The Lotus Sutra - 05 The Parable of the Medicinal Herbs - 1 The Parable
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Lotus sutra – translated by Burton Watson
The Thus Come One observes and understands the end to which all doctrines tend. And he also understands the workings of the deepest mind of all living beings, penetrating them completely and without hindrance. And with regard to the doctrines he is thoroughly enlightened, and he reveals to living beings the totality of wisdom.
"Kashyapa, it is like the plants and trees, thickets and groves, and the medicinal herbs, widely ranging in variety, each with its own name and hue, that grow in the hills and streams, the valleys and different soils of the thousand-millionfold world. Dense clouds spread over them, covering the entire thousand-millionfold world and in one moment saturating it all. The moisture penetrates to all the plants and trees, thickets and groves, and medicinal herbs equally, to their little roots, little stems, little limbs, little leaves, their middle-sized roots, middle-sized stems, middle-sized limbs, middle-sized leaves, to their big roots, big stems, big limbs and big leaves. Each of the trees big and small, depending upon whether it is superior, middling or inferior in nature, receives its allotment.
The rain falling from one blanket of cloud accords with each particular species and nature, causing it to sprout and mature, to blossom and bear fruit. Though all these plants and trees grow in the same earth and are moistened by the same rain, each has its differences and particulars.
"Kashyapa, you should understand that the Thus Come One is like this. He appears in the world like a great cloud rising up. With a loud voice he penetrates to all the heavenly and human beings and the asuras of the entire world, like a great cloud spreading over the thousand-millionfold lands.