[Note: the * indicate the bells]

Myoho Renge Kyo

The Du-ra-tion of the Life of the Ta-tha-ga-ta

Chap-ter Six-teen

It is man-y hun-dreds of thou-sands

Of bil-lions of tril-lions

Of a-sam-khyas of kal-pas

Since I be-came the Bud-dha

*For the past in-nu-mer-a-ble kal-pas

I have al-ways been ex-pound-ing the Dhar-ma

To man-y hun-dreds of mil-lions of liv-ing be-ings

In or-der to lead them in-to the Way to Bud-dha-hood.

*In or-der to save the con-trar-y peo-ple,

I skill-ful-ly show my nir-va-na to them.

In re-al-i-ty I shall ne-ver pass a-way.

I al-ways live here and ex-pound the Dhar-ma.

*Al-though I al-ways live here

With the con-trar-y peo-ple,

I dis-ap-pear from their eyes

By my su-per-nat-u-ral pow-ers.

When they see me seem-ing-ly pass a-way,

And make of-fer-ings to my sha-ri-ras,

And a-dore me, ad-mi-re me,

And be-come de-vout, up-right and gen-tle,

And wish to see me

With all their hearts

At the cost of their lives,

I re-ap-pear on Vul-ture Peak

With my San-gha,

And say to them:

“I al-ways live here.

I shall ne-ver be ex-tinct.

I show my ex-tinc-tion to you skill-ful-ly

Al-though I ne-ver pass a-way.

I al-so ex-pound the un-sur-passed Dhar-ma

To the liv-ing be-ings of the o-ther worlds

If they re-spect me, be-lieve me,

And wish to see me.

You have ne-ver heard this;

There-fore, you thought that I pass a-way.”

I see the con-trar-y peo-ple sink-ing

In an o-cean of suf-fer-ing.

There-fore, I dis-ap-pear from their eyes

And cause them to ad-mi-re me.

When they a-dore me,

I ap-pear and ex-pound the Dhar-ma to them.

I can do all this by my su-per-nat-u-ral pow-ers.

I live on Vul-ture Peak

And al-so in the o-ther a-bodes

For a-sam-khya kal-pas.

The con-trar-y peo-ple think:

“This world is in a great fi-re.

The end of the kal-pa of de-struc-tion is com-ing.”

In re-al-i-ty this world of mine is peace-ful.

It is filled with gods and hu-mans.

The gar-dens, for-ests, and state-ly build-ings

Are a-dorned with var-i-ous trea-sures;

The jew-eled trees have man-y flow-ers and fruits;

The liv-ing be-ings are en-joy-ing them-selves;

And the gods are beat-ing heav-en-ly drums,

Mak-ing var-i-ous kinds of mu-sic,

And rain-ing man-da-ra-va flow-ers on the great mul-ti-tude and me.

This pure world of mine is in-de-struc-ti-ble.

But the con-trar-y peo-ple think:

“It is full of sor-row, fear, and o-ther suf-fer-ings.

It will soon burn a-way.”

Be-cause of their evil kar-mas,

These sin-ful peo-ple will not be a-ble

To hear e-ven the names of the Three Trea-sures

Dur-ing a-sam-khya kal-pas.

To those who have ac-cum-u-la-ted mer-its,

And who are gen-tle and up-right,

And who see me liv-ing here,

Ex-pound-ing the Dhar-ma,

I say:

“The du-ra-tion of my life is im-mea-sur-a-ble.”

To those who see me aft-er a long time,

I say, “It is dif-fi-cult to see a Bud-dha.”

I can do all this by the pow-er of my wis-dom.

The light of my wis-dom knows no bound.

The du-ra-tion of my life is in-num-er-a-ble kal-pas.

I ob-tained this lon-ge-vi-ty by a-ges of prac-ti-ces.

All of you, wise men!

Have no doubts a-bout this!

Re-move your doubts, have no more!

My words are true, not false.

The phy-si-cian, who sent a man skill-ful-ly

To tell his con-trar-y sons

Of the death of their fa-ther in or-der to cure them,

Was not ac-cused of false-hood al-though he was still a-live.

In the same man-ner, I am the fa-ther of the world.

I am sav-ing all liv-ing be-ings from suf-fer-ing.

Be-cause they are con-trar-y,

I say that I shall pass a-way al-though I shall not.

If they al-ways see me,

They will be-come ar-ro-gant and li-cen-tious,

And cling to the five de-si-res,

So much that they will fall in-to the e-vil re-gions.

I know who is prac-tic-ing the Way and who is not.

There-fore, I ex-pound var-i-ous teach-ings

To all liv-ing be-ings

Ac-cord-ing to their ca-pa-ci-ties.

*I am al-ways think-ing:

“How shall I cause all liv-ing be-ings

To en-ter in-to the un-sur-passed Way

*And quick-ly be-come Bud-dhas?”