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White Dragon Horse

White Dragon Horse


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The White Dragon Horse, known as Bai Longma (Chinese: 白龍馬) in Chinese, is one of the main characters in the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West. He is Tang Sanzang's steed who later became Babu Tianlong Guangli Bodhisattva (八部天龙广力菩萨) at the end of novel.

In Journey to the West, Bai Longma is actually a dragon prince Ao Lie who is the third son of the Dragon King of the West Sea. He once set a fire that destroyed a pearl that was a gift from the Jade Emperor. He was about to be executed for committing this offense when Guanyin appeared and pleaded for his life. The dragon prince was spared from death and banished to Yingchou Stream (鷹愁澗) in Shepan Mountain (蛇盤山). When Tang Sanzang is crossing the stream, the prince appears in the form of a gigantic white dragon and swallows Tang's white horse in one gulp. The dragon then fights with Sun Wukong but is no match and retreats underwater. Sun Wukong hears from an Earth Deity that the dragon was placed there by Guanyin so he goes to find the bodhisattva and learns of the dragon's origin. The dragon prince had been waiting there for Tang Sanzang but did not recognise the latter and ate his horse as a result. The dragon then transforms into the White Dragon Horse and serves as Tang Sanzang's steed for the rest of the latter's journey.

When Tang Sanzang was captured by the Yellow Robe Demon, the White Dragon Horse transforms himself a young man and attempts to save Tang Sanzang, but fails and he escapes to inform Zhu Bajie, who in turn brings back Sun Wukong to save Tang Sanzang.

At the end of the novel, the White Dragon Horse is ordained as the Great Strength Bodhisattva of the Eight Heavenly Sections (八部天龙广力菩萨) and Dragon Horse of the Eight Heavenly Sections (八部天龍馬). He turns into a white dragon and wraps his body around one of the pillars in the Great Leiyin Temple.

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