The Prose & Verse of The Lotus Sutra
The Universal Door of the Bodhisattva
Observing the Sounds of the World
2. The Thinking Mind, Spiritual Capacity and Response1
“If there are living beings that have many immoral sensual desires, upon constantly keeping the Bodhisattva Observing the Sounds of the World in their minds with reverence, they will become free of these sensual desires.
If they have much anger and hatred, upon constantly keeping the Bodhisattva Observing the Sounds of the World in their minds with reverence, they will become free of this anger.
If they have much delusion and stupidity, upon constantly keeping the Bodhisattva Observing the Sounds of the World in their minds with reverence, they will become free of this delusion.”
The conclusion on the part on the thinking mind:
“Inexhaustible Will - The Bodhisattva Observing the Sounds of the World has awesome spiritual powers such as these and bestows abundant benefits upon living beings. Because of this, living beings should always remember this Bodhisattva in their thoughts.”2
3. The Spiritual Capacity of the Body, in two parts:
First the two things
that are sought
b. The conclusion
a. The Two Things That are Sought3
“If women that seek sons bow, offer service and worship the Bodhisattva Observing the Sounds of the World, they will bear sons that have wisdom and insight as well as the blessings of virtue.
If women that seek daughters bow, offer service and worship the Bodhisattva Observing the Sounds of the World, they will bear daughters that are upright and honest, beautiful and, having planted roots of virtue from previous lives, loved and revered by all.”
In seeking a son they establish their vows and cultivated
their practice with karmic deeds of virtue.
In seeking a daughter their words are brief, they cultivate their practice, and the truth of their words will be consistent with those they make bowing in worship.
The vows and karmic deeds of each are different and so they are repeatedly issued forth.
b. The Conclusion on the Spiritual Capacity of the Body
“Inexhaustible Will - The Bodhisattva Observing the Sounds of the World has spiritual powers such as these. If there are living beings that reverently bow in worship to the Bodhisattva Observing the Sounds of the World, their blessings will not be fleeting or in vain.”
2. The Conclusion
From “Because of this, living beings…” there is encouragement to embrace the name, in three parts:
Encouragement to embrace the Bodhisattva's name
b. Measuring the size of Bodhisattva
c. Concluding praise
“Because of this, living beings everywhere should accept and embrace the name and title of the Bodhisattva Observing the Sounds of the World.”
This wonderful name has many virtues that are not limited to any particular form or substance. If one desires to again hold a name up and embrace it in prayer, one is encouraged to embrace this one.
“Inexhaustible Will - Suppose that
a person accepted
and embraced the names of as many Bodhisattvas as there are sands along sixty
two billion River Ganges, and this person made
offerings of food, drink, clothes, furnishings and medicines to all of them for all
of his or her life. What do you
think? The merits & virtues of this good son or daughter would be many,
would they not?
The Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Will said:
“Very many, World Honored One.”
The Buddha said:
If there is also a person who accepts and embraces the name and title of the Bodhisattva Observing the Sounds of the World, bowing in worship and offering service just once, the blessings of these two will truly be equal and without any difference, and these blessings of spiritual merit will not be used up for a hundred, thousand, million or billion lifetimes.”
The Discourse on Entering the Great Vehicle says:
There is only one Spiritual Body whereas there are many Bodies of Response and Manifestation, with 62 billion responses being equal to the one Spiritual Body.
There is one totally perfect person whereas there are many people that are partial and biased, with 62 billion partial and biased Bodhisattvas being equivalent to the one totally perfect Bodhisattva.
“Inexhaustible Will - anyone who accepts and embraces the name and title of the Bodhisattva Observing the Sounds of the World will attaining the benefits of spiritual merits and virtues that are limitless and boundless like this.”
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Outline of Title Outline of Prose Outline of Verse & Coda
1. The Thinking Mind: Through meditation, prayer and worship one's spiritual capacity arises from and transcends the Three Poisons of greed, hatred and stupidity.
2. Always remember this Bodhisattva in their thoughts: This idea of 'always remembering' or 'constantly keeping in one's thoughts' refers to remembrance, mindfulness or continuous presence of mind (S. Smriti, C. Nien, J. Nen), one of the important spiritual roots or capacities that is cultivated though prayer, chanting and meditation. This is constancy or continuity of mind. Through endurance and diligence one strengthens one mental and spiritual powers so that one is always mindful of one's practice and goal of enlightenment and one doesn't forget, lapse, backslide or retreat.
3. "The two things that are sought after": Sons and daughters - See Nichiren's interpretation of this passage in The Oral Transmission of the Meaning (J. Ongi Kuden)
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