“ The lion took my beautiful daughter. He seized her, dragged her into his lair with his great dragon. When she was in the pit, the lion screamed. His companions gathered. The dragon whistled and hissed. All the beasts gathered near him and roared. They hid from my daughter, roaring elsewhere, lest their powers diminish. So my cry calls up to the mighty one, who excels among the powers. I the son ask my father. My garment hangs on the universe, saying, if I have wronged the great lion, let him eat me now in his lair. If I’ve wronged the great dragon, let him swallow me here. But if I haven’t wronged the lion here in his midst, let me escape his lair and take my daughter from him. Father of us all . . . place the garment over us all. I pounded their nets; I cracked open their lair. I cast stones on it. I seized the great dragon and his consort I enmeshed them in a trap. I took my daughter from them and placed her high above them all. I hurled stones at their wheel till it collapsed under them, and my daughter and I destroyed all their nets. We drove the great lion and the dragon out of the cosmos, and we came to the village land of the just. They know it too. From the heart of a second lair I took my daughter into the land. They now are also happy. And it will happen soon just as the bride enters the bridal chamber.” ~The Coptic Manichaean Songbook
Lion and Dragon
This tale is definitely not meant to be taken literally. It is a pure allegory and filled with fairly obvious symbols. The lion, dragon, and beasts of the pit represent the Devil and demons of hell. The lair of the lion and dragon is hell.
The Beautiful Daughter
While on one level, the beautiful daughter could represent an innocent person, I think the symbol here is more specific. What the speaker is calling his Beautiful Daughter is symbolic of his Divine Soul. It is, after all, souls that the Devil wants to drag into the pits of hell (which is also allegorical). The Soul is beautiful because it is innocent and pure. It is spirit, not infected with matter and materialism. It has no desire for wealth or fame, but only to reunite with God.
My Garment Hangs on the Universe
The symbology here is uncertain. Generally when spiritual writings speak of our “garment,” it means the physical body. So going with that meaning, the speaker is saying his body is rooted in the material universe, also called the third dimension, while Hell, is the second dimension. Because he remains linked to the higher dimension, he can pull his beautiful daughter (Soul) out of the clutches of the lion and the dragon and get out of Hell.
Wronged the Dragon
The singer here is saying to God, If I have wronged the Devil or his demons, let him swallow me. What this bit of allegory is telling us is that even though the Devil is the enemy of truth and spiritual growth, we should not hate him or try to harm him. Many have the false belief that the angels of God try to do just that, but they are wrong. The angels don’t try to harm the Devil or his associates, they try to save them, to convert them. That is a big difference. So the singer is saying that if he has harmed the Devil, probably knowing that he hasn’t, let him be trapped in hell with his beautiful daughter (soul), otherwise, help him escape.
Hurled Stones at Their Wheel
The wheel of the Devil that helped him capture the beautiful daughter of the singer and the beautiful daughters of all of us is called the Wheel of Fate. It could also be called the wheel of karma. It teaches us that our actions have consequences. Sometimes, like when we use popular manifestation techniques to get things we haven’t earned, the wheel of fate then leaves us in debt to the Lion and Dragon. That is not a situation you want to be in.
Village of the Just
So they drove the Lion and the Dragon out of the cosmos and went to the village of the just. Quite simply, they brought an end to the Devils and demons—not by destroying them, but by converting them—and were able to transform the universe of matter back into spirit. The land of the just is the land of spirit and the true home of the beautiful daughter.