The Arhats – Moving beyond the state of personal freedom

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In , an arahant or is one who has gained insight into the true nature of existence and has achieved Nibbana and liberated from the endless cycle of rebirth.

A changing definition over the centuries

Mahayana Buddhist traditions have used the term for people far advanced along the path of Enlightenment, but who may not have reached full Buddhahood.

The understanding of the concept has changed over the centuries, and varies between different schools of Buddhism and different regions.

A range of views on the attainment of arhats existed in the early Buddhist schools.

Mahayana Buddhist teachings urge followers to take up the path of a bodhisattva, and to not fall back to the level of arhats and śrāvakas.

The arhats, or at least the senior arhats, came to be widely regarded by Theravada buddhists as “moving beyond the state of personal freedom to join the Bodhisattva enterprise in their own way”.

Mahayana Buddhism regarded a group of (with names and personalities) as awaiting the return of the Buddha as Maitreya, while other groupings of 6, 8, 16, 100, and 500 also appear in tradition and Buddhist art, especially in East Asia called luohan or lohan.

Some well-known Arhats

Arhats may be seen as the Buddhist equivalents of the Christian saint, apostles or early disciples and leaders of the faith.

This is a list of some well-known Arhats among different Buddhist Schools and traditions.

Arhat

Thangka of Bakula Arhat

Buddhist saints representing the earliest followers of the Buddha, always found in a group of sixteen, they are often painted on cloth, murals, and constructed of metal, stone, and wood.

In China, they are called Lohan and are commonly referred to as a group of eighteen or five hundred.

Maudgalyayana

Maudgalyāyana, also known as Mahāmaudgalyāyana, was one of the Buddha's closest disciples. 

Described as a contemporary of disciples such as Subhuti, Śāriputra, and Mahākasyapa, he is considered the second of the Buddha's two foremost male disciples, together with Śāriputra. 

Traditional accounts relate that Maudgalyāyana and Śāriputra become spiritual wanderers in their youth. After having searched for spiritual truth for a while, they come into contact with the Buddhist teaching through verses that have become widely known in the Buddhist world. 

Eventually they meet the Buddha himself and ordain as monks under him. Maudgalyāyana attains enlightenment shortly after that.

Maudgalyāyana, also known as Mahāmaudgalyāyana, was one of the Buddha’s closest disciples.

Described as a contemporary of disciples such as Subhuti, Śāriputra, and Mahākasyapa, he is considered the second of the Buddha’s two foremost male disciples, together with Śāriputra.

Traditional accounts relate that Maudgalyāyana and Śāriputra become spiritual wanderers in their youth. After having searched for spiritual truth for a while, they come into contact with the Buddhist teaching through verses that have become widely known in the Buddhist world.

Eventually they meet the Buddha himself and ordain as monks under him. Maudgalyāyana attains enlightenment shortly after that.

Sixteen Arhats

The Sixteen Arhats are a group of legendary Arhats in Buddhism. The grouping of sixteen Arhats was brought to China, and later to Tibet, from India. In China, an expanded group of Eighteen Arhats later became much more popular, but worship of the sixteen Arhats still continues to the present day in China, Japan and Tibet. In Japan sixteen Arhats are particularly popular in Zen Buddhism, where they are treated as examples of behaviour. In Tibet, the sixteen Arhats, also known as sixteen sthaviras ('elders') are the subject of a liturgical practice associated with the festival of the Buddha's birth, composed by the Kashmiri teacher Shakyahribhadra (1127-1225). They are also well represented in Tibetan art.

The are a group of legendary Arhats in Buddhism. The grouping of sixteen Arhats was brought to China, and later to Tibet, from India. In China, an expanded group of Eighteen Arhats later became much more popular, but worship of the sixteen Arhats still continues to the present day in China, Japan and Tibet. In Japan sixteen Arhats are particularly popular in Zen Buddhism, where they are treated as examples of behaviour. In Tibet, the sixteen Arhats, also known as sixteen sthaviras (‘elders’) are the subject of a liturgical practice associated with the festival of the Buddha’s birth, composed by the Kashmiri teacher Shakyahribhadra (1127-1225). They are also well represented in Tibetan art.

Rāhula was the only son of Siddhārtha Gautama, and his wife and princess Yaśodharā. He is mentioned in numerous Buddhist texts, from the early period onward. Accounts about Rāhula indicate a mutual impact between Prince Siddhārtha's life and the lives of his family members. 

According to the Pāli tradition, Rāhula is born on the day of Prince Siddhārta's renunciation, and is therefore named Rāhula, meaning a fetter on the path to enlightenment. According to the Mūlasarvāstivāda tradition, and numerous other later sources, however, Rāhula is only conceived on the day of Prince Siddhartha's renunciation, and is born six years later, when Prince Siddhārtha becomes enlightened as the Buddha. 

This long gestation period is explained by bad karma from previous lives of both Yaśodharā and of Rāhula himself, although more naturalistic reasons are also given. As a result of the late birth, Yaśodharā needs to prove that Rāhula is really Prince Siddhārtha's son, which she eventually does successfully by an act of truth.

Historian Wolfgang Schumann has argued that Prince Siddhārtha conceived Rāhula and waited for his birth, to be able to leave the palace with the king and queen's permission, but Orientalist Noël Péri considered it more likely that Rāhula was born after Prince Siddhārtha left his palace.

Rāhula was the only son of Siddhārtha Gautama, and his wife and princess Yaśodharā. He is mentioned in numerous Buddhist texts, from the early period onward. Accounts about Rāhula indicate a mutual impact between Prince Siddhārtha’s life and the lives of his family members.

According to the Pāli tradition, Rāhula is born on the day of Prince Siddhārta’s renunciation, and is therefore named Rāhula, meaning a fetter on the path to enlightenment. According to the Mūlasarvāstivāda tradition, and numerous other later sources, however, Rāhula is only conceived on the day of Prince Siddhartha’s renunciation, and is born six years later, when Prince Siddhārtha becomes enlightened as the Buddha.

This long gestation period is explained by bad karma from previous lives of both Yaśodharā and of Rāhula himself, although more naturalistic reasons are also given. As a result of the late birth, Yaśodharā needs to prove that Rāhula is really Prince Siddhārtha’s son, which she eventually does successfully by an act of truth.

Historian Wolfgang Schumann has argued that Prince Siddhārtha conceived Rāhula and waited for his birth, to be able to leave the palace with the king and queen’s permission, but Orientalist Noël Péri considered it more likely that Rāhula was born after Prince Siddhārtha left his palace.

Mahapajapati Gotami

Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī was the foster-mother, step-mother and maternal aunt of the Buddha. In Buddhist tradition, she was the first woman to seek ordination for women, which she did from Gautama Buddha directly, and she became the first bhikkhuni.

Sundari Nanda (half-sister of Buddha)

Princess Sundarī Nandā of Shakya, also known simply a Sundarī, was the daughter of King Suddhodana and Mahaprajapati.She was the half-sister of Siddhartha Gautama, who later became a Buddha. She became a nun after the enlightenment of her half-brother and became an arhat. She was the foremost among bhikkhunis in the practice of jhana. She lived during the 6th century BCE in what is now Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in India.

Nagasena

Nāgasena was a Sarvastivadan Buddhist sage who lived around 150 BC. His answers to questions about Buddhism posed by Menander I, the Indo-Greek king of northwestern India, are recorded in the Milinda Pañha and the Sanskrit Nāgasenabhiksusūtra.

According to Pali accounts, he was born into a Brahmin family in the Himalayas and was well-versed in the Vedas at an early age. However, he later converted to Buddhism.

Nāgasena was a Sarvastivadan Buddhist sage who lived around 150 BC. His answers to questions about Buddhism posed by Menander I, the Indo-Greek king of northwestern India, are recorded in the Milinda Pañha and the Sanskrit Nāgasenabhiksusūtra.

According to Pali accounts, he was born into a Brahmin family in the Himalayas and was well-versed in the Vedas at an early age. However, he later converted to Buddhism.

Subhūti bikkhu

Subhūti was one of the Ten Great Śrāvakas of Gautama Buddha, and foremost in giving gifts. In Prakrit and Pāli, his name literally means “Good Existence”.

He is also sometimes referred to as “Elder Subhūti”.

He was a contemporary of such famous arahants as Śāriputra, , , Mahākātyāyana and Ānanda.

Śrāvakayāna

Śrāvakayāna is one of the three yānas known to Indian Buddhism. It translates literally as the “vehicle of listeners [i.e. disciples]”. Historically it was the most common term used by Buddhist texts to describe one hypothetical path to enlightenment. Śrāvakayāna is the path that meets the goals of an Arhat—an individual who achieves liberation as a result of listening to the teachings of a Samyaksaṃbuddha. A Buddha who achieved enlightenment through Śrāvakayāna is called a Śrāvakabuddha, as distinguished from a Samyaksaṃbuddha or Pratyekabuddha.

Nanda (half-brother of Buddha)

Prince Nanda Shakya, also known as Sundarananda Shakya, was the younger half-brother of Gautama Buddha. He shared the same father as Buddha, King Śuddhodana, and his mother, , was the Buddha’s mother’s younger sister. Nanda also had a own sister named Sundari Nanda.

Ānanda

Ānanda was the primary attendant of the Buddha and one of his ten principal disciples. Among the Buddha’s many disciples, Ānanda stood out for having the best memory. Most of the texts of the early Buddhist Sutta-Piṭaka are attributed to his recollection of the Buddha’s teachings during the First Buddhist Council. For that reason, he is known as the Treasurer of the Dhamma, with Dhamma referring to the Buddha’s teaching. In Early Buddhist Texts, Ānanda was the first cousin of the Buddha. Although the early texts do not agree on many parts of Ānanda’s early life, they do agree that Ānanda was ordained as a monk and that Puṇṇa Mantāniputta became his teacher. Twenty years in the Buddha’s ministry, Ānanda became the attendant of the Buddha, when the Buddha selected him for this task. Ānanda performed his duties with great devotion and care, and acted as an intermediary between the Buddha and the laypeople, as well as the saṅgha. He accompanied the Buddha for the rest of his life, acting not only as an assistant, but also a secretary and a mouthpiece.

Khema

Khema was a Buddhist bhikkhuni, or nun, who was one of the top female disciples of the Buddha. She is considered the first of the Buddha's two chief female disciples, along with Uppalavanna. Khema was born into the royal family of the ancient Kingdom of Madra, and was the wife of King Bimbisara of the ancient Indian kingdom of Magadha. Khema was convinced to visit the Buddha by her husband, who hired poets to sing about the beauty of the monastery he was staying at to her. She attained enlightenment as a laywoman while listening to one of the Buddha's sermons, considered a rare feat in Buddhist texts. Following her attainment, Khema entered the monastic life under the Buddha as a bhikkhuni. According to Buddhist tradition, the Buddha declared her his female disciple foremost in wisdom. Her male counterpart was Sariputta.

was a Buddhist bhikkhuni, or nun, who was one of the top female disciples of the Buddha. She is considered the first of the Buddha’s two chief female disciples, along with . Khema was born into the royal family of the ancient Kingdom of Madra, and was the wife of King Bimbisara of the ancient Indian kingdom of Magadha. Khema was convinced to visit the Buddha by her husband, who hired poets to sing about the beauty of the monastery he was staying at to her. She attained enlightenment as a laywoman while listening to one of the Buddha’s sermons, considered a rare feat in Buddhist texts. Following her attainment, Khema entered the monastic life under the Buddha as a bhikkhuni. According to Buddhist tradition, the Buddha declared her his female disciple foremost in wisdom. Her male counterpart was Sariputta.

Uppalavanna

Uppalavanna was a Buddhist bhikkhuni, or nun, who was considered one of the top female disciples of the Buddha. She is considered the second of the Buddha’s two chief female disciples, along with Khema. She was given the name Uppalavanna, meaning “color of a blue water lily”, at birth due to the bluish color of her skin.

Yaśodharā

Yaśodharā was the wife of Prince Siddhartha — until he left his home to become a śramaṇa— the mother of Rāhula, and the sister of Devadatta.

She later became a Buddhist Nun and is considered an arahatā. (or Lady Arhat).

Eighteen Arhats

The Eighteen Arhats are depicted in Mahayana Buddhism as the original followers of Gautama Buddha who have followed the Noble Eightfold Path and attained the four stages of enlightenment. They have reached the state of Nirvana and are free of worldly cravings. They are charged to protect the Buddhist faith and to wait on earth for the coming of Maitreya, an enlightened Buddha prophesied to arrive on earth many millennia after Gautama Buddha’s death (parinirvana). In China, the eighteen arhats are also a popular subject in Buddhist art, such as the famous Chinese group of glazed pottery luohans from Yixian from about 1000 CE.

Moggaliputta-Tissa

Moggaliputtatissa, was a Buddhist monk and scholar who was born in Pataliputra, Magadha and lived in the 3rd century BCE. He is associated with the Third Buddhist council, the emperor Ashoka and the Buddhist missionary activities which took place during his reign.

Śāriputra

Śāriputra was one of the top disciples of the Buddha. He is considered the first of the Buddha's two chief male disciples, together with Maudgalyāyana. Śāriputra had a key leadership role in the ministry of the Buddha and is considered in many Buddhist schools to have been important in the development of the Buddhist Abhidharma. He frequently appears in Mahayana sutras, and in some sutras, is used as a counterpoint to represent the Hinayana school of Buddhism.

Śāriputra was one of the top disciples of the Buddha. He is considered the first of the Buddha’s two chief male disciples, together with Maudgalyāyana. Śāriputra had a key leadership role in the ministry of the Buddha and is considered in many Buddhist schools to have been important in the development of the Buddhist Abhidharma. He frequently appears in Mahayana sutras, and in some sutras, is used as a counterpoint to represent the Hinayana school of Buddhism.

Pūrṇa Maitrāyanīputra, also simply known as Pūrṇa, was an arhat and one of the ten principal disciples of Gautama Buddha, foremost in preaching the dharma.

Pindola Bharadvaja

Pindola Bharadvaja  is an Arhat in Buddhism. According to the earliest Indian Buddhist sutras, Pindola Bharadvaja was one of four Arhats asked by the Buddha to remain in the world to propagate Buddhist law (Dharma). Each of the four was associated with one of the four compass directions.

is an Arhat in Buddhism. According to the earliest Indian Buddhist sutras, Pindola Bharadvaja was one of four Arhats asked by the Buddha to remain in the world to propagate Buddhist law (Dharma). Each of the four was associated with one of the four compass directions.

Patacara

Paṭacārā or Patachara was a notable female figure in Buddhism, described in the Pali Canon. Among the female disciples of Gautama Buddha, she was the foremost exponent of the Vinaya, the rules of monastic discipline. She lived during the 6th century BCE in what is now Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in India. The story of childbirth and loss below has been attributed to Patacara in some Buddhist texts and in others has been attributed to another woman, Kisa Gotami

Paṭacārā or Patachara was a notable female figure in Buddhism, described in the Pali Canon. Among the female disciples of Gautama Buddha, she was the foremost exponent of the Vinaya, the rules of monastic discipline. She lived during the 6th century BCE in what is now Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in India. The story of childbirth and loss below has been attributed to in some Buddhist texts and in others has been attributed to another woman,

Anuruddha

Anuruddha was one of the ten principal disciples and a cousin of Gautama Buddha.

was one of the ten principal disciples and a cousin of Gautama Buddha.

Anuruddha is depicted in the Pali Canon as an affectionate and loyal bhikkhu, and stood near the Buddha in assembly.

At one point, when the Buddha was disappointed with the arguments of the monks at Kosambi, he retreated to Pacinavamsadaya to stay with Anuruddha.

In many texts, even when many distinguished monks were present, Anuruddha is often the recipient of the Buddha’s questions, and answers on behalf of the sangha.

Bhadda Kapilani

Bhadda Kapilani was a Buddhist bhikkhuni and a leading disciple of Gautama Buddha. She came of a Brahman family of the Kosiya clan at Sagala, modern day Sialkot in Punjab, Pakistan. Among the bhikkhunis she was regarded as the foremost in analysing the previous reincarnations of beings and their previous karma, as described in the Jataka of the Pali Canon. Before they both entered the sangha, she was the wife of Mahakassapa, the arahant who led the sangha after the paranibbana of the Buddha and his two chief disciples Sariputta and Mahamoggallana.

was a Buddhist bhikkhuni and a leading disciple of Gautama Buddha. She came of a Brahman family of the Kosiya clan at Sagala, modern day Sialkot in Punjab, Pakistan. Among the bhikkhunis she was regarded as the foremost in analysing the previous reincarnations of beings and their previous karma, as described in the Jataka of the Pali Canon. Before they both entered the sangha, she was the wife of Mahakassapa, the arahant who led the sangha after the paranibbana of the Buddha and his two chief disciples Sariputta and Mahamoggallana.

Dabba Mallaputta

was a disciple of Gautama Buddha, distinguished by his youth and his service to the Sangha. At the age of seven he became an arahant and was accepted into the early Buddhist community as a monk. He died at an early age after demonstrating a variety of supernatural abilities.

Bhadda Kundalakesa

Bhadda Kundalakesa was a former Jain ascetic who was converted to Buddhism by Sariputra, one of the two chief disciples of Gautama Buddha. She attained arahantship faster than any other nun and lived in the 6th century BCE in what is now Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in India.

was a former Jain ascetic who was converted to Buddhism by Sariputra, one of the two chief disciples of Gautama Buddha.

She attained arahantship faster than any other nun and lived in the 6th century BCE in what is now Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in India.

Upāli was a monk, one of the ten chief disciples of the Buddha and, according to early Buddhist texts, the person in charge of the reciting and reviewing of monastic discipline on the First Buddhist Council. Upāli was born a low-caste barber. He met the Buddha when still a child, and later, when the Sakya princes received ordination, he did so as well. He was ordained before the princes, putting humility before caste. Having been ordained, Upāli learnt both Buddhist doctrine and vinaya. His preceptor was Kappitaka. Upāli became known for his mastery and strictness of vinaya and was consulted often about vinaya matters. A notable case he decided was that of the monk Ajjuka, who was accused of partisanship in a conflict about real estate. During the First Council, Upāli received the important role of reciting the vinaya, for which he is mostly known.

Upāli was a monk, one of the ten chief disciples of the Buddha and, according to early Buddhist texts, the person in charge of the reciting and reviewing of monastic discipline on the First Buddhist Council. Upāli was born a low-caste barber. He met the Buddha when still a child, and later, when the Sakya princes received ordination, he did so as well. He was ordained before the princes, putting humility before caste. Having been ordained, Upāli learnt both Buddhist doctrine and vinaya. His preceptor was Kappitaka. Upāli became known for his mastery and strictness of vinaya and was consulted often about vinaya matters. A notable case he decided was that of the monk Ajjuka, who was accused of partisanship in a conflict about real estate. During the First Council, Upāli received the important role of reciting the vinaya, for which he is mostly known.

Mahākāśyapa

Mahā Kāśyapa or Mahākāśyapa was one of the principal disciples of Gautama Buddha. He is regarded in Buddhism as an enlightened disciple, being foremost in ascetic practice. Mahākāśyapa assumed leadership of the monastic community following the paranirvāṇa (death) of the Buddha, presiding over the First Buddhist Council. He was considered to be the first patriarch in a number of early Buddhist schools and continued to have an important role as patriarch in the Chan and Zen traditions. In Buddhist texts, he assumed many identities, that of a renunciant saint, a lawgiver, an anti-establishment figure, but also a "guarantor of future justice" in the time of Maitreya, the future Buddha—he has been described as "both the anchorite and the friend of mankind, even of the outcast".

Mahā Kāśyapa or Mahākāśyapa was one of the principal disciples of Gautama Buddha. He is regarded in Buddhism as an enlightened disciple, being foremost in ascetic practice. Mahākāśyapa assumed leadership of the monastic community following the paranirvāṇa (death) of the Buddha, presiding over the First Buddhist Council. He was considered to be the first patriarch in a number of early Buddhist schools and continued to have an important role as patriarch in the Chan and Zen traditions. In Buddhist texts, he assumed many identities, that of a renunciant saint, a lawgiver, an anti-establishment figure, but also a “guarantor of future justice” in the time of Maitreya, the future Buddha—he has been described as “both the anchorite and the friend of mankind, even of the outcast”.

Kisa Gotami

Kisa Gotami was the wife of a wealthy man of Savatthi. Her story is one of the most famous ones in Buddhism. After losing her only child, Kisa Gotami became desperate and asked if anyone could help her. Her sorrow was so great that many thought she had lost her mind. An old man told her to see the Buddha. The Buddha told her that he could bring the child back to life if she could find white mustard seeds from a family where no one had died. She desperately went from house to house, but to her disappointment, she could not find a house that had not suffered the death of a family member. Finally the realization struck her that there is no house free from mortality. She returned to the Buddha, who comforted her and preached to her the truth. She was awakened and entered the first stage of enlightenment. Eventually, she became an Arahat.

Kaundinya

, also known as Ājñātakauṇḍinya, Pali: Añña Koṇḍañña),who was one of the first five Buddhist monks (Pancavaggiya), follower of Gautama Buddha and the first to become an arhat. He lived during the 6th century BCE in what are now Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, India. According to traditional accounts, at the time of Gautama Buddha’s birth, he predicted his future destination as an enlightened teacher.

Katyayana (Buddhist)

Kātyāyana or Mahākātyāyana was a disciple of Gautama Buddha. He is listed as one of the ten principal disciples and was foremost in expanding on and explaining brief statements of the Buddha.

Sīvali is an arhat widely venerated among Theravada Buddhists. He is the patron saint of travel and is believed to ward off misfortunes at home such as fire or theft. His veneration predates the introduction of Theravada Buddhism into Burma.

Sīvali is an arhat widely venerated among Theravada Buddhists. He is the patron saint of travel and is believed to ward off misfortunes at home such as fire or theft. His veneration predates the introduction of Theravada Buddhism into Burma.

Suddhipanthaka

was a disciple of the Buddha. He was known for being the most dim-witted of the Buddha’s disciples, unable to understand the Buddha’s teachings, and almost completely forgetting everything the Buddha said.

Sunita

Sunīta was a highly accomplished disciple of the Buddha. He was born in a family of untouchables whose job was of sweeping around the temple area. According to Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s translation of the Theragāthā account, Sunīta laments:”People found me disgusting, despised me, disparaged me. Lowering my heart, I showed reverence to many.”

Yasa

was a bhikkhu during the time of Gautama Buddha. He was the sixth bhikkhu in the Buddha’s sangha and was the sixth to achieve arahanthood. Yasa lived in the 6th century BCE in what is now Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in northern India.

Amrapali

Āmrapālī, also known as “Ambapālika”, “Ambapali”, or “Amra” was a celebrated nagarvadhu of the republic of Vaishali in ancient India around 500 BC. Following the Buddha’s teachings, she became an arahant. She is mentioned in the old Pali texts and Buddhist traditions, particularly in conjunction with the Buddha staying at her mango grove, Ambapali vana, which she later donated to his order and wherein he preached the famous Ambapalika Sutra. The legend of originated in the Buddhist Jataka Tales some 1500 years ago.

Shin Upagutta

Shin Upagutta is an arahant commonly venerated by Buddhists in Myanmar. He is believed to protect worshipers from danger, including floods and storms. He is also venerated in Northern Thailand and Laos, where he is known as Upakhut.

is an arahant commonly venerated by Buddhists in Myanmar. He is believed to protect worshipers from danger, including floods and storms. He is also venerated in Northern Thailand and Laos, where he is known as Upakhut.

Maliyadeva

was a monk who is said to have lived in Sri Lanka during the 2nd century BCE and to have attained nirvana.

Maha Kapphina

Mahākapphina (Pali) or Mahākapphiṇa (Sanskrit), also called Mahā Kapphina Thera, was an eminent Arhat from Uttarapatha and is considered foremost among those who taught the monks. Mahākapphina was his monastic name. He became disciple of the Buddha and is one of the five hundred Arhats who will be reborn and attain Buddhahood, according to Mahāyāna tradition. References to Kapphina can be found in the Jātakas, Buddhaghoṣa’s Manorathapūranī, the Dhammapada Aṭṭhakathā, the Visuddhimagga, the Sāratthappakāsinī, the Saṃyutta Nikāya, the Aṅguttara Nikāya, the Vinaya Piṭaka, the Theragāthā, etc.; as well as in the Sanskrit Avadānaśatika.

Gavampati (Buddha’s disciple)

Gavāṃpati is a disciple of the Buddha, one of the first ten to be ordained and to have known the state of Arhat. In Southeastern Buddhism, Gavāṃpati has become a preeminent character. In Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and the Shan states, the Mon cult of Gavampati has survived.

The Companion Statues on display at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) flank a three-metre tall Buddha located in the Southeast Asia Gallery on the first floor at the very back in the centre of the gallery.

The sculptures are from the Tang Dynasty period (618-906), probably the 8th century, and appear to come from Shanxi Province, China. They represent two luohans, or disciples of the Buddha. The younger luohan has been at the museum since 1922 and the older was purchased in 1990.

Curators have concluded that the two luohans are an original pair, but not a set with the Buddha figure.

Channa (Buddhist)

Channa – The Divine Charioteer was a royal servant and head charioteer of Prince Siddhartha, who was to become the Buddha. Channa later became a disciple of the Buddha and achieved arahantship, as is described in the 78th verse of the Dhammapada.

Assaji

was one of the first five arahants of Gautama Buddha. He is known for his conversion of Sariputta and Mahamoggallana, the Buddha’s two chief male disciples, counterparts to the nuns Khema and Uppalavanna, the chief female disciples. He lived in what is now Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in northern India, during the 6th century BCE.

Aṅgulimāla is an important figure in Buddhism, particularly within the Theravāda tradition. Depicted as a ruthless brigand who completely transforms after a conversion to Buddhism, he is seen as the example par excellence of the redemptive power of the Buddha’s teaching and the Buddha’s skill as a teacher. Aṅgulimāla is seen by Buddhists as the “patron saint” of childbirth and is associated with fertility in South and Southeast Asia.

Aṅgaja is one of the Sixteen Arhats or Rakan of Buddhism, saintly men who were predecessors or disciples of the Buddha. Other such arhats are Binzuru sonja, Ragora sonja, Chudahandaka sonja etc…

Aṅgaja is part of the Buddhist Pantheon of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. He also appears, with other Rakan except for Binzuru sonja, in the Temples and Monasteries of Zen Buddhism, where they are shown as models to be emulated.

Zhenren

is a Chinese term that first appeared in the Zhuangzi meaning “Daoist spiritual master”, roughly translatable as “Perfected Person”. Religious Daoism mythologized zhenren to rank above xian “transcendent; immortal” in the celestial hierarchy, while Chinese Buddhism used it to translate arhat “enlightened one”.

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Spreading the sunlight of the teachings of the two knowledges, Lord Chökyi Jungne, I supplicate you.

The lineage & incarnations of Kenting Tai Situpa

The lineage of the Kenting Tai situpas can be traced to one of the main disciples of the Goutama Buddha, the Bodhisattva . Since that time there have been a successive chain of incarnations, whose achievements are recorded in Sanskrit, Chinese and Tibetan annals, a direct lineage that continues to the present day. Origin of the Kenting Tai situpa lineage There are twelve incarnations crowned as Kenting Tai Situ till now. Furthermore, according to some historical records and .
Dudul Dorje (1733–1797) was the thirteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, head of the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism.

Karmapa – Tibet’s first consciously incarnating lama

The is the head of the Karma Kagyu, the largest sub-school of the Kagyu, itself one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Karmapa was Tibet's first consciously incarnating lama. The historical seat of the Karmapas is Tsurphu Monastery in the Tolung valley of Tibet. The Karmapa's principal seat in exile is the Dharma Chakra Centre at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, India. His regional monastic seats are Karma Triyana Dharmachakra in New York and Dhagpo Kagyu .
Nyingma Tree Lineage Thangka with Guru Rinpoche and Yeshe Tsogyal in center

Termas & Tertöns – Padmasambhava & Yeshe Tsogyal’s succession

is a term within Tibetan Buddhism meaning a person who is a discoverer of ancient hidden texts or terma. Origin of the Tertöns Many tertöns are considered to be incarnations of the twenty five main disciples of Padmasambhava (Guru ), who foresaw a dark time in Tibet. Padmasambhava and his consort Yeshe Tsogyal hid teachings to be found in the future to benefit beings. According to generally accepted history, the rediscovering of terma began with the first .
Pema Lingpa's Visionary Journey to the Copper-Colored Mountain

The Tulku system & the preservation of Dharma lineages

A is a reincarnate custodian of a specific lineage of teachings in Tibetan Buddhism who is given empowerments and trained from a young age by students of his or her predecessor. Historically, the tulku system of preserving Dharma lineages operated in Tibet with the first being the . After the first Karmapa died in 1193, a lama had recurrent visions of a particular child as his rebirth. This child (born ca. 1205) was recognized as .
Chöd practice explained by Tsultrim Allione

Chöd practice explained by Tsultrim Allione

practice is a practice developed by a woman teacher named in the 11th century. What is Chöd? Chöd is a confrontation process with and then pushing through it to achieve . In other words, Chöd is a practice of feeding, not fighting, that which assails us. In the practice, you are transforming your into a nectar and then feeding it a series of guests (fears). Who can practice Chöd? The type of person .