18 Arhats – Part 1

The following are the first six of eighteen arhat images recently installed in the newly renovated garden at Chùa Tảo Sách, Hanoi, Vietnam. In Mahāyāna Buddhism, they are considered to be the original followers of the Buddha to have passed through the four stages of awakening.[ref] The four stages are stream-entry, once-returner, non-returner, and arahat, or in Pāḷi sotāpanna, sakadāgāmī, anāgāmī, and arahatta[/ref] The poems accompanying each image were written by the Qianlong Emperor (乾隆皇帝) after a visit to see the paintings by a monk named Guan Xiu (貫休). Please click on the images to enlarge.


“Sitting dignified on a deer,
As if in deep thought.
With perfect composure,
Contented with being above worldly pursuits.” – Tọa Lộc La hán, 騎鹿羅漢, Pindolabharadrāja, Deer Sitting Luohan


“Decimating the demons,
The universe now cleared.
Hands raised for jubuilation,
Be wild with joy.” – Hỷ Khánh La hán, 喜慶羅漢, Kanakavatsa, Happy Luohan


“In majestic grandeur,
Joy descends from heaven.
Raised the bowl to receive happiness,
Glowing with jubilance and exultation.” – Cử Bát La hán, 舉缽羅漢, Kanakabharadvāja, Raised Bowl Luohan


“A seven-storey pagoda,
Miraculous power of the Buddha.
Forceful without being angry,
With preeminent Buddhist might.” – Thác Tháp La hán, 托塔羅漢, Nandimitra, Raised Pagoda Luohan


“Quietly cultivating the mind,
A countenance calm and composed.
Serene and dignified,
To enter the Western Paradise.” – Tĩnh Tọa La hán, 靜坐羅漢, Nakula, Meditating Luohan


“Bearing the sutras,
Sail east to spread the world.
Climbing mountains and fording streams,
For the deliverance of the humanity.” – Quá Giang La hán, 過江羅漢, Bodhidharma, Overseas Luohan


All photos ©Ashin Sopāka 2018