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. 1 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.
“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
All photos ©Ashin Sopāka 2018
- The four stages are stream-entry, once-returner, non-returner, and arahat, or in Pāḷi sotāpanna, sakadāgāmī, anāgāmī, and arahatta ↩