The Dragon Princess Episode in a Larger context early Mahayana literature

Ryūichi Abé: “The Dragon Princess Episode in a Larger context early Mahayana literature”

This paper aims at re-reading the Dragon Princess episode in the Lotus Sutra by placing it in two literary historical backgrounds: (1) the historical background of ancient India  (roughly from 2nd Century  BCE – to 2nd Century AD) during which Mahayana Buddhist began to separate itself from the mainstream Buddhist establishment as a radical textual movement; (2) in the comparative textual perspective to place Kurārajiva’s 406 translation of the Lotus Sutra in relationship to Dharmarakṣa’s 286 translation (the oldest extant Lotus Sutra in any language) and Jinagupta’s 601 translation that was intended to add missing parts of the sutra in and improve the Kurārajiva translation.  The resultant reading illustrates the character of Dragon Princess as having an equal significance to the character of the Buddha in the Lotus Sutra’s grand narrative.