George D. Bond

in Buddhism

ISBN: 9780195393521
Published online December 2011 | | DOI:

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The term arhat (Sanskrit) or arahant (Pali) denotes for Buddhism a being who has reached a state of perfection and enlightenment. The term has been thought to derive from pre-Buddhist contexts in India, where it signified a “worthy” being. Theravada Buddhism regards the arhat as a being who has completed the path to enlightenment by transcending the ordinary human state (puthujjana) and completing the stages of liberating wisdom as spelled out in the buddha’s teachings and in the later Visuddhimagga (Path of purification). For Theravada, the arhats represent figures who are worthy both of imitation and veneration because they embody the highest ideals of the tradition. Mahayana Buddhist schools also venerate the arhats but generally assign them a penultimate rather than an ultimate position on the Buddhist spiritual path.

Article.  4824 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism ; Tibetan Buddhism ; Zen Buddhism

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