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Back to listJun 12, 2007

Greek Edition of The Lotus Sutra Commemorated

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On June 12, 2007, a forum marking last year's publication of the Greek edition of The Lotus Sutra was held in Athens. The Lotus Sutra is widely considered the most important scripture of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. The Greek translation by Panos Bolanakis is based on Burton Watson's English translation (Columbia University Press, New York, 1993), and was released in December 2006 by Kedros Publishers, which specializes in contemporary literature and the classics.

Over 200 guests from Greek academic and cultural circles of Greece attended the event. President Varverri Varr of the International Society of Greek Poets and Artists and President Evangelos Papathanasopoulos of Kedros Publishers gave introductory speeches, followed by greetings from SGI-Greece General Director Dimitri Dimopoulos. SGI-Europe Chair Hideaki Takahashi read a message from SGI President Daisaku Ikeda expressing his hope that the publication will contribute to advancing dialogue and exchanges between scholars of Greek philosophy, the fount of modern Western civilization, and Buddhist thought of the Orient.

Professor George Pedaros of the University of Athens delivered a lecture entitled "A Comparative Study of the Lotus Sutra and Its Spirit of Pacifism with Christianity and Islam." Greek poet Zaneta Kalyva Papaioannou remarked that the Greek edition of the Lotus Sutra is insightful, one that will contribute to enlightening and deepening the spirituality of the Greek people.

The 500-page Greek edition of The Lotus Sutra includes an introduction, full text of the Lotus Sutra's 28 chapters, glossary and index, and was finished on the 1600th anniversary of Kumarajiva's Chinese translation completed in 406. [Kumarajiva (344-413 C.E.) was a prominent Central Asian scholar who translated a number of Buddhist scriptures into Chinese during his lifetime. Dr. Watson's translation of this pivotal text is made directly from Kumarajiva's Chinese version, regarded as the most historically legitimate text.]

During the event, the Lotus Sutra manuscript series published by the Soka Gakkai was exhibited at the same venue.

[Adapted from an article in the June 21, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]