Sadāparibhūta Bodhisattva, Never Disparaging Bodhisattva, (Ch: 常不輕菩薩 cháng bù qīng púsà; Jp: Jōkufyō Bosatsu) appears in Lotus Sutra Chapter 20 which describes the practices of Bodhisattva Never Disparaging, who lived in the Middle Period of the Law (Ch: 像法 xiàng fă) of the Buddha Awesome Sound King (Ch: 威音王如來 Wēi yīn wáng rúlái). He persevered in the face of persecution for the sake of the correct teaching, and finally attained Buddhahood. Bodhisattva Never Disparaging was Shakyamuni Buddha in one of his past lifetimes.
The name of Sadāparibhūta is thought to mean never despising (Skt. sadā-aparibhūta: always, not despising). However it can also be translated as sadā-paribhūta: always despised. According to Hurvitz, "It is possible that the name is a false sankritization of a Prakrit form going back to sadāparibhavitā, nom. s. of sadāparibhavitr, hence ever disgracing or never disgracing, of which, of course, the former is not possible." Anesaki attributes this more popular choice of translation to Kumārajīva.[note 1]
The story of Sadāparibhūta
In chapter 20 of the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha explains that those who despise or abuse the followers of the Lotus Sutra´s teaching, will have to face negative karmic consequences. People who preserve the Lotus teaching will however be able to purify their faculty of the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind. In order to explain this again, the Buddha tells a story about a previous life (avadana) when he was a Bodhisattva called Sadāparibhūta.[note 2] Sadāparibhūta did not study or explain sutras but he paid homage to all Buddhist monks, nuns or lay followers he met and predicted that they all would become Buddhas. Some Buddhists questioned Sadāparibhūta´s authority to make such a prediction of future Buddhahood and got angry. When they attacked him with sticks or stones he shouted from a distance, "I do not despise you. You are not despised, for you all perform bodhisattva practice and you are to become buddhas." Before he died he heard the Lotus Sutra and was able to purify the six senses. After an inconceivable number of rebirths he had accumulated great merit and attained the perfect enlightenment of a Buddha.
- Anesaki states: "The Sanskrit name Sadāparibhūta, certainly means the 'Constantly-abused,' but Kumarajiva rendered the name by the 'Constantly-revering,' that is, Sadā-aparibhūta, or with a different termination indicating the present participle. Japanese, jō-kufyō."
- The Chapter number 20 of Kumarajiva's translation is given here. The arrangement and numbering of chapters in the extant Sanskrit version is different (ch 19).
- Anesaki, Masaharu (1916). Nichiren, the Buddhist Prophet. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
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- Murano, Senchu (1967). An Outline of the Lotus Sūtra, Contemporary Religions in Japan 8/1, 61-63
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- The English Buddhist Dictionary Committee (2002). The Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism. Tōkyō: Soka Gakkai. ISBN 978-4-412-01205-9. Archived from the original on 2015-05-06.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- Stone (2012). The Sin of "Slandering the True Dharma". In Phyllis Granoff, Koichi Shinohara (eds): Sins and Sinners: Perspectives from Asian Religions. BRILL. pp. 139–. ISBN 90-04-22946-9.
- Chanju Mun; Ronald S. Green (2006). Buddhist Exploration of Peace and Justice. Blue Pine Books. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-9777553-0-1.
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