The Lotus Sutra - 07 Phantom City - 1 Turning the wheel of the Law
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Lotus sutra – translated by Burton Watson
Living beings undergo constant suffering and anguish,
benighted, without teacher or guide,
not realizing there is a way to end suffering,
not knowing how to seek emancipation.
Through the long night increasingly they follow evil paths,
reducing the multitude of heavenly beings;
from darkness they enter into darkness,
to the end never hearing the Buddha's name.
But now the Buddha has attained the unexcelled,
the tranquility of the Law of no outflows.
We and the heavenly and human beings
hereby obtain the greatest benefit.
For this reason all of us bow our heads,
dedicate our lives to the one of unexcelled honor.
At that time the sixteen princes, having praised the Buddha in these verses, urged the world-Honored One to turn the wheel of the Law, speaking all together in these words: "World-Honored One, expound the Law. By doing so, you will bring tranquility to and will comfort and benefit heavenly and human beings in large measure." They repeated this request in verse form, saying:
World hero without peer,
you who adorn yourself with a hundred blessings,
you have attained unsurpassed wisdom-
we beg you to preach for the sake of the world.
Save and free us
and other kinds of living beings.
Draw distinctions, enlighten us
and allow us to attain wisdom.
If we can gain Buddhahood,
then all living beings can do like-wise.
World-Honored One, you know the thoughts
that living beings hold deep in their minds.
You know the paths they tread
and you know the strength of their wisdom,
their pleasures, the blessings they have cultivated,
the actions they have carried out in past existences.
World-Honored One, all this you know already-
now you must turn the unsurpassed wheel !