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The Lotus Sutra - 04 Belief and understanding - 1 Charity and the use of similes



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

The Lotus sutra – translated by Burton Watson
The Buddhas possess rarely known,
immeasurable, boundless,
unimaginable great
transcendental powers.

Free of outflows, free of action,
these kings of the doctrines
for the sake of the humble and lowly
exercise patience in these matters;
to common mortals attached to appearances
they preach in accordance with what is appropriate.

With regard to the Law, the Buddhas
are able to exercise complete freedom.

They understand the various desires and joys
of living beings,
as well as their aims and abilities,
and can adjust to what they are capable of,
employing innumerable similes
to expound the Law for them.

Utilizing the good roots
laid down by living beings in previous existences,
distinguishing between those whose roots are mature
and those whose roots are not yet mature,
they exercise various calculations,
discriminations and perceptions,
and then take the one vehicle way and,
in accordance with what is appropriate, preach it as three.

The source of the experience

Lotus Sutra, the

Concepts, symbols and science items


Symbol system


Activities and commonsteps