Arahants

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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gavesako
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Re: Arahants

Post by gavesako » Tue May 19, 2009 6:05 pm

No, but some guy made threatening gestures while the monks were walking on the street in London. Ajahn Chah did not seem to react at all...
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Ordinaryperson
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Re: Arahants

Post by Ordinaryperson » Wed May 20, 2009 2:19 am

Manapa wrote:"well Ajahn Chah was punched to the head and knocked over by the force, he said he should send all his monks to london to practice metta after that."
Did that really happen in London? I just hope the person who punched Ajahn would be able to shoulder the negative karma he (assuming a man) generated for himself.

I am sure there are still Arahants around but finding and spotting them might not be easy. Those that hinted to my father in a very long winded ways or at least the way my father found out by himself by observation of things they done, passed away normally within 1 to 2 years after that. Things like a frail old looking monk managed to climb up a mountain waiting and ahead of my father and his friends long before they reach the top. By the way they set out first or at least long before the old monk did. Also, there was an old monk who used to go for early alms round with a large king cobra (10-13 feet long) ahead of him and when the villagers saw the large king cobra they knew the old monk was on the way so everyone waited to give him alms. When the old monk passed away the king cobra was never seen again. According to the locals and according to the old monk who explained to my father the king cobra was actually an "earth bound elf" that would eventually "go" with him. People who visited his temple were very cautious on the temple ground as the king cobra was around. The king cobra was never caged etc as it was just like any cobra roaming freely as it liked.
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gavesako
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Re: Arahants

Post by gavesako » Wed May 20, 2009 7:00 am

Was that not a "Naga" (the king cobra)?
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
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Ordinaryperson
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Re: Arahants

Post by Ordinaryperson » Wed May 20, 2009 6:47 pm

gavesako wrote:Was that not a "Naga" (the king cobra)?
Bhante,

The one in the mountain cave according to my father might be a Naga or at least a giant serpent like creature as in the cave there was strong "serpent aroma/smell", I think the old monk actually mentioned it to my father but not to my father's friends as they might be scared stiff.

The one that went for an alms round with the old monk was definitely a big King cobra not Naga as local villagers could recognised it.

:namaste:
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Aleksandra
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Re: Arahants

Post by Aleksandra » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:37 pm

Dear Bhikkhuni, I can understand why you may want to find an Arahat, but I don't think you will.
Not because I think there aren't any, but because I believe that an Arahat is not likely to declare that they are an Arahat. Not all the Arahats will teach either, the same as all the Buddhas didn't teach. Some Arahats don't want any contact with the world. Most of us can only ponder if someone is an Arahat or not.
My meditation teacher says that he would never tell one of his students that they have achieved the stage of Sotapanna as this would be the end of their practice. I think the similar thing would happen if a student is told that their teacher is an Arahat. He also says: "What use is for us knowing if someone is an Arahat?" meaning that only an Arahat benefits from being the Arahat, but we don't. We are wherever we are with our own development.
Some of the highly skilled teachers will not even teach a particular Dhamma subject if they think the student is not ready to understand it.
However, I think that you should continue to search for a good teacher. There will be more of those who are skilled Dhamma teachers (skilled in teaching the Suttas, giving good Dhamma talks...) and not so many who are also highly skilled meditation teachers, as teaching meditation is much more difficult and requires huge amount of different kind of knowledge and experience. I also believe that the relationship between the teacher and the student is very special and hard to describe. If you have had good and loving relationship with your parents, and if they were the most important people as you were growing up, when you find the right teacher, you may start to feel as if you have found a new set of parents.
May you find the best possible teacher.

lawphotog
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Re: Arahants

Post by lawphotog » Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:52 pm

As far as i know, it is a serious sin to say someone who is not Arahant is Arahant and vasi vasa.
Is there any record of anyone who mahaparinirvana as Arahants in recent year?
Few years back, i have heard the news of a Mahayana monk in china who died as Arahant.
And I know few in my own country but i still want to find out more about other practices that lead to become Arahant.

chownah
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Re: Arahants

Post by chownah » Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:38 am

I don't think of it as a sin....I think of it as ignorance....thinking that someone is an arahant or not is just a view.....if you cling to the idea that someone is an arahant or not then you are just clinging to your own views....there is no way to know if someone is an arahant or not....and indeed it is only when one loses the status of "someone" that arahatahood arises I guess.....not sure though.....
chownah

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AyyaSobhana
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Re: Arahants

Post by AyyaSobhana » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:42 am

A few months ago, Bhante Gunaratana advised us (bhikkhunis) to openly disclose our attainments to our colleagues in monastic life, whether meditation attainments or noble attainments. This was in connection with the last reflection of the Dasadhamma Sutta: "“Have I gained superhuman knowledge which can be specially known to noble ones, so that later when I am questioned by fellow bhikkhus I will not be embarrassed?” If Ven. Phalanyani hears about reputed arahants, she can go and question them about it.

There's no need for our practice to be veiled in mumbo-jumbo.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Arahants

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:35 am

Greetings,
AyyaSobhana wrote:There's no need for our practice to be veiled in mumbo-jumbo.
Well said, ayya!

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)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Aloka
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Re: Arahants

Post by Aloka » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:00 am

As a lay practitioner, I have little interest in who claims/is said to be an arahant.

Other peoples claims or attainments don't help me to be free from dukkha- but my own practice hopefully will.

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reflection
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Re: Arahants

Post by reflection » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:10 pm

According to Ajahn Brahms, only the Buddha can know someone else's attainments for sure. I also think it is very common for people to mistake their own attainments. For these two reasons, I think any claim -be it directly or indirectly- of any attainments should be taken with a grain of salt, always.

Besides, I personally don't think it is very important anyway. One should find a teacher that inspires and reflects the teachings of the Buddha and not worry about any attainments he or she may or may not have. Why? As an unattained person you can't even be sure if such states actually exist and therefore aren't in a good position to judge the attainments of others. And ones with attainments are self-reliant according to the suttas, so they don't need an attained teacher per se. :P In both cases, it's best to worry about your own progress, as Aloka also states.

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reflection
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Re: Arahants

Post by reflection » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:17 pm

AyyaSobhana wrote:A few months ago, Bhante Gunaratana advised us (bhikkhunis) to openly disclose our attainments to our colleagues in monastic life, whether meditation attainments or noble attainments. This was in connection with the last reflection of the Dasadhamma Sutta: "“Have I gained superhuman knowledge which can be specially known to noble ones, so that later when I am questioned by fellow bhikkhus I will not be embarrassed?” If Ven. Phalanyani hears about reputed arahants, she can go and question them about it.

There's no need for our practice to be veiled in mumbo-jumbo.
“Have I gained super-human knowledge which can be specially known
to noble ones, so that later when I am questioned by fellow bhikkhus I
will not be embarrassed?” should be reflected upon always by one who
has gone forth.

I understand the other reflections in the sutta, but I don't understand this part, can you (or someone else) explain? What exactly should the monk/nun reflect on?
"So that later.. I will not be embarrassed".. why should they be embarrasment?

Also, I don't see how this promotes openly disclosure.

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manas
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Re: Arahants

Post by manas » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:24 pm

Respectfully, I wonder if it is ok to ask that we don't use terms such as 'attainment' when talking about the paths and fruits. Unless the Buddha talked about it in this way, but I do not recall it. I find that the word 'attain' has connotations of acquisition in it, whereas I thought that we are about letting go of things here. I guess it's a personal preference on my part, so feel free to ignore this request! But does anyone else think that the term 'attainment' is misleading?

with metta
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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reflection
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Re: Arahants

Post by reflection » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:35 pm

manasikara wrote:Respectfully, I wonder if it is ok to ask that we don't use terms such as 'attainment' when talking about the paths and fruits. Unless the Buddha talked about it in this way, but I do not recall it. I find that the word 'attain' has connotations of acquisition in it, whereas I thought that we are about letting go of things here. I guess it's a personal preference on my part, so feel free to ignore this request! But does anyone else think that the term 'attainment' is misleading?

with metta
I can agree. I remember reading something by Ajahn Sumedho very similar to what you said. However, we are sort of stuck with this term in lack of a better description. Fruits or fruitions has exactly the same tone to it. If you know a better term, please share.

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AyyaSobhana
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Re: Arahants

Post by AyyaSobhana » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:59 am

“Have I gained super-human knowledge which can be specially known
to noble ones, so that later when I am questioned by fellow bhikkhus I
will not be embarrassed?” should be reflected upon always by one who
has gone forth.

I understand the other reflections in the sutta, but I don't understand this part, can you (or someone else) explain? What exactly should the monk/nun reflect on?
"So that later.. I will not be embarrassed".. why should they be embarrasment?
Respectfully, I wonder if it is ok to ask that we don't use terms such as 'attainment' when talking about the paths and fruits. Unless the Buddha talked about it in this way, but I do not recall it.
My computer dictionary translates Attain as “succeed in achieving (something that one desires and has worked for), or “reach (a specified age, size or amount). I like the derivation from Latin attingere, from ad- (at, to) + tangere (to touch).

The most relevant pali word seems to be samaapanna (pp of samaapajjati) which is translated either as “attainment” or “entering on” a state … particularly entering any one of the four jhaanas, or the four formless attainments, or cessation of perception and feeling; or entering the path to Arahantship, and so on.

The passage in Dasadhamma sutta is about this kind of states. When a bhikkhu was approaching death, his colleagues would inquire what states he has **attained** **entered** or **reached** "Manku" is the Pali word translated as “embarrassed.” It also means “confused,” “stupified” or “stunned.” One wants to have enough clarity in practice to know what meditative states and what kind of insight one has reached.

I hope this is friendly and helpful :anjali:

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