© George Chryssides 2017
Page created 16 February 2017
Last updated 29 March 2017
Religion in the 21st Century
Podcasts on Buddhism
The Lotus Sutra
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The Lotus Sutra (full Sanskrit title Saddharma Pundarika Sutra) is a key Mahayana text, probably written between the 1st century BCE and the 2nd century CE.
The Sutra is significant for its portrayal of Shakyamuni Buddha teaching the doctrine of upaya (skilful means). His teaching that the arhat (enlightened one) was the final goal is to be regarded as provisional. The true goal is complete buddhahood.
The text is particularly popular among the Nichiren sects, particularly the "Hoben" and "Juryo" chapters, parts of which are chanted, together with the mantra "Nam(u) myoho renge kyo".