A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z




Panthaka (पन्थक, ปันถกะ)

Sanskrit-Thai. Whereas the Sanskrit word paantha (पान्थ) means ‘traveller’, pantha (पन्थक) is a word derived from panthan (पन्ठन्), meaning ‘road’, ‘path’ or ‘way’, and panthaka  is usually translated as ‘produced or born on the way’. It is the name of one of the eighteen arahats, who is the older brother of Chudapanthaka, whom he instructed in the Buddha's teachings and is therefore sometimes called Maha Panthaka (महापन्थक, มหาปันถกะ) meaning the ‘Great Panthaka’, or Pantha the Elder. According to one legend, they were both born whilst their mother was travelling and thus en route, hence the name Pantha. The name may however, also be an allegory suggesting that they are ‘travelling on the path of Buddhism’. Little is known about him and while some ascribe a leadership role in the early Sangha to him, others assume he was a prince of a small Indian kingdom. Panthaka is usually depicted in a seated pose with his hands raised, as if he is stretching himself, indicating the fact that he has the magical property to grow his arms as long as he wants them to be (fig.). Hence, he is also referred to as the Raised Hand Lohan or Stretched Arms Arhat, whilst in Chinese, he is known as the luohan Changshou or Tan Shou (探手), literally or ‘Long Hand’ or ‘Search Hand’ Arahat (fig.). However, in Vietnam, where he is known as Tham Thu La Han (Thám Thủ La Hán), he is often depicted without stretched arms and may sometimes be seated on a mythical lion while holding as decanter (fig.). In Thai, his name is pronounced Panthaga, but he is also known by the name Pataya (ปัตยะ).