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 Chinese priest of the esoteric teachings and a disciple of Shan-wu-wei.
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 the contact of the five sense organs with their respective objects. The illusions of thought and desire cause one to suffer in the six paths. For those of the two vehicles, ridding themselves of these illusions guarantees 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 (1) 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. (2) Another name for the Buddha Immovable Wisdom said to live in the Golden-colored World in the eastern part of the universe.
incorrigible disbelief The state of icchantikas, or persons of incorrigible disbelief. See also icchantika.
Indra See Shakra.
Indra’s net A net that hangs on a wall in the palace of Indra, or Shakra. A reflective jewel hangs in each space in the net, and each jewel mirrors all the other countless jewels in the net. Indra’s net is frequently employed as an image for the interrelation or mutual inclusiveness of all phenomena.
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 (1) See Virtue Victorious. (2) A consort of the god of the sun, who is mentioned in the Mahāvairochana Sutra.