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The Dragon Gate

Illustration by Rob Koo.

The following is excerpted from Great Buddhist Stories, pp. 8–9.

Nichiren Daishonin told his disciples about an amazing waterfall in China, called the Dragon Gate. It’s extremely high, and the water rushes down faster than an arrow. At the bottom of the falls, carp live in a pool. It is said that if a carp swims up the waterfall, it will become a dragon! Dragons are strong and quick, and they have the power to control the weather. But the carp are small, and the waterfall is quite high for them. Not only that, as the fish struggle and swim up, eagles swoop down and try to eat them. Fishermen throw nets and spears at the carp, too. Some of the carp try for years and years to make it up the waterfall.

Nichiren says that becoming a Buddha is also a challenge. We have to be brave and determined, and never give up along the way, no matter how rough it gets.

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