諸聚落城邑 其有求法者 我皆到其所 說佛所矚法
我是世尊使 處眾無所畏 我當善說法 願佛安隱住
我於世尊前 諸來十方佛 發如是誓言 佛自知我心
As the World Honored One himself knows,
turbid age, evil Bhikshus,
Not knowing of the Buddha's
Whereby the Dharma is spoken appropriately,
frown and speak ill of us,
Repeatedly banishing us
stupas and temples.
So will be the host of evils,
recollecting the Buddha's command,
We shall bear up under
As the World Honored One himself knows, /In the
turbid Dharma-ending age of the five turbidities,
evil Bhikshus—left home people who slander other left home
people—not knowing of the Buddha's expedients, / Whereby the
Dharma is spoken appropriately according to living beings'
dispositions, will frown and speak ill of us. They will
screw up their faces into a frown and scold us. They will be
intent upon repeatedly banishing us from stupas and temples.
The word "repeatedly" occurs in the Analects: "If you
repeatedly criticize your emperor in serving him, you will
be insulted. If you repeatedly criticize your friends, they
will grow distant." If you go on and on about the emperor's
shortcomings, you are bound to be insulted. You can exhort
your friend to change his faults once or twice, but if you
do it too many times, he or she will grow distant from you.
The Sutra text says that the evil Bhikshus will ostracize us
and kick us out of the Way places. So will be the host of
evils. That's how they will treat us, until we can hardly
tolerate it. And yet, recollecting the Buddha's command,
remembering that the Buddha told us to be patient,
bear up under these events and we won't get angry at such
If there are those who seek the Dharma
villages, cities, and towns,
We will go to those places
speak the Dharma entrusted to us by the Buddha.
We are the
World Honored One's emissaries,
Dwelling fearlessly among
We speak the Dharma skillfully,
And hope the
Buddha will remain at peace.
We, in the presence of the
World Honored One
And before the Buddhas who have come from
the ten directions,
Make vows such as these,
And the Buddha
himself knows our thoughts.
If there are those who seek the Dharma /In the
villages, cities, and towns, / We will go to those places /
To speak the Dharma entrusted to us by the Buddha, to speak
the Dharma Flower Sutra. We are the Buddha's emissaries and
so we should do the Buddha's work. Dwelling fearlessly among
the multitudes, / We speak the Dharma skillfully. In keeping
with our vows, we will speak of the Real Mark of all Dharmas.
And hope the Buddha will remain at peace in the Land of
Eternal Stillness and Light, and not worry about the
propagation of the Dharma Flower Sutra. We, in the presence
of the World Honored One, /And before the Buddhas who have
come from the ten directions, /Make vows such as these. In
the presence of Shakyamuni Buddha, Many Jewels Buddha, and
all of Shakyamuni's division-body Buddhas who have come from
the ten directions, we make these vows, and the Buddha
himself knows our thoughts. The Buddha knew anyway. We
didn't have to tell him. Our minds are made up to protect
and propagate the Dharma Flower Sutra. The entire assembly
has this wish and hereby makes this vow."
This chapter, "Exhortation to Maintain," exhorts all living
beings to read, recite, maintain, listen to, and expound the
Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra. All Bodhisattvas,
Bhikshus, and Bhikshunis make vows to propagate this Sutra.
This chapter was spoken to influence all people to cultivate
according to the Dharma Flower Sutra, so that they can
Strangely enough, on the last day of lecturing this chapter,
the translator is (Bhikshuni) Heng Chih ("constantly
maintain"). "Exhortation to Maintain" exhorts us to
constantly maintain the Dharma Flower Sutra by reading and
reciting it. This is quite inconceivable. Thinking of her
name, you should constantly maintain this Sutra. Heng Chih
once wrote a poem that goes:
The fruit must be attained
Through cultivation of blessings
Constantly be mindful of samadhi and wisdom.
Maintain precepts and become a Buddha.
I read this poem a long time ago, but I haven't forgotten
it, because it's pretty good. Since she translated this
chapter today, I hope everyone will resolve to "constantly
maintain" the Dharma Flower Sutra.
To be continued