I wrote that a lot of animals, including a lion, were mourning Shaka's death in the picture 涅槃図 Nehan-dzu, reclining Buddha. There are many paintings of the same subject in Japanese temples. But you seldom see a cat in such paintings. Why ? I heard a story.
Shaka's mother, who heard that he was seriously ill, came rushing from heaven riding on a cloud with medicine. She felt that she would not make it in time, then she threw a bag containing her medicine toward Shaka. The bag hung the tree branch unfortunately. A mouse tried to climb the tree and take the medicine to help Shaka. But a cat caught the mouse from its instinct. Buddha could not take medicine and died. A cat have been considered an enemy of Buddha.
A cat is drawn in the picture of this temple. Besides that, a toy cat is smiling with its tail waving. Is a cat forgiven ? Oh, Buddha is so generous !
March 2, 2019 @轉法輪寺
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