Did a god of great virtue or a Buddha
Appear somewhere in the universe?
This great light illumines
The worlds of the ten quarters.

The Brahma Heavenly Kings of the East sing these verses as part of a story the Buddha tells in Chapter Seven of the Lotus Sūtra. Long ago there was another Buddha named Great-Universal-Wisdom-Excellence. When he became enlightened, the entire universe was illuminated. Beings who had never seen each other could recognize each other clearly. We can see this story as a metaphor for what happens when the Buddha’s wisdom comes into our lives. We leave the darkness of our ego attachment and come into the light of the world as it is.


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