Sanskrit: Arhat
Hindi: Arhant
Pali: Arahant
Chinese: Luóhàn
Japanese: Rakan


In Buddhism and Jainism, an "Arhat" is a human being who has fully achieved nirvana, thus breaking the cycle of samsara and ensuring that they will never again be reborn in a next life, but who has not yet died in this life and thus will still remain in this world of illusion for a short while longer. "Arhat" literally means "worthy one" in Sanskrit.

An Arhat differs somewhat from a Bodhisattva, who has the ability to achieve enlightenment, but is so filled with compassion that they choose to postpone their own enlightenment to help others reach enlightenment.

Particularly in the Mahayana Buddhism in China, Korea, and Japan, the Arhats were said to have all sorts of strange and wonderful superpowers due to the fact that conventional reality no longer applied to them. 500 particularly famous Arhats, each with their own name and legends, became a particularly popular subject for painters and sculptors, and there are numerous paintings or sculpture gardens of "The 500 Arhats."

In these artworks, the Arhats are distinguished from ordinary human beings by their craggy, otherworldly facial features and their everpresent halos. When they are not just sitting around meditating, these Arhats are usually depicted using their various superpowers to battle evil demons.