15. The Buddha explains the fact by revealing the immense duration of his lifetime, in the past and the future.
16. Meritoriousness of the belief in the immense duration of the Tathagatas and all those who have once become Buddhas.
17. The Lord details the great merit attending a ready acceptanceof the preaching of the law.
18. Exposition of the advantages, worldly and spiritual, enjoyed by the ministers of religion.
19. Story of Sadaparibhnta, exemplifyingthesuperiority ofsimple-mindedness and pure-heartedness to worldly wisdom and scepticism.
20. Grand show exhibited by the two Tathagatas Qakyamuni and Prabhütaratna conjointly. 1 Pause after the performance. After the pause a great stir amongst gods, celestial and infernal beings, men, &c. 2 The lathagata extols the Sütra of the Lotus in which «all Buddha-laws are succinctly taught», as well as the keepers of this most eminent of Sütras.
Immediately after this chapter ma}" have followed, in the oldest version, the epilogueentitled «Period of the Law» ; the reasons for this opinion have been already stated above. The supposed additional chapters contain the following topics, briefly indicated:
21. Efficacy of talismanic spells (Dharanïs).
22. Self-sacrifice of the Bodhisattva Sarvasattvapriyadargana, othervvise called Bhaisajyaraja. Glorification of the Lotus as the most eminent of Sütras.
23. Visit of the Bodhisattva Gadgadasvara to the Saha-world. Extraordinary qualities and achievements of this worthy, incidentally narrated by the Tathagata. Return of the Bodhisattva to whence he came.
24. Grandeur and ubiquitousness of Avalokitegvara.
25. Wonderful and edifying story of the conversion of the king (^ubhavyüha through the instrumentality of his two sons Vimalagarbha and Vimalanetra, al. Bhaisajyaraja and Bhaisajyasamudgata.
26. The Bodhisattva Samantabhadra charges himself with the task of being a protector to the preachers of religion in after-times after the Lord's Nirvana. 3
This summary, however meagre, will be sufficiënt to show that there is
1 Both stretch their flaming tongues as far as the Brahma-world. In the Bhagavadglta XI, 30 it is said of Narayana, when at the request of Arjuna he shows himself ia his full grandeur: lelihyase grasamanah samantal lokan samagran vadanair jvaladbhih, tojobhir apürya jagat samagram bhasas tavograh prapatanti, Yisno!
2 Cf. Bhagavad-gïta XI, 15.
s There is some incongruity between this chapter and chapter x, because in the latter it is the Lord himself who promises to be in future the protector of the preachers.