The Lotus Sutra: Revised Edition (BDK English Tripitaka) Hardcover – April 30, 2007
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The "Lotus Sutra," as it is generally known in the West, is one of the most important of all the Mahayana sutras, and especially in Japan, where it is popularly known as the Ho-ke-kyou, it has been held in high regard ever since Prince Shoutoku included a commentary on it in his set of commentaries on three Mahayana sutras (San-gyou-gi-sho).
It is a work of great literary merit, including as it does many sections of verse and various parables, but at the same time it has earned a lasting place in the history of Buddhism owing to the superior quality of its philosophical content. The concept of ‘One Vehicle’ especially, which permeates the whole work, has had immeasurable influence upon Japanese Buddhism.
It is divided into 28 chapters, of which Chapter 16, ‘The Life Span of the Tathagatayuspramana-parivarta XV), is especially important for its eulogy of sakyamuni as the embodiment of the eternal life and as having attained enlightenment in the inconceivably remote past. Among the numerous parables those of the three carts and the burning house, the wealthy man and his poor son, the three kinds of medicinal herbs and two kinds of trees, and the phantom city and the treasure land are especially famous. In addition Chapter 25, ‘The Universal Gate of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara’ (Skt.: Samantamukha-parivarta XXIV), which describes the blessings of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, was circulated in China and Japan as an independent sutra and is still recited today. It is also a well-known fact that the chant, or daimoku, of the Nichiren School of Japan and related sects consists of the invocation na-mu added to the Japanese title of this sutra, resulting in Na-mu-myou-hou-ren-ge-kyou.
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About the Author
- Publisher : BDK America; 2nd edition (April 30, 2007)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 362 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1886439397
- ISBN-13 : 978-1886439399
- Item Weight : 1.54 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
- Customer Reviews:
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But the Sanskrit words are no problem with this version. Thankfully, in this version in the back is a very nice glossary which is very comprehensive and it very well defines the various Sanskrit words the book contains. Also near the back is a very nice bibliography which lists different versions of the Lotus Sutra by different authors which are available here on this website as well as other websites.
In April 1982, Dr. Numata Yehan of (BDK ) Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, formed and put together a special preparatory commitee to translate the entire 84,000 writings of the Chinese Tripitaka ( Buddhist Canon ) into English., This version of the Lotus Sutra is just one of the many books that the Translation Committee has translated into English over the years.
The Translation Committee of ( BDK ) currently consisits of 11 people. The initial translating and editing of this volume was overseen and done under the direction of the Editorial Committee in Tokyo. There is a Publishing Committee which is headquartered in Berkley California, so these 2 committees work in cooperation with each other to produce and bring this version to you.
As far as this version is concerned, since it was translated and edited and published by different committees, that has its advantages and disadvantages. The committees have produced a very reliable and good strong version. On the other hand sometimes committees can be like overstuffing the cookie jar and you might end up with some broken and fragmented cookies.
I have several different versions of the Lotus Sutra. I find it useful to have several different versions when reading and studying. I reccomend aquiring yourself several different versions of the Lotus Sutra.
Another nice thing about this version is it is a non sectarian version. The BDK ( Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai ) Society for the Promotion of Buddhism is a non sectarian organization who are dedicated to translating various Buddhist texts into English.They do not promote any sect or any particular school of Buddhism. As for different sects or schools of Buddhism, the BDK is completely nuetral.
One of my other versions, was translated by a single author who is a very well known author and translator of Chinese classical texts into English, Alot of people don't trust his version and are leary of it because he was hired by a very well known lay buddhist organization, and that organization used to be part of another organization and there was a huge fight and argument and the 2 organizations broke up and divided from each other ( I am sure by now you know which organization I am referring to and I am sure you know which author they hired to translate the lotus sutra for them)
and another version I have is very nice, but the problem with that version is.....it is too westernized the original feel and flavour and nuances and shades of meanings of the lotus sutra are all gone and have been literally translated right out of that version. That particular version makes it look like the Lotus Sutra is a piece of American Literature. It is highly readable and most understandle, but just too much has been lost in the translation and the original feel and flavour, nuances have all been sacrificed.
anyway, enough about those other versions....lets get back to this version shall we?
The authors and translators of this version have been very careful to keep the original flavour and the feel and the nuances and shades of meanings in the native Sanskrit lanuguage as they translated it. They were careful not to lose or to remove those aspects of the Lotus Sutra. Before I got this version, I didn't really care about those aspects...but now, I have grown to like and to cherish those aspects and I see how keeping the flavour and the feel of the text,as well as the nuances and shades of meanings helps to add value to the text..., this makes quite a big difference and overall feeling of the text, compared to an too westernized version
of all the version which I have, this version is my favourite one. I am sure, that you will cherish this version and find it to be an invaluable version of the Lotus Sutra to have on your bookshelf at home.
In the very front of this book in the Translators' Introduction, it is very thoroughly explained in great depth and detail exactly how they translated this version,this version was translated from the Chinese version by Kumarajiva.
as you read it everyday, perhaps,like me, you will find and discover a new nugget of wisdom everytime you read it.
I purchased https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HL6SKN0/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title by Yoshiro Tamura and https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B006JGV6DE/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title by Thich Nhat Hanh, which has more interpretation. Yoshiro's book is much easier to use as you read the sutra or before reading as an extended introduction.
I plan on owning all of the tripitaka eventually.
I was a bit hesitant this being a chinese interpretation and not a tibetan one. Small caveat' to have but hey communist china is totally trying to swallow Tibet.
Written very poetically and artistically. You can be reading important Buddhist principles and concepts and not know it as it's conveyed in the book.
When you've been hit by a car and spent 11 days in a coma this is a great book to have had delivered and be able to read.
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on January 26, 2022