Josai Toda Second president of the Soka Gakkai, in explaining the 15th chapter of the Lotus sutra coined a phrase to describe the Bodhisattvas who had “emerged from the earth” during the “ceremony in the air”.
To emerge from the earth means to come from the place of truth. Maitreya asked who these multitude of Bodhisattvas were, and the Buddha told him they were all his disciples who had mastered the law in the myriad of dust particle kalpas that have passed. In the Entrustment chapter they learn that the Bodhisattvas of the earth would be reborn as Buddhas to teach uncountable others. Toda Sensei said they were “Bodhisattva Buddhas” or beings who had realized enlightenment but chose to be reborn and suffer among the suffering in order to open the gate to the Buddha wisdom , the show the Buddha Wisdom, to help others to awaken to the Buddha Wisdom, to induce others to enter the Buddha Wisdom. Those who have made the vow to do so are Bodhisattvas, and they are Buddhas

Wisdom Wrap

I need a little Audience participation here.

A couple of times in the next few minutes
I want you to say a term many of us probably just heard here
It’s got a ring to it that I kinda like it’s


When I raise my hand like this you say—–

Uh – Wait a minute –

When asked why I came
“I’ve been told the answer”
was my reply
“Now I’m looking for the question
that’s the reason why”

An answer without a question is like a vacuum in a sieve
It just won’t last long
The answers keep coming fast I need to find the questions
before the answers are gone


That’s the answer Maitreya didn’t expect
When unexpected guests dropped by
to pay Shakyamuni respect

and he asked Who are these Guys?


You and me
Bodhisattva is what it says in the book
But in his dialogues Ikeda Sensei tells us
To take a closer look

By the way, in case you don’t recall
The words “emerging from the earth”
really don’t tell it all

We didn’t come floating out like cartoon ghosts
squeezing upward through a funnel

Or marching out like Vietnam vets who
found the light at the end of the tunnel

We lept forth singing, and dancing
and bringing MUSIC

What does the Sutra say
If one sings a song in praise of the buddha
even if it is one small note
then all who do these things
have attained the buddha way

Sounds like a bunch of buddhas to me
Skin awash in a golden hue
Distinguishing characteristics thirty two
sound like buddhas to you?

Look at how Shakyamuni is addressed
by the monks and arhats and kings
and heavenly kings and kimnara kings and
alligator uh I mean dragon kings and asura kings and
garuda kings and the gods and sons of gods and the
human and nonhuman beings and
mahasattvas and bodhisattvas
they bow and bring things
and sing praises
and beg the “Dharma King, None more highly honored
Savior of the world
Supremely honored among two legged beings
Hero of the World
PLEASE teach us the Law”

And then we


Extend our greetings to him like no other
not like a follower but like a sister or brother
And in front of this assemblage
We proceed with what we came to say
As we promise to become the thus come ones
in the dawn of the latter day

And before the buddhas all return
to their respective times and lands
He walks among us
and reaches out and shakes each of our hands.

sounds like a bunch of buddhas to me


At gongyo this morning I got another answer
I saw our voices
mixing, intertwining
to and through the infinite cosmos
in a forever embrace —
Until they were as indistinguishable
and individual
as the stars viewed from space

and among them our star
the one we call our sun
the question was asked
are we a buddha, the buddha, many buddhas
or one

But before you all get bored and start to head for home
I better get back to the question That started this rhyming and poem
The answer is what we learn
when our first meeting we attend
We learn it at the beginning and repeat it
at the end
The daimoku, of course
the one true law
the only answer we need to know
that one phrase of infinite meaning
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

And yes
I found the question

When you go home what are you going to be?
The same as you were when you left
Or a lion
Sounding a roar of victory?


(c) ric Dexter 2000