chandāla ［旃陀羅］ (, Pali; sendara): A class of untouchables, below the lowest of the four castes in the ancient Indian caste system. People in this class handled corpses, butchered animals, and carried out other tasks associated with death or the killing of living things. The Māyā Sutra mentions a chandāla who drives sheep or oxen to the slaughterhouse. Nichiren (1222–1282) declared himself to be a member of the chandāla class because he was born to a fisherman’s family. In his letter Banishment to Sado, Nichiren says, “Nichiren is the son of a chandāla family who lived near the sea in Tōjō in Awa Province, in the remote countryside of the eastern part of Japan” (202). In his Letter from Sado, he also described himself as one “who in this life was born poor and lowly to a chandāla family” (303). Through such statements Nichiren implied that even someone from the lowest rung of society, such as himself, can attain supreme enlightenment; hence, his teaching is meant particularly for those without wealth or status.