The Lotus Sutra is regarded as one of the most important and influential sutras or scriptures in Buddhism. In it Shakyamuni, popularly known as Gautama Buddha, expounds the truth of life which he attained during enlightenment. The key message of the Sutra is the Buddhahood which is state of compassion, wisdom and courage is inherent in everybody.
The Lotus Sutra also talks about how the mundane challenges of life are not something we need to run away from, rather we need to face these challenges and transform them into positive experiences using our Buddhahood.
As SGI President Daisaku Ikeda has written, “The Lotus Sutra is ultimately a teaching of empowerment. It teaches us that the inner determination of an individual can transform everything; it gives ultimate expression to the infinite potential and dignity inherent in each human life.”
Concepts that receive particular emphasis in the sutra are eternity of life, the interdependence of all life and the sanctity of all life. The Lotus Sutra most importantly focuses on the principle of the fundamental equality of all people – including women, “evil people” and others often discriminated against in other teachings.
According to Ikeda, “The basis of this equality is the universally inherent potential of all people to manifest the life condition of Buddhahood or enlightenment. From the perspective of the Lotus Sutra, Buddhahood is not some final static state of attainment but a potential that all individuals can bring forth from their lives. It is the dynamic unfolding of the qualities of wisdom, compassion and courage amid the realities of the lives of women and men. The objective of Buddhism is to bring forth this inherent potentiality.”
In essence, the Lotus Sutra believes in unleashing the inherent potential present in everybody, for wisdom, compassion and courage.