Rakshasa wrote:It is common for Buddhists to often talk about Arhats in a disparaging tone while comparing them with the Bodhisattvas, almost like the Arhats are not only lower compared to the Bodhisattvas, they are in fact lower to average Buddhist lay disciples (humans) also. This is not a good thinking in all schools of Buddhism.
Arhats are superior to all the Devas, including the Brahmas, so they do deserve their own respect and veneration. In comparison to Bodhisattvas, Arhats are superior to even Bodhisattvas of the 8th Bhumi (will need to confirm this though).
In the end, Arhats attain Nirvana.
From Guatam Buddha's mouth in lotus sutra......
Arhats who do not accept bhoddisattva path are REJECTIONS. He expressed disappointment with those Arhats.
Guatam Buddha tried to teach laymen for 40 years to reach the fruitation of Arhantship, so that they become capable of becoming bhoddisattvas. Only 1200 from 5000 arhats accepted Bhoddisatva path.
He clearly said that an Arhat is a very important stage and extremely necessary for further path of Bhoddisattva.