According to legend, the Buddha wanted to pass on the Buddhadharma to posterity, so he instructed the 18 Arhats to continue protecting the Dharma in the world, saving sentient beings as well as removing the afflictions of the three worlds. So who are these 18 Arhats? What is the meaning behind these idols? Let us learn more about Buddhist objects in the article below.
I. Meaning of 18 Arhats
1. Arhat Tu Lok
Image of statue of Lok La Han sitting leisurely on deer’s back
Arhat Lok (Pindola Bhardwaj) came from a Brahmin and was one of the most respected ministers of King U Dien. However, because of his passion for spiritual practice, he was determined to leave home and the grand place to go to the mountains to practice. After attaining enlightenment, he came back to the court on a deer to encourage the king, hence the statue depicts him sitting on the back of a deer and is named Arhat Tu Lok.
2. Arhat Khan Huy
The statue of Arhat Khan Huye is depicted with a benevolent smile
According to Phap True Q, Khan is another arhat named Hi Kanakwatsa or Yet-nac-ka-fachsa. Before leaving home for practice, he always spoke carefully, politely and did not bring any bad thoughts in his mind. Therefore, cleverly depicted with a kind smile, she is the embodiment of education, compassion and good direction in dealing with others, reminding everyone to keep their mouths and mouths open. Falling into anger or hatred towards the world.
3. Arhat Cue Bat
Qu Bat Arhats always carry an iron bowl when traveling for alms, exquisitely painted in every detail
Arhat Que Bat (Kanak Bharadwaj), one of the Buddha’s great disciples, is the third Arhat according to Phap Tru Que. When he left home for practice, he and 600 other arhats were assigned to support Dong Thang Thanh Chau’s territory. The painted statue is an image of him carrying an iron bowl with him to travel for alms to teach the world about the austerity of the precious word ring.
4. Arhat Thak Thap
Image of Thap Arhat waterfall raising hands Lian Hoa tower
Arhat Thak Thap named Subinda – one of the strictest spiritual practitioners and the fourth Arhat according to Phap True Que. He was very enthusiastic and loved to help others, but remained quite calm. It is also the image which means that enlightenment is a process that does not require the mouth, it all happens in the mind. His iconography depicts the image of a miniature tower in his hand, raised on his chest.
5. Arhat Calm Status
Image of Arhat Shanti sitting in meditation on a large stone
Arhat Tinh Tu’s name is Nakula (Nac-que-la) – the 5th Arhat and often lived and practiced in Nam Thiem Bo Chau. The image painted on the statue repeats the scene where he is seated on a stone slab and it is propagated in Buddhism that he is an Arhat belonging to the Iron Rank with the advantage of incomparable strength. Furthermore, it also symbolizes that the practice of zazen in the path of practice, as well as wisdom, persistence, and perseverance are the factors that hold back concentration.
6. Arhat over Giang
Because he loves to bathe, Arhat Qua Giang is also the embodiment of purity, cleansing the mind of impurity and heart sorrow.
Arhat Kwa Giang (Bhadra) also known as Rishi, was born under a sage tree. According to legend, when he was alive, he was very fond of bathing and could take several baths a day. Therefore, his incarnation is depicted as meaning purity, purification of impurities as well as awakening of thought.
7. Arhat Cavalry
Arhat horse statue sitting peacefully on the back of an elephant
Arhat cavalry – Cali-ca (Kalika) also known as Phat Tran La Hanh. Before leaving home and starting the path of practice, he was a talented elephant trainer. After that, when success was achieved, the Buddha commissioned the Arhat cavalry to stay in their homeland to propagate and support Buddhism. The idol depicts him sitting on the back of an elephant and holding a book in a leisurely, free-spirited manner.
8. Arhat Tiu Su
Arhat Tiu Su with furious expression next to a lion
According to legend, he was a hunter before becoming a monk, so the image of Arhat Tu Su is portrayed as quite firm and a bit fierce. After ordination, he did not give up trying and always had a lion by his side, so this Arhat was named Tu Master.
9. Arhat Khai Tam
Image of Arhat Khai Tam taking off his clothes to reveal the magical Buddha mind
The Arhat Opening Mind (Jivaka) is one of the famous brahmins with one foot and six stature, who witnessed the miracle of the Buddha. The image is delicately carved on the sculptures and he clearly bares his bra to reveal the Buddha’s mind to show his unchanging great faith, which is also the truth that tells the monks about Buddhism. Illuminates thousands of generations in the journey of teaching.
10. Arhaan Detective Guru
Statue of Arhat Spies Thu with the distinctive image of raising his hand above his head
Arhat Tham Thu’s real name is Bak-thak-ca (Panthaka), which means Bien Singh Avenue (born on the side of the road) and he is the biological brother of Arhat Khang Mon. Whenever he sat, he would raise his hands above his head and take a deep breath. Therefore, he is depicted with two hands raised in a joyful manner, indicating wisdom as well as mastery in the practice of Buddhism.
11. Arhat Tram Tu
Statue of Arhat Tram Tu with beautiful face, hands overlapping her chin thinking
Before leaving home to practice, he often teased others, but after being enlightened by the Buddha, he became humble, patient, always independent, calm, not angered by the world, and selflessly practicing silently. That is why he was given the title Arhat Tram Tu to remind us of his perseverance and patience when he wanted to practice and attain enlightenment.
12. Arhat Khoi Er
Khoi Er Arhat is famous for his first class logic
Arhat Khoi Er’s real name is Nāgasena (नागसेना), which in Sanskrit means army of dragons with supernatural powers. He has the root of the purest ear, so his statue depicts the image of picking the ear to remind people that people must always listen in order to improve themselves, to become more wise in everything.
13. Arhat Bo Dai
Statue of Father Dai Arhat with arms outstretched like an incarnation of Maitreya Bodhisattva, carrying a bag
This arhat’s name is Angada, he has a stout body, a large belly, and like a Maitreya bodhisattva, he has a large cloth bag that he always carries with him. Legend has it that he had the ability to catch venomous snakes that specialized in biting people in India, then he broke all the fangs containing the venom and released it on the mountain. From there it can be seen that the image of Arhat Bo Dai is a symbol of compassion, generosity, helping people.
14. Arhat Ba Tiu
Statue of Arhat Ba Tiyu sitting leisurely on a large stone
Arhat Ba Tiu, whose real name is Phat-na-ba-tu (Forest Dweller), was told by his mother to hear the rustling of banana leaves in the backyard in the rain. Apart from this, he is also fond of practicing in natural hilly areas, especially under banana trees. That is why he is shown meditating on a big stone with closed eyes and a calm face.
15. Arhat Truong Mi
Long, bushy eyebrows arched at the statue of Arhat Truong Mi
His name was A-tha-da (Ajita) who was a member of the Brahmin sect of the Savat kingdom. Legend has it that when he was born, he had long, drooping white eyebrows like a monk in his previous life. After practicing with the Buddha, he became an arhat, often traveling around the world and helping Buddhism flourish in India.
16. Qualified Resistance
Arhat Khang Mon is the younger brother of Arhat Tham Thu
This arhat, named Chu-tra-sailing-waterfall-ca (Kulla Pataka), specializes in the practice in the region of the Tri Truk Mountains. His Buddha name Arhat Khang Mon is because he has a good attitude towards practice, he is always diligent and patient, even though he often makes many mistakes and is clumsy. His statue is depicted holding a stick and a small bell, which were given to him by the Buddha. This bell would ring when the householder wanted to give alms without knocking at the door.
17. Arhat Hang Long
Strong and brave Arhat Hang Long and Arhat Phuk Ho couple image
His real name is Nandimitra (Nandimitra), who was born about 800 years after the Buddha’s death. He is depicted with a strong figure, his feet bravely treading on the dragon. Although he was cremated, this arhat did not leave the land of the lion but remained in the human world to preach and save sentient beings.
18. Arhat Fu Ho
His real name is Dharma-la (righteousness), who practiced in the mountains of Ha Lan. From a young age, he had a predetermined cultivation base, and he enjoyed seeing the 16 Arhats in the temple. Because of his piety and diligence, he has since been educated to become an arhat. His statue is depicted strong, strong and brave, sitting on the back of a tiger, reflecting the power of Buddhism.
Second. Sort out the ten octaves of Arhat
To make an area to decorate the idols of 18 beautiful Arhats, you should divide them into 2 rows, each row having 9 idols:
- On one side are statues of northern arhats, seated on a tree or a rock.
- On one side are statues of southern arhats, often mounted on horses or other animals.
The above is a summary of the most detailed information on the meaning of the 18 Arhat idols Buddhist objects share. Hopefully, through this article, you will have more knowledge as well as find out the right arrangement which not only helps to ward off evil spirits but also brings lots of luck and peace to the owner.
Wish you Amitabh Buddha.