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The Eighteen Arhats (18)

The Arhat Who Tamed a Tiger
Fúhǔ Luóhàn 伏虎罗汉

photo by DKJ

There once was a monk named Bīntóu-lú 宾头卢, who lived in a monastery and spent his days deep in meditation or occupied with the simple tasks of daily life. One day a huge tiger appeared, terrifying the other monks, and causing the worshippers to flee for their lives. Bīntóu-lú was also frightened at first, but upon further thought he decided that the tiger was probably not by nature ferocious. Rather it was driven to ferocity by simple hunger

So, very tentatively, Bīntóu-lú shared his food with the tiger. Each day the tiger came back, and each day the gentle Bīntóu-lú shared his food. Until at last the tiger had become his friend. It no longer sought to intimidate him, for it knew that Bīntóu-lú would willingly share his food.

Sometimes the tiger would come even when it did not want any food, because it enjoyed Bīntóu-lú's company. In the end, the two became great friends, and Bīntóu-lú came to be called "The Arhat Who Tamed a Tiger" (Fúhǔ luóhàn 伏虎罗汉)

photo by DKJ

Bīntóu-lú 宾头卢 is one of two arhats added by the Qiánlóng 乾隆 Emperor to the roster of 16 widely worshipped in previous centuries.

Indian Names:
Nàdá-mìdá-lǎ 纳答密答喇
Bīntóu-lú 宾头卢 (commonest)
Chinese Names:
Fúhǔ Luóhàn 伏虎罗汉, the Arhat Who Tamed a Tiger

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