The dragon girl

Before his words had come to an end, the dragon king’s daughter suddenly appeared before the Buddha, bowed her head in obeisance, and then retired to one side, reciting these verses of praise:

He profoundly understands the signs of guilt and good fortune and illuminates the ten directions everywhere.  His subtle, wonderful pure Dharma body is endowed with the thirty-two features; the eighty characteristics adorn his Dharma body.  Heavenly and human beings gaze up in awe, dragons and spirits all pay honor and respect; among all living beings, none who do not hold him in reverence.  And having heard his teachings, I have attained bodhi – the Buddha alone can bear witness to this.  I unfold the doctrines of the Great Vehicle to rescue living beings from suffering.

At that time Shariputra said to the dragon girl,

“You suppose that in this short time you have been able to attain the unsurpassed way.  But this is difficult to believe.  Why?  Because a woman’s body is soiled and defiled, not a vessel for the Law.  How could you attain the unsurpassed bodhi?  The road to Buddhahood is long and far-reaching.  Only after one has spent immeasurable kalpas pursuing austerities, accumulating deeds, practicing all kinds of paramitas, can one finally achieve success.

Moreover, a woman is subject to the five obstacles.  First, she cannot become a Brahma heavenly king.  Second, she cannot become the king Shakra.  Third, she cannot become a devil king.  Fourth, she cannot become a wheel-turning sage king.  Fifth, she cannot become a Buddha.  How then could a woman like you be able to attain Buddhahood so quickly?”

At that time the dragon girl had a precious jewel worth as much as the thousand-million-fold world which she presented to the Buddha.  The Buddha immediately accepted it.  The dragon girl said to Bodhisattva Wisdom Accumulated to the venerable one, Shariputra, “I presented the precious jewel and the World-Honored One accepted it – was that not quickly done?”

They replied, “Very quickly!”

The girl said, “employ your supernatural powers and watch me attain Buddhahood.  It shall be even quicker than that!”

At that time the members of the assembly all saw the dragon girl in the space of an instant change into a man and carry out all the practices of a bodhisattva, immediately proceeding to the Spotless World of the south, taking a seat on a jeweled lotus, and attaining impartial and correct enlightenment.  With the thirty-two features and the eighty characteristics, he expounded the wonderful Law for all living beings everywhere in the ten directions.

At that time in the saha world to all the bodhisattvas, voice-hearers, gods, dragons and others of the eight kinds of guardians, human and non-human beings all from a distance saw the dragon girl become a Buddha and preach the law to all the human and heavenly beings in the assembly at that time.  Their hearts were filled with great joy and all from a distance paid reverent obeisance.

Immeasurable living beings, hearing the Law, understood it and were able to reach the level of no regression.  Immeasurable living beings received prophecies that they would gain the away.  The Spotless World quaked and trembled in six different ways.  Three thousand living beings of the saha world remained on the level of no regression.  Three thousand living beings conceived a desire for bodhi and received prophecies of enlightenment.  Bodhisattva Wisdom Accumulated, Shariputra and all the other members of the assembly silently believed an accepted these things.

To download and read this sutra click here: The Lotus Sutra


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