preaching in accordance with one’s own mind ［随自意］ ( zuijii): The Buddha’s direct preaching of his enlightenment, irrespective of the capacity of his listeners. It contrasts with “preaching in accordance with the minds of others,” or preaching that accords with the capacities of the listeners. These two concepts come from the Mahāparinirvāna Sutra. In Great Concentration and Insight and The Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra, T’ien-t’ai (538–597) categorizes the Lotus Sutra as a teaching that accords with the Buddha’s own mind and the other sutras as teachings that accord with the minds of others. He defines the Lotus Sutra as a teaching that directly reveals the Buddha’s enlightenment regardless of the people’s varying capacities to understand it, and the other sutras as expedient means, taught in accordance with the capacity of the people.
In The Outstanding Principles of the Lotus Sutra, Dengyō (767–822), the founder of the Japanese Tendai school, adheres to T’ien-t’ai’s interpretation of the Lotus Sutra as a teaching in which the Buddha directly revealed what he had attained. In A Comparison of the Lotus and Other Sutras, Nichiren says: “The teachings expounded in accordance with the people’s capacity are the sutras that the Buddha preached in response to the wishes of the people of the nine worlds, just as a wise father instructs an ignorant son in a way suited to the child’s understanding. On the other hand, the teaching expounded in accordance with the Buddha’s enlightenment is the sutra that the Buddha preached directly from the world of Buddhahood, just as a sage father guides his ignorant son to his own understanding” (1038).