Is the idea of multiple "degrees" of Arhat a later development?

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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rightviewftw
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Re: Is the idea of multiple "degrees" of Arhat a later development?

Post by rightviewftw » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:33 am

AN 4.170 PTS: A ii 156
Yuganaddha Sutta: In Tandem
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 1998

On one occasion Ven. Ananda was staying in Kosambi, at Ghosita's monastery. There he addressed the monks, "Friends!"

"Yes, friend," the monks responded.

Ven. Ananda said: "Friends, whoever — monk or nun — declares the attainment of arahantship in my presence, they all do it by means of one or another of four paths. Which four?

"There is the case where a monk has developed insight preceded by tranquillity. As he develops insight preceded by tranquillity, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.

"Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity preceded by insight. As he develops tranquillity preceded by insight, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.

"Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity in tandem with insight. As he develops tranquillity in tandem with insight, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.

"Then there is the case where a monk's mind has its restlessness concerning the Dhamma [Comm: the corruptions of insight] well under control. There comes a time when his mind grows steady inwardly, settles down, and becomes unified & concentrated. In him the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.

"Whoever — monk or nun — declares the attainment of arahantship in my presence, they all do it by means of one or another of these four paths."
posted this one in another thread but seems fitting here too. I think these are probably very important teachings and not fake although i must admit evidence seemed complicated so i did not bother understanding it well but it did seem suggestive at best.

thomaslaw
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Re: Is the idea of multiple "degrees" of Arhat a later development?

Post by thomaslaw » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:56 am

Zom wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:53 am
I believe it was Gombrich who suggested exactly that --- that the Susima Sutta is a forgery.
It is not only about Susima. There are many more.
From what I can tell, the Susima Sutta doesn't actually say that it's possible for Arhats to lack the formless attainments, as the Buddha never validates the monks claim to Arahatship.
Actually he does, but to Susima personally. Sutta says that he doesn't understand how can these be Arahants, and Buddha just explains him why this is possible.
It's almost like two different Suttas on two different topics spliced together.
90% of suttas are on different topics spliced together.
I think the Susima sutta about the wisdom-liberated Arhat fit in well with the core teachings (the so-called Sutra-anga portion) of the Samyutta/Samyukta-Nikaya/Agama. The core teachings are about 'seeing/knowing things as they really are', without the need of the five psychic powers (abhinna) and the arupa ayatana (santa vimokkha).

The four jhanas are part of the noble eightfold part, which is not including the arupa ayatana and the five psychic powers.

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Re: Is the idea of multiple "degrees" of Arhat a later development?

Post by Zom » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:11 pm

The four jhanas are part of the noble eightfold part, which is not including the arupa ayatana and the five psychic powers.
Also one interesting detail - during parinibbana Buddha entered 9th samapatti, and then went back to 4th and passed away on 4th jhana. Why did he do that? I think this was his final lesson. He showed 2 ways of attaining nibbana.

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Re: Is the idea of multiple "degrees" of Arhat a later development?

Post by rightviewftw » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:59 pm

Zom wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:11 pm
The four jhanas are part of the noble eightfold part, which is not including the arupa ayatana and the five psychic powers.
Also one interesting detail - during parinibbana Buddha entered 9th samapatti, and then went back to 4th and passed away on 4th jhana. Why did he do that? I think this was his final lesson. He showed 2 ways of attaining nibbana.
Is because he dont want the consciousness aggregate to enter the Arupa States so he dies in most pleasant(pleasant abiding it is proclaimed by the wise ones, the equanimity of 4th jhana) material state. When life force runs out, All five aggregates cease. That's what i think more or less.
If he was to die in Immaterial Jhana that would be more suffering, more immaterial existence as those states do not depend on a physical body, different "dimension/sphere of existence".
equanimity of 4th jhana
this i mean four factored, not five factored, not absorbtion, without ekkagata factor
Five factored 4th Jhana with ekkagata factor, absorbtion would be with a mind made form object or sign.

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Re: Is the idea of multiple "degrees" of Arhat a later development?

Post by Zom » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:23 pm

Is because he dont want the consciousness aggregate to enter the Arupa States so he dies in most pleasant(pleasant abiding it is proclaimed by the wise ones, the equanimity of 4th jhana) material state. When life force runs out, All five aggregates cease. That's what i think more or less.
If he was to die in Immaterial Jhana that would be more suffering, more immaterial existence as those states do not depend on a physical body, different "dimension/sphere of existence".
No, because it is impossible for Buddha/Arahant to reborn somewhere - be it kama/rupa/arupa lokas.

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Re: Is the idea of multiple "degrees" of Arhat a later development?

Post by rightviewftw » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:27 pm

Zom wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:23 pm
Is because he dont want the consciousness aggregate to enter the Arupa States so he dies in most pleasant(pleasant abiding it is proclaimed by the wise ones, the equanimity of 4th jhana) material state. When life force runs out, All five aggregates cease. That's what i think more or less.
If he was to die in Immaterial Jhana that would be more suffering, more immaterial existence as those states do not depend on a physical body, different "dimension/sphere of existence".
No, because it is impossible for Buddha/Arahant to reborn somewhere - be it kama/rupa/arupa lokas.
it is as you say;
it is impossible for Buddha/Arahant to reborn somewhere - be it kama/rupa/arupa lokas.
because as i said;
he dont want the consciousness aggregate to enter the Arupa States.
If he wanted that, it would be Tanha. There is no grounds for such wanting to arise for an Arahant, He does not have any wanting for Aggregate made existence. Therefore it is impossible per definition for an Arahant to be reborn anywhere, on account of that lack of wanting due to non existence of ignorance about formations.

Therefore it is in line with what i said.

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Re: Is the idea of multiple "degrees" of Arhat a later development?

Post by thomaslaw » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:40 am

Zom wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:11 pm
The four jhanas are part of the noble eightfold part, which is not including the arupa ayatana and the five psychic powers.
Also one interesting detail - during parinibbana Buddha entered 9th samapatti, and then went back to 4th and passed away on 4th jhana. Why did he do that? I think this was his final lesson. He showed 2 ways of attaining nibbana.
However, the Chinese version of the Susima sutta (SN 12.70) is SA 347, which shows the wisdom-liberated arhat is without the need of the four dhyanas/jhanas (not the psychic powers as in SN) and the arupa ayatana (see pp. 201-2 in Choong's The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism).
:thinking:

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Re: Is the idea of multiple "degrees" of Arhat a later development?

Post by rightviewftw » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:45 am

thomaslaw wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:40 am
Zom wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:11 pm
The four jhanas are part of the noble eightfold part, which is not including the arupa ayatana and the five psychic powers.
Also one interesting detail - during parinibbana Buddha entered 9th samapatti, and then went back to 4th and passed away on 4th jhana. Why did he do that? I think this was his final lesson. He showed 2 ways of attaining nibbana.
However, the Chinese version of the Susima sutta (SN 12.70) is SA 347, which shows the wisdom-liberated arhat is without the need of the four dhyanas/jhanas (not the psychic powers as in SN) and the arupa ayatana (see pp. 201-2 in Choong's The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism). :thinking:
I don't think the english translation SN 12.70 from Pali has it either, they only say they do not have the Formless Attainments, powers and that they are liberated by wisdom. Am i missing something? https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

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Re: Is the idea of multiple "degrees" of Arhat a later development?

Post by Zom » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:51 pm

However, the Chinese version of the Susima sutta (SN 12.70) is SA 347, which shows the wisdom-liberated arhat is without the need of the four dhyanas/jhanas
Yes, but it is obviously a corrupted version, because it directly contradicts MN 64 - the best proof that there are no arahants without jhanas.

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Re: Is the idea of multiple "degrees" of Arhat a later development?

Post by cappuccino » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:13 pm

Why worry about jhana? Worry about stream entry.

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Re: Is the idea of multiple "degrees" of Arhat a later development?

Post by thomaslaw » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:02 am

Zom wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:51 pm
However, the Chinese version of the Susima sutta (SN 12.70) is SA 347, which shows the wisdom-liberated arhat is without the need of the four dhyanas/jhanas
Yes, but it is obviously a corrupted version, because it directly contradicts MN 64 - the best proof that there are no arahants without jhanas.
Do you mean (the wisdom-liberated) arahant must attain up to the 'fourth' jhana, or at least one of the four jhanas (in the Pali tradition)?

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Re: Is the idea of multiple "degrees" of Arhat a later development?

Post by Zom » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:15 pm

Do you mean (the wisdom-liberated) arahant must attain up to the 'fourth' jhana, or at least one of the four jhanas (in the Pali tradition)?
If you read MN 64 you might make a conclusion that at least 1st jhana is needed. However, if you read more suttas (and combine all the information together) you'll see that all 4 are needed.

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Re: Is the idea of multiple "degrees" of Arhat a later development?

Post by cappuccino » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:53 pm

Textual evidence that there can be arahats lacking mundane jhana is provided by the Susima Sutta … When the monks in the sutta are asked how they can be arahats without possessing supernormal powers of the immaterial attainments, they reply: "We are liberated by wisdom". The commentary glosses this reply thus: "We are contemplatives, dry-insight meditators, liberated by wisdom alone".

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... el351.html

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Re: Is the idea of multiple "degrees" of Arhat a later development?

Post by aflatun » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:07 pm

Is there a reason the Chinese text is by default considered corrupt when there is a conflict with the Pali? Why is it not the other way around?
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Re: Is the idea of multiple "degrees" of Arhat a later development?

Post by thomaslaw » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:51 am

aflatun wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:07 pm
Is there a reason the Chinese text is by default considered corrupt when there is a conflict with the Pali? Why is it not the other way around?
It is possible that the Chinese text is not corrupt. Choong comments the finding about the two versions (SN 12.70 = SA 347) thus:

"A significant difference between the two versions is that in SN the attainments (samaapattiyo) preceding the states of meditative concentration called calmed emancipations (santaa vimokkhaa) are the five psychic powers (abhi~n~naa), while in SA they are the four dhyaanas. The four dhyaanas (SA) seem in better agreement with the context than do the psychic powers (SN), because "the state of calmed emancipation where materiality is transcended and non-materiality attained" is a more natural consequence of the four dhyaanas than of the psychic powers. Thus, on this point the SA version is the more coherent. " (The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism, p. 202)

Regards,

Thomas

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