Parables, Myths, and Symbols of the White Lotus Sutra

by Sangharakshita

“Once upon a time there was a rich old man who lived in a vast mansion…”

Story, myth, and drama are not something we leave behind with childhood. We never lose the desire to know “what happened next.” An image can mysteriously convey a sense of truth that the most convincing intellectual argument will never do. Abstract ideas may please the mind, but it is myth and symbol that satisfy the heart — and we cannot hope to put all our energies into the process of spiritual transformation until our hearts are won over.

The White Lotus Sutra tells the greatest of all stories, that of human life and human potential. Taking the entire cosmos for its stage and all sentient beings for its players, the sutra illuminates a strange world indeed, but its parables, myths, and symbols have made it loved and revered throughout the Buddhist world.

In this commentary Sangharakshita brings those parables, myths, and symbols to vivid life, and shows how they relate to our own spiritual quest. The discussions that follow each chapter draw us deeper into the true meaning of the sutra, the precious significance of our lives.

Paperback, 168 pages, black and white illustrations
August 1996
List Price: $15.99

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Believe nothing merely because you have been told it… Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings — that doctrine believe and cling to and take it as your guide.
The Buddha

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