Today is an auspicious day. The sun has come out after the rain, and we can see that the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, dragons and heavenly Dharma protectors are all happy that the Master’s commentary on the
Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra is once again being heard in the hall of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. The Master, with his great compassion and vows, turned the Dharma wheel and guides us closer to the path of Buddhahood with each word.
The Buddhas in the past have told countless sutras, all to help living beings gain sufficient wisdom to understand the essence of the
Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra; the Buddhas in the present are doing the same, and the Buddhas in the future will do likewise. Hence, the Buddha said that the
Lotus Sutra is the utmost treasure of all Buddhas, and is to be spoken only when the faculties of all living beings have ripened.
Every Buddha manifests six auspicious signs when explaining the
Lotus Sutra. First is the auspicious sign of speaking Dharma—the Buddha will first speak the
Sutra of Limitless Principles. Second is the auspicious sign of samadhi—the Buddha will enter the samadhi of limitless principles. The third auspicious sign is that of raining flowers—four kinds of precious flowers will rain down from the heavens. The fourth auspicious sign is that of the earth moving—the ground will shake in six ways. Fifth is the auspicious sign of delighting the multitudes—all the living beings in the assembly will experience great happiness and enthusiasm. Sixth is the auspicious sign of emitting light—the Buddha will emit light from between his eyebrows.
In any world, wherever the Lotus Sutra is spoken, the Buddha Many Jewels will emerge from the earth in a pagoda to praise the Buddha and listen to the
Lotus Sutra, at the same time certifying the wonderful Dharma being spoken by the Buddha.
Every division-body of Shakyamuni Buddha came to assemble in the Saha World, but there were so many of them that this world was too small to contain them all. Therefore, the Buddha displayed spiritual powers and created lands for the large number of the Buddha’s division-bodies. Our Saha World thus became a lapis lazuli world with seven treasures. What an auspicious phenomenon that is!
An eight-year-old dragon girl, under the guidance of Manjushri Bodhisattva, offered the Buddha a precious gem, turned into a man instanteously, and then headed to the Undefiled World to attain Buddhahood and teach other living beings. This is an example of attaining Buddhahood instantly in the Dharma Flower Assembly.
The lands of the Saha World will shake and crack, and all the great Bodhisattvas whom the Buddha has taught for countless eons will all emerge and make offerings and praises to the Buddha. How long is it the time the Bodhisattvas emerge to the time they finish their praises? Fifty small eons. It is an inconceivable phenomenon to us ordinary humans.
Wondrous Sound Bodhisattva, who is in a faraway land in the East, used his samadhi power to create eighty-four thousand lotus thrones of the seven treasures. Then, together with other Bodhisattvas, he makes offerings to Shayamuni Buddha and Many Jewels Buddha, and listens to the
Dharma Flower Sutra.
Universal Worthy Bodhisattva and a retinue of other great Bodhisattvas come from the east and use the power of their vows and mantras to protect cultivators who uphold the Dharma Flower Sutra.
Many sages come together at the Dharma Flower Assembly, and many auspicious signs appear. Everyone can try to visualize these auspicious signs before listening to the Master’s commentary.
The greatest purpose of the Buddhas’ appearance in the world is to show living beings the path to Buddhahood. Therefore, the Buddha bestowed predictions on all the Shravaka (Hearer) disciples in the Assembly, so that they would turn from the small vehicle to the great vehicle; he also bestowed predictions upon his aunt, Bhikshuni Prajapati Gotami, and her relatives, and even Devadatta. We can see that the Buddha treats friends and foes equally.
The Dharma Flower Sutra is the sutra for realizing Buddhahood. In fact, in the “Expedient Devices” chapter the Buddha bestowed predictions upon many living beings, including those in the assembly listening to the Dharma Flower Sutra here now.
The Venerable Master, sharing the compassion of all Buddhas in the ten directions, took about one and a half years to explain the
Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra.
Although named “simple explanations,” the Venerable Master used a wide variety of examples from the past and the present not only to explain it in simple language that is easier to understand, but also to give us a deeper understanding of the wonderful Dharma in the sutra.
Without wisdom who can understand
The Dharma Flower Sutra’s wondrous principles?
Venerable Master Hua, with earnest compassion,
Personally provided wonderful guidance.
When Brightness of Sun Moon Lamp Buddha spoke the
Dharma Flower Sutra, “Those assembled listening also sat in one place for sixty small eons with bodies and minds unmoving, listening to what the Buddha said as if it were but the space of a meal. At that time, in the assembly, there was not a single person who grew weary, either physically or mentally.” If we can be like the beings in that assembly, we will definitely experience the wonder of this sutra.