The merits of the [fiftieth] person
[Who hears this sūtra] are immeasurable.
Needless to say, so are the merits of the first person
Who rejoices at hearing it in the congregation.

The Buddha sings these verses to Maitreya Bodhisattva in Chapter Eighteen of the Lotus Sutra. This chapter includes a story of a person who hears the Wonderful Dharma, then explains it to the best of their ability to someone else. In this way there is a chain of fifty people who hear versions of this teaching modified by the capacities of those transmitting it. The effectiveness of this teaching does not depend on who delivers it. No matter what our capacity, any of us can teach the Lotus Sutra and practice it in our lives.


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