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Lessons

The Dragon Girl

illustration by Rob Koo.

At the bottom of the ocean lived the Dragon King Sagara and his 8-year-old daughter. One day, the Buddha’s disciple Manjushri went to the Dragon King’s palace to expound the Lotus Sutra. Upon hearing the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, the dragon girl quickly attained enlightenment.

Back at the assembly on Eagle Peak, Bodhisattva Wisdom Accumulated and the venerable Shariputra couldn’t believe it to be true. 

“How could you achieve enlightenment in an instant, when it took Shakyamuni Buddha immeasurable kalpas of harsh and difficult practices to do so?” asked Wisdom Accumulated.

“Impossible!” declared Shariputra. “How could a woman like you attain Buddhahood so quickly?”

In answer, the dragon girl turned to Wisdom Accumulated and Shariputra and said, “Employ your supernatural powers and watch me attain Buddhahood.” 

The members of the assembly saw the dragon girl, in the space of an instant, carry out all the practices of a bodhisattva, attain enlightenment and expound the wonderful Law for the living beings in the ten directions. Immeasurable living beings, upon hearing the Law, also attained enlightenment. 

Seeing this, Bodhisattva Wisdom Accumulated and Shariputra realized they had let their fundamental ignorance mislead them. The dragon girl, by challenging their limited points of view, helped to reveal the true power of the Lotus Sutra, through which anyone, just as they are, is able to attain Buddhahood.

—Prepared by the World Tribune staff

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