LOTUS SŪTRA, LECTURE NO. 6
[Third Lotus Sūtra Series]
Thursday Evening, October 30, 1969
Zen Mountain Center
(note: the audio speeds up as the recording goes along)
The print—print you have got there is trans- [partial word]—mostly translated from Kumārajīva’s translation. Kumārajīva is Chinese famous translator, and his translation is famous for his—for his beautiful words. And easy to understand. That is why most people—most Chinese people liked his translation, and at the same time Lotus Sūtra became very popular sūtra. It is not exactly literal translation, but because he was a great scholar, his translation is very correct and very easy to understand. And as a literature, it is also good.
Kumārajīva’s father [Kumārayāna] was an Indian, and his father came to—I don’t know what you call—Kashmir—Kashmir? Do you understand [laughs]?
Suzuki-rōshi: Kashmir. Kiji—Kiji, in Chinese. Kiji-koku. And he—he [Kumārayāna] got married with emperor’s sister [Jīvaka].
And Kumārajīva was—when he was quite young he started study of Buddhism. When he was seven, he already read scriptures. And when he was nine years old, he started study of Mahāyāna already. At first, under some teacher he studied Hīnayāna mostly. And—and when he was twelve he went to some other neighboring country and studied more about teaching of Prajñāpāramitā group [of sūtras]. And when he came back to his country—his father’s country, his former teacher became his disciple [laughs]. He was so, you know, smart fellow. And the teacher said, “You are my Mahāyāna teacher, and you are—and I am your teacher of Hīnayāna teaching,” he said. And he studied under him [laughs].
We don’t know how long he was there. But anyway, his mother went back to India. Maybe his country became more and more weaker, and Chinese people more and more ready to invade his country. Maybe that is why. But he stayed [in] his father’s country and was teaching Mahāyāna teaching.