The 7 Parables

At first, when I heard the Buddha’s preaching,

there was great astonishment and doubt in my mind…

But the Buddha employed various causes, similes, and parables, expounding eloquently…

and as I listened, I was freed from the net of doubt.

– Shariputra (the Buddha’s foremost disciple) in Chapter 3 “Simile and Parable” of the Lotus Sutra

 

The Lotus Sutra was said by the Buddha to be the most difficult teaching to understand. Recognising this, Shakyamuni illustrated his teachings in the form of analogies and parables in the Lotus Sutra, the true path to enlightenment and eternal happiness, in a manner that could be easily understood by his disciples.

The Lotus Sutra Exhibition highlights seven parables in the Lotus Sutra. While they may sound simple, their significance is infinitely profound. When one interprets the parables with depth, one comes to understand the immense compassion and ingenuity of the Buddha.

 

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SGI Quarterly July 2013