bodhisattvas of the essential teaching ［本化の菩薩］ ( honge-no-bosatsu): Bodhisattvas taught by the true Buddha, i.e., the Buddha whose true identity is revealed in the essential teaching (latter fourteen chapters) of the Lotus Sutra. In this teaching, Shakyamuni reveals his true identity as the Buddha who attained enlightenment at a time commonly known as numberless major world system dust particle kalpas in the past. The disciples whom he had taught in this capacity since the time of his original attainment of enlightenment are the bodhisattvas of the essential teaching. They are also known as the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, and are first described in the “Emerging from the Earth” (fifteenth) chapter of the Lotus Sutra, the first chapter of the essential teaching. Shakyamuni entrusts them with the mission of propagating the Mystic Law, or the essence of the sutra, in the Latter Day of the Law. In the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings and in the theoretical teaching (first fourteen chapters) of the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni assumes a transient identity—that of the Buddha who had attained enlightenment for the first time in India after sitting in meditation under the bodhi tree. The bodhisattvas whom Shakyamuni taught in this capacity, such as Manjushrī and Universal Worthy, are the bodhisattvas of the theoretical teaching. See also Bodhisattvas of the Earth.