Lotus Sutra Quick Check
The Lotus Sūtra (Sanskrit: Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sūtra)
The earliest known Sanskrit title for the sūtra is the Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sūtra, which translates to "Scripture of the Lotus Blossom of the Fine Dharma". In English, the shortened form Lotus Sūtra is common. The Lotus Sūtra has also been highly regarded in a number of Asian countries.
The Lotus Sutra was revealed in the mid 70s of the first century CE. It "came out of nowhere" and presented a challenge for authenticity to Buddhist Scholars.
Parts of it, especially the dharanis were written in the Magadhi dialect, mother tongue of Mari of Magadha, beloved companion of the Lord.
At about the time of the return of the Lord in His glorified Avalokitesvara form as Christ, Saviour of the World, an international council of Buddhist leaders was held in Kashmir. It was called the 2nd 4th International Buddhist Council.
On the agenda for that council was the task to decide what to do with the Lotus Sutra, is it authentic and orthodox or not. The decision came out in favour of the Sutra and it found immediate wide acceptance. Today, it is the most revered and most read of Mahayana Buddhist literature.
In a way, the Lotus Sutra gave birth to the reformation movement, Mahayana Buddhism.
The Lotus Sutra forms the basis of Wayism in the East. Western Wayists draw from some Christian and ancient Church of the East's Eastern Bible (St. Thomas in Kashmir) as well.
Parables and Sacred Teaching Skills
The Lotus Sutra teaches, as Iesous did, in parables and simile. It introduces the concept of Sacred Skills (upaya), of adapting one's message to one's audience. This upaya is called Skillful Means, in most schools of Buddhism. The epitome of this sacred skill is Avalikteshvara. He not only adapts His message to the hearer, but also His appearance and mode of transmission. He will teach you in the mode most suitable for you at the time--whether you think you received a message from your own contemplation, from Shiva or Vishnu, from watching a child do something, from a worm in the garden, or from an animal looking up at you... To this effect, Iesous teaching in the West even has the autor of the book of Hebrews say in 13:2, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares".
This sacred skill changed religion as it was known at the time. The concept is introduced in the Lotus Sutra as a story about a man who lied to his children to save them from dying in a burning house, and from there it is expounded to end with the introduction of Avalokiteshvara. It is said in the Sutra that after Avalokiteshvara was introduced and His powers and virtues extolled, that all bodhisattvas and buddhas wanted to develop those skills.