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(P. arahant; T. dgra bcom pa; C. aluohan/yinggong; J. arakan/ögu; K. arahan/ünggong PījBiSI/JøSffi). In Sanskrit, “worthy one”; one who has destroyed the afflictions (kleśa) and all causes for future rebirth and who thus will enter nirväna at death; the Standard Tibetan translation dgra bcom pa (drachompa) (“foe-destroyer”) is based on the paronomastic gloss ari (“enemy”) and han (“to destroy”). The arhat is the highest of the four grades of Buddhist saint or “noble person” (Aryapudgala) recognized in the mainstream Buddhist schools; the others are, in ascending order, the SROTAApanna or “stream- enterer” (the first and lowest grade), the sakrdAgämin or “once- returner” (the second grade), and the a n ä g ä m i n or “nonreturner” (the third and penultimate grade). The arhat is one who has completely put aside all ten fetters (samyojana) that bind one to the cycle of rebirth: namely, (1) belief in the existence of a perduring seif (satkàyadrsti); (2) skeptical doubt (about the efficacy of the path) (vicikitsA); (3) belief in the efficacy of rites and rituals (śIlavrataparàm arśa) ; (4) sensual craving (kämaräga); (3) malice (vyäpäda); (6) craving for exis tence as a divinity ( d e v a ) in the realm o f subtle materiality (rüparäga); (7) craving for existence as a divinity in the imma terial realm (Arüpyaräga); (8) pride (mAna); (9) restlessness (auddhatya); and (10) ignorance (avidyä). Also described as one who has achieved the extinction of the contaminants (Asravaksaya), the arhat is one who has attained nirväna in this life, and at death attains final liberation (parinirvàna) and will never again be subject to rebirth. Although the arhat is regarded as the ideal spiritual type in the mainstream Buddhist traditions, where the Buddha is also described as an arhat, in the MahAyäna the attainment of an arhat pales before the far- superior achievements of a buddha. Although arhats also achieve enlightenment ( b o d h i ) , the Mahâyäna tradition pre- sumes that they have overcome only the first of the two kinds of obstructions, the afflictive obstructions (kleśAvarana), but are still subject to the noetic obstructions (jńeyàvarana); only the buddhas have completely overcome both and thus realize
complete, perfect enlightenment (anuttarasamyaksambodhi). Certain arhats were selected by the Buddha to remain in the world until the coming of M aitreya. These arhats (called LUOHAN in Chinese, a transcription of arhat), who typically numbered sixteen (see sodaśasthavira), were objects of specific devotion in East Asian Buddhism, and East Asian monasteries will often contain a separate shrine to these luohans. Although in the Mahāyāna sūtras, the bodhisattva is extolled over the arhats, arhats figure prominendy in these texts, very often as members of the assembly for the Buddha’s discourse and sometimes as key figures. For example, in the SaddharmapundarIkasütra (“Lotus Sütra”), Śàriputra is one of the Buddha’s chief interlocutors and, with other arhats, receives a prophecy of his future buddha hood; in the V ajracchedikàprajñApAramitAsūtra, S ubhüti is the Buddha’s chief interlocutor; and in the VimalakIrtinirdeśa, Säriputra is made to play the fool in a conversation with a goddess.
See page ###: FIRST FEW MEANINGFUL SENTENCES...