Land of Actual Reward One of the four kinds of lands as classified by the T’ien-t’ai school. See four kinds of lands.
Land of Eternally Tranquil Light Also, the Land of Tranquil Light. The Buddha land, which is free from impermanence and impurity. One of the four kinds of lands as classified by the T’ien-t’ai school. See four kinds of lands.
Land of Peace and Sustenance See Perfect Bliss.
Land of Perfect Bliss See Perfect Bliss.
Land of Sages and Common Mortals One of the four kinds of lands as classified by the T’ien-t’ai school. See four kinds of lands.
Land of Tranquil Light See Land of Eternally Tranquil Light.
Land of Transition One of the four kinds of lands as classified by the T’ien-t’ai school. See four kinds of lands.
Lankāvatāra Sutra A Mahayana sutra that discusses the Consciousness-Only doctrine, especially the ālaya-consciousness, and the inherent potential for Buddhahood. The Lankāvatāra Sutra represents the integration of two doctrines—that of the matrix of the Thus Come One and the Consciousness-Only doctrine—and asserts that all people possess the matrix of the Thus Come One, or the potential for Buddhahood. It equates the matrix of the Thus Come One with the ālaya-consciousness. There are three extant Chinese versions: (1) a four-volume version translated in 443 by Gunabhadra, a monk from central India; (2) a ten-volume version translated in 513 by Bodhiruchi, a monk from northern India; and (3) a seven-volume version translated between 700 and 704 by Shikshānanda, a monk of Khotan in Central Asia.
Lao Tan Another name for Lao Tzu. See Lao Tzu.
Lao Tzu (n.d.) Ancient Chinese philosopher, attributed with writing the Tao-te Ching (The Classic of the Way and Its Virtue) which is also known as Lao Tzu. He is traditionally regarded as the founder of Taoism. According to Records of the Historian by Ssu-ma Ch’ien, he was a contemporary of Confucius, and worked for a time as a custodian of the imperial archives of the Chou dynasty. His work Tao-te Ching posits a natural law or “Way” (Tao), and teaches the principle of non-purposeful natural action (wu-wei). That is, one should respect and act in harmony with the Way—the natural order of things—and not strive in conflict with it.
large carriage drawn by a white ox A large carriage adorned with jewels and drawn by a great white ox, it is mentioned in the parable of the three carts and the burning house related by Shakyamuni in the “Simile and Parable” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. The parable tells of a very rich man who has many children. One day a fire breaks out in his house, but his children, absorbed in playing games, do not know that the house is in flames and ignore his cries of warning. He therefore resorts to an expedient means to induce them to come out of the burning house. He shouts to them that outside he has three kinds of carriages they have long wanted: a carriage pulled by a goat, another by a deer, and a third by an ox. Immediately they race outside. Having coaxed them to safety in this way, the rich man gives each of his children a carriage—not of the three kinds he had promised, but a larger and finer carriage, adorned with numerous jewels and drawn by a great white ox. This carriage represents the supreme vehicle of Buddhahood.
Larger Wisdom Sutra Another name for the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, translated into Chinese by Kumārajīva. The title “Larger Wisdom Sutra” is used to distinguish it from a much shorter text also called the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra. This shorter scripture, also translated by Kumārajīva, is referred to as the Smaller Wisdom Sutra.
last five-hundred-year period Fifth five-hundred-year period or the first five hundred years of the Latter Day of the Law.
Latter Day of the Law Also, the Latter Day, the latter age, or the period of the Decadent Law. The last of the three periods following a Buddha’s death, when Buddhism falls into confusion and its teachings lose the power to lead people to enlightenment. The Latter Day of the Law of Shakyamuni is said to last for ten thousand years or more. In Japan it was believed that the Latter Day had begun in 1052.
Law In Nichiren Daishonin’s teachings, specifically, the Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and generally, the Buddha’s teachings.
lay nun (Jpn ama) A female believer of Buddhism who has taken the tonsure of a nun, but continues to live as a lay member of society. “Lay nun” is the female equivalent of lay priest (nyūdō). “Lay nun” was often affixed to the names of women who had been tonsured and lived a lay life.
lay priest (Jpn nyūdō) One who is tonsured as a priest, but continues to live as a layman. In Japan, from the Heian period (794–1185) on, a distinction was made between lay priests and those who formally renounced the secular world and lived in temples. The term “lay priest” is a translation of the Japanese term “nyūdō,” which literally means “entering the way,” that is, “entering the way of the Buddha.”
lay priest of Saimyō-ji See Hōjō Tokiyori.
Learned Youth The name of Shakyamuni Buddha when he practiced bodhisattva austerities in a past existence. He offered lotus blossoms to the Buddha Fixed Light and was thus assured of attaining Buddhahood in the future.
Legacy Teachings Sutra Also known as the Buddha’s Legacy Teachings Sutra. An extremely short sutra translated into Chinese by Kumārajīva in the early fifth century. It purports to have been preached by Shakyamuni Buddha as his final instruction to his disciples under the sal trees just before his death. This sutra says that, after the Buddha’s death, one should observe the precepts in order to control the five sense organs and regulate the mind, and devote oneself to Buddhist practice without succumbing to laziness and sloth. Kumārajīva’s translation of it is regarded as one of the best among Chinese sutra translations because of its refined style and excellent wording. The Legacy Teachings Sutra was favored and read by many, and a number of commentaries on it were produced. The Zen school particularly values this sutra.
Liang dynasty A Chinese dynasty that existed from 502 through 557. Emperor Wu (r. 502–549), the first ruler of the Liang dynasty, is well known as a devout Buddhist. The capital city was Chien-yeh.
Liang-hsü (n.d.) A priest of the T’ien-t’ai school in China during the ninth century. When Chishō, later the fifth Tendai patriarch in Japan, came to China in 853, Liang-hsü taught him the doctrines of the school.
“Life Span” chapter The sixteenth chapter of the Lotus Sutra, regarded as the key chapter of the essential teaching, or the sutra’s second half. Shakyamuni reveals here that he first attained enlightenment not in this lifetime but in the far remote past, numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago, and that ever since then he has been in the sahā world preaching the Law.
lion seat Also, lion throne. The place where a Buddha sits, called so because a Buddha is likened to a lion.
Lion Sound King A Buddha said to have appeared immeasurable kalpas ago. He is mentioned in the Non-substantiality of All Phenomena Sutra. All trees in his land issue the Dharma sound that leads people to attain the way. According to the sutra, in the latter age after his passing, the monk Root of Joy appears and expounds the correct teaching; in spite of being slandered by the monk Superior Intent, Root of Joy persists and attains enlightenment.
Liu Pang (247–195 b.c.e.) A native of P’ei in China and the founder of the Han dynasty. Known later as Emperor Kao-tsu, he is often referred to by the title “governor of P’ei.” He contended for power with another warlord, Hsiang Yü, taking advantage of the confusion following the death of the First Emperor of the Ch’in to raise troops and attempt to overthrow the dynasty. A protracted struggle between the two ended in the victory of Liu Pang, who founded the Han dynasty in 202 b.c.e.
long broad tongue Also, face-covering tongue. One of a Buddha’s thirty-two features. It symbolizes the truth of his words. The Buddhas extending their tongues to the Brahma heaven in testimony to the truth of the Lotus Sutra is described in the “Supernatural Powers” chapter.
lord of Sagami See Sagami, the lord of.
Lotus school Another name for the Chinese T’ien-t’ai school and for its counterpart, the Japanese Tendai school. The name derives from the fact that these schools made the Lotus Sutra central to their doctrine. The term “Lotus school” also came to refer to the teaching established by Nichiren Daishonin, who also asserted the supremacy of the Lotus Sutra over all the other teachings of Shakyamuni.
Lotus Sutra A Mahayana sutra that reveals the true aspect of all phenomena and Shakyamuni’s true identity as the Buddha who attained enlightenment numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago. One of the most popular Buddhist scriptures, it maintains that all people can attain Buddhahood. The original Sanskrit title is Saddharma-pundarīka-sūtra. Three Chinese translations of the Sanskrit text are extant. Kumārajīva’s translation, which is widely honored, is entitled the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law. In China and Japan, the name Lotus Sutra usually indicates this translation by Kumārajīva. Nichiren Daishonin also uses the words “Lotus Sutra” in his writings to indicate Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, or the Law that he defined as the essence of the Lotus Sutra.
Lotus Treasury World The pure land described in the Flower Garland Sutra, where Vairochana Buddha is said to dwell.
Luan Pa (n.d.) A person of the Later Han dynasty in China said to have excelled in the occult arts of Taoism. According to The History of the Later Han Dynasty, Luan Pa drank wine at a banquet and blew it out of his mouth while facing the southwest. Questioned about this crude behavior, he explained that he had done so to extinguish a fire that had broken out in the city of Ch’eng-tu, which was his home and lay in that direction. On investigation, it was found that a fire had broken out in that city, that it had been extinguished by a heavy rain, and that the rain had contained wine.
Lü Wang Also known as T’ai-kung Wang. See T’ai-kung Wang.