During my trip to Thailand in October/November 2019, I visited a temple museum near Pattaya called Vihara Sien (also known as Wihan Sien). It’s a Thai-Chinese temple that has been converted to a museum. Personally I think it’s still a temple. The energies in that place are very strong. Among colorful paintings and other artworks, Tao Masters share their space with Buddhist and Hindu deities. Among the many temples and shrines I have visited so far in Thailand, this easily ranks among the Top 3 (plus you can visit Buddha Mountain just around the corner).
Among the items I was impressed by the most is a series of sculptures called “18 Arhats”. Arhat, or Arahant in Pali, is a term in Buddhism for a certain type of Enlightened Person. The Wikipedia article on the term summarizes it quite well, but another way to understand what it means is looking at the statues along with their brief explanations. I wish to share my pictures of the 18 Arhats with you, so that you can draw inspiration from them for your practice.
For now, here’s an assorted collection of the images along with their placquettes. I am planning to create individual blog posts with some more background and a more refined presentation.