Saturday, July 18, 2015

決して見くびらない菩薩 (1) Never Disparaging Bodhisattva (1) 

Never Disparaging Bodhisattva (1)
By Thich Nhat Hanh

Sadaparibhuta was actually Shakyamuni in one of his former lives, appearing as a bodhisattva in the world to perfect his practice of the dharma. But this bodhisattva did not chant the sutras or practice in the usual way—he did not perform prostrations or go on pilgrimages or spend long hours in sitting meditation. Never Disparaging Bodhisattva had a specialty. Whenever he met someone he would address that person very respectfully, saying, “You are someone of great value. You are a future buddha. I see this potential in you.”

There are passages in the Lotus Sutra that suggest that Sadaparibhuta’s message was not always well received. Because they had not yet gotten in touch with the ultimate dimension, many people could not believe what the bodhisattva was telling them about their inherent buddhanature, and they thought he was mocking them. Often he was ridiculed, shouted at and driven away. But even when people did not believe him and drove him away with insults and beatings, Sadaparibhuta did not become angry or abandon them. Standing at a distance he continued to shout out the truth:

I do not hold you in contempt!
You are all treading the path,
And shall all become buddhas!
Sadaparibhuta is very sincere and has great equanimity. He never gives up on us. The meaning of his life, the fruition of his practice, is to bring this message of confidence and hope to everyone. This is the action of this great bodhisattva. We have to learn and practice this action if we want to follow the path of the bodhisattvas. The sutra tells us that when Sadaparibhuta was near the end of his life he suddenly heard the voice of a buddha called King of Imposing Sound (Bhishmagarjitasvararaja) teaching the Lotus Sutra. He could not see that buddha but he clearly heard his voice delivering the sutra, and through the power of the teaching, Never Despising Bodhisattva suddenly found that his six sense organs were completely purified and he was no longer on the verge of death. Understanding deeply the message of the Lotus Sutra, he was able to touch his ultimate dimension and attain deathlessness.

(to be continued)


決して見くびらない菩薩 (1)