The Wondrous Mystic Sutra of Thanksgiving

The Bodhisattva Manjushri, Folio from a Prajnaparamita (The Perfection of Wisdom) LACMA M.72.1.21 (2 of 2)

To celebrate this coming Thanksgiving, I thought it would be fun to re-tell the Thanksgiving Story as a Buddhist-sutra. The text below is spliced mostly from the Lotus Sutra, the Sutra of Innumerable Meanings and other sources. This is similar to another “holiday sutra” I wrote long ago.

Why? Because generosity, good-will and wisdom are something you can find everywhere in the world and at all times. You just have to look.

Anyhow, enjoy!

…Thereupon the Bodhisattva, Maha-Sattva Squanto, sitting on a thousand petalled lotus as large as a carriage wheel, along with the Bodhisattvas who accompanied him, also sitting on jeweled lotuses, spontaneously rose up out of the Great Sea from the Sagara Dragon Palace. They rose high into the air and went to the Plymouth Colony. Descending from his lotus, he greeted the assembly of Pilgrims. From among the Pilgrims, some saluted the Bodhisattva, and sat on one side; some exchanged greetings with the Bodhisattva conversing in a friendly and courteous manner, and sat on one side; some saluted him with clasped hands, and sat on one side; some announced their name and lineage, and sat on one side; some sat on one side in silence.

Then, the Pilgrims beseeched the Bodhisattva in verse:

We make obeisance,
And submit ourselves to the sacred voice.
We make obeisance,
And submit ourselves to the Causes, Truths, and Paramitas.
For infinite past kalpas,
The World Honored One has practiced
All manner of virtues with effort
To Bring benefits to us human beings,
Heavenly beings, and dragon kings,
Universally to all living beings.
We make obeisance,
that you may teach us the ways to grow
and cultivate crops so that we may
feed our families.

At that time the Bodhisattva told the pilgrims, “Stop! Stop! There is no need to speak further.”

Again the pilgrims addressed the Bodhisattva with one voice saying, “We make obeisance, that you may teach us the ways to grow and cultivate crops so that we may feed our families.”

A second time the Bodhisattva told the Pilgrims, “Stop! Stop! There is no need to speak further.”

And for a third time, the Pilgrims addressed the Bodhisattva with one voice saying, “We make obeisance, that you may teach us the ways to grow and cultivate crops so that we may feed our families.”

The Bodhisattva Squanto told the Pilgrims, “Since you have earnestly requested three times, how can I not speak? You should now listen attentively, think upon it well, and be mindful of it; I will explain it in detail for your sake.”

At that time there fell from the heavens a rain of Mandarava Flowers, Mahamandarava Flowers, Manjushaka Flowers, and Mahamanjushaka Flowers, which were scattered upon the Bodhisattva and the entire great assembly.

All the lands of the ten directions quaked in six ways.

At that time the entire great assembly of Pilgrims, Pilgrimis, Bhikshus, Bhikshunis, Upasakas, Upasikas, Gods, Dragons, Yakshas, Gandharvas, Asuras, Garudas, Kinnaras, Mahoragas, beings human and non-human, as well as the Minor Kings, The Wheel-Turning Sage Kings, all attained what they had never had before. They rejoiced and joined their palms and, with one heart, gazed upon the radiance of the Bodhisattva…”

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

3 thoughts on “The Wondrous Mystic Sutra of Thanksgiving”

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