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Watson s translation is clear and convincing, as usual The Lotus Sutra is a collection of mostly devotional sermons, and Watson renders the poetry beautifully This probably isn t the best place to pick up the basics of Mahayana Buddhism, but culturally it s important. So, one does not rate the Lotus Sutra It s the Lotus Sutra What s being evaluated here is the translation and presentation of the work.Overall, Burton Watson s translation is a good, non offensive go to edition pretty easily found in print It s also non scholar friendly, making it a good choice forcasual studiers of Buddhism. More then half the book is about, reading the book It goes into great lengths about how easily you can obtain Buddhahood by reading the book, and about how, despite the infinite love and compassion, how you will suffering near endless torture for maligning the book.The whole thing stinks of the trope How to write a book and make a millions dollars book The point of the book is simply the act of reading the book where the main message is to get other people to read this book It barely has a More then half the book is about, reading the book It goes into great lengths about how easily you can obtain Buddhahood by reading the book, and about how, despite the infinite love and compassion, how you will suffering near endless torture for maligning the book.The whole thing stinks of the trope How to write a book and make a millions dollars book The point of the book is simply the act of reading the book where the main message is to get other people to read this book It barely has any content, the half dozen parables and opening One Vehicle message can be put into just a few pages So, instead of getting a million dollars or, in the sutra, a hundred, ten thousand, million sands of the Ganges tael of gold you attain buddahood it s the same principle as the trope though.I fully understand it s a religious book, it s nigh endless repetitions are supposed to assist memory and meditation Since it s religious you need a push and a pull thus the glory of acting and the horrible consequences of maligning It s pretty much unreadable If I weren t reading this for my own studies in Classic Japanese literature, which make constant reference to this Sutra, I doubt I would have subjected myself to reading through it This is a awakening teaching Allegorical in it s telling, it explains the true nature of humanity of the ultimate equality of us all in our infinite potential Perhaps the first true self empowerment teaching but oh so much, it is also the foundation for Nichiren Buddhism, an incredibly powerful, practical method of faith, practice, and study for achieving absolute happiness and wisdom and living your life to its fullest potential Best read and discussed with a friend who knows Quoting another s review Three of the Buddha s greatest sermons, May 28, 2000 By Joseph H Pierre Joe Pierre Salem, OR USA See all my reviews TOP 500 REVIEWER REAL NAME The word Sutra, literally means thread or string The scriptures containing the teachings of the Buddha Most of the major Sutras were originally written in Pali or Sanscrit, although some were written in Tibetan or Chinese They are among the world s oldest literature.These Sutras are called The Sutra of Innume Quoting another s review Three of the Buddha s greatest sermons, May 28, 2000 By Joseph H Pierre Joe Pierre Salem, OR USA See all my reviews TOP 500 REVIEWER REAL NAME The word Sutra, literally means thread or string The scriptures containing the teachings of the Buddha Most of the major Sutras were originally written in Pali or Sanscrit, although some were written in Tibetan or Chinese They are among the world s oldest literature.These Sutras are called The Sutra of Innumerable Meanings The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law and The Sutra of Meditation on the Bodhisattva Universal Virtue Ananda, a cousin of Sakyamuni and one of the Buddha s ten great disciples, famous for his excellent memory, is supposed to have memorized the Buddha s sermons, which were later recorded as Sutras.The word bodhi, used in Bodhisattva, means wisdom or enlightenment, and pertains to buddhahood Boddhisattva, then, refers to a living being in the final stages of achieving buddhahood, or becoming one who is enlightened.These are among the most important of the Sutras At their heart are three major concepts of Mahayana the great path Buddhism First, all sentient beings may attain perfect enlightenment, the main goal of Buddhism Second, the Buddha is eternal, having existed throughout the infinite past and appearing in many forms throughout the ages, guiding and teaching the law and Third, the noblest form of Buddhist practice is the way of the Boddhisattva, who devotes himself to enlightenment.The Threefold Sutra records three of the sermons preached by the Buddha best known to us Siddhartha, a prince of Gautama, of the Sakyamuni clan sometimes referred to simply as Sakyamuni to a host of boddhisattvas, consisting of the Opening Sutra, the Meditation on the Boddhisattva Universal Virtue Sutra, and finally the Lotis Sutra For the serious student of Buddhism, this is a most desirable book Joseph Pierre, Author of THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS Our Journey Through Eternity The basis of my faith Commentary to follow once I ve compared to the new edition out last year. The Lotus Sutra is considered by all philosophers as a crucial piece in understanding Buddhist philosophy and its unique and almost poetic structure is beautifully translated by Watson in a distinct way that it can be easily understood yet still greatly appreciated by both beginners and adept readers in Mahayana Buddhist texts If you re looking for somewhere to start then Watson s translation of The Lotus Sutra is a definite good first step. This is far and away the best version of any English translation It alone has footnotes that reveal extremely important information and clarifications you will not find in any other source It also has the unpolluted version of the Dragon Princess chapter.If you are going to read the sutra in English, you should read THIS version first. I read the Nichiren Translation online.One of the ultimate troll wisdom texts As many have pointed out, it reads like a grand preface to something that will never come, but, in fact, the preface is itself the text Further, the text begins with Buddha explaining how he ll straight up lie and tell elaborate fantasies to get people to believe in the One Vehicle by catering to their own subjective perception, and then the rest of the Sutra proceeds to get eveninsane by the second, kind o I read the Nichiren Translation online.One of the ultimate troll wisdom texts As many have pointed out, it reads like a grand preface to something that will never come, but, in fact, the preface is itself the text Further, the text begins with Buddha explaining how he ll straight up lie and tell elaborate fantasies to get people to believe in the One Vehicle by catering to their own subjective perception, and then the rest of the Sutra proceeds to get eveninsane by the second, kind of like a Superhero comic or an Anime Read from a certain perspective, this might make the Lotus Sutra one of the first works of metafiction out there.Simply put, it s brilliant Although the Sutra itself can get draggy at times, its pure brilliance You have no idea whether the text is being ironic or not You have no idea whether the hyperbole should be taken seriously or not It s laden with esoteric meaning and countless Zen monks or other esoteric Buddhists have used the text as their own vehicle This makes it the ultimate meme.One of my personal interpretations is that the text is a metacommentary on the act of telling stories, and language itself Language was created to communicate ideas between people, but language itself cannot fully convey all of the intentions within a person But, afterwards, people learnt to tailor language into something higher the telling of fictional tales, stories, tall tales, and Literature The ability to tell a greater truth with meaning by creating a lie The Lotus Sutra is all about that lack of distinction between fantasy and reality, and how, because of that lack of distinction, we can enjoy the fluidity of reality and find fun in it Everyone can be Buddha, and the Buddha is everywhere, because we all have the ability to create our own stories Even the child that builds a castle in the sand is creating his own story Don t you think, then, that it s completely fitting to have a book which takes joy in being a preface to a text that doesn t exist But the text does exist The text is your own narrative or story, and your own ability to tell stories, and to extol the Lotus Sutra is to extol humanity s capacity for imagination and grandeur of vision This is why the text itself was considered to be the Hardest Sutra among all sutras by Nichiren It seems to point to something that is there, but also not quite there `READ DOWNLOAD ↟ The Lotus Sutra ☝ Since its appearance in China in the third century, The Lotus Sutra has been regarded as one of the most illustrious scriptures in the Mahayana Buddhist canon The object of intense veneration among generations of Buddhists in China, Korea, Japan, and other parts of the world, it has had a profound impact on the great works of Japanese and Chinese literature, attracting commentary than any other Buddhist scriptureAs Watson notes in the introduction to his remarkable translation, The Lotus Sutra is not so much an integral work as a collection of religious texts, an anthology of sermons, stories, and devotional manuals, some speaking with particular force to persons of one type or in one set of circumstances, some to those of another type or in other circumstances This is no doubt why it has had such broad and lasting appeal over the ages and has permeated so deeply into the cultures that have been exposed to it