Back to listOct 23, 2007

The Lotus Sutra Published in Laotian


A Laotian edition of Burton Watson's translation of The Lotus Sutra (Columbia University Press, New York, 1993) was recently published by the Phalikhan Co. of the Lao People's Democratic Republic. The Lotus Sutra is widely considered to be the most important scripture of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. The Soka Gakkai has now sponsored translations of The Lotus Sutra into seven languages: English, Chinese, Greek, German, Italian, Laotian and Thai.

[Dr. Watson's translation of this pivotal sutra is made directly from Kumarajiva's Chinese version, regarded as the most historically legitimate text. Kumarajiva (344-413 C.E.) was a prominent Central Asian scholar who translated a number of Buddhist scriptures into Chinese during his lifetime. For more background on the Lotus Sutra, click here]

In the preface to the Laotian edition, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda pays tribute to the Laotian cultural heritage which values spiritual wealth, remarking that etymologically, "Laos" means "brilliant human being" or "pure-hearted human being," a befitting description. He expresses his hope that The Lotus Sutra, which teaches that all human beings inherently possess a wellspring of wisdom for achieving absolute happiness, will be a source of inspiration for readers in their pursuit of happiness. Other SGI-related publications available in Laotian include Choose Life, a dialogue between British historian Arnold J. Toynbee and Mr. Ikeda.

[Adapted from an article in the October 23, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]