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The Threefold Lotus Sutra

CHAPTER II - Tactfulness

The title of this chapter in Chinese, Fang-pien -'fe (Sanskrit Upaya-kaualya), means an appropriate, expedient, or tactful method.

Translated by Bunno Kato, Yoshiro Tamura, Kojiro Miyasaka
with revisions by W.E. Soothill, Wilhelm Schiffer, Pier P. del Campana (N.Y - 1975)


At that time the World-honored One, rising quietly and clearly from contemplation, addressed Sâriputra: "The wisdom of buddhas is very profound and infinite. Their wisdomschool is difficult to understand and difficult to enter, so that the srâvakas and pratyekabuddhas cannot apprehend it. Wherefore ? [Because] the buddhas have been in fellowship with countless hundred thousand myriad kotis of buddhas, perfectly practicing the infinite Law of all buddhas, boldly and zealously advancing and [making] their fame universally known, perfecting the very profound, unprecedented Law and preaching, as opportunity served, its meaning [so] difficult to understand. Sariputra ! Ever since I became Buddha, with various reasonings and various parables I have widely discoursed and taught, and by countless tactful methods have led living beings, causing them to leave all attachments. Wherefore ? [Because] the Tathâgata is altogether perfect in his tactfulness and paramita of wisdom. Sâriputra ! The wisdom of the Tathagata is broad and great, profound and far-reaching; [his minci] is infinite; [his expositions] are unimpeded; [his] powers, [his] fearlessness, [his] meditations, [his] emancipations, [his] contemplations have enabled him to enter into the boundless [realms] and to accomplish all the unprecedented Law. Sâriputra ! The Tathâgata is able to discriminate everything, preach the laws skillfully, use gentle words, and cheer the hearts of all. Sâriputra ! Essentially speaking, the Buddha has altogether fulfilled the infinite, boundless, unprecedented Law. Enough, Sâriputra, there is no need to say more. Wherefore ? [Because] the Law which the Buddha has perfected is the chief unprecedented Law, and difficult to understand. Only a buddha together with a buddha can fathom the Reality of All Existence, that is to say, all existence' [has] such a form, such a nature, such an embodiment, such a potency, such a function, such a primary cause, such a secondary cause, such an effect, such a recompense, and such a complete fundamental whole."

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