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Arahants in Early Buddhism - Dhamma Wheel

Arahants in Early Buddhism

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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mikenz66
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Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:12 am


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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:56 am


vinasp
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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby vinasp » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:05 pm

Hi everyone,

Two things which might be relevant to this question:

1. The wrong path in its tenfold variant, ends with "wrong liberation",
does anyone know what this is?

2. There are passages where the Buddha says that not every person who
declares gnosis (anna), is genuine, some "over-estimate themselves".

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby Virgo » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:47 pm



Virgo
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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby Virgo » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:52 pm



Virgo
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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby Virgo » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:16 pm

Who has a copy of the Kathavatthu? This subject is treated well in that. Did the bhikkhu research that for opposing ideas? I don't think so.

Kevin


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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby vinasp » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:45 pm

Hi everyone,

From MN 105 - Sunakkhatta Sutta - ATI version:

"Sunakkhatta the Licchavin heard that "A large number of monks, it seems, have declared final gnosis in the Blessed One's presence: 'We discern that "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world."'" Then Sunakkhatta the Licchavin went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "I have heard, lord, that a large number of monks have declared final gnosis in the Blessed One's presence: 'We discern that "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world."' Now, have they rightly declared final gnosis, or is it the case that some of them have declared final gnosis out of over-estimation?"

"Sunakkhatta, of the monks who have declared final gnosis in my presence... it is the case that some have rightly declared final gnosis, whereas others have declared final gnosis out of over-estimation. As for those who have rightly declared final gnosis, that is their truth. As for those who have declared final gnosis out of over-estimation, the thought occurs to the Tathagata, 'I will teach them the Dhamma.' Yet there are cases when the thought has occurred to the Tathagata, 'I will teach them the Dhamma,' but there are worthless men who come to him having formulated question after question, so that his thought, 'I will teach them the Dhamma,' changes into something else."

So some monks that declare final knowledge are actually deluded, they believe
what they are saying, but it is not really true.

This amounts to a claim to be an arahant, but was such a claim ever confirmed
officially? Was such a claim ever denied officially?

Perhaps these individuals were left to realise their mistake by themselves.

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby Zom » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:19 pm

In pali SN there is a corrupted sutta, where it is said, that Arahant has to develop 5 indriyas. I guess, this was the reason why this debate appeared over time.

:reading: :spy:

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby vinasp » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:52 pm

Hi everyone,

Seven persons are described in MN 70.14 to MN 70.21, two of these seem
to be arahants:

1. The one liberated-in-both ways - "... his asavas are destroyed by his
seeing with wisdom."

2. The one liberated-by-wisdom - "... his asavas are destroyed by his
seeing with wisdom."

So there may be two kinds of arahants in the Theravada teachings.

But, some of the other Schools speak of six or nine types of arahants,
of which, some are "permanently" liberated, and some are not.

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby vinasp » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:53 pm

Hi everyone,

From: The Literature of the Personalists of Early Buddhism by
Bhikshu Thich Thien Chau, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi 1999.

The secondary theses of the Pudgalavadins - number 13 -The Arhat is
susceptible to regression. [ page 205 ]

"It is clearly affirmed that the Pudgalavadins maintained the thesis:
the Arhat is susceptible to regression; as the Tds, 21a 15, deals with
the three faculties of the Arhat: the sharp, the middling and the weak.
Each faculty consists of three categories. He-who-regresses belongs to
that of the weak faculty; he who regresses falls either into inferior
states, (but) not from (comprehension of) the Noble Truths, or to the
stage of cultivation (cf. Tds, 21a 25-26). Regression does not mean
falling into the worldly state of living beings (cf. Ssu, 6c 14) n756

The causes of regression are sickness, business, quarrels, arbitrations,
long journeys (cf. Tds, 21a 28, and Ssu, 6c 15-16). A. Bareau affirmed
that the Vatsiputriyas 'maintain that the mind of the Arhat is pure and
endowed with omniscience, but recognise that he can regress and remain
subject to the mechanism of the fruition of actions' n757
This affirmation conforms to what was said by Buddhaghosa in the
Kathavatthu n758.
Although the Buddha did not say that the Arhat is susceptible to
regression, he stated the dangers to which the Arhat is exposed:

"Monks, even for a monk who is an Arahant whose impurities are destroyed,
I say that gains, honours and renown are dangers." n759 [SN II 239]

Equally, in AN III 173, the Buddha spoke of five causes of regression
for an occasionally delivered (samayavimukta) monk who, according to
the Abhidharmakosa, is an Arhat (n760) or one of two categories of
him-who-is-doubly-delivered (n761), or, according to Tds, one of the
nine categories of Arhat, he-who-has-attained-complete-deliverance n762.

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby vinasp » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:49 pm

Hi everyone,

The reference to AN III 173, is The Book of Fives # 149

The PTS English translation by E. M. Hare reads, (page 131), as follows:

"Monks, these five things lead to the falling away of a monk who is
occasionally released (1). What five?
Delight in (body) work, in gossip, in sleep, in company and he does
not look at the mind apart (2) as released.
Verily, monks, these are the five ..."
( But the opposite five do not lead to a falling away.) (3)

Notes:
1. Samaya-vimutta, ...... Were it not that the idea of 'temporary
release' recurs at Sn. 54, one might judge it to be a late
development. It occurs seldom. See K.S. i, 150 n. The sutta is
quoted at Pts. of Contr. 70.

2. Paccavekkhati, to view something over against (pati).

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby vinasp » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:18 pm

Hi everyone,

The reference to Sn 54, appears to be a verse from Sn 1.3 The Rhinoceros-horn:

54. It is an impossibility for one who delights in company to obtain (even)
temporary release. Having heard the voice of the sun's kinsman, one
should wander solitary as a rhinoceros horn.

[ The Rhinoceros Horn (Sutta Nipata), K.R. Norman, PTS London. page 8 ]

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby Virgo » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:23 pm

Hi Vinasp,

Temporary release, in both instances refers to the temporary release of jhana.

Kevin


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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:27 pm

Greetings,

So many of the similes and explicit teachings in the suttas point towards the inevitability of complete destruction of all fetters once the stream has been entered. Talk of going backwards is totally inconsistent with that, and is suggestive to me of agendas to diminish the status of the arahant - either to promote something higher (like a bodhisattva path), or to pull it down to one's own level (like Daniel Ingram) in order to enjoy the prestige of "being an arahant". As Kevin observed, the Kathavatthu would be a relevant source in information in this regard.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:29 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:38 pm

Hi Friends,
If you can slide back from enlightenment there would be little point in striving for it, as you would only be reborn again anyway, may as well just aim for an easier target like the Deva realms or the formless realms, they last long enough to make samsara bearable.

but I understand that the early schools were consistent in that Enlightenment isn't something you can rejoin samsara from, you are either enlightened or not.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.


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