The Lotus Sutra - 12 Encouraging Devotion - 1 The trials and opposition to be expected
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Lotus sutra – translated by Burton Watson
We beg you not to worry.
After the Buddha has passed into extinction,
in an age of fear and evil
we will preach far and wide.
There will be many ignorant people
who will curse and speak ill of us
and will attack us with swords and staves,
but we will endure all these things.
In that evil age there will be monks
with perverse wisdom and hearts that are fawning and crooked
who will suppose they have attained what they have not attained,
being proud and boastful in heart.
Or there will be forest-dwelling monks
wearing clothing of patched rags and living in retirement,
who will claim they are practicing the true way,
despising and looking down on all humankind.
Greedy for profit and support,
they will preach the Law to white-robed laymen
and will be respected and revered by the world
as though they were arhats who possess the six
These men with evil in their hearts,
constantly thinking of worldly affairs,
will borrow the name of forest-dwelling monks
and take delight in proclaiming our faults,
saying things like this:
"These monks are greedy
for profit and support
and therefore they preach non-Buddhist doctrines
and fabricate their own scriptures
to delude the people of the world.
Because they hope to gain fame and renown thereby
they make distinctions when preaching this sutra. "
Because in the midst of the great assembly
they constantly try to defame us,
they will address the rulers, high ministers,
Brahmans and householders,
as well as the other monks,
slandering and speaking evil of us,
saying, "These are men of perverted views
who preach non-Buddhlst doctrines !"
But because we revere the Buddha
we will bear all these evils.
Though they treat us with contempt, saying,
"You are all no doubt Buddhas !"
all such words of arrogance and contempt
we will endure and accept.
In a muddied kalpa, in an evil age
there will be many things to fear.
Evil demons will take possession of others
and through them curse, revile and heap shame on us.
But we, reverently trusting in the Buddha,
will put on the armour of perseverance.
In order to preach this sutra
we will bear these difficult things.