Lotus Sutra

(ca. 100 BCE–200 CE)

Lotus Sutra

2. Skillful Means

At that time the World-Honored One rose calmly from concentration and said to Shariputra: “The wisdom of buddhas is both profound and immeasurable, and the gateways to this wisdom are hard to understand and hard to enter. No shravaka or pratyekabuddha can apprehend it.

“Why is this? It is because every buddha has been closely associated with hundreds of thousands of billions of buddhas in the past, fully practicing the way of the immeasurable Dharma of all the buddhas. Boldly and diligently working, they have become famous everywhere, fulfilling the very profound, unprecedented Dharma and teaching it wherever opportunities arose. Yet their intention is difficult to grasp.

“Shariputra, ever since I became a buddha, I have used a variety of causal explanations and a variety of parables to teach and preach, and countless skillful means to lead living beings, enabling them to give up their attachments. Why? Because the Tathagata has attained full use of...

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Seated Buddha (Yale University Art Gallery)

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