arhat

'Arhat' is the Buddhist Sanskrit term for a Dharma practitioner who has achieved the state of “No More Learning” (meaning Nirvana) in the Theravada or Hinayana or “individual liberation vehicle” Buddhism. Arhat is the fruition of the ultimate fulfillment of the shravaka yana and pratyekabuddha yana.

Arhat is also used as an epithet of the Buddha. One who has completely overcome the enemy of the disturbing emotions and is therefore worthy of praise.

In the Pali texts of the Theravada tradition the standard formula for describing the Arhat is as follows: “Destroyed is rebirth, lived is the celibate life (of a disciple), done is what had to be done, after this present life there is no beyond.” (Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary)

An Arhat is one of the four types of truly enlightened beings according to Buddhism. (see enlightenment). Sanskrit word are known for having many meanings compared to Latin or English. There are three most common interpretations of the word Arhat:

  1. “'One Worthy of Offerings'. According to Buddhist Sutra's, Arhats are “Worthy of Offerings” from humans and Gods. On the causal ground a Bhikshu (Buddhist monk) makes the alms round for his food, and thus as a result, being an Arhat he is considered to be 'Worthy of Offerings'.” (Shurangama Sutra I: 107). “If you make offerings to an Arhat, an enlightened Sage, who has been certified you thereby attain limitless and boundless blessings. There is no way to calculate how many.” (Sutra in Forty-Two Sections 3-4)
  2. 'Slayer of Thieves'. “The thieves referred to are not external thieves, but the thieves within you: the thieves of ignorance, the thieves of afflictions (“klesha” in Sanskrit) and the 'six thieves' - the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. Unknown to you, they rob you. These six thieves steal your 'Unsurpassed True Treasures'.” (Shurangama Sutra I: 108)
  3. 'Unproduced' / 'Unborn'. “They have attained the 'Patience with the Non-Production of Dharmas'. They do not have to undergo birth and death again. Although they have not attained Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi, the 'Unsurpassed Proper and Equal Right Enlightenment' of a Buddha, they will not fall into the three realms.” (Shurangama Sutra I:108)

Alternative Translations of Arhat

  • Foe Destroyer
  • Enemy Slayer - “one who has vanquished the foe”

Quotes

  • “Be careful not to believe in your own mind: your mind cannot be believed. Once you have become an Arhat, then you can believe your own mind.” (Sutra in Forty-Two Sections Verse 57)

See Also

Buddhism


'Arhat' is the Buddhist Sanskrit term for a Dharma practitioner who has achieved the state of “No More Learning” (meaning Nirvana) in the Theravada or Hinayana or “individual liberation vehicle” Buddhism. Arhat is the fruition of the ultimate fulfillment of the shravaka yana and pratyekabuddha yana.

Arhat is also used as an epithet of the Buddha. One who has completely overcome the enemy of the disturbing emotions and is therefore worthy of praise.

In the Pali texts of the Theravada tradition the standard formula for describing the Arhat is as follows: “Destroyed is rebirth, lived is the celibate life (of a disciple), done is what had to be done, after this present life there is no beyond.” (Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary)

An Arhat is one of the four types of truly enlightened beings according to Buddhism. (see enlightenment). Sanskrit word are known for having many meanings compared to Latin or English. There are three most common interpretations of the word Arhat:

  1. “'One Worthy of Offerings'. According to Buddhist Sutra's, Arhats are “Worthy of Offerings” from humans and Gods. On the causal ground a Bhikshu (Buddhist monk) makes the alms round for his food, and thus as a result, being an Arhat he is considered to be 'Worthy of Offerings'.” (Shurangama Sutra I: 107). “If you make offerings to an Arhat, an enlightened Sage, who has been certified you thereby attain limitless and boundless blessings. There is no way to calculate how many.” (Sutra in Forty-Two Sections 3-4)
  2. 'Slayer of Thieves'. “The thieves referred to are not external thieves, but the thieves within you: the thieves of ignorance, the thieves of afflictions (“klesha” in Sanskrit) and the 'six thieves' - the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. Unknown to you, they rob you. These six thieves steal your 'Unsurpassed True Treasures'.” (Shurangama Sutra I: 108)
  3. 'Unproduced' / 'Unborn'. “They have attained the 'Patience with the Non-Production of Dharmas'. They do not have to undergo birth and death again. Although they have not attained Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi, the 'Unsurpassed Proper and Equal Right Enlightenment of a Buddha, they will not fall into the three realms.” (Shurangama Sutra I:108)

Alternative Translations of Arhat

  • Foe Destroyer
  • Enemy Slayer - “one who has vanquished the foe”

Quotes

  • “Be careful not to believe in your own mind: your mind cannot be believed. Once you have become an Arhat, then you can believe your own mind.” (Sutra in Forty-Two Sections Verse 57)

See Also

Buddhism


disciples from the Longchen Nyingtik Field of Merit]] Arhat (Skt.; Tib. དགྲ་བཅོམ་པ་, drachompa; Wyl. dgra bcom pa) — name given to the ultimate result of the shravaka yana and pratyekabuddha yana, which differ in terms of realisation and qualities. Arhat is also used as an epithet of the Buddha. One who has completely overcome the enemy of the disturbing emotions and is therefore worthy of praise.

Subdivisions

There are two kinds of arhat: those with remainder and those without remainder.

How an Arhat teaches

Arhats teach by means of the three pure factors (Tib. དག་པ་གསུམ་, Wyl. dag pa gsum)<ref>

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Alternative Translations

  • foe destroyer (Light of Berotsana)

References

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Key Terms Paths and Stages Basic Yana


Arahant comes from the Pali word arahati meaning ‘worthy’ or ‘noble’ and is a title given to someone who has attained enlightenment as a result of listening to and practising the teachings of a Buddha. Like a Buddha, an arahant has perfected wisdom and compassion and is no longer subject to rebirth. The Buddha describes the arahant as having transcended ‘the round of birth and death, they have destroyed the taints, lived the holy life, done what had to be done, laid down the burden, reached the ultimate goal, destroyed the fetters and become completely free, liberated through final knowledge’ (Majjhima Nikaya 1. 141).

Attaining to the level of full enlightenment is not to be taken lightly or as something easily attainable. It can take several decades of devoted practice and will more likely take several lifetimes to perfect the Paramitas, the Jhanas, and other advanced states. There are however, several other partially enlightened noble levels (see: 10 hindrances).

Buddhism is unique among the major world religions in that followers can attain to the same level as the founder. For example, in Judaism, Abraham and Moses are considered the founders who made the covenant with God and provided the Law (Torah) and there cannot be another one to do so. In Christianity, there can only be one Christ. In Islam, Muhammad is considered the seal or final prophet. Whereas, in Buddhism, anyone can attain enlightenment and reach the same wisdom and title as the Buddha, an enlightened one.

See also

References

Pali terms Introduction to Buddhism

arhat.txt · Last modified: 2022/01/15 15:05 (external edit)

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