Diversity of People’s Desires

in the Lotus Sutra

Acknowledging the phenomenon of diversity of desires, the Lotus Sutra regards the differences in tendencies among people as a welcome aspect of reality of human existence:

        People have differing natures. Differing desires.

        Differing modes of behaviour. And differing ideas and outlooks” :

        “ I sho shu jo. U shu ju sho. Shu ju yoku. Shu ju gyo. Shu ju oku so.” Chapter 16: Life Span.

The concept of celebrating diversity and treasuring the uniqueness of each person was also taught by Nichiren - who based his teachings on the Lotus Sutra. 

In a poetic statement, he views the differences among people as the differences among flowers or fruits, all possessing beauty and benefit within their nature:

        "Cherry, plum, peach and apricot blossoms

        all have their own qualities, and they manifest the three properties

        of the life of the Buddha without changing their character".

Differences among people enrich their uniqueness.  Using the above mentioned metaphoric reference, P. Ikeda comments:

        “The plum is happiest when it blooms as itself in full glory.

        How much of the color and wonder of life would be lost

        if it weren't for our differences”.  D. Ikeda


Author: Safwan Darshams                                                                   

The Lotus Sutra’s Unique Teachings on Attaining Enlightenment

The Revolutionary Teachings of the Lotus Sutra

Comparison between The Lotus Sutra and other spiritual scriptures

Lotus Buddhism and the Right to Happiness

The Authenticity of the Lotus Sutra

    Frequently Asked Questions