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The Eighteen Arhats (8)

The Arhat Who Plays With a Lion
(Xiàoshī Luóhàn 笑狮罗汉)

Luófú-duō 罗弗多 was a very good hunter and killed many animals so people could eat their meat and make things from their fur and bones and skin.

But it troubled him to take life, and he reflected often on what it would be like if others hunted him to eat his meat or to make things from his bones and skin. Troubled as he was by these thoughts, when Luófú-duō learned of the message of the Buddha, he was greatly relieved and eager to abandon his old profession and become a follower.

photo by DKJ

After Luófú-duō became a follower of the Buddha, he of course stopped hunting, and when the animals of the forest knew that he would harm them to longer, they often approached him to thank him for his decision, and they hoped that other hunters would follow him in this decision.

Two lion cubs came often to play with him as he sat meditating in the forest, and in time they became his constant companions. Today when he is shown in painting or sculpture, he is usually accompanied by a baby lion. Or sometimes two.

And so he is named "The Arhat Who Plays With a Lion."

Indian Names: Vājraputra or Vajraputra
Fádū-luófú-duōluó 伐阇罗弗多罗
also written Fáluófú-duōluó 伐罗弗多罗
also shortened to Fótuó-luó 佛陀罗
also shortened to Luófú-duō 罗弗多 (commonest)
also shortened to Fúduō-luó 弗多罗
Chinese Names:
Xiàoshī Luóhàn 笑狮罗汉, the Arhat Who Plays With a Lion (commonest)
Wǔshī Luóhàn 舞狮罗汉, the Arhat Who Plays With a Lion
Xìshī Luóhàn 戏狮罗汉, the Arhat Who Plays With a Lion

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