The 500 Arhats


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Hello, I'm new here. I'm wondering if anyone can give me any kind of information on the 500 Arhats of Buddhism. I learned from my father that Sun Wu Kong, Zhu Ba Jie and Sand Monk from the "Journey to the West" are 3 Arhats of the 500. This is pretty much all I know so far, and I really want to know who are the other 497 Arhats and learn about their backgrounds (such as how they became Arhats).

I appreciate any information... both minor or major.

Thank you.
As I understand it, the term "Arhat" is a theravadan equivalent of what the mahayana calls "Foe Destroyers."

Either term would mean a human who has eliminated all delusions so that he will never again be reborn into samsara. An Arhat is not quite a Buddha, but after his next death, will be completely liberated.

I think the 500 Arhats formed the council after the Buddha entered pairinirvana, which discussed and decided on the teachings which were to be preserved and eventually become the Buddhist religion. There were other Arhats, Foe Destroyers and Boddhisattvas, but the council was composed of only 500.

Incidentally, the names "Sun Wu Kong" and "Zhu Ba Jie" sound very chinese. If this is so then I do not see how they could have been among the 500 Arhats as at the time of the first council buddhism had not spread as far as China.