Superior Practices ［上行菩薩］ ( Vishishtachāritra; Jōgyō-bosatsu): The first of the four leaders of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth who appear from beneath the earth in the “Emerging from the Earth” (fifteenth) chapter of the Lotus Sutra. Shakyamuni transfers the essence of the sutra to those bodhisattvas, headed by Superior Practices, in the “Supernatural Powers” (twenty-first) chapter. In The Supplement to “The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra,” Tao-hsien, a priest of the T’ien-t’ai school in China in the eighth century, states that the four bodhisattvas represent the four virtues of the Buddha’s life: true self, eternity, purity, and happiness. Among these, Superior Practices represents the virtue of true self. In his writings, Nichiren (1222–1282) associates himself with Bodhisattva Superior Practices, saying that he has fulfilled the mission entrusted to the bodhisattva by Shakyamuni, and he refers to his propagation efforts as the work of Bodhisattva Superior Practices. Nichikan (1665–1726), the twenty-sixth chief priest of Taiseki-ji temple, regarded Nichiren as the reincarnation of Bodhisattva Superior Practices in terms of his outward behavior, and as the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, in terms of his inner enlightenment.