The Lotus Sutra is
one of the most important of all the Mahayana Sutra.
It is divided into
28 chapters, of which Chapter 16, The Thus Come One's Life
Span is especially important for its eulogy of Shakyamuni
as the embodiment of eternal life and as having attained enlightenment
in the inconceivably remote past.
There are mainly seven
parables in the Sutra, such as the three carts and the burning
house, the wealthy men and his poor son, the three kinds of medicinal
herbs and two kinds of trees, the phantom city and the treasure
It is noted that Chapter
25 The Universal Door of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, which
describes the blessings of the Bodhisattva, was circulated in
China and other countries as an independent Sutra and is recited
The Sutra is work of
great literary merit, including as it does many sections of verses
and various parables. Moreover, it brings out the most profound
Buddhist concept of One Vehicle, who has had immeasurable
influence upon the development of Mahayana Buddhism. The Sutra
is the principal text of Tien Tai School in Chinese Buddhism,
and the Nichiren School in Japanese Buddhism.