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Other titles in the Translations from the Asian Classics series:
The Lotus Sutraby Kumarajiva
Synopses & 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 more commentary than any other Buddhist scripture.
As Watson notes in the introduction to his remarkable translation, The Lotus Sutra is not so much an integral work as a collection of religious texts, an anthology of sermons, stories, and devotional manuals, some speaking with particular force to persons of one type or in one set of circumstances, some to those of another type or in other circumstances. This is no doubt why it has had such broad and lasting appeal over the ages and has permeated so deeply into the cultures that have been exposed to it.
"[Watson] gears his translation to the general reader who may have little or no background in Buddhist studies or Asian literature, achieving a clear, accessible combination of prose and poetry. His Lotus Sutra will be the standard translation for a long time." Tricycle: The Buddhist Review
"Watson's felicitous rendition of The Lotus Sutra captures superbly well the literary essence of the Chinese text. Considering the manifold complexities and beauties of the work, this is a stunning achievement." Victor Mair
This is an English translation of one of the most important scriptures of the Buddhist faith, which is the basic sutra for the schools of the Mahayana tradition. The scripture is filled with parables that present religious concepts in concrete terms, affirming the single path to enlightenment.
Since it first appeared in China in the third century, this Mahayana Buddhist Scripture has been regarded as one of the most illustrious in the canon. Depicting events in a cosmic world that transcends ordinary concepts of time and space, The Lotus Sutra presents abstract religious ideas in concrete terms and affirms that there is a single path to enlightenment.
About the Author
Burton Watson is one of the world's best-known translators from the Chinese and Japanese. His translations include The Vimalakirti Sutra, Chuang Tzu: Basic Writings, Ryokan: Zen Monk-Poet of Japan, Saigyo: Poems of a Mountain Home, and The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry: From Early Times to the Thirteenth Century.
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