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Finding Wisdom in East Asian Classics$
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Wm. Theodore de Bary

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153973

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153973.001.0001

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The Lotus Sūtra

The Lotus Sūtra

(p.110) 8 The Lotus Sūtra
Finding Wisdom in East Asian Classics

Wing-tsit Chan

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the Lotus Sūtra, the most important scripture of Mahāyūna Buddhism, which cuts across the entire Far East. Since its appearance in China in the third century, and especially after the fifth, the study of the Lotus has been pursued most vigorously and extensively. More lectures have been given, more research conducted into its subject matter and terminology, and more commentaries written on it than on any other Buddhist scripture. This scripture is written in the form of a drama, but it is a drama only in the loosest sense of the word, as it takes place on the greatest scale ever conceived by man. Its stage comprises many Buddha-worlds. Its timeframe is eternity. And its actors are the Lord Buddha Śākyamuni and innumerable other beings.

Keywords:   Lotus Sūtra, Buddhist scripture, Mahāyūna Buddhism, drama, Buddha-worlds

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