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Friday, July 3, 2020

Continuing with the Lotus Sutra lecture

It is the same with us. We appeared in this world, but we appeared in this world with a limitless background. We do not appear all of a sudden from nothing. There must be something before we appear in this world. And there must be something before Buddha also. That he was so great means that he had a great practice. This point is very important for the development of the idea of Buddha.
So he was described in various ways as a superhuman being. He had eighteen characteristics and virtues which are completely different from those of a usual person, and he also had the thirty-two physical marks. They say this is just a “big adjective” for the Buddha. That may be so, but there is some reason why they applied such a “big adjective” to the Buddha, to the extent that these kinds of things were even described in the Agamas, which belong to Hinayana Buddhism. This kind of Mahayanistic idea of Buddha is already included in the Hinayana. So it is difficult to say which is the Mahayana teaching and which is the Hinayana teaching, actually. If you read them closely, even Hinayana sutra s have a Mahayanistic description of Buddha. 
----------------------------- Excerpt
 from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC