Definition of arhat in English:



  • (in Buddhism and Jainism) someone who has attained the goal of the religious life.

    ‘But, differently from other temples where either the 18 arhats who preach Buddhism or the 20 ‘Guardians of Buddhist Law’ stand on two sides of the hall, here, they stand together.’
    • ‘In addition, as a gesture of turning the wheel of Dharma, the Buddhas and arhats always go in a clockwise direction, so it seems sensible and appropriate to incorporate this also.’
    • ‘Buddha said, ‘Indra, all of the great arhats among my disciples cannot decipher the meaning of this.’’
    • ‘In fact, there were many great teachers at the time of the Buddha, thousands of women who attained liberation, who became arhats, and we can point to a number of women Buddhist teachers throughout history.’
    • ‘The Hinayana approach stresses the ideal of the arhat, the enlightened one who has attained nirvana.’
    • ‘A 3.5-metre-long ivory is another treasure blessing the palace, on which is carved a subminiature sutra of 82,000 characters and pictures of 500 arhats.’
    • ‘The statue of Ragora, meanwhile, one of eighteen arhats produced for the Kyoto temple Manpukuji in 1663-64, depicts the figure holding open his abdomen to reveal the face of the Buddha (the Buddha nature) within.’
    • ‘Eighteen arhats stands by the two sides of the statue.’
    • ‘It has electric lights and the tiny figures of the arhats move.’
    • ‘Striving all through the night, Samudra broke through the bonds of earthly attachments and became an arhat, a liberated being.’



/ˈärhət/ /ˈɑrhət/


From Sanskrit, literally ‘meritorious’.