Lotus Sutra Translations: 

Hoben Pon Dai Ni 
Jogyo Bosatsu 
Taho Nyorai 

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Lotus Sutra Translation Nyorai Juryo hon Dai Ju-roku in Chinese  
 
Nyo
Nyo is the first character of the 16th chapter of the Kumarajivan Lotus Sutra. It is composed of two root characters. On the left is the radical for woman. It is the left part of Myo of Myoho-renge-kyo (see Myo in Chinese). On the right is the radical for mouth. Nyo is used in the Hoben Pon (second chapter of the Lotus Sutra) to mean "like" or "as such;" this use of it is evident in the section that is repeated three times in Gongyo: Nyo Ze Sho, etc. 

Nyo means "women's speech" in Chinese, because it was believed that a woman's virtue is that she could speak to the capacity of the listener (instead of being direct), words like "as such", "like," or "thus" were the words of women women's speech. In this case it means "Thus." 

 
Rai
Rai is the image of barley at the time of harvest. Because of the anticipation of the harvest, Rai means "to come" or "to arrive." 
 
Ju
Ju is composed of the character for "old" on the top and a phonetic on the bottom. The top character is a contraction of a man whose beard (plumage) has transformed into white. It usually means old, commonly a person in their 70's. In this case, it means long life. Having a long life was considered good and was considered a sign of virtue and respect-worthiness. A person who has lived a long life was thought to be a master of life. 
 
Ryo
Ryo is the combination of two older characters. The first means to weigh; the second means nature. The combination means the natural measurement. The true weight.
 
Hon 
Hon is a pronouncement of great importance (see Hoben Pon Dai ni).
 
Dai 
Dai is a section or chapter (see Hoben Pon Dai ni).
 
Ju
Ju is the number ten.
 
Roku
Roku is the number six.
Nyorai means "Thus Come [One]." 

Juryo means "Long life measurement." 

Correctly translated this means the "Life Span of the Thus Come One." 

The Threefold Lotus Sutra (3FLS) by the Rissho Koseikai "translates" this phrase as "Revelation of the (Eternal) Life of the Tathagata." Look at the mistakes there is no "Revelation." There is no "Eternal." And Tathagata is not a translation into English. It translates backwards from Chinese into Sanskrit. 

The Scripture of the Lotus Blossom of the Fine Dharma by Leon Hurvitz did not have to alter the text to conform to the doctrines of the Rissho Koseikai. It translates this phrase to "The Life-span of the Thus Come One." This not only makes more sense that the 3FLS, it is closer to the original intent of the Kumarajivan Lotus Sutra. 

Watson translates this phrase as "The Life Span of the Thus Come One."  As always Watson is right on the mark. 

The "Saddharma-pundarika" translates this phrase (from the Sanskrit) as "The Duration of Life of the Tathagata" (Thus Come One). 

Only the 3FLS inserted the word "Eternal" into this phase. It is not there. It does not appear anywhere in the Lotus Sutra in reference to the life span of the Buddhahood of Shakyamuni. The phrase "Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni" which is used by some Nichiren sects is erroneous in the context of the LS. 

Bad translations lead to misunderstandings. Misunderstandings of the Lotus Sutra and what it says can keep you from attaining enlightenment and as the Gosho states "Your life will become an endless, painful austerity." Major Writings, Vol. 1, p. 4, "On Attaining Buddhahood" 

 
Updated 6/7/06 
Copyright 2002 Imagery of Nichiren's Lotus Sutra website