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When asked what is the best translation of the Lotus Sutra to read, Rev. Hirota suggests
The Threefold Lotus Sutra and The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law.
The Threefold Lotus Sutra
Translated by: Bunno Kato, et als.
Published by: Tuttle
To order: abebooks.com / amazon.com / half.com / alibris.com /
amazon.ca / amazon.de / amazon.fr / amazon.co.uk
This one volume from Rissho Kosei-kai, includes the Muryogi Sutra (Sutra of
Innumerable Meanings) as the preface to the Lotus Sutra, The Sutra of the Lotus
Flower of the Wonderful Law (The Lotus Sutra), and the Fugen Sutra (The Sutra of
Meditation on the Bodhisattva Universal Virtue) as the epilogue to the Lotus Sutra.
The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law
aka The Lotus Sutra
Translated by: Rev. Senchu Murano
Published by: Nichiren Shu
To order: abebooks.com / alibris.com / biblio.co.uk
This is a rare, out of print book and thus quite costly. It was translated by a Nichiren
Shu priest who was also a professor of Buddhism at Rissho University in Japan.
Though these two volumes are not from the Nichiren Shoshu tradition, they each have
a religious basis and orientation in Nichiren traditions, and thus are much preferred over
The Lotus Sutra translated by the linguist Burton Watson, published by Columbia
University Press. To understand why this preference, a comparison can be made
between the titles of Chapter 20, for example.
Chapter 20 of the Lotus Sutra relays the story of Bodhisattva Jofukyo. In The Threefold
Lotus Sutra chapter 20 is entitled "The Bodhsattva Never Despise." Chapter 20 of The
Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law has the title of "The Never-Despising
Bodhisattva." Independent of these two translations, Rev. Hirota has also had
Bodhisattva Jofukyo translated as Bodhisattva Never-Despise.There is also The Lotus
Sutra translated by Tsugunari Kubo and Akira Yuyama, published by Numata Center
for Buddhist Translation and Research that translates Bodhisattva Sadaparibhuta as
Bodhisattva Never-Despising. "Never-Despise" indicates a pure heart -- the Buddha's
heart, which is what we are all aspiring to realize. Burton Watson, on the other hand,
translated the title of Chapter 20 as "Bodhisattva Never Disparaging." Our objection to
this is that, though Never-Disparaging may not belittle others. This falls short of the
Buddhist aspiration of realizing the Buddha's pure heart and the Buddha's pure mind.
|THE LOTUS SUTRA
by Reverend Raido Hirota
& Udumbara Foundation