Wonder of Spiritual Enlightenment
The term ‘Wonderful’ (C. Miao, J. Myo)
refers to the Buddha’s ultimate intent, the Buddha’s last will and testament.
It refers to the highest truth (S. Sat), the teaching of the highest
significance and the absolute reality, which is inconceivable and unconditional,
ineffable and inexpressible. It is also described as the perfect blending of
the three truths (emptiness, that which is temporary, and the mean).
It is explained by Chih-I
as the 'Four
Unities' of purpose.
- Unity of Principle, which is
revealed in the Ten Spiritual Realms
- Unity of Doctrine, which is
revealed in the Five Periods of Doctrine
- Unity of Practice, which is
revealed in the Observation of the Mind
- Unity of Person, which is
revealed in the Six Identities with Enlightenment
Chih-I goes to considerable
length to reveal the meaning of the term ‘Wonderful’ in The Hidden Meaning
of the of the Lotus Sutra (C. Fa-Hua Hsuan-I, J. Hokke Gengi),
explaining it on two levels:
The Door to the Manifestation
(C. Chi-men, J. Shakumon) describes the manifestation of
- This is the subject of the first half of The Lotus Sutra (Chapters
1-14), which explains the intent and will of the historical Buddha Sakyamuni,
who first attained enlightenment in deep meditation in Bodh-Gaya and taught Buddhism as we know
is the Buddha that
manifested himself in response to the needs of this world, the Body of Response
or Manifestation (Nirmana-kaya) that came into this world to enlighten all
- Here also the trinity or three bodies of The One That Has Come
(S. Tathagata) are explained to be the revealed embodiment of enlightenment.
The Door to the Origin (C.
Pen-men, J. Honmon)
describes the source of enlightenment.
This is the subject of the second half of The Lotus Sutra, (chapters 15-28),
which describes the intent and will of the eternal Buddha, who
attains enlightenment and comes into the world beyond the limitations of space
- This is the original Buddha that is innate within all living beings
and is the Spiritual Body (Dharma-kaya) that is everywhere and illuminates all.
- Here also the unity of the threefold body or life of The One That Has Come (S.
Tahagata) is explained to be the eternal embodiment of enlightenment.
In The Hidden Meaning of The Lotus Sutra these
two levels of the will and intent of the Buddha are each described in ten parts
in an effort to reveal the meaning of the term Wonderful (C. Miao, J.
© Peter Johnson 2001 - All rights reserved
Policy - Contact the Author at firstname.lastname@example.org
July 9, 2001
FastCounter by bCentral