Land of Eternally Tranquil Light Also, the Land of Tranquil Light. The Buddha land, which is free from impermanence and impurity.
Land of Peace and Sustenance See Perfect Bliss.
Land of Perfect Bliss See Perfect Bliss.
Land of Tranquil Light See Land of Eternally Tranquil Light.
Larger Wisdom Sutra Another name for the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, translated into Chinese by Kumārajīva. The title “Larger Wisdom Sutra” is used to distinguish it from a much shorter text also called the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra. This shorter scripture, also translated by Kumārajīva, is referred to as the Smaller Wisdom Sutra.
last five-hundred-year period Fifth five-hundred-year period or the first five hundred years of the Latter Day of the Law.
Latter Day of the Law Also, the Latter Day, the latter age, or the period of the Decadent Law. The last of the three periods following a Buddha’s death, when Buddhism falls into confusion and his teachings lose the power to lead people to enlightenment. The Latter Day of the Law of Shakyamuni is said to last for ten thousand years or more. In Japan it was believed that the Latter Day had begun in 1052.
Law In Nichiren Daishonin’s teachings, specifically, the Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and generally, the Buddha’s teachings.
lay nun (Jpn ama) A female believer of Buddhism who has taken the tonsure as a nun has done, but continues to live as a lay member of society. “Lay nun” is the female equivalent of lay priest (nyūdō). “Lay nun” was often affixed to the names of women who had been tonsured and lived a lay life.
lay priest (Jpn nyūdō) One who is tonsured as a priest but continues to live as a layman. In Japan, from the Heian period (794–1185) on, a distinction was made between lay priests and those who formally renounced the secular world and lived in temples. The term lay priest is a translation of the Japanese term nyūdō, which literally means “entering the way,” that is, “entering the way of the Buddha.”
Learned Youth The name of Shakyamuni Buddha when he practiced bodhisattva austerities in a past existence. He offered lotus blossoms to the Buddha Fixed Light and, because of this, was assured of attaining Buddhahood in the future.
Li (n.d.) The consort of Emperor Wu of the Former Han dynasty in China, said to possess matchless beauty.
Liang dynasty A Chinese dynasty that existed from 502 through 557. Emperor Wu (r. 502–549), the first ruler of the Liang dynasty, is well known as a devout Buddhist. The capital city was Chien-yeh. The Liang was replaced by the Ch’en dynasty.
Liang-hsü (n.d.) The ninth successor to T’ien-t’ai. He taught the doctrines of the T’ien-t’ai school to Chishō, the fifth Tendai patriarch in Japan, when he went to China in 853.
“Life Span” chapter The sixteenth chapter of the Lotus Sutra, regarded as the key chapter of the essential teaching. Shakyamuni reveals here that he first attained enlightenment not in this lifetime but numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago, and that ever since then he has been in the sahā world, preaching the Law.
Li Kuang See General Stone Tiger.
Li Ling (d. 74 b.c.e.) A military commander during the Former Han dynasty who was taken captive by northern barbarians during a battle. When news of his defeat reached the court, Emperor Wu, thinking that Li Ling had revolted against the Han dynasty, ordered his entire family killed. Later, when the emperor realized his mistake, he offered to secure Li Ling’s return. But Li Ling refused and eventually died in the land of the northern barbarians.
Lion Sound King A Buddha said to have appeared immeasurable kalpas ago. He is mentioned in the Non-substantiality of All Phenomena Sutra. All trees in his land issue the Dharma sound that leads people to attain the way. According to the sutra, in the latter age after his passing, the monk Root of Joy appears and expounds the correct teaching; in spite of being slandered by the monk Superior Intent, Root of Joy persists and attains enlightenment.
lion throne Also called lion seat. The place where a Buddha sits, so called because a Buddha is likened to a lion.
Liu Pang (247–195 b.c.e.) A native of P’ei in China and later Emperor Kao-tsu, or the founder of the Former Han dynasty. He is often referred to by the title “governor of P’ei.” He and another warlord, Hsiang Yü, contended for power, taking advantage of the confusion following the death of the First Emperor of the Ch’in in order to raise troops and attempt to overthrow the dynasty. A protracted struggle between the two ended in the victory of Liu Pang, who founded the Han dynasty in 202 b.c.e.
long broad tongue Also, face-covering tongue. One of a Buddha’s thirty-two features. It symbolizes the truth of his words. The Buddhas extending their tongues to the Brahma heaven in testimony to the truth of the Lotus Sutra is described in the “Supernatural Powers” chapter.
lord of the essential teaching (1) The Buddha who, in the “Life Span” chapter of the essential teaching of the Lotus Sutra, reveals his true identity as the Buddha who attained enlightenment numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago. (2) The eternal Buddha implicit in the “Life Span” chapter—the Buddha who embodied Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
Lotus meditation A meditation based on the Lotus Sutra.
Lotus school Another name for the Chinese T’ien-t’ai school and for its counterpart, the Japanese Tendai school. The name derives from the fact that these schools made the Lotus Sutra central to their doctrine. The term Lotus school also came to refer to the Buddhism established by Nichiren Daishonin, who also asserted the supremacy of the Lotus Sutra over all the other teachings of Shakyamuni.
Lotus Sutra A Mahayana sutra that reveals the true aspect of all phenomena and Shakyamuni’s true identity as the Buddha who attained enlightenment numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago. One of the most popular Buddhist scriptures, it maintains that all people can attain Buddhahood. The original Sanskrit title is Saddharma-pundarīka-sūtra. Three Chinese translations of the Sanskrit text are extant. Kumārajīva’s translation, which is widely honored, is entitled the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law. In China and Japan, the name Lotus Sutra usually indicates this translation by Kumārajīva. Nichiren Daishonin often uses the words Lotus Sutra in his writings to indicate Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, or the Law that he defined as the essence of the Lotus Sutra.
Lotus Treasury World The pure land described in the Flower Garland Sutra, where Vairochana Buddha is said to live.