icchantika (Skt) Persons of incorrigible disbelief who have no aspiration for enlightenment and thus no prospect of attaining Buddhahood. Many sutras say that icchantikas are inherently incapable of attaining enlightenment, but some Mahayana sutras hold that even icchantikas can become Buddhas.
I-hsing (683–727) A priest of the esoteric teachings in China and a disciple of Shan-wu-wei. He assisted Shan-wu-wei in translating the Sanskrit Mahāvairochana Sutra into Chinese and compiled his teacher’s oral teachings as The Annotations on the Mahāvairochana Sutra. This commentary is highly esteemed by the True Word (Jpn Shingon) school, a school of Esoteric Buddhism in Japan. I-hsing wrote some twenty works on the esoteric teachings and was also well versed in the Zen teaching, the T’ien-t’ai teaching, and the vinaya (rules of monastic discipline), as well as Taoism, mathematics, astronomy, and calendrical studies.
Ikegami Munenaga (d. 1283) A follower of Nichiren Daishonin. His full name and title were Ikegami Hyōe no Sakan Munenaga. Munenaga was the younger son of Ikegami Saemon no Tayū Yasumitsu, an official in the Office of Construction and Repairs of the Kamakura shogunate. He is thought to have converted to the Daishonin’s teachings around 1256, shortly after his elder brother, Munenaka, did so. Their father was an ardent supporter of Ryōkan, chief priest of Gokuraku-ji temple of the True Word Precepts school, and violently objected to their belief in the Daishonin’s teachings. Twice he disowned Munenaka when the latter refused to give up his faith, both times tempting Munenaga to abandon his faith and take his brother’s place as head of the family and heir. Munenaga wavered temporarily on this account, but receiving letters of encouragement from the Daishonin he persisted in his beliefs. He and his brother finally succeeded in converting their father to the Daishonin’s teachings in 1278.
Ikegami Munenaka (d. 1293) A follower of Nichiren Daishonin whose full name and title were Ikegami Uemon no Tayū Munenaka. He was the elder son of Ikegami Saemon no Tayū Yasumitsu, an official in the Office of Construction and Repairs of the Kamakura shogunate. Munenaka is thought to have become the Daishonin’s follower around 1256, and his younger brother, Munenaga, shortly thereafter. Their father, Yasumitsu, was an earnest supporter of Ryōkan, chief priest of Gokuraku-ji temple of the True Word Precepts school who, was hostile to the Daishonin. Yasumitsu vehemently opposed his sons’ belief in the Daishonin’s teachings for more than twenty years, disowning Munenaka twice for refusing to give up his faith. The Daishonin sent a number of letters to both brothers, including Letter to the Brothers, encouraging them to unite and persist in faith in the face of their father’s opposition. Munenaka staunchly weathered these difficulties, while his brother appears to have wavered for a time, though persisting in the long run. In 1278 the brothers finally succeeded in converting their father to the Daishonin’s teachings. The Daishonin spent the last hours of his life in Munenaka’s residence in Ikegami (in present-day Tokyo) in 1282.
Iki A small Japanese island lying between Kyushu and the Korean Peninsula. In Nichiren Daishonin’s day, it was devastated by the Mongol invasion of 1274. See also Tsushima.
illusions of thought and desire The first of the three categories of illusion formulated by T’ien-t’ai. Illusions of thought are distorted perceptions of the truth. Illusions of desire mean base inclinations such as greed and anger that arise from contact of the five sense organs with their objects. The illusions of thought and desire cause one to suffer in the six paths. By eradicating these illusions, persons of the two vehicles are said to gain entry into nirvana and freedom from rebirth in the threefold world. Bodhisattvas go on to eradicate the remaining two categories of illusion.
Immeasurable Meanings Sutra A sutra that is regarded as an introductory teaching to the Lotus Sutra. Shakyamuni explains in this sutra that immeasurable meanings derive from a single Law and implies that this Law will be revealed in the Lotus Sutra. He then states that all the sutras preached before the Lotus Sutra are expedient and provisional.
Immovable A Buddhist deity said to protect practitioners by defeating the obstacles and devils that hinder Buddhist practice. A main deity among a group of deities called the wisdom kings, who are said to destroy all obstacles.
impure land Any land inhabited by those who are afflicted with earthly desires. The term is contrasted with “pure land,” meaning a tranquil and blissful realm where a Buddha lives. Many Buddhist scriptures describe the sahā world, or this world, as an impure land and speak of distant pure lands inhabited by Buddhas and bodhisattvas. From this developed the idea that the present world, an impure realm of suffering and desire, is a place to be abhorred, and that one should seek rebirth in a pure land. Among others, the three sutras that form the doctrinal basis of the Pure Land school—the Buddha Infinite Life, Meditation on the Buddha Infinite Life, and Amida sutras—encourage people to aspire for rebirth in Amida Buddha’s pure land, also known as the Western Paradise. In contrast, the Lotus Sutra says that this impure land full of distress and suffering is in itself the Buddha land, or the Land of Eternally Tranquil Light.
indeterminate teaching A teaching or means of teaching employed by the Buddha in which those being taught understand and benefit differently. The fourth of the four teachings of method, it refers to teachings directed at persons aware of such differences in understanding and benefit. The third of the four teachings of method, the secret teaching, is also classified as an indeterminate teaching because it is understood and benefited from differently, yet it is called secret because listeners are unaware of those differences. See also four teachings of method.
Indra See Shakra.
inferior manifested body See superior manifested body.
initial stage of rejoicing The stage of practice in which one rejoices on hearing the Lotus Sutra. The first of the five stages of practice for believers of the Lotus Sutra after Shakyamuni Buddha’s death, set forth by T’ien-t’ai on the basis of the “Distinctions in Benefits” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. See also five stages of practice.
Invincible See Virtue Victorious.