Tiger Buddha


Shakyamuni Buddha and the Tiger


Ox, rabbit, rat, and tiger

"The ox, rabbit, rat, and tiger traveled together to the mountains and when it was too cold the ox carried the rabbit and rat on its back through the mountains and down to the sea. The tiger and the rabbit decided to walk around the sea and faced many dangers and hardships. But with the luck of the rabbit and the strength of the tiger, they reached the Jade City finishing fourth and third."

The Far East has a 12-year calendar system in which each year is named for an animal:
rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, bird, dog and pig.
The twelve are said to be those which came to attend Buddha when he passed into Nirvana.

Read more about Animal Mythology
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Buddha entering Nirvana

Fifty classes of beings assembled, from myriad bodhisattvas to infinite numbers of bees and insects ...

Buddha Sakyamuni lay down on his right side [dying] his head placed in the north and his feet south. His face facing west and his back east, he immediately entered four stages of meditation, and attained Parinirvana ...

Thereupon, the arhats, who were in the state of complete freedom from worldly attachment, forgot their rule of asceticism; bodhisattvas, who were making efforts to reach a higher state of bodhisattvahood, let go their wisom of knowing the brirthlessness of myriad beings. Guhyapada threw away his vajra staff and howled into the sky. Great Brahma threw away his net and collapsed on the ground.

The king of myriad lions threw himself on the ground and wailed. The water birds, wild geese, and ducks felt deep sorrow. Lion, tiger, boor, and deer all stood hoof-to-hoof, forgetting to attack one another. Gibbons and dogs saddened by grief dropped their heads; ... the great earth shook and quaked; the great mountains collapsed; plants and trees, groves and forest, all cried out their grief.
Myoe, Koben (1173-1232), Rules of Liturgy

Quote from a charming site about vegetables
© Yasai Nehan (Vegetable Nirvana)


For one to become a lefthome person, one must have planted good roots in past lives.

One time Buddha Shakyamuni tested his student's ability to decide whether to accept an old man who asked to be a monk. An Arhat is capable of knowing a being's past lifetimes over many lifetimes. All of the Buddha's Arhat students doomed the old man as a prospect, because they thought that he had no connection with Buddhism in his past lives.

Shakyamuni then announced that many aeons ago, this old man was a woodchopper. One day when he ran into a tiger on the mountain, he climbed up a tree to escape, calling out, "Namo Buddha" (Homage to the Buddha) for help. With only those few words, the old man planted his good roots. In this life, he became a monk as he had wished and later attained his Arhatship.

Read the full story
Dharma Teaching. Master Chin Kung

© Master Chin Kung


The Candle of the Latter Dharma, Attributed to Saicho

However, the point under discussion here concerns the fact that in the Latter Dharma, there are only nominal Bhikshus. These nominal Bhikshus are the True Treasures of the world. There are no other field of merit where one can plant merit.
Furthermore, if someone were to keep the precepts in the Latter Dharma, this would be exceedingly strange indeed. It would be like a tiger in the marketplace.
Who could believe it?
© Lotus Sutra Study Center


Tiger, the Four Sleepers
Dragon Gallery


Daruma Museum, Japan

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