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THE TWO PRACTICES OF REVERING OTHERS


Lotus Sutra tells us about the Bodhisattva Never Unworthy of Respect, who never stopped practicing reverence toward others, even when rocks were thrown at him and he was struck by people’s canes.


Another example of practicing reverence from the Lotus Sutra is Shakyamuni Buddha’s declaration that “Devadatta was my good friend,” by which the Buddha teaches the practice of revering an adversary who does you wrong, as your spiritual mentor.

Anyone who never forgets to observe these two practices of revering others qualifies as a practitioner of the Lotus Sutra.

When we seek our own convenience, wanting it this way or that, it has entirely the opposite effect as the Lotus Sutra's two practices of reverence. More often than not, it causes us to end up with a habitual frown on our face. When you do nothing but worry about everything, it tends to turn out just as you feared.


This is why no matter what happens to you and whatever kind of people you may come across, it's important to think to yourself. "This is an assignment given to me for my practice!”


If you are so resolved, you'll be able to think about everything from other points of view rather than being picky about what is good or bad, preferable or undesirable according to your own convenience. Then you’ll gain the mettle to respond to whatever comes at you with everything you have.


Nikkyo Niwano

Kaisozuikan 9, pp. 194-195

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