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The Lotus Sutra

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  1,120 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Since its appearance in China in the third century, The Lotus Sutra has been regarded as one of the most illustrious scriptures in the Mahayana Buddhist canon. The object of intense veneration among generations of Buddhists in China, Korea, Japan, and other parts of the world, it has had a profound impact on the great works of Japanese and Chinese literature, attracting mo ...more
Paperback, 390 pages
Published April 7th 1994 by Columbia University Press (first published 1975)
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Ms Piot
Apr 19, 2009 Ms Piot rated it it was amazing
This is a awakening teaching. Allegorical in it's telling, it explains the true nature of humanity -- of the ultimate equality of us all in our infinite potential. Perhaps the first true self-empowerment teaching (but oh! so much more!), it is also the foundation for Nichiren Buddhism, an incredibly powerful, practical method of faith, practice, and study for achieving absolute happiness and wisdom and living your life to its fullest potential. Best read and discussed with a friend who knows...
Feb 18, 2015 Brendan rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Budhistsandbuddhistsonly
More then half the book is about, reading the book. It goes into great lengths about how easily you can obtain Buddhahood by reading the book, and about how, despite the infinite love and compassion, how you will suffering near endless torture for maligning the book.

The whole thing stinks of the trope: "How to write a book and make a millions dollars" book. The point of the book is simply the act of reading the book where the main message is to get other people to read this book. It barely has a
Apr 07, 2014 Volmarr rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People wanting to learn Mahayana Buddhism
Shelves: owned, buddhist-read
This is basically _the_ book to read to come to understand Mahayana Buddhism. The best way to read it is go to your local Mahayana Buddhist temple at any time that the monks are chanting it and read along to yourself this nice English version of it. Sutras of this sort are best when you can feel the energies of it, as well as read it, at the same time. The chanting provides that energy charge of it. Any Vietnamese or Korean Buddhist temple probably has monks who chant the Lotus Sutra. Normally t ...more
Dusty White
May 11, 2011 Dusty White rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is far and away the best version of any English translation. It alone has footnotes that reveal extremely important information and clarifications you will not find in any other source. It also has the unpolluted version of the Dragon Princess chapter.

If you are going to read the sutra in English, you should read THIS version first.
Apr 06, 2015 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
So, one does not rate the Lotus Sutra. It's the Lotus Sutra. What's being evaluated here is the translation and presentation of the work.

Overall, Burton Watson's translation is a good, non-offensive go-to edition pretty easily found in print. It's also non-scholar friendly, making it a good choice for more casual studiers of Buddhism.
Feb 09, 2009 Thomas rated it really liked it
Watson's translation is clear and convincing, as usual. The Lotus Sutra is a collection of mostly devotional sermons, and Watson renders the poetry beautifully. This probably isn't the best place to pick up the basics of Mahayana Buddhism, but culturally it's important.
David Melik
Jul 02, 2007 David Melik rated it liked it
Recommends it for: mystics
I read this at . It is quite an interesting and entertaining sutra.
Erika S
Apr 05, 2009 Erika S is currently reading it
I'm going to start a district-wide book club sort of thing when I start reading this over the summer. It should be pretty cool.
I read this in hardcover, but didn't find it in the list. It's good but very old-school in language so it takes effort to read it.
Jul 02, 2010 Elon-str rated it it was amazing
This is the Buddha's mind in print! I have continuosly read this book. I have read this book 9 times and I am working on my 10th. Wonderful..
May 13, 2007 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent notes, excellent translation.
Apr 09, 2013 Thomas rated it liked it
Read in Chinese.
Minerva T.y.
Jul 10, 2014 Minerva T.y. rated it it was amazing
Awesome translation! The first Lotus Sutra that I read 10 years ago. :)
Iain Coggins
Feb 12, 2011 Iain Coggins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sgi-buddhist
The basis of my faith. Commentary to follow once I've compared to the new edition out last year.
Aug 22, 2013 Stephen rated it it was amazing
Excellent and beautiful translation
Mark W. Cole
Mar 02, 2009 Mark W. Cole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
A good translation of this ancient text.
Brendan  McAuliffe
Mar 06, 2008 Brendan McAuliffe rated it it was ok
only read about half of this
May 13, 2008 Karyn rated it it was amazing
Spike Gomes
Sep 29, 2016 Spike Gomes rated it really liked it
Ahhh, the Lotus Sutra, as a former professor of mine once stated "The Greatest Sutra Never Preached". Why would he say that? Because while this Sutra goes on at length about the benefits and power of the Lotus Sutra, it never quite gets around to actually saying what the sublime and powerful teachings *are* that the vast multitude of humans, demons, Bodhisattva and various sundry Buddhas that have gathered to hear preached. It's almost meta-textual, circa 400 A.D.

The Lotus Sutra is one of the m
Steve Gooch
Oct 13, 2016 Steve Gooch rated it it was amazing
A classic. What else is there to say?
Chin Jian Xiong
Dec 24, 2016 Chin Jian Xiong rated it really liked it
I read the Nichiren Translation online.

One of the ultimate troll wisdom texts. As many have pointed out, it reads like a grand preface to something that will never come, but, in fact, the preface is itself the text. Furthermore, the text begins with Buddha explaining how he'll straight up lie and tell elaborate fantasies to get people to believe in the One Vehicle by catering to their own subjective perception, and then the rest of the Sutra proceeds to get even more insane by the second, kind o
Fenixbird SandS
Sep 10, 2009 Fenixbird SandS marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Buddhists, Sutra students
Recommended to Fenixbird by: Joseph Pierre
Quoting another's review "...Three of the Buddha's greatest sermons, May 28, 2000
By Joseph H Pierre "Joe Pierre" (Salem, OR USA) - See all my reviews

The word 'Sutra,' literally means 'thread' or 'string.' The scriptures containing the teachings of the Buddha. Most of the major Sutras were originally written in Pali or Sanscrit, although some were written in Tibetan or Chinese. They are among the world's oldest literature.

These Sutras are called The Sutra of Innume
Dec 23, 2013 Shannon rated it it was amazing
This is the best version of the Lotus Sutra I've ever read. Most of the Sanskrit words are translated into English, which is fairly unusual for Lotus Sutra translations. It is repetitive, as some others have pointed out, but the reader must understand that the Lotus Sutra is written in the language of poetry. It's not a directly instructional, how-to book, or a book of rational knowledge about the world, although it does contain a few bits of that. It's about the life condition (what SGI Buddhis ...more
Feb 07, 2008 Neil rated it really liked it
The Lotus Sutra is probably the most famous Buddhist scripture in East Asia. For this reason alone, it's worth reading (assuming you're interested in East Asian civilization, that is!). But this is a tough read if you have no point of reference on the history of Buddhism in China in, say, the 3rd to 7th centuries.

The key theme in this book is that of 'expedient means,' the excuse the Mahayana Buddhists give for previous forms of Buddhism that have been introduced into China before the arrival of
Oct 04, 2009 Jess rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Oh wow, I was so looking forward to this book, b/c I love reading about Buddhism, but this was NOT what I was expecting! It's a really ancient text--supposedly it surfaced around 0 C.E., about 500 years after the lifetime of Buddha (word on the street was that it had been protected in the dragon world during that period). It's very repetitious, and doesn't seem to get much to the heart of Buddhism. More about jeweled realms, and how we should give jewels and flowers and beautiful robes and the l ...more
Jan 10, 2013 Daniel rated it really liked it
Watson's translation is beautiful poetry that I enjoyed reading from start to finish. The theology wasn't what I was expecting. If Busby Berkeley had directed a Buddhist text, it would have been like this. Asuras and gandharvas are bursting out of the scenery every time you turn around. A cast of thousands, ten thousands, millions, 48 million Ganges sands. It was entertaining but I don't feel much the wiser. I'm a Hindu myself (a "heretical" view, according to this text), and prefer the Samnyasa ...more
Eva Shang
Dec 23, 2013 Eva Shang rated it did not like it
The Lotus Sutra seemed to me more like a self-promotional text than a text about Buddhism. I asked my professor in class, "Why are all the numbers so huge and why is everything so SHINY?" Descriptions of jewels and "thousands of millions of bodhisattvas" abound. While there are some interesting parables in here, like a prodigal son story and the story of the burning house, others seem like total stretches that attempt to explain why Buddhism is actually lying to us for our own good. Oh and don't ...more
Kenley Neufeld
Jan 23, 2015 Kenley Neufeld rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
After many years of meditation and mindfulness practice, training with my teachers, and offering the dharma, I finally was able to study and read the complete Lotus Sutra. This important and key text from the Buddhist canon is very deep and lovely. The translation offered in this text is easy and clear to read. I read this in conjunction with Thich Nhat Hanh's commentary "Opening The Heart of the Cosmos" and this greatly deepened my understanding.
Well, I spent almost two years with this book, and can't say I really understood it, or was even able to read all of it, or even felt a spark of kinship. When I hear others talk about The Lotus Sutra, I do, but not in my own reading. So much worship (?) in it, which I'm not sure I like, but also a glimpse of Indra's net and that enormity, which I do. Not that it's about "liking."
Feb 01, 2008 Melinda rated it it was amazing
This is the teaching of the Buddha and is the sutra used by the Nicherin Buddhists in their practice. Many volumes have been written to translate what this sutra means. However iit is beautiful to read as it was written and then read the lenghty translations. The Nicherin chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo comes from this Sutra. I have chanting this for over a year.
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