The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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The Sarvāstivāda, Kāśyapīya, Mahāsāṃghika, Ekavyāvahārika, Lokottaravāda, Bahuśrutīyas, Prajñaptivāda, and Caitika schools all regarded Arhats as being imperfect in their attainments compared to Buddhas.
The Pali Tipitaka, the earliest of the remaining complete Buddhist canons of scripture, portrays the arhat as the final product of The Buddha's path to liberation and the goal to which all disciples aspired.
The Mahayana was motivated by a more altruistic ideal in which spiritual practitioners while making efforts towards their own liberation were moved by compassion towards their fellow man and committed to helping them discover the path to liberation too.
The Mahīśāsaka and the Theravāda regarded Arhats and Buddhas as being more similar to one another. The 5th century Theravadin commentator Buddhaghosa regarded Arhats as having completed the path to Enlightenment.
The exact interpretation and etymology of words such as Arahant and arhat remains disputed. In the Theravada tradition, and in early PTS publications, the word Arahant or arhat is interpreted to mean the "worthy one".
This has been challenged by more recent research, resulting from the etymological comparison of Pali and early Jain Prakrit forms (arihanta and arahanta). The alternative etymology is "foe-destroyer" or "vanquisher of enemies," which corresponds to the Jain definition.
The term arhat was translated into East Asian languages phonetically as a transliterated term, exemplified in the Chinese āluóhàn (Ch. 阿羅漢), often shortened to simply luóhàn (Ch. 羅漢). However, the Tibetan term for arhat was translated by meaning from Sanskrit.
Based on a possible Sanskrit etymology, Arhant can be translated as deathless since "hant" in Sanskrit means death or killing and "ar" is often used for negation, implying "cannot be killed" or "beyond death" or "deathless".
This fits well with the central philosophical thought in buddhism, namely, "by realizing the true nature of phenomenological existence we transcend the cycle of life and death and become deathless in spiritual sense."
In the early Buddhist schools
In general, the Mahāsāṃghika branch, such as the Ekavyāvahārikas, Lokottaravādins, Bahuśrutīyas, Prajñaptivādins, and Caitika schools, advocated the transcendental and supermundane nature of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas, and the fallibility of Arhats.
In Theravada Buddhism, it means anyone who has attained Nirvana, including The Buddha himself. In the liturgy of Theravada Buddhism used in monasteries throughout the world the following words are recited daily:
The Arahant is a person who has eliminated all the unwholesome roots which underlie the Fetters – who upon decease will not be reborn in any world, since the bonds (Fetters) that bind a person to the Samsara have been finally disolved.
After attainment of Nibbana, the five aggregates (physical forms, feelings/sensations, perception, mental formations and consciousness) will continue to function, sustained by physical bodily vitality.
But once the Arahant pass-away and with the disintegration of the physical body, the five aggregates will cease to function, hence ending all traces of existence in the phenomenal world and thus total release from the misery of Samsara.
In Theravada Buddhism The Buddha himself is first identified as an Arahant, as are his enlightened followers, because they are free from all defilements, without greed, hatred, delusion, ignorance and craving, lacking "assets" which will lead to future birth, the Arahant knows and sees the real here and now.
- one develops insight preceded by serenity (Pali: Samatha-pubbaṇgamaṃ vipassanaṃ),
- one develops serenity preceded by insight (vipassanā-pubbaṇgamaṃ Samathaṃ),
- one develops serenity and insight in a stepwise fashion (Samatha-vipassanaṃ yuganaddhaṃ),
- one's mind becomes seized by excitation about the Dhamma and, as a consequence, develops serenity and abandons the Fetters (Dhamma-Uddhacca-viggahitaṃ mānasaṃ hoti).
- Samyaksambuddha, usually just called Buddha, who discovers the truth by himself and teaches the path to awakening to others.
- Pratyekabuddha, who discovers the truth by himself but lacks the skill to teach others.
- Sravakabuddha, who receive the truth directly or indirectly from a Sammasambuddha.
For those that have destroyed greed and hatred (in the sensory context) with some residue of delusion, are called Anagami (Non-returner). Anagamis will not be reborn into the human world after death, but into the heaven of the Pure Abodes, where only anagamis live. There, they will attain full Enlightenment.
Mahāyāna Buddhists see The Buddha himself as the ideal towards which one should aim in one's spiritual aspirations. In Mahāyāna Buddhism, a hierarchy of general attainments is envisioned, with the attainments of Arhats and Pratyekabuddha being clearly separate, and below that of fully enlightened Buddhas (Skt. samyaksaṃbuddha), or tathāgatas, such as Gautama Buddha.
In contrast to the goal of becoming a fully enlightened buddha, the path of a śrāvaka in being motivated by seeking personal liberation from Saṃsāra, is often portrayed as selfish and undesirable. There are even some Mahāyāna texts that regard the aspiration to arhatship and personal liberation as an outside path. Instead of aspiring for arhatship, Mahāyāna Buddhists are urged to instead take up the path of a Bodhisattva, and to not fall back to the level of Arhats and śrāvakas.
Therefore, it is taught that an arhat must go on to become a Bodhisattva eventually. If they fail to do so in the lifetime in which they reach the attainment, they will fall into a deep Samādhi of emptiness, thence to be roused and taught the Bodhisattva path, presumably when ready. According to the Lotus Sūtra (Skt. Saddharmapuṇḍarīka Sūtra), any true arhat will eventually accept the Mahāyāna path.
The Mahāyāna teachings often consider the śrāvaka path to be motivated by fear of Saṃsāra, which renders them incapable of aspiring to Buddhahood, and that they therefore lack the courage and Wisdom of a Bodhisattva.
In the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra, there is an account of 60 novice bodhisattvas who attain arhatship despite themselves and their efforts at the Bodhisattva path, because they lacked ability in prajñā-pāramitā and skillful means to progress as bodhisattvas toward complete Enlightenment (Skt. Anuttarā Samyaksaṃ Bodhi).
Mahāyāna Buddhism has viewed the śrāvaka path culminating in arhatship as a lesser accomplishment than complete Enlightenment, but still accords due respect to Arhats for their respective achievements.
Chinese Buddhism and other East Asian traditions have historically accepted this perspective, and specific groups of Arhats are venerated as well, such as the Sixteen Arhats, the Eighteen Arhats, and the Five Hundred Arhats.
The first famous portraits of these Arhats were painted by the Chinese Monk Guan Xiu (Chinese: 貫休; pinyin: Guànxiū) in 891 CE. He donated these portraits to Shengyin Temple in Qiantang (present day Hangzhou) where they are preserved with great care and ceremonious respect.
[[Image:Shravakas.JPG|frame|Shravaka disciples from the Longchen Nyingtik Field of Merit)] Arhat (Skt.; Tib. དགྲ་བཅོམ་པ་, drachompa; Wyl. dgra bcom pa) — name given to the ultimate result of the shravaka yana and pratyekabuddha yana, which differ in terms of realisation and qualities. Arhat is also used as an epithet of the Buddha.
There are two kinds of arhat: those with remainder and those without remainder.
How an Arhat teaches
Arhat means one worthy of respect. In Chinese Buddhist scriptures, it is interpreted in several ways: one worthy of offerings; one who has nothing more to learn, meaning that an arhat has completed his learning and practice;
destroyer of bandits, meaning that an arhat has repelled the "bandits" that are the illusions of thought and desire; and a person of "no rebirth," because an arhat has freed himself from transmigration in the six paths.
2. In the Abhidharma (commentarial and philosophical) literature that all Buddhists recognize as canonical, an arhat is defined technically as a fully ordained male who has successfully followed the Buddhist path to its conclusion, which is to say, a monk who will not be born again but is certain to enter nirvana when his current (final) rebirth comes to an end.
3. Any monk who is named in the sutras as an immediate disciple of Shakamuni Buddha. Mahayana sutra literature is famous for its disparagement of the arhats as disciples of the Buddha who are selfish because they strive for nirvana for themselves alone,
Arhats are further depicted as ignorant of the emptiness (kū 空) of dharmas (hō 法), whereas bodhisattvas are said to be freed from suffering by their insight into emptiness even when their compassion takes them into the most painful realms of existence.
In the Mahayana Buddhism of Song and Yuan dynasty China, nevertheless, the arhats were venerated as hermit sages who, in their eccentricities and supernatural powers, took on many of the qualities of Daoist immortals.
in which they are asked to use their supernatural powers to liberate all living beings (i.e. to act as bodhisattvas); to support the monastic community both spiritually and materially (the latter by insuring a steady supply of food); and to prevent disasters.
At Soto monasteries there is also a monthly offering to the arhats (rakan kuyō 羅漢供養) that is held in the arhats hall, and an elaborate arhats liturgy (rakan kōshiki 羅漢講式) that is held there semi-annually. "arhats hall."
The Arhat is said to be beyond both merit and demerit because, as he has abandoned all defilements, he can no longer perform evil actions; and as he has no more attachment, his virtuous actions no longer bear karmic fruit.
Arhatship is the highest rank attained by Sravakas. An Arhat is a Buddhist saint who has attained liberation from the cycle of Birth and Death, generally through living a monastic life in accordance with the Buddhas teachings.
The stage is preceded by three others:
See also "Sravakas."
The worthy one.
A "worthy one" or "pure one"; a person whose mind is free of defilement (see kilesa), who has abandoned all ten of the fetters that bind the mind to the cycle of rebirth (see saṃyojana), whose heart is free of mental effluents (see āsava), and who is thus not destined for further rebirth.
A practitioner who has abandoned all delusions and their seeds by training on the spiritual paths, and who will never again be reborn in samsara. In this context, the term `Foe refers to the delusions.