Point One, regarding the passage “At that time Shakyamuni Buddha rose from his Dharma seat.”
The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The word “rose” indicates that the Buddha has risen from his seat within the treasure tower, and that the ceremony held outside the tower will now begin. This ceremony is the entrustment of the teachings as indicated in the three pats that the Buddha gives to the heads of the bodhisattvas.
The entrustment accompanied by the three pats symbolizes that the Buddha is entrusting to them the three categories of action, namely, actions of the body, mouth, and mind; the three truths; and the threefold contemplation [in a single mind, or realizing the three truths in one’s mind].
Point Two, regarding the passage “The Thus Come One has great pity and compassion. He is in no way stingy or begrudging, nor has he any fear. He is able to bestow on living beings the wisdom of the Buddha, the wisdom of the Thus Come One, the wisdom that comes of itself. The Thus Come One is a great giver of gifts to all living beings.”
The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: Since the Thus Come One is the Thus Come One of the wonders of the original Law, the term Thus Come One here refers to this votary of the Lotus Sutra.
In the phrase “great giver of gifts,” the word “gifts” refers to Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which will spread in the present age, the Latter Day of the Law. The word “giver,” you should understand, refers to the bodhisattva Superior Practices. To be sure, this chapter is the one in which the theoretical teaching is entrusted to the 172bodhisattvas in general. However, since the entrustment is made to the bodhisattvas who have Superior Practices as their leader, it is clear that the true meaning is that the entrustment1 is made to Superior Practices.
Point Three, regarding the passage “We will respectfully carry out all these things just as the World-Honored One has commanded. We beg the World-Honored One to have no concern on this account!”
The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This passage constitutes the vow made by the various bodhisattvas and the others. It is on the basis of this passage that Nichiren and his followers venture to reprimand the heavenly gods and benevolent deities and the bodhisattvas for failing to fulfill their vow.