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Heavenly King

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Heavenly King
[天王如来] (Skt Devaraja; Jpn Tenno-nyorai)

    The Thus Come One Heavenly King. The name that Devadatta will bear when he attains Buddhahood in a future existence, according to Shakyamuni's prediction in the "Devadatta" (twelfth) chapter of the Lotus Sutra. The chapter reads: "Devadatta, after immeasurable kalpas have passed, will attain Buddhahood. He will be called Heavenly King Thus Come One.... His world will be called Heavenly Way, and at that time Heavenly King Buddha will abide in the world for twenty medium kalpas, broadly preaching the wonderful Law for the sake of living beings." Devadatta came to personify evil in the Buddhist teachings because of his opposition to the Buddha, which included attempts on the Buddha's life. The attainment of Buddhahood by Devadatta expresses the power of the Lotus Sutra to enable all people, even the most evil, to attain enlightenment eventually. It is a declaration of the universality of the potential for Buddhahood. The Sanskrit title Devaraja means king of the gods. Deva means deity, god, heavenly, or divine, and raja means king.

Source

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