Arahants in Early Buddhism

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

Post by vinasp » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:51 pm

Hi Zom,

Quote;

"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."

You may be referring to SN 48.58 - The Boar's Cave.

If so, then in my opinion this is not a corrupted sutta.

Nor do I think it has much relevance to the debate between some schools
about whether an arahant can regress.

But it may be important in connection with another question.
Did the apotheosis of the Buddha make it necessary to "downgrade" the
arahant, and to conceal what had previously been the highest stage?

Regards, Vincent.

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Zom
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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Post by Zom » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:13 pm

If so, then in my opinion this is not a corrupted sutta.
How you would explain it then, if arahant in all suttas is described as one "who has nothing more to do in this life" ,)

vinasp
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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Post by vinasp » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:00 am

Hi Zom,

Quote:
"How you would explain it then, if arahant in all suttas is described as one "who has nothing more to do in this life"

A careful study of the five Nikaya's reveals many odd things which do not
fit the neat framework of the later orthodox interpretation. Here are some
points to reflect on.

1. Arahant- this is not a precise term and may apply to more than one stage.

2. The term "tathagata" is sometimes used in an odd way.

3. There is ambiguity about the number of asava's, three or four?

4. The five higher fetters are nowhere defined or explained.

5. The noble eightfold path is said to lead to the elimination of many
things, but some things seem to be omitted.

My own guess is that there was a late attempt to edit/modify the teachings.
This effort was abandoned before being completed, leaving a small number
of contradictory passages. [ and some odd discourses such as MN 117 ]
These changes relate only to the order in which things are to be eliminated,
and would have made a final path, beyond the noble eightfold path.

These are merely technical matters, there is nothing of any importance in
these changes. The final goal has always been the same, regardless of the
name or label used to designate it, or the number of stages required to
reach it.

Regards, Vincent.

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Zom
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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Post by Zom » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:29 am

So, as far as I understood, you don't think that arahant is someone who has attained enlightenment? 8-)
1. Arahant- this is not a precise term and may apply to more than one stage.

2. The term "tathagata" is sometimes used in an odd way.

3. There is ambiguity about the number of asava's, three or four?

4. The five higher fetters are nowhere defined or explained.

5. The noble eightfold path is said to lead to the elimination of many
things, but some things seem to be omitted.
I don't see nothing odd in all of this - even if taken without orthodox commentaries. Everything is explained quite all right (of course, if we make a careful study of the five Nikaya's -)

vinasp
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Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Post by vinasp » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:35 am

Hi Zom,

Quote:
"So, as far as I understood, you don't think that arahant is someone who has attained enlightenment?"

Full enlightenment is a tathagata - who is also called arahant.

Regards, Vincent.

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