Arahants in Early Buddhism

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

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:54 am

As Kevin says:
Virgo wrote: Have you guys read the Sutta?
In the context it seem extremely unlikely that "the knife" is talking about wisdom.

:anjali:
Mike

vinasp
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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Post by vinasp » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:26 am

Hi Kevin,

You ask: "Have you guys read the Sutta?"

yes, I have, it looks like a fairy tale to me.

regards, Vincent.

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Post by vinasp » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:17 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 ]

NOTES.

Part of note 756:

The Sarvastivadins had the same opinion as the Pudgalavadins on the
regression of the Arhat. Kosa VI, 56, admits that among the six kinds
of Arhat able to exist in the three worlds (dhatu), the first five
(except he who is immovable - akopyadharman, since he is not susceptible
to falling, cf. Kosa VI, 57) are all susceptible to regression: four
(except he-who-regresses - parihanadharman) fall from the family (gotra),
five fall from the fruit (cf. Kosa VI, 58). Nonetheless, they do not fall
from the first family or the first fruit (cf. ibid.)

The Theravadins always considered that to admit the regression of the
Arhat is a false view (cf. Kathavatthu, pp.69, 398, Points of Controversy,
pp.34, 228). In Pug. pp.5, 11, 12, 14, the term parihanadhamma is applied
only to practitioners who acquire the absorptions (jhana) of the world of
form (rupadhatu) and the attainments (samapatti) of the formless world
(arupadhatu), but not in relation to the Path (magga). Furthermore, the
words sekkhassa parihani in AN III, 116, only designate the regression of
those who have not yet obtained the Arhat fruit. The Petakopadesa II, p32,
counts he-who-regresses (parihanadhamma) [one of the texts in Burmese
characters contains aparihanadhammo instead of parihanadhammo] or he
who-attains-both-aims-simultaneously ( the destruction of impurities and
and the end of life (samisisi)) as one of the nine categories of Arhat
(cf. Pug. p.13, Nettipakarana, p.190) ..............

The schools which accepted regression of the Arhat: Pudgalavadins,
Sarvastivadins, Purvassailas, a section of the Mahasamghikas.

The schools which rejected the regression of the Arhat: Theravadins,
Sautrantikas, Mahasamghikas, Mahisasakas, Vihajyavadins.

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:52 pm

Thanks for the detailed quote, Vincent.

Ven Huifeng mentioned this list here: http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.ph ... 831#p86721" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; but not so many details. He does mention that the Mahāsāṃghikas had stream enterers falling back...

As I said at the start of this topic, it is interesting that what is a very fundamental Theravada doctrine was the subject of disagreement among early schools. Not that it makes any practical difference to me at this point....

:anjali:
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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Post by vinasp » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:34 pm

Hi everyone,

The reference to AN III, 116 seems to be AN Book of Fives # 89
- The monk in training. Here is the PTS English text by E.M. Hare:

"Monks, these five conditions lead to the decline of a monk in
training. What five?
Delight in business, delight in gossip, delight in sleeping,
delight in company, and he does not reflect on the mind as
freed. Monks, these are the five conditions ...
[ The five opposite conditions do not lead to the decline of
a monk in training.] [ Gradual Sayings III, page 91 ]

The term "trainee" or "learner" (sekha) is defined as anyone who
"possesses the Noble Eightfold Path."

The traditional interpretation is that the term includes the first
seven, of the eight noble persons, but excludes the Arahant (asekha).

There are two ways of looking at this:

1. All monks are on the noble eightfold path, and therefore, all monks
are noble disciples and sekha's. In which case, some are certainly
capable of regression, and some are not.

2. Only those monks who are noble disciples are really on the noble
eightfold path, and are therefore, sekha's. They are not capable
of regression. But, there is a complication here, which is that
the puthujjana monks almost certainly think that they are also
on the noble eightfold path, so they think that they are noble
disciples and sekha's. At which point things get very confusing.
These puthujjana monks are capable of regression.

As the Sabbasava Sutta makes clear, the three principle asava's are
eliminated by seeing (dassana). That which is eliminated by seeing
is permanently eliminated.

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Post by vinasp » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:00 pm

Hi everyone,

From: Designation of Human Types, (Puggala-Pannatti), English translation
by B.C. Law, PTS Oxford 1997.

Chapter 1. [ the first two paragraphs.]

1. What sort of person is one emancipated at times?

Here a person goes on experiencing the eight stages of emancipation
from time to time, and he having seen them through insight, some of
his asava's are completely destroyed. Such a person is said to be
emancipated at times.

2. What sort of person is one emancipated not (only) at times?

Here a person goes on experiencing the eight stages of emancipation
though not from time to time, and having seen them through insight,
his asava's are completely destroyed. Such a person is said to be
emancipated not (only) at times. Indeed, all persons who are Ariyas
(noble or elect) are so emancipated in matters of the higher
emancipation.

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Post by vinasp » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:32 am

Hi everyone,

Some passages which might be relevant to this topic:

1. "Just as, Nandiya, a monk who is definitely released (asamaya-vimutto)
observes in the self no more to do, observes no need for repeating
what is done, even so ..." [ PTS, Gradual Sayings, V, page 215.]

[ AN Book of Elevens # 14 - Nandiya.]

The phrase "No more to do" suggests that asamaya-vimutto here means the
completely liberated one.

2. "Bhikkhus, just as a pot that has been turned upside down gives up
its water and does not take it back, so a bhikkhu who develops and
cultivates the Noble Eightfold Path gives up evil unwholesome states
and does not take them back."

[ part of SN 45.153 - The Pot, Bhikkhu Bodhi, Connected Discourses,
page 1555.]

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Post by vinasp » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:56 pm

Hi everyone,

Could it be that some passages in the Nikaya's were misinterpreted?

"Good, good Anuruddha. But is there any other superhuman state, a
distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones, a
comfortable abiding, which you have attained by surmounting that
abiding, by making that abiding subside?"

"Why not, venerable sir? Here, venerable sir, whenever we want, by
completely surmounting the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception,
we enter upon and abide in the cessation of perception and feeling.
And our taints are destroyed by our seeing with wisdom. .......
And, venerable sir, we do not see any other comfortable abiding higher
or more sublime than this one."

"Good, good Anuruddha. There is no other comfortable abiding higher
or more sublime than this one."

[ Bhikkhu Bodhi, Middle Length Discourses, page 304, MN 31.18 ]

Elsewhere, for example MN 8.11 the Buddha explains:

" He might think thus: 'I am abiding in effacement.' But these attainments
are not called 'effacement' in the Noble One's Discipline: these are
called 'peaceful abidings' in the Noble One's Discipline."

But the Noble Eightfold Path does lead to effacement.

Who thinks that Anuruddha is an Arahant?

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Post by Cittasanto » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:34 am

Virgo wrote: Have you guys read the Sutta?

Kevin
what sort of question is that?
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

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.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Post by Cittasanto » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:36 am

vinasp wrote: Who thinks that Anuruddha is an Arahant?

Regards, Vincent.
it would depend when you are talking about, and which one?
And thus Ven. Anuruddha became another one of the arahants. Then, on attaining arahantship, he uttered this verse:
there apears to be two, one the brother of Ven. Ananda who this verse is about, and another. have a look at the proper names, I do not see any MN texts pointing to them on Access to insights list to say.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

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.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Post by Cittasanto » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:49 am

hi Vincent,
Just checked here and it would appear to be the same one so yes, he was enlightened, but it would still depend upon when you were referring to, and as I am not aware of any accurate chronology of the texts I wouldn't be able to give an accurate response in regard to those texts.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

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.
John Stuart Mill

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mikenz66
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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:38 pm

Only one listed here:
http://www.aimwell.org/DPPN/anuruddha.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.aimwell.org/DPPN/anuruddha_s_samy.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Post by vinasp » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:02 am

Hi Cittasanto,

Sorry! I should have phrased the question better. I meant:

Who thinks that Anuruddha is an Arahant, from the quoted passage?

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Post by vinasp » Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:10 am

Hi everyone,

There is an ambiguity in the Nikaya's about the status of the four jhanas,
the four formless attainments, and the ninth state called cessation.

Today, we are all told that these attainments are not, themselves,
enlightenment. This is said in every introduction to the Theravada
teachings. But it is not so clear in the Nikaya's, and it is possible
that many monks, at the time, thought that they were the way to
enlightenment.

The wrong eightfold path, which puthujjana monks are on, includes
wrong concentration. This may refer to the practise of the jhanas.

This practise is wrong if the monk thinks that the temporary liberation
attained is the final goal of the teachings. When he attains the highest
state - the cessation of perception and feeling - he thinks that he has
become an Arahant. Some monks then declare final knowledge.

This shows a misunderstanding of enlightenment, which is not a temporary
state, but one which is always present. This "permanent" liberation is
attained by the destruction of the three principle asava's by seeing.
As is described by the Buddha, for example, in MN 4.31-32.

If a puthujjana monk declares final knowledge, claiming to be an Arahant,
this is neither confirmed nor denied. He thinks that he is an Arahant, so
do all the other puthujjana monks who know him. These monks are never called
Arahants in the Discourses.

These other schools probably do not have suttas which call these monks
Arahants either. It is just their interpretation of the teachings, as
recorded in their commentaries.

Is it a misinterpretation, or is it just making explicit something which
is only implicit in the Nikaya's?

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Post by vinasp » Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:18 pm

Hi everyone,

It seems to me, to be only a short step, from allowing many bhikkhus to
think that they are arahants, to classifying them as an inferior grade
of arahant. A type of arahant whose liberation is only temporary, and
who is capable of regression. Thus making "official" what was previously
only tacit.

Regards, Vincent.

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