parable of the phantom city and the treasure land ［化城宝処の譬］ ( kejō-hōsho-no-tatoe): Also, parable of the phantom city. One of the seven parables in the Lotus Sutra, related in the “Parable of the Phantom City” (seventh) chapter to illustrate the principle of replacing the three vehicles with the one vehicle. It tells of a group of people who want to travel five hundred yojanas to reach a remote place where there are rare treasures. Their leader is wise, experienced, and very familiar with the route, but the road they must take is steep and treacherous; midway they lose heart and want to turn back. Seeing this, their leader uses his powers of expedient means and, when they have gone three hundred yojanas along the steep road, he conjures up a city. There they go to rest and regain their spirits, convinced they can escape the dreadful road. Knowing they have recovered from their exhaustion, the leader wipes out the phantom city and tells them that the treasure land, their true destination, is close by. In the “Parable of the Phantom City” chapter, the phantom city is compared to the three vehicles, or expedient means by which the Buddha leads people to Buddhahood, and the treasure land, the group’s destination, is compared to the one vehicle of Buddhahood. The meaning of the parable is that, just as the guide conjures a city to lead his party of travelers to the treasure land, the Buddha employs the expedient means of the three vehicles to lead the people to the one vehicle of Buddhahood.