three pronouncements ［三箇の勅宣・三箇の鳳詔］ ( sanka-no-chokusen or sanka-no-hōshō): Also, three pronouncements of the Buddha. Exhortations by Shakyamuni Buddha in the “Treasure Tower” (eleventh) chapter of the Lotus Sutra, urging the assembly three times to propagate the Lotus Sutra after his death. These three pronouncements and the two admonitions in the “Devadatta” (twelfth) chapter are collectively called the five proclamations of the Buddha. With the first pronouncement, the Buddha voices his desire to transmit the sutra to someone. The “Treasure Tower” chapter reads: “In a loud voice he [Shakyamuni Buddha] addressed all the four kinds of believers, saying, ‘Who is capable of broadly preaching the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law in this sahā world? Now is the time to do so, for before long the Thus Come One will enter nirvana. The Buddha wishes to entrust this Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law to someone so that it may be preserved.’”
In the second pronouncement, the Buddha expresses his desire to perpetuate the Law for all eternity. The “Treasure Tower” chapter reads: “At that time the World-Honored One, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying: ‘. . . Through this expedient means / they make certain that the Law will long endure. / So I say to the great assembly: / After I have passed into extinction, / who can guard and uphold, / read and recite this sutra? / Now in the presence of the Buddha / let him come forward and speak his vow!’”
In the third pronouncement, the Buddha expounds the difficulty of propagating the sutra after his death by employing the teaching of the six difficult and nine easy acts. This pronouncement reads in part: “The Thus Come One Many Treasures, I myself, / and these emanation Buddhas who have gathered here, / surely know this is our aim. / . . . / All you good men, / each of you must consider carefully! / This is a difficult matter— / it is proper that you should make a great vow. / . . . / if after the Buddha has entered extinction, / in the time of evil, / you can preach this sutra, / that will be difficult indeed! / . . . / All you good men, / after I have entered extinction, / who can accept and uphold, / read and recite this sutra? / Now in the presence of the Buddha / let him come forward and speak his vow!” See also six difficult and nine easy acts; two admonitions.