Yun Yang Song


Lohans 7-12

Elephant-Riding Lohan (Kalika)
Riding an elephant with a dignified air, chanting aloud the sutras. With a heart for humanity, Eyes scanning the four corners of the universe.

Kali in Sanskrit means elephant and kalika, an elephant rider, or a follower of kali. The elephant, for its immense strength and power, endurance and perseverance, symbolizes the Buddhist might. Kalika the lohan was an elephant trainer-turned-Buddhist monk who had earned sufficient merits to attain enlightenment. In memory of his former profession, he is often portrayed with an elephant.

Laughing Lion Lohan (Vajraputra)
Playful and free of inhibitions, the lion cub leaps with joy. Easily alternating tension with relaxation, rejoicing with all living things.

Vajra putra literally means “Man of cats.” He was a lion hunter before he was converted to Buddhism. After he had attained enlightenment, a little lion came playfully to his side. The animal seemed to be grateful to him for giving up the life of killing lions, thus sparing its parents and brothers. Since then, Vajraputra and the little lion have become inseparable. The lion, with its earth-shaking roar, symbolises the invincible might of Buddhism.

Open Heart Lohan (Gobaka)
Open the heart and there is Buddha, Each displaying his prowess. The two should not compete, for Buddha’s power is boundless.

Gobaka was the prince of a minor kingdom in India. When he was made crown prince, his younger brother started a rebellion. But Gobaka assured his brother that he wanted to refuse the kingdom and become a monk because he only had Buddha in his heart. As proof, he exposed his chest and there indeed was a Buddha in his heart. The younger brother then believed him and stopped the rebellion. Gobaka literally means “Man of heart”, weak physically but strong in spirit.

Raised Hand Lohan (Pantha the Elder)
Easy and comfortable, yawning and stretching. In a state of omniscience, contented with his own lot.

According to legend, Pantha the Elder was the prince of a small Indian kingdom called Kintota. When he became a monk, he liked to meditate in the half lotus style. Upon waking up, he would raise his hands and let out a deep breath, hence the name Raised Hand. He was the elder brother of the Doorman Lohan. The two brother were both born while the mother was travelling, and were given a Sanskrit name which means “born on the road.”

Thinking Lohan (Rahula)
Pondering and meditating, understanding it all. Above this world and free from conventions, compassion conveyed up to the Ninth Heaven.

Rahula is the Indian name of a constellation. In ancient India, it was believed that eclipses were caused by a star coming between the earth and the moon or the sun; blocking out the light. This lohan was born during a lunar eclipse and was given the name Rahula, the constellation that caused this phenomenon. Rahula was one of the Buddha’s 10 favourite disciples, and was well-known for his meditative power. It is believed that he could become omnipotent and omniscient during meditation. When deep in thought, he was ruminating wisdom and action.

Scratched Ear Lohan (Nagasena)
Leisurely and contented, happy and knowledgeable. Full of wit and humour, exuberant with interest

His Sanskrit name is Nagasena, which means an army of dragons and symbolises strong supernatural power. Nagasena was an eloquent speaker and debater. He was famous all over India for his preaching on the “hear no evil” maxim. The sense of hearing is one of the six sources through which mankind became aware of the world. Therefore a practitioner of Buddhism should avoid listening to decadent sounds and in particular other people’s secrets. Thus he is often portrayed as scratching his ear, a gesture symbolising the purification of the sense of hearing in the search for peace and quiet.

About the 18 Lohans | Lohans 1-6 | Lohans 7-12 | Lohans 13-18