29. Character, Disposition, and the Qualities of the Arahats as a Means of Communicating Buddhist Philosophy in the Suttas
- Steven M. Emmanuel
Published Online: 5 FEB 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy
How to Cite
Shaw, S. (2013) Character, Disposition, and the Qualities of the Arahats as a Means of Communicating Buddhist Philosophy in the Suttas, in A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy (ed S. M. Emmanuel), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118324004.ch29
- Published Online: 5 FEB 2013
- Published Print: 25 MAR 2013
Print ISBN: 9780470658772
Online ISBN: 9781118324004
- Buddhist Philosophy;
A popular protective chant in South-East Asia and Sri Lanka salutes eight arahats, companions of Gotama Buddha. The chant says that these arahats “sit” to protect the person who chants to them, with the Buddha at the center. The nature of arahatship is an issue that needs to be addressed. In an early Buddhist Abhidhamma root chant, three kinds of states are described: those of beings not in training, those of beings in training, and those of beings who are neither in nor not in training. Two figures tower over early Buddhism: Sāriputta and Moggallāna, the chief disciples of the Buddha. The presence and description of female arahats is a testament to the Buddha's rejection of caste, gender, or status as an impediment to meditation and the attainment of enlightenment. In the study of Buddhist texts it is inevitably the doctrinal and philosophical expositions that have received the most attention.