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The Lotus Sutra is one of the most popular and influential Mahayana sutras, and the basis on which several schools of Buddhism were established.The oldest parts of the text (Chapters 1-9 and 17) were probably written down between 100 BC and 100 AD: most of the text had appeared by 200 AD.

The earliest known Sanskrit title for the sutra is the Saddharma Pundarika Sutra, which translates to "the Lotus Flower Formula (or Rule) of Good Dharma." The Lotus Sutra presents itself as a discourse delivered by the Buddha toward the end of his life. The tradition in Mahayana states that the sutra was written down at the time of the Buddha and stored for five hundred years in a realm of nagas. After this they were reintroduced into the human realm at the time of the Fourth Buddhist Council in Kashmir. 

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