Five Hundred Arhats

Yutang Lin

Arhats numbered five hundred, each with individual postures
Application of supernatural powers abides by no definite ways
Wherever contacted, one comprehended and became enlightened
In the profound tranquility of Nirvana all kinds of flowers bloom


During my recent trip in Guang Dong and Yun Nan of China we visited several monasteries and encountered there statues of Five Hundred Arhats several times. Some were honored in one or several halls set aside for them, and some were displayed on the two sides of the main shrine hall. Each Arhat displayed his individual posture and characteristics; thus, illustrating clearly that application of supernatural powers abides by no definite ways. As long as one can comprehend the truth thoroughly upon contact with whatever phenomena, then everywhere is the path leading to enlightenment. The tranquility of Nirvana is not like a still water; there is no harm done in lively application and exhibitions of myriads behaviors to teach and convert beings in the worldly realms.

Written in Chinese and translated on August 13, 2008
El Cerrito, California

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