Prabhutaratna

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Prabhutaratna
Namo Prabhutaratna Tathagata.jpg
Abundant Treasures Buddha
Sanskrit प्रभूतरत्न Prabhūtaratna
Chinese 多寶 (Duō băo)
Japanese 多宝如来 (Tahō Nyorai)
Korean 다보 (Dabo)
Tibetan རིན་ཆེན་མང་ rin chen mang
Information
Venerated by Mahayana, Vajrayana
Attributes Witness to the Lotus Sutra
Dharma Wheel.svg Buddhism portal

Prabhūtaratna (Skt: प्रभूतरत्न; Traditional Chinese: 多寶; Simplified Chinese: 多宝; pinyin: duō bǎo; Japanese: 多宝如来 Ta takara nyorai or Tahō nyorai), translated as Abundant Treasures or Many Treasures, is the Buddha who appears and verifies Shakyamuni's teachings in the Lotus Sutra and the Samantabhadra Meditation Sutra.

In the Lotus Sutra[edit]

In the 11th chapter of the Lotus Sutra, Prabhūtaratna is described as living in a land "tens of millions of billions of countless worlds to the east" called "Treasure Purity.".[1] Here he resides within a stupa translated variously as the "Precious Stupa," the "Treasure Tower," the "Jeweled Stupa," or the "Stupa of the Precious Seven Materials." Prabhūtaratna is said to have made a vow to make an appearance to verify the truth of the Lotus Sutra whenever it is preached in the present or future.[2][3]

In the chapter, as Shakyamuni is preaching, Prabhūtaratna's stupa arises from under the earth and hangs midair. It is of unimaginable height and length,[4] Traditionally stupas were edifices where relics of Buddhas are stored.[5] Those gathered to hear Shakyamuni preach at Vulture Peak assumed the stupa from below the earth would contain relics. Instead, it contained within a living Prabhūtaratna who verified the truth of the teaching.[6][7]

Prabhūtaratna and Shakyamuni in the jewelled stupa; wall painting, Yulin Caves.

"Great-Eloquence Bodhisattva" wants to see the Buddha in the stupa but Prabhūtaratna´s vow makes it a prerequisite for showing his body that the Buddha who proclaims the Lotus teaching collects all his manifestations.[8][9] At this point Shakyamuni summons from around the universe countless Buddhas who are his emanations, lifts the entire assembly into the air, and opens the stupa. Prabhūtaratna praises Shakyamuni and invites him to sit next to him. Shakyamuni then continues to preach the Dharma.[10][11] In the 22nd "Entrustment" chapter of the Lotus Sutra, Prabhūtaratna and his stupa return to under the earth.[12][13]

Interpretations[edit]

Nikkyō Niwano states Prabhūtaratna's stupa symbolizes the buddha-nature which all people possess, while the springing-up of the stupa from the earth is said to imply the discovery of one's own buddha-nature.[14]

According to Robert Buswell, "Prabhūtaratna (Many Treasures) invites Shakyamuni to sit beside him inside his bejeweled stūpa, thus validating the teachings Shakyamuni delivered in the scripture."[15] Thich Nhat Hanh states that Prabhūtaratna symbolizes "the ultimate Buddha" and Shakyamuni "the historical Buddha"; the two Buddhas sitting together signifies the non-duality of the ultimate and the historical, that at a given moment in the real world, one can touch the ultimate.[16]

According to Nichiren, in their interaction Shakyamuni and Many Treasures agreed to the perpetuation of the Law throughout the Latter Day.[17]

Applications[edit]

The scene of Prabhūtaratna and Shakyamuni Buddhas sitting together in the Treasure Tower has been the theme of much Buddhist art over time.[18][19] Nichiren also placed Prabhūtaratna on the Gohonzon, his calligraphic representation of the Treasure Tower.[20][21][22]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Reeves 2008, p. 236.
  2. ^ Rhie, p. 137.
  3. ^ Hirakawa 2005, p. 202.
  4. ^ Ikeda 2001, pp. 7-8.
  5. ^ Wang 2005, p. 96.
  6. ^ Strong 2007, p. 38.
  7. ^ Kato 1993, p. 380.
  8. ^ Murano 1967, p. 42.
  9. ^ Lai 1981, p. 459.
  10. ^ Reeves 2008, pp. 240–241.
  11. ^ The English Buddhist Dictionary Committee 2002, pp. 74-75.
  12. ^ The English Buddhist Dictionary Committee 2002, pp. 161.
  13. ^ Murano 1967, p. 66.
  14. ^ Niwano 1976, p. 147.
  15. ^ Buswell 2013, p. 680.
  16. ^ Hanh 2009, pp. 103-104.
  17. ^ WND1 2004, p. 385.
  18. ^ Lopez 2016, p. 16.
  19. ^ Thomson 2008, p. 129.
  20. ^ Harvey 1990, p. 190.
  21. ^ Morgan 2004, p. 121.
  22. ^ WND1 1999, p. 299-300.

References[edit]

  • Hanh, Thich Nhat (2009). Peaceful action, open heart : lessons from the Lotus Sutra. Berkeley, Calif.: Parallax Press. ISBN 9781888375930. 
  • Harvey, Peter (1990). An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-31333-9. 
  • Hirakawa, Akira (2005), The rise of Mahayana Buddhism and its relationship to the worship of stupas. In: Paul Williams (Editor), Buddhism: Critical Concepts in Religious Studies Series, Vol. 3, The Origins and Nature of Mahayana Buddhism, London, New York: Routledge, pp. 181–226 
  • Ikeda, Daisaku; Saito, Katsuji; Endo, Takanori; Suda, Haruo (2001). The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra: A Discussion, Volume 3. Santa Monica, CA: World Tribune Press. ISBN 978-0915678716. 
  • Lai, Whalen W. (1981). "The Predocetic "Finite Buddhakāya" in the "Lotus Sūtra": In Search of the Illusive Dharmakāya Therein". Journal of the American Academy of Religion. 49 (3): 447–469. 
  • Lopez, Daniel (2016). The Lotus Sutra: A Biography. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691152209. 
  • Morgan, Diane (2004). The Buddhist experience in America (1. publ. ed.). Westport, Conn. [u.a.]: Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313324918. 
  • Murano, Senchu (1967). An Outline of the Lotus Sūtra, Contemporary Religions in Japan 8 (1), 16-84
  • Nichiren Daishonin (1999). Committee, The Gosho Translation, ed. The writings of Nichiren Daishonin. [Japan]: Soka Gakkai. ISBN 978-4412010246. 
  • Niwano, Nikkyo (1980), Buddhism For Today: A Modern Interpretation of the Threefold Lotus Sutra (PDF), Tokyo: Kōsei Publishing Co., ISBN 0834801477 

  • Reeves, Gene (2008). The Lotus Sutra: A Contemporary Translation of a Buddhist Classic. Somerville: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-571-3. 
  • Rhie, Marylin Martin (2010). The Western Ch'in in Kansu in the Sixteen Kingdoms Period and Inter-relationships with the Buddhist Art of Gandhāra. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 9789004184008. 
  • Strong, John S. (2007), Relics of the Buddha, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, ISBN 9788120831391 
  • The English Buddhist Dictionary Committee (2002). The Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism. Tōkyō: Soka Gakkai. ISBN 978-4-412-01205-9. 
  • Thomson, John, M. (2008). "The Tower of Power´s Finest Hour: Stupa Construction and Veneration in the Lotus Sutra". Southeast Review of Asian Studies. 30: 116–136. 
  • Wang, Eugene Y. (2005). Shaping the Lotus Sutra: Buddhist visual culture in medieval China. Seattle [u.a.]: Univ. of Washington Press. ISBN 9780295984629. 

Bibliography[edit]