When sat beneath the Bodhi tree, Shakyamuni awoke to a complete understanding of the Mystic Law of the universe, but he knew it would be too challenging for other people to comprehend. From that moment on he used various methods to lead people to a deeper and clearer understanding of this wisdom. Finally after forty years he decided the time was right to reveal the complete and ultimate teaching of his enlightenment, even though he knew this would still be a challenge for his followers to understand. Here are some of the key points from his final period of teachings - The Lotus Period.
THE IMMEASURABLE MEANINGS SUTRA (The Opening Sutra to the Lotus Sutra)
- There is one single doctrine that will lead people quickly to supreme perfect enlightenment.
- This one true Law is protected by all Buddhas and cannot be disproved by devils or non-believers.
- In these more than forty years, I have not yet revealed this truth.
THE LOTUS SUTRA – CHAPTER 2 - “EXPEDIENT MEANS”
- The true aspect of all phenomena is revealed.
- There are not many practices, but one single Buddha vehicle –the Lotus Sutra.
- This is the wisdom that Shakyamuni awoke to under the Bodhi tree.
- Buddhahood does not exist outside of us, but is already within us.
THE LOTUS SUTRA – CHAPTER 11 - “EMERGENCE OF THE TREASURE TOWER”
- Many Treasures Buddha appears seated in a treasure tower to attest that the Lotus Sutra that Shakyamuni is teaching is the true teaching of the Buddhas.
- Many Treasures Buddha promises to appear in the future, wherever the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra is being taught, to confirm it is the correct teaching of the Buddhas.
THE LOTUS SUTRA – CHAPTER 12 - “DEVADATTA”
- Everyone has the potential to reveal their Buddhahood, even those who may be seen as “evil” or “bad” people.
- Every living being has the potential to reveal their Buddhahood, including animals, children and women.
- Shakyamuni reveals that he has attained Buddhahood in countless lifetimes in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
- A Buddha appears to enter Nirvana but actually chooses to be reborn in this world of suffering to lead more people to awaken to their own Buddhahood and potential.
HOW TO PRACTICE MEDITATION ON BODHISATTVA UNIVERSAL WORTHY (The Closing Sutra to the Lotus Sutra)
- Without cutting off earthly desires, and whether you have awakened to Buddhahood in the past or not, you can purify your senses and wipe away past offenses by reading, reciting, and pondering the meaning of the great vehicle sutra (Nam Myoho Renge Kyo).
- Preach this great vehicle sutra, and the method for meditation, far and wide.
THE NIRVANA SUTRA (The sutra he is believed to have taught on the day he died)
- States that this sutra does not refute or supercede the Lotus Sutra.
- Clarifies that the Lotus Sutra is Shakyamuni’s ultimate and complete teaching for enlightenment.
- Warns us to follow the Law, not the person.