upon a time there was a great king. He was the greatest
of kings and was called the Wheel-Rolling King. It was
said that he owned a magical wheel of jewels that would
spin while he governed.
king was a fine ruler, and when he found a country that
was run by evil people, he would wage war against it. He
continually fought such evil countries until he had
crushed them all.
king was very glad to see that some of his soldiers were
very brave in war. He rewarded these soldiers with
treasures such as gold, silver, shell, agate, coral, and
amber. He gave some of them farms, houses, villages, and
cities. He also gave elephants, horses, and vehicles to
those who were worthy.
the soldiers were given these gifts from the king, they boasted,
saying “I received golden rings and necklaces from the
“He gave me a fabulous elephant and an ox-cart, praising my
brave fight in the war.”Or: “It was clothes this time for
me. But I’ll get much more next time for my valiant fight.”
“But you’ll not outdo me. I’ll be fighting with all my
was one thing that the king kept for himself: the brilliant gem
which he was keeping in his topknot. This gem was the only one
of its kind in the world. If he had given it to anyone, his
followers would have been shocked.
one day, the Wheel-Rolling King saw an especially brave soldier
and gave him that precious gem.
“I, the Buddha,
have kept the Lotus Sutra carefully in my heart and have
told no one about it. In this way, I am like the
Wheel-Rolling King -- who gave many treasures to his
soldiers, but kept the most valuable gem. I, like the
king, have fought many battles and defeated many devils.
Many of my disciples also fought along side me. I gave
them many treasures of the Law and have brought them
closer to enlightenment, but I did not teach them the
Lotus Sutra. Why? Because the people were not ready and
the time was not right.
did not tell my followers about the Lotus Sutra earlier
because they would not have understood. In a world that is
evil and ignorant, people cannot understand such a
why it was necessary to wage wars and destroy evil. That
way, people can learn more and more about the true state
of life. Once their mistaken ideas had been changed, they
became more open to understanding the great teaching of
the Lotus Sutra.
day the Wheel-Rolling King saw an especially brave soldier
and gave him that precious gem. I am like that king. The
Lotus Sutra is the most excellent teaching. Therefore I am
teaching it last -- just as the king finally gave the
brilliant gem to the one who was his most worthy