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The Lotus Sutra 7 of 8

On November 16, 2008, Venerable Guo Chuan gave a talk on Chapter 20 of the Lotus Sutra, "The Bodhisattva Never Disparaging".

The Bodhisattva Never Disparaging was a monk who showed great respect to all sentient beings. He would bow to believers and say, "I would never disparage you, because you are all certain to attain Buddhahood!" despite the curses and abuse of certain arrogant believers. As a result of his practice, he gained great powers and not only won over his abusers, but also converted a multitude of beings and gained purification of his senses. Sakyamuni Buddha reveals that the Buddha was this Bodhisattva Never Disparaging in a previous life.

The Bodhisattva Never Disparaging appears in the world when the buddhadharma is in decline and arrogant people are in rule. There are seven types of pride or arrogance:

· Asserting superiority over inferiors
· Asserting superiority over equals
· Asserting superiority over all manifest superiors
· Egotism – asserting talents and thinking they are the highest ideal
· Boasting enlightenment when not enlightened
· False humility or low self-esteem
· Showing lack of virtue but asserting that you are virtuous

The Bodhisattva Never Disparaging always treated people with respect due to a deep belief that all beings will become buddhas one day. This bodhisattva did not read the sutras but engaged in delivering sentient beings by treating them all with equanimity. He was steadfast in his beliefs, practiced with great zeal and confidence, and withstood insults. As a result, he gained transcendental powers and attained anuttara samyak sambodhi or full enlightenment.

Venerable concluded her talk by encouraging the audience to always use body, speech and mind to respect all sentient beings, have faith in the practice, be patient under insult, and practice with great zeal. This corresponds with the four practices of the Bodhisattva Never Disparaging—

· to be respectful, not proud
· to withstand insult and injury
· to not cast aside sentient beings but to treat all with lovingkindness
· to recognize that all sentient beings have Buddhanature

(by Chang Jie)

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