Does becoming enlightened change a personality entirely?

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form
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Does becoming enlightened change a personality entirely?

Post by form » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:05 am

I am not sure if I see this correctly. It seems to me like those students of the Buddha that were previously from other sects retained much of their previous characteristics after they became an arhat. Those that are ascetic remains so, even their character is very much the same.

dharmacorps
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Re: Does becoming enlightened change a personality entirely?

Post by dharmacorps » Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:34 pm

Ajahn Jayasaro has often talked about how quiet, reserved people become quiet, reserved arahants. And charismatic, magnetic people, become charismatic, magnetic arahants. He has said for example that Ajahn Chah's brother told him that he has always had something about him that made people want to watch him, even since childhood.

In other words, you don't "become" something else. What we describe as personality qualities probably aren't what we think. They also aren't permanent.

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Volo
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Re: Does becoming enlightened change a personality entirely?

Post by Volo » Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:56 pm

There is a story about Pilindavaccha (already arahant at that time) who addressed other monks as outcastes (vasala)
Ud 3.6 wrote:I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rājagaha at the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' refuge. Now at on that occasion Ven. Pilindavaccha went around addressing the monks as if they were outcastes.

So a large number of monks went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, bowed down to him and sat to one side. As they were sitting there they said to him, "Lord, Ven. Pilindavaccha goes around addressing the monks as if they were outcastes."

Then the Blessed One told a certain monk, "Come, monk. In my name, call Pilindavaccha, saying, 'The Teacher calls you, friend Vaccha.'"

Responding, "As you say, lord," to the Blessed One, the monk went to Ven. Pilindavaccha and on arrival said to him, "The Teacher calls you, friend Vaccha."

Responding, "As you say, my friend," to the monk, Ven. Pilindavaccha went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, "Is it true, Pilindavaccha, that you go around addressing the monks as if they were outcastes?"

"Yes, lord."

Then the Blessed One, having directed attention to Ven. Pilindavaccha's previous lives, said to the monks, "Don't take offense at the monk Vaccha. It's not out of inner hatred that he goes around addressing the monks as if they were outcastes. For 500 consecutive lifetimes the monk Vaccha has been born in brahman families. For a long time he has been accustomed to addressing people as outcastes. That's why he goes around addressing the monks as if they were outcastes."

Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:

In whom there's no deceit
or conceit,
his greed ended,
unpossessive, free from longing,
his anger dispelled,
his mind unbound:[1]
He's a contemplative.
He is a brahman
: a monk.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Does becoming enlightened change a personality entirely?

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:02 pm

form wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:05 am
I am not sure if I see this correctly. It seems to me like those students of the Buddha that were previously from other sects retained much of their previous characteristics after they became an arhat. Those that are ascetic remains so, even their character is very much the same.
I like this bit from Michael Carrithers :
The hallmark of the daily schedule, as of insight, is the principle of
psychological pragmatism, of practicality. In giving oneself up to strict
observance of the daily round, one effectively gives up both remorse and anxiety
... [T]he monk’s way of life is more than merely a means to an end: it is very
nearly the end in itself. And indeed one never gets the idea from the canon and
commentaries that a monk who attains release might then hang up his robes and
do something else: the goal is wholly within the ambit of the monk’s life
(The Forest monks of Sri Lanka, p. 280-281)

binocular
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Re: Does becoming enlightened change a personality entirely?

Post by binocular » Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:33 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:02 pm
I like this bit from Michael Carrithers :
The hallmark of the daily schedule, as of insight, is the principle of
psychological pragmatism, of practicality. In giving oneself up to strict
observance of the daily round, one effectively gives up both remorse and anxiety
... [T]he monk’s way of life is more than merely a means to an end: it is very
nearly the end in itself. And indeed one never gets the idea from the canon and
commentaries that a monk who attains release might then hang up his robes and
do something else: the goal is wholly within the ambit of the monk’s life
(The Forest monks of Sri Lanka, p. 280-281)
It seems that it is only in the narratives of popular (pseudo) Zen stories and of secular Western Buddhism that people become enlightened but then go on with their lives as if nothing happened, business as usual, continuing with their usual worldly occupations, their families etc.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Kim OHara
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Re: Does becoming enlightened change a personality entirely?

Post by Kim OHara » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:16 am

binocular wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:33 am
... It seems that it is only in the narratives of popular (pseudo) Zen stories and of secular Western Buddhism that people become enlightened but then go on with their lives as if nothing happened, business as usual, continuing with their usual worldly occupations, their families etc.
Yes. And you see lots of stories in the Zen literature in which students get a "flash" of enlightenment but soon lose it, and have to work to hold it longer and establish it as a permanent change.

:namaste:
Kim

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Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta
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Re: Does becoming enlightened change a personality entirely?

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:04 pm

Does becoming enlightened change a personality entirely?


Yes.
  • For Sammāsambuddha.


No idea.
  • For Paccekabuddhas.


No.
  • For Arahants.
    • Scents of old habbits linger on, they say.


Image
🅢🅐🅑🅑🅔 🅓🅗🅐🅜🅜🅐 🅐🅝🅐🅣🅣🅐
  • "the one thing all the mistaken views have in common is the assump­tion that the self exists" ~ DN1
  • "It is an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" ~ MN22
  • The No-self doctrine is found only in the teaching of the Buddha.
  • No-self (anatta) means that there is no permanent, unchanging entity in anything animate or inanimate. ~ SN22.59

2600htz
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Re: Does becoming enlightened change a personality entirely?

Post by 2600htz » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:23 pm

Hello:

Arahants maintain some personality features, old habitual tendencies that are harmless (not based on greed,hatred or delusion) but they can be uncalled. Like forgetting someones name, or thinking something is in a way its really not.

Thats one of the differences between arahants and a Buddha, a Buddha is "perfect in conduct", he even doesn´t have those harmless bad habits, he always does the right thing.

Regards.

dharmacorps
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Re: Does becoming enlightened change a personality entirely?

Post by dharmacorps » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:29 pm

There is a Burmese saying about Arahants "the bottle is empty, but there is still a smell".

Caodemarte
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Re: Does becoming enlightened change a personality entirely?

Post by Caodemarte » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:25 am

No, because then there would have to have been something to change.

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cappuccino
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Re: Does becoming enlightened change a personality entirely?

Post by cappuccino » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:34 am

everyone is very similar (more than we realize)

form
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Re: Does becoming enlightened change a personality entirely?

Post by form » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:12 am

cappuccino wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:34 am
everyone is very similar (more than we realize)
Human nature in Chinese philosophy.

I have never seen this discussed in Theravada.

thomaslaw
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Re: Does becoming enlightened change a personality entirely?

Post by thomaslaw » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:52 am

According to the Dhatu Samyutta of SN/SA (such as SN14.15 = SA 447), the highly respected monks (such as Sariputta, Moggallana, Kassapa, Ananda etc.) have personal characteristic/nature (dhatu). The term dhatu is applied to teachings concerned with how beings of various ethical or moral characteristics "flow together and meet together". See Choong Mun-keat, "Chapter 5. The Realms of Nature" (pp. 130-149), in The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism on ethical or moral dhatu, pp. 139, 142.

budo
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Re: Does becoming enlightened change a personality entirely?

Post by budo » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:45 am

thomaslaw wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:52 am
According to the Dhatu Samyutta of SN/SA (such as SN14.15 = SA 447), the highly respected monks (such as Sariputta, Moggallana, Kassapa, Ananda etc.) have personal characteristic/nature (dhatu). The term dhatu is applied to teachings concerned with how beings of various ethical or moral characteristics "flow together and meet together". See Choong Mun-keat, "Chapter 5. The Realms of Nature" (pp. 130-149), in The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism on ethical or moral dhatu, pp. 139, 142.
Excellent post.

:goodpost:

budo
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Re: Does becoming enlightened change a personality entirely?

Post by budo » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:52 am

On the diversity of faculties:
"Udayin, there are these four types of people to be found existing in the world. Which four? There is the case where a certain person is practicing for the abandoning & relinquishing of acquisitions. As he is practicing for the abandoning & relinquishing of acquisitions, memories & resolves associated with acquisitions assail him. He acquiesces to them. He does not abandon them, dispel them, demolish them, or wipe them out of existence. I tell you, Udayin, that this sort of person is fettered, not unfettered. Why is that? Because I have known the diversity of faculties with regard to this type of person.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
“Mendicants, there are these five faculties. What five? The faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom. These are the five faculties.

Someone who has completed and fulfilled these five faculties is a perfected one. If they are weaker than that, they’re a non-returner … a once-returner … a stream-enterer … a follower of the teachings … a follower by faith.

So from a diversity of faculties there’s a diversity of fruits. And from a diversity of fruits there’s a diversity of persons.
https://suttacentral.net/sn48.13/en/sujato

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