What motivates Arahant?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Alex123
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Alex123 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:21 pm

Hello Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:
when I [the Buddha] come to the highway, if I do not see anyone in front or behind, at that time I find it pleasant, at least for the purpose of urinating and excreting. AN Yassa Sutta.
So Buddha had likes and dislikes, right? He could distinguish himself from others so to think that "this is my body, that is someone else's body".
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Polar Bear
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Polar Bear » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:34 pm

Alex123 wrote:Hello Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:
when I [the Buddha] come to the highway, if I do not see anyone in front or behind, at that time I find it pleasant, at least for the purpose of urinating and excreting. AN Yassa Sutta.
So Buddha had likes and dislikes, right? He could distinguish himself from others so to think that "this is my body, that is someone else's body".
It seems so. Certainly the Buddha preferred to be in the forest much more than in a village or city.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

Buckwheat
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Buckwheat » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:55 pm

Alex123 wrote:For example similar phrasing occurs in:
But, Vaccha, the Tathågata, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One, regards the eye thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ He regards the ear … the mind thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ -SN 44.7

"Thus, Susima, any form [alex: and other 4 aggregates] whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every form is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.' SN 12.70
Seeing "these aggregates are not mine" does not make one blind to the aggregates. So, the arahant can perceieve the aggregates, but she also sees that the aggregates are not me, mine, or self. She see's a lump of aggreagates, and acts without clinging. Her motivators are the brahmaviharas, acted upon with wisdom.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Buckwheat » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:58 pm

Alex123 wrote:Hello Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:
when I [the Buddha] come to the highway, if I do not see anyone in front or behind, at that time I find it pleasant, at least for the purpose of urinating and excreting. AN Yassa Sutta.
So Buddha had likes and dislikes, right? He could distinguish himself from others so to think that "this is my body, that is someone else's body".
His likes and dislikes were always in reference to something. For spiritual cultivation, the forest is more conducive than the city. For urinating, privacy is more polite than going in a public place. For alleviating dukkha by expounding the dhamma, survival is more conducive.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Alex123
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Alex123 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:02 pm

Buckwheat wrote: For spiritual cultivation, the forest is more conducive than the city...
In the case of spiritual cultivation, why does the Buddha or Arahant need that?
As I'v written elsewhere it appears that Buddha, being fully Awakened still experienced some positive or mental states.

It could be my problem. I remember reading a story about a laywoman anagami whose son was killed in front of her. If she didn't react at such a tragedy, then I wonder how could Arahant react to a little negative event such as feeling hunger, thirst, heat, cold, etc.

Also, when it says that one has gotten rid of such and such a fetter (ill will, for example), does this means that one cannot experience ill will even for a second, or does this mean that one doesn't experience ill will (vyāpādo) strong enough to be a fetter (samyojana)?
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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daverupa
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by daverupa » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:34 pm

Alex123 wrote:In the case of spiritual cultivation, why does the Buddha or Arahant need that?
There is no need, so the question assumes its answer.

The response is that there is no more need for cultivation, but there are two reasons I've seen recorded: a pleasant abiding here and now, and to set an example for others.

Note that in terms of that pleasant abiding, it is non-sensual pleasure.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Alex123
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Alex123 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:01 am

daverupa wrote:a pleasant abiding here and now,
But if Arahant has got rid of all mental dukkha, why does s/he need to have pleasant abiding for oneself? Why escape normal, day to day activities? Arahants are supposed to seek pleasure, even non-sensual one.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by SarathW » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:14 am

Non- sensual pleasure is completely different to sensual pleasures.
It is something like trying to compare cheese and chalk. :)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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SDC
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by SDC » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:29 am

Perhaps a third post's a charm...

The arahant is not escaping day to day activities, nor do they "need" to have a pleasant abiding. They have risen above the world. The entire experience has become divine. There is not a choice for the experience to be as such, that is what experience is when there is awakening. As I said in an earlier post, they are aware of the conventional, normal perspective and can engage with that type of thinking, but the fundamental understanding is way above and beyond the normal. This is a realm of both pleasant and unpleasant experience. Now although the arahant has transcended this, they are still involved. They are well aware of the reality of this world and how it will play out and the arahant will live it out in the most harmonious way. Otherwise they are in conflict with reality and that does not seem likely for the divine.
"Just like a red, blue, or white lotus — born in the water, grown in the water, rising up above the water — stands unsmeared by the water, in the same way I — born in the world, grown in the world, having overcome the world — live unsmeared by the world. Remember me, brahman, as 'awakened.' -AN 4.36
Here the Buddha recognizes the sublime state that has been achieved, but also acknowledges the connection with the normal state.



Another theory - having perfected the brahmavihāras the arahant has a profound concern for the welfare of all beings. Despite the fact that they have risen above the delusion, they are well aware that there are beings that haven't. That seems like a source of motivation.

Just some questions for all - Are we saying that there is no satisfaction of what has been accomplished? No enjoyment of the experience for the arahant? Because if not then why even practice?

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Alex123
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Alex123 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:00 pm

SDC wrote:Just some questions for all - Are we saying that there is no satisfaction of what has been accomplished? No enjoyment of the experience for the arahant? Because if not then why even practice?
I understand "happiness" of Dhamma to be the cessation of Dukkha. Obviously parinibbana is not some conscious happy state.

I do not understand how a being (if one could call it thus) which has no self-view, etc, at all, experience satisfaction. There is no self to be satisfied. No selfish references. All responses to stimuli has something to do with this, not that, body that one considers to be "mine".

There is a reason why self-view and self-perception evolved... Without it, a human would have difficulty surviving.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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daverupa
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by daverupa » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:28 pm

Alex123 wrote:I do not understand how a being (if one could call it thus) which has no self-view, etc, at all, experience satisfaction. There is no self to be satisfied. No selfish references. All responses to stimuli has something to do with this, not that, body that one considers to be "mine".

There is a reason why self-view and self-perception evolved... Without it, a human would have difficulty surviving.
Perception of a differentiated individuality is different than sakkayaditthi & asmimana. If such a perception is free from craving, not fueling greed-hatred-delusion, then such a one equanimously lets inertia play out ahead of the inevitable breakup of the aggregates.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

Buckwheat
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Buckwheat » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:11 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Alex123 wrote:If I am hungry, then I need to eat, not him. I need to distinguish him from me. So one needs to perceive identity and difference.
Alex, what you need to do is find out what motivates you, not what motivates Arahants.
Per usual, so wise, Ven Pesala. So wise. :anjali:
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Polar Bear
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Polar Bear » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:29 pm

Alex123 wrote:
SDC wrote:Just some questions for all - Are we saying that there is no satisfaction of what has been accomplished? No enjoyment of the experience for the arahant? Because if not then why even practice?
I do not understand how a being (if one could call it thus) which has no self-view, etc, at all, experience satisfaction. There is no self to be satisfied. No selfish references. All responses to stimuli has something to do with this, not that, body that one considers to be "mine".

There is a reason why self-view and self-perception evolved... Without it, a human would have difficulty surviving.
That's the problem Alex, you're approaching this topic as a self and hence you can't understand how a person who's realized that all self views are false, who's gotten rid of the belief, the deeply ingrained inclination towards "I am" can still perform functions without believing that there's some stable agent performing them. Self is something we make up, we make up doctrines about our Selves and narratives and continually reaffirm "I exist." The arahant has stopped doing that but can still perform simple functions such as avoiding walking off a cliff or into a thorn bush. You can keep uselessly philosophizing about this if you want, but it will do you no good and bring you no understanding. Instead, perhaps you should read some suttas on anatta and reflect on their meaning and how they apply to you. If in the end you decide what the Buddha said is a bunch of horse manure then simply move on and become an advaita vedantist or a modern day follower of Epicurus or whatever else you fancy.

:namaste:
Last edited by Polar Bear on Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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SDC
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by SDC » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:01 pm

Alex123 wrote: I do not understand how a being (if one could call it thus) which has no self-view, etc, at all, experience satisfaction. There is no self to be satisfied.
Without going off on too much of a tangent - the arahant will not see "a being experiencing the world. " The only thing that can be talked about for the arahant is the experience itself. An experience that once produced the delusion of a self existing in the world is no longer producing that viewpoint. Experience will continue and that's all that can be considered. Just the experience.

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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Hickersonia » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:47 am

Alex123 wrote:I do not understand how a being (if one could call it thus) which has no self-view, etc, at all, experience satisfaction. There is no self to be satisfied. No selfish references. All responses to stimuli has something to do with this, not that, body that one considers to be "mine".
What you readily admit you do not understand is that on which you have demonstrated an attachment to a particular view -- that an Arahant would have no motivations.

In time, if the attachment to view can be released, the obscuration will also.

Be well, friend.
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