From the Sutra of the Ten Stages, which is chapter 26 of the massive Flower Garland Sutra (華厳経):

If the beings I see by my enlightened vision
Were saints equal to Shariputra,
And one should honor them for millions of ages,
As many as the sands of the Ganges River;
And if someone honored an individual illuminate
Day and night, cheerful,
With the finest garlands and such,
And thereby created excellent virtue;
And if all were individual illuminates,
If one honored them diligently
With followers and incense, food and drink,
For many eons,
Still if one made even one bow to one buddha
And with a pure mind declared obeisance,
The virtue would be greater than all that.

What interests me about this quote is how praising an enlightened Buddha is much greater virtue than a famous monk or saint. There are a lot ways to interpret why, but anyway I just thought it was interesting. It’s hard to find good quotations from the Flower Garland Sutra anyway since it is so long and dense. 😉



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 “Obeisance”

    1. Hello Cameron and welcome. I saw your comment on Youtube, and felt it was better to reply back here.

      Anyhow, given your situation, I think it’s best to find a community of other Buddhists you can talk with and share questions and experiences with. One Buddhist won’t be enough, you should find a community. However, it sounds like you may not be able to find a community in your area easily, so thankfully there are some good Buddhist communities on line:

      http://newbuddhist.com – probably one of the best online forums
      http://www.freesangha.com/forums/ – another venerable forum

      Also, if you are able to visit temples in your area, try to arrange a time to visit one and ask questions. Better yet, visit a few. It’s good to shop around, but avoid slick-looking cults and such. Finally, some books on Buddhism I recommend:


      Feel free to post questions here as well, but as I said before, you’ll feel a lot better when you find a community either online or in person. Best of luck. 🙂


  1. I wonder if in the culture of the times, people spent a lot of time laying garlands on the statures, and cultivating name-recognition, a kind of celebrity following? Brevity towards the center would be a better use of time, I suppose. Of all the deeds hat could be done to honor a Buddha, it seems that a mere nod is fairly small. Something like this quote would be good fuel for the busy merchant, or peasant farmer to just nod and keep on working, however the catch is having a “pure mind”. I would think, that in the brevity of a nod, a self-account of ones mind would be that for that moment it might seem pretty pure. 😉


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