Dharmapala Thangka CentreSchool of Thangka Painting

9.4 Arhat

Japanese Style

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The Sanskrit word "arhat" may be derived from the verb "arh" to be worthy; or it may derive from the combination of "ari" plus "han", meaning "one who has conquered ones´s enemy". In either case, the Arhats are the saints of Buddhism. They are followers of the Buddha who have attained freedom from ignorance and suffering. In early monastic, or Individual Veheicle, Buddhism they appear quite similar to Buddha himself. Arhats were his major Apostels [Shravakas] and served as patriarchs [Sthaviras] of the Buddhist orfder [Sangha] over the centuries after the paranirvana.

In India and Tibet they were celebrated in literature as immortal, ideal exemplars of liberation, though the corresponding visual art traditions are not still highly regarded, though as ideal types they are eclipsed by the messianic Bodhisattvas, who seek not only their own freedom from suffering but also strive to save the whole world.

The most famous Arhats are probably considered as moving beyond the state of personal freedom to join the Bodhisattva enterprise in their own way, Thus emerges the tradition of a number of "immortal" Arhats, sixteen in India eighteen in Tibet. They use the magical powers to remain alive indefinitely, in order to preserve the Buddha´s Teaching even in times of social disintegration and religious corruption.

Source: "Wisdom and compassion – The sacred art of Tibet from Marylin M. Rhie and Robert A. F. Thurman in association with Harry N. Abrahams, Inc., Publisher", Page 102.

Measurements: 17.3 x 36.2 " | 44 x 92 cm
Price: on request
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany or Nepal
Farbe: Color Version
Material: Natural Stone Colors