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The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra : Belief and Understanding

Tripitaka Master Hua, Commentary

ISBN 10: 0917512642 / ISBN 13: 9780917512643
Published by Buddhist Text Translation Society, Burlingame, California, U.S.A., 1980
Used Condition: Fine Soft cover
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This is a fine first printing trade paperback copy. Blue spine. Looks like an unread copy. Bookseller Inventory # 033291

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra : ...

Publisher: Buddhist Text Translation Society, Burlingame, California, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1980

Binding: Trade Paperback

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: wraps

Edition: First Printing

About this title


The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra, more commonly known in English as the Lotus Sutra (Sanskrit: Saddharma-pundarika-sutra), is one of the major Buddhist texts of East Asia. It was spoken in the last period of Shakyamuni Buddha s life, proclaiming the ultimate principles of the Dharma, which unites all previous teachings into one. With many parables e.g. those of the burning house, the lost son, and the rain the Buddha teaches that all beings can become fully enlightened and that this achievement, and not that of becoming Shravakas or Pratyekabuddhas, has always been the ultimate intent of his teaching. This Sutra also includes separate chapters on several important bodhisattvas within the Mahayana tradition, such as Avalokiteshvara (Guan Shi Yin) and Samantabhadra (Pu Xian)

The English translation of this Sutra and the commentary of Master Hua was done by the Buddhist Text Translation Society (BTTS). The translation process of the Society is modeled after the translation assemblies of earlier times and publishes work only after it has passed through four committees for primary translation, revision, editing, and certification. The leaders of these committees are bhikshus (monks) and bhikshunis (nuns) who have devoted their lives to the study and practice of the Buddha s teachings. For that reason, works published by the Society emphasize the practical applications of the Buddha s teachings.

There are many other translations in English of the Lotus Sutra. The uniqueness of this sixteen volume series is that all twenty-eight chapters include extensive commentary by the late Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua, whose accessible explanations show this ancient text s meaning as instruction for practice on the spiritual path in the modern world.

In this present volume, Chapter 4: Belief and Understanding, disciples express astonishment at hearing the Buddha s announcement that Shariputra will become a Buddha. The Buddha s great disciple Mahkashyapa then speaks a parable of a son who runs away from home. When the son is poor and destitute he encounters his father again and unexpectedly inherits all of his father s wealth. In the same way, Sound Hearer disciples of the Buddha, with the goal of Arhatship, are amazed and delighted to learn that they, too, can attain Buddhahood.

This chapter describes one of the most important events in the Buddha s teaching career, the transfer of his Two Vehicle followers to the Great Vehicle or Buddha-path. More important, Master Hua s commentary explains how this story is applicable to everyone. All individuals are identified with the Buddha s disciples and the wayward son and have the potential of attaining annutara-samyak-sambodhi (supreme and perfect enlightenment).

About the Author:

Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua (1918-1995) was a monastic reformer and the first Chinese master to teach Buddhism to large numbers of Westerners. During his long career he supported the translation of the Buddhist canon into English and other languages.

Born in 1918 to a peasant family in a small village south of Harbin, in northeast China, Master Hua was the youngest of eight children. After his mother s death, when he was 19, he became a monk and meditated by his mother s grave for three years and practiced other austerities. He received full ordination in 1947 at the Buddhist holy mountain Pu Tuo.

At Nan Hua Monastery, the Bodhimanda of the Sixth Patriarch, in Guang Dong Province, he received from Chan Master Xu Yun (1840-1959) the Dharma-seal as the 9th Patriarch of the Wei Yang lineage, the 46th generation in a line descending from Shakyamuni Buddha. Master Xu Yun also bestowed upon him the Dharma-transmission name Hsüan Hua.

In 1949, Master Hua left China for Hong Kong, where he taught meditation, lectured on the Buddhist sutras, and helped to establish three Buddhist monasteries. In 1962, he traveled to the United States at the invitation of his Hong Kong disciples, who were then living in San Francisco Bay Area, and he began lecturing at the San Francisco Buddhist Lecture Hall. In 1970, Master Hua moved from Chinatown to the newly established Gold Mountain Monastery in the Mission District of San Francisco. In 1976 he established a new headquarters at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, in Ukiah, California.

Additionally, he founded the Buddhist Text Translation Society with the goal of translating the Buddhist canon. It has now published over two hundred volumes of translations. Before his passing at the age of 77 near Los Angeles, he had founded over 20 monasteries and temples worldwide.

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