Chinese Myths – 18 Arhats

You might know “The Twelve Disciples of Jesus“.

Gautama Buddha also had 18 disciples, called 18 Arhats(“Luohans” in Chinese).

Let’s talk about two of 18 Arhats who are well-known in Taiwan. (See more Arhat)
One of the most famous Arhats in Taiwan is the Taming Dragon Arhat.

There is an interesting legend about the Taming Dragon Arhat.
The Chinese believe that he was reincarnated as another living Buddha, known as “Ji Gong“. He had supernatural powers, which he used to help the poor and stand up to injustice.
(See more Ji Gong)

However, he was also known for his wild and eccentric behaviour, and for violating Buddhist monastic rules by consuming alcohol and meat. Such an image makes him closer to the general people. The myth about Ji Gong has been made into many movies and TV series in Asia. Ji Gong is a very popular god in Asia.

The other well-known Arhat is “Bodhidharma”.

Before 1,500 years ago, …

the Bodhidharma came to the Shaolin Monastery in China from the southern India to carry forward Dharma.

The legend said that he taught monks Kung Fu in the Shaolin Monastery to help them develop and maintain both their bodies and minds to be strong and healthy. Until now, the Shaolin kung fu is very famous all over the world. (See more Bodhidharma & Shaolin Monastery)

Leave a Reply