Lotus Sutra

Definition - What does Lotus Sutra mean?

The "Lotus Sutra" is one of the most powerful Buddhist sutras, mostly influential in the Mahayana sect. For many, it represents the fundamental and complete teachings of the Buddha. The Sanskrit name of this sutra is "Saddharma-Pundarika Sutra, which can be literally translated as "Sutra on The White Lotus of the Sublime Dharma." It is believed to be a sermon delivered by Buddha himself and begins with the words, "Thus I have heard."

Yogapedia explains Lotus Sutra

The "Lotus Sutra's" core philosophic principle is that all people are equal, that everyone has the same inner potential for enlightenment and becoming a buddha themselves. This differs from other traditions which may sometimes discriminate against particular groups of people based on race, class/caste or gender. The "Lotus Sutra" uses parables containing metaphors that offer many interpretations. It is considered the supreme of all the sutras and it is believed that studying and understanding them will bring one on the path to nirvana.

The "Lotus Sutra" is composed mostly in verse and consists of 28 chapters which include chants and mantras. This sutra has rich content, offering many important messages. It describes Buddha as an eternal entity and loving father who decided to stay in cyclical rebirth (samsara) in order to teach the dharma despite having attained enlightenment himself. It also extensively introduces the concept of upaya (skillful means), an activity that leads to the realization of enlightenment. These methods may at times be unconventional, or even controversial, but, if applied with wisdom and for a good cause, they can be appropriate and powerful lessons.

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