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Angaja (อังคชะ)

Sanskrit-Thai. Name of one of the eighteen arahats, who according to one legend, was a snake-catcher. He is usually depicted as a jolly, obese figure, carrying a large cotton sack on his back, in which he would put the snakes after they were caught. He would remove their venom and then release them into the wild, thus exchanging bad for good, a kindness that allowed him to attain Enlightenment. He may also be portrayed holding a fly whisk (fig.) and an incense bowl. In Chinese, he is known as the luohan Budai (布袋), literally ‘Cloth Sack’ or ‘Cloth Bag’, while in Vietnam he is similarly called Bo Dai (Bố Đại) and may be depicted seated on a horse and holding a calabash (fig.). He is believed to be an incarnation of Maitreya and is in Thai known by the names Ingada (อิงคท) and Ikatoh (อิคะโต). In English, he may be referred to as the Calico Bag Lohan or simply the Arhat with a Sack. Besides this, he is also called Angida and in Thai Angila (อังคิละ), Patoh Haw Siang (ปโต้ฮั่วเสียง) and nicknamed Phra Thong Phluy (พระท้องพลุ้ย), meaning ‘Fat Belly Monk’. He is associated with the Chinese monk Mi Le Fo and Huan Xi Fo (fig.).