Arhats are saints or sages who have fully realized for themselves  the Buddhist Doctrine. The difference between an Arhat and a Bodhisattva is the  Arhat attains enlightenment by himself, for himself, whereas a Bodhisattva vows  to lead all beings to ultimate liberation. The Buddha was also considered an  Arhat, who was named the Great Arhat in  Buddhist scripture, because he attained  supreme and complete enlightenment, which is superior to that of the Arhat. In some texts the Buddha is described as being  accompanied by 50 Arhats, sometimes by 500 or other multiples of this number  (the figure is taken by some simply to mean a large crowd).  Here at Buddha Gate we have 18 statues to  represent all Arhats.

In  keeping with this month’s theme, ‘Harmony’, we have selected Arhat Vajraputra. The  literal meaning of Vajraputra is Diamond Seed. Vajraputra symbolizes the  invincible power of compassion and wisdom. One of the stories of  Vajraputra is that he instructed Ananda (famous for  his extraordinary memory by which he was able to retain all of the Buddha’s  teachings),  to harmonize the understanding of the Dharma with the  practice toward  Arhatship.