18 Arhats – Part 3

The following are the last 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.


“Buddha of infinite life,
Valuable bag containing secrets of heaven and earth.
Happy and contented,
Cheerful and joyful is he.” – Bố Đại La hán, 布袋羅漢, Aṅgaja, Calico Bag Luohan


“Carefree and leisurely,
Disdainfully regards the Great Void.
With celestial airs and religious spirit,
Transcending this mortal world.” – Ba Tiêu La hán, 芭蕉羅漢, Vanavāsa, Plantain Luohan


“Compassionate elder,
A monk who has attained enlightenment.
Perceptive of the infinite universe,
With tacit understanding.” – Trường Mi La hán, 長眉羅漢, Asita, Long Eyebrow Luohan


“Powerful, husky and tough,
Watching with careful alertness.
With the Buddhist staff in hand.
Valiantly annihilates the evil.” – Khán Môn La hán, 看門羅漢, Cūdapanthaka, Doorman Luohan


“In the hands are the spiritual pearl and the holy bowl,
Endowed with power that knows no bounds.
Full of valour, vigour and awe-inspiring dignity,
To succeed in vanquishing the ferocious dragon.” – Hàng Long La hán, 降龍羅漢, Nandimitra, Taming Dragon Luohan


“Precious ring with magical powers,
Infinitely resourceful.
Vigorous and powerful,
Subduing a ferocious tiger.” – Phục Hổ La hán, 伏虎羅漢, Dharmatrata, Taming Tiger Luohan


All photos ©Ashin Sopāka 2018