Soka Gakkai Publishes The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras
Soka Gakkai recently released The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, commemorating January 26, 2009, the 34th anniversary of the founding of the SGI.
The book offers an English translation of the Lotus Sutra and two short sutras, the Immeasurable Meanings Sutra and the Sutra on How to Practice Meditation on Bodhisattva Universal Worthy, that have traditionally been regarded as the Lotus Sutra's opening and closing sutras. This book is a revision of The Lotus Sutra, published in 1993 by Columbia University Press and translated by Dr. Burton Watson, world-renowned translator of many classical Chinese and Japanese texts. Dr. Watson's English translations of the opening and closing sutras appear for the first time. The Soka Gakkai Office of International Affairs' Book Translation Department compiled the volume.
All the translations in the new edition conform to the Chinese texts of Myoho-renge-kyo narabini kaiketsu (The Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law and Its Opening and Closing Sutras), published by Soka Gakkai in 2002. Myoho-renge-kyo narabini kaiketsu is based on Chu Hoke-kyo (The Annotated Lotus Sutra), which Nichiren used for instructing his disciples and for his own reference. This is the first time Soka Gakkai has published a foreign language version of the three sutras together.
In the book's foreword, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda writes, "For humankind as a whole, the twenty-first century represents the crucial, the now-or-never moment for the establishment of peace. Therefore I firmly believe that now is the time to work more tirelessly than ever to propagate and establish this philosophy of hope set forth in the Lotus Sutra, a scripture that delves into the very fundamentals of human life, and that this opportunity must not be missed."
[Adapted from an article in the January 28, 2009 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]