- Published: February 4, 2022
- Updated: February 4, 2022
- University / College: University of York
- Level: School
- Language: English
- Downloads: 38
Buddhism in China, Korea and Japan Buddhist texts are rich in philosophy and spiritual reasoning. The ‘ Lotus Sutra’ is an important script for the East Asian Buddhists, in countries that include China, Japan, and Korea. While admiring this Sutra, the Zen tradition of prayer and meditation has carried the legacy of ‘ Lotus Sutra’ in its Koan practice. The muddy pond for the lotus, mentioned in this particular text can be compared to present day chaotic areas like New York’s Manhattan or Canada’s Toronto.
The Parable of the Burning House
The third chapter of this Sutra reflects upon the ‘ Parable of Burning House’, as Buddha is hesitant to teach the Lotus Sutra to his followers. On persuasion by his student, Shariputra, Buddha agrees to teach the meaning of this Sutra. However, most of the followers leave after this, as they doubt the legacy of this Sutra.
Theme of the Burning House
As revealed by Buddha, during his teachings of Lotus Sutra, the burning house is a huge mansion with many rooms. The children in this house are busy in their play, without noticing the dangerous creatures crawling on the floor. When the house is under fire, the father of these children urges them to come out and promises that a cart is waiting for them outside.
The underlying message indicates that most of us are pursuing the material gains, without noticing the dangers that accompany them. The lotus floats, clean and dirt-less, above the surface of muddy pond. The teachings of Budda take the form of cart to take us away from the greed that we all are pursuing in this material world.
The enlightened among us are like the lotus floating in the muddy pond.
Hoolboom, Mike “ Burning House: Betrayal as Innovation” The goal of practice is compassion, Center of Gravity, 25 February 2012, Web 05 Nov 2013: