last five-hundred-year period The first two five-hundred-year periods after the passing of Shakyamuni constitute the era of the Correct Law. The following two five-hundred-year periods constitute the period of the Counterfeit Law. The last or fifth five-hundred-year period marks the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law, when the teachings of the Buddha lose their effectiveness.
Latter Day of the Law (Ch mofa, J mappō) Third of the three periods that the teachings of a buddha pass through after his death. In this third and last period, the teachings lose their power to lead people to enlightenment. The Latter Day of the Law after Shakyamuni’s death is said to last for ten thousand years or more. See also Correct Law and Counterfeit Law.
Law 1. The Law or the truth a buddha has realized. 2. The body of a buddha’s teachings; when this meaning is intended, the word has been translated as either Law or Dharma. 3. A specific sutra, teaching, or doctrine.
lesser vehicle See Hinayana.
level of no regression The stage one reaches in religious practice where one is certain never to regress or backslide. In Sanskrit it is known as avivartika or avaivartika.