Claims of Enlightenment...

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Cittasanto
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Re: Claims of Enlightenment...

Post by Cittasanto » Fri May 11, 2012 7:44 am

Just though I would add something to this.
Cittasanto wrote:
New members making claims of attainments to complete strangers on a forum looks like trolling, or something else for the poster let go of, at best, and possibly may also look like “grandiose beliefs” which are characteristic of a psychological disorder, at worst.
Any claims, here on this forum, are gauged by the Buddhas Teachings, and not from elsewhere, and just because the correct words from Theravada or Buddhism in General are being used does not mean they are being used in the same way as found in the teachings the Buddha gave. An example of this is Dhammaoverground.
There is nothing to get by making claims, so good questions to ask is “why advertise a good thing?” and, “is this the right time and place? Although, if you do believe you have an attainment, how you do this is just as important as timing and place!.”
Advertisements for products which cost money and benefit the poster are against the terms of service and makes any claim dubious.
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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acinteyyo
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Re: Claims of Enlightenment...

Post by acinteyyo » Fri May 11, 2012 12:36 pm

Cittasanto wrote:Ok I have been thinking about this recently due to the recent bout of claims of attainments, and am wondering why members find such claims inappropriate (or which ever word you prefer)?
Hi cittasanto, all
Cittasanto wrote:Personally speaking, it isn't the claim of an attainment that bothers me (unless it was a monastic) it is other things, a question that often springs to my mind is "why claim attainments to complete strangers on a forum you just joined?" or "what are they trying to prove, or get?"
I think we shouldn't try to imagine or try to find out what is intended "behind" such claims. It seems to me most people react to such claims with immoderate skepticism, maybe because of so many who claimed attainments they obviously hadn't achieved.
Cittasanto wrote:I feel one shows attainments by the way they act via body speech and mind, not by stating them, however that doesn't mean they wouldn't, just it would be at an appropriate time.
I agree that one shows attainments by the way they act via body, speech and mind. And I don't see any problem in stating them, because the actions will verify or dismiss them.
I wonder why so many think they know when it is appropriate to state attainments and when not. I think most of us aren't in a position to know that at all!
As far as my knowledge reaches about attainments on the path, I'm sure that even achieving arahantship is no guaranty that "he/she" is talented methodically or didactically or that "he/she" is always aware of the appropriate time to say this or that to someone.
If I had attained anything, I wouldn't tell anybody. But I wouldn't do it, not because I think it wouldn't be appropriate to state it and should rather be shown via the way of action; but because I'm aware of the fact that stating attainments would directly lead to great refusal and over the top skepticism. On the other hand, if I feel it would be beneficial for someone to know that I achieved any state of what ever, assumed I would have, I would tell him/her.

Summed up, I think this topic should be seen with more emotional and personal distance. I think about the Brahmajala Sutta (DN1). It's not about such claims, but it shows my point well.
. "If, bhikkhus, others speak in dispraise of me, or in dispraise of the Dhamma, or in dispraise of the Sangha, you should not give way to resentment, displeasure, or animosity against them in your heart. For if you were to become angry or upset in such a situation, you would only be creating an obstacle for yourselves. If you were to become angry or upset when others speak in dispraise of us, would you be able to recognize whether their statements are rightly or wrongly spoken?"

"Certainly not, Lord."

"If, bhikkhus, others speak in dispraise of me, or in dispraise of the Dhamma, or in dispraise of the Sangha, you should unravel what is false and point it out as false, saying: 'For such and such a reason this is false, this is untrue, there is no such thing in us, this is not found among us.'

6. "And if, bhikkhus, others speak in praise of me, or in praise of the Dhamma, or in praise of the Sangha, you should not give way to jubilation, joy, and exultation in your heart. For if you were to become jubilant, joyful, and exultant in such a situation, you would only be creating an obstacle for yourselves. If others speak in praise of me, or in praise of the Dhamma, or in praise of the Sangha, you should acknowledge what is fact as fact, saying: 'For such and such a reason this is a fact, this is true, there is such a thing in us, this is found among us.'
best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

Volcommerce
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Re: Claims of Enlightenment...

Post by Volcommerce » Fri May 11, 2012 4:02 pm

Acinteyyo,

Than you for posting these verses from the Brahmajala Sutta and clearing up any misconceptions - I am unfamiliar with them but I knew they would exist to be of this nature.

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piotr
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Re: Claims of Enlightenment...

Post by piotr » Fri May 11, 2012 5:18 pm

Hi,
retrofuturist wrote:The issue of "attainments" is a bit inverted because it infers an "I" who can "attain" something, and an "attainment" would be a result of updana (appropriating).
What do you think of this sutta?
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...

Volcommerce
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Re: Claims of Enlightenment...

Post by Volcommerce » Fri May 11, 2012 9:02 pm

Interesting sutta,

In reflection and consideration of truth regarding any statement regarding the path to enlightenment - it would not be a most venerable expression to use ''I'' in relation to an accurate explanation, however, as the Buddha stated, it is within a worldly nature of speech that one would use, ''I,'' and it would not be consistent in an enlightened mode, that a truthful heartfelt and compassionate method of speech and thought that one would constantly consider and configure how one's mode of speaking and thought is being expressed and perceived at every moment.

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