妙 ( Jpn)
Wonderful, mystic, without peer, or beyond conception. This term is used to describe the Buddhist Law, which is wonderful and beyond ordinary understanding. In The Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra, T'ient'ai (538-597) interprets the word myo (wonderful) of the title Myoho-renge-kyo, or the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, from two perspectives to show the profundity of the sutra. The first is the relative myo, also referred to as the comparative myo. The relative myo means that the Lotus Sutra is wonderful or mystic because, when compared with all other teachings, it is superior. Myo does not merely mean that the Lotus Sutra is superior to all other teachings, however. Hence the second interpretation, the absolute myo. This means that the Lotus Sutra cannot be compared with any other teaching because it encompasses and integrates all other teachings; no teaching exists outside it, and thus none can be called superior or inferior to it. From this viewpoint, all teachings when based on the Lotus Sutra express various aspects of the ultimate truth. Nichiren (1222-1282) interpreted myo as referring to Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which he deemed the essence of the Lotus Sutra. In The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra, he explains three meanings of the character myo: to open, to be fully endowed, and to revive. "To open" means to open up the darkness of illusion and reveal the Buddha nature. "To be fully endowed" means to possess all Ten Worlds and three thousand realms, while permeating and integrating the whole of the phenomenal world. It can also mean possessing the practices and resulting virtues of all Buddhas. "To revive" means enabling one to attain Buddhahood. For example, women, evil men, and those of the two vehicles (voice-hearers and cause-awakened ones), who were denied the possibility of enlightenment in the provisional teachings, can all attain Buddhahood through the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra. "To revive" also means that all teachings and doctrines, when based upon the Mystic Law, assume their correct perspective and fulfill their intrinsic purpose.
See also Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.