,
and recites the Dharma Flower Sutra will rejoice greatly and increase his vigor.
Having seen me, he will immediately obtain samadhis and dharanis a dharani by
the name of Revolution, a dharani of a hundred thousand myriad kotis of
revolutions, and a dharani of the skill-in-means of Dharma sounds. He shall
obtain dharanis such as these.
"World Honored One, if in the last five
hundred years, in the turbid evil world, there is a Bhikshu, Bhikshuni, Upasaka,
or Upasika, who seeks, upholds, reads, recites, writes out, or wishes to
cultivate the Dharma Flower Sutra, he or she should be single-minded and
vigorous for twenty-one days. At the end of twenty-one days I will mount my
white elephant with six tusks, and surrounded by uncountable Bodhisattvas, I
will appear before that person in a body all living beings delight in seeing,
and speak the Dharma for him, instructing, benefiting, and delighting him. I
shall further give him a dharani mantra. Once he obtains the dharani mantra, no
nonhuman will be able to hurt him, nor will he be confused by women. I will also
personally protect this person forever. I only pray the World Honored One will
allow me to speak this dharani mantra."
Then, in the presence of the
Buddha, he spoke this mantra, saying:
E tan di. Tan tuo po di. Tan tuo po
di. Tan tuo jiu she li. Tan tuo xiu tuo li. Xiu tuo li. Xiu tuo luo po di. Fo
tuo bo shan mi. Sa pe tuo luo ni e po duo ni. Sa po po sa e po duo ni. Xiu e po
duo ni. Seng qie po li cha ni.
Seng qie nie qie tuo ni. E seng chi. Seng
qie po qie di. Di li e duo seng qie duo liao. E luo di po luo di. Sa po seng qie
di san mo di qie ian di. Sa pe da mo xiu bo li cha di. Sa pe sa tuo lou tuo qiao
she liao e na qie di. Xin e pi ji li di di.
"World Honored One, if there
is a Bodhisattva who hears this dharani, you should know that it is through the
power of the spiritual penetrations of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva. If the
Dharma Flower Sutra is circulating through Jambudvipa, and if a person receives
and upholds it, he should bring forth this thought, 'This is all through the
power of the awesome spirit of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva.'
person receives, upholds, reads, and recites it, properly recollects it,
explains its doctrines, and cultivates according to its teachings, you should
know that he is practicing the conduct of Universal Worthy. He has planted deep
good roots in the presence of boundless, uncountable Buddhas. His head has been
rubbed by the hands of the Thus Come Ones.
"If a person merely writes out
the Sutra, at the end of his life, he will be born in the Trayastrimsha Heaven.
At that time eighty-four thousand heavenly women will welcome him with all kinds
of music. He shall immediately don a cap made of seven treasures and enjoy
himself among the goddesses. How much the more will this be the case for one who
receives, upholds, reads, and recites it, properly recollects it, explains its
doctrines, and cultivates according to its teachings! If a person receives,
upholds, reads, recites, and explains its doctrines, at the end of his life a
thousand Buddhas will extend their hands toward him, so that he need not fear
falling into the evil destinies. He will immediately be born in the Tushita
Heaven in the presence of Maitreya Bodhisattva. Maitreya Bodhisattva has
thirty-two marks and is surrounded by a host of great Bodhisattvas and a retinue
of hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of goddesses. Being born therein,
he shall obtain merit and virtue and benefits such as these.
one with wisdom should single-mindedly write it out himself, employ others to
write it out, receive, uphold, read, recite, and properly recollect it and
cultivate in accord with its teachings.
"World Honored One, I now protect
this Sutra with my spiritual powers. After the passing of the Thus Come One, I
shall propagate it widely in Jambudvipa, so that it will never be cut
At that time Shakyamuni Buddha praised him, saying, "Good indeed,
good indeed, Universal Worthy, that you can protect and aid this Sutra and
bestow happiness and benefit on many living beings. You have already
accomplished inconceivable merit and virtue, and deep and great compassion. From
the distant past you have brought forth the resolve for anuttarasamyaksambodhi
and have been able to make this vow to protect this Sutra with spiritual
penetrations. I shall now use the power of spiritual penetrations to protect
those who can receive and uphold the name of Universal Worthy
"Universal Worthy, if a person can receive and uphold, read,
recite, properly recollect, cultivate, and write out the Dharma Flower Sutra,
you should know that this person thereby sees Shakyamuni Buddha. It is as if he
had heard this Sutra from the Buddha's mouth. You should know that this person
has made offerings to Shakyamuni Buddha. You should know that the Buddha has
praised this person, saying, 'Good indeed!'
"You should know that this
person's head has been rubbed by Shakyamuni Buddha's hand, and that he has been
covered by Shakyamuni Buddha's robe.
"A person such as this will never
again be attached to worldly pleasures. He will never again be fond of the texts
or manuscripts of externalist ways, nor will he enjoy drawing near such people
or other evil people, be they butchers; keepers of pigs, sheep, fowl, or dogs;
hunters; or panderers.
"This person's mind will be straightforward and
his memory proper. He will have the power of blessings and virtue. This person
will not be tormented by the three poisons, nor will he again be tormented by
jealousy, arrogance, deviant pride, or overweening pride. This person will have
few desires and will know contentment. He will be able to cultivate the conduct
of Universal Worthy.
"Universal Worthy, if after the passing of the Thus
Come One, in the last five hundred years, you see a person who can receive,
uphold, read, and recite the Dharma Flower Sutra, you should think, 'Before
long, this person will go to the Way-place and destroy the demon hordes. He will
attain anuttarasamyaksambodhi, turn the Dharma-wheel, beat upon the Dharma drum,
blow the Dharma conch, let fall the Dharma rain, and soon sit on the Lion Dharma
throne among the great hosts of gods and humans.
"Universal Worthy, if in
the later age, there is a person who can receive, uphold, read, or recite this
Sutra, he will never again be greedy for clothing, bedding, food, and drink, or
any necessities of life. His vows will not be in vain, and in his present life
he shall obtain the reward of blessings.
"If one ridicules and slanders
this person, saying, 'You're insane! What you are doing is useless and will
never amount to anything,' his retribution will be such that in life after life
he will have no eyes.
"If a person makes offerings and gives praise, then
in his present life he will obtain the fruits of his reward.
one sees a person receiving and upholding this Sutra and then speaks of his
faults or evils, be they true or untrue, in his present life he will contract
"If one ridicules him and laughs, then in life after life his
teeth will be sparse and missing, his lips ugly, his nose flat, his hands and
feet contorted, his eyes pointed and askew, his body stinking and filthy. He
will be covered with hideous sores, pus, and blood. His belly will be full of
water, or he will be short of breath. He will be plagued with all manner of
nasty and grave illnesses.
"Therefore, Universal Worthy, if one sees a
person who receives and upholds this Sutra, one should welcome him from afar and
revere him as one would the Buddha."
When this chapter, "The
Encouragement of Universal Worthy," had been spoken, uncountable, boundless
numbers of Bodhisattvas, as many as the Ganges sands, obtained the dharani of a
hundred thousand myriad kotis of revolutions. Bodhisattvas equal in number to
the motes of dust in the three thousand great thousand worlds perfected the path
of Universal Worthy.
When the Buddha had spoken this Sutra, Universal
Worthy and all the other Bodhisattvas, Shariputra and all the Hearers, as well
as the entire great assembly of gods, dragons, humans, nonhumans, and so forth,
all greatly rejoiced, received and upheld the Buddha's words, made obeisance,
Also known as:)
Saddharma Pundarika Sutra
Translated into Chinese during the Yil, Tson Dynasty by
Translated into English by the Buddhist Text