Temporary Arahantship?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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clw_uk
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Temporary Arahantship?

Post by clw_uk » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:12 pm

This relates to something brought up in another thread. The a Sutta there is a story about a bhikkhu Godhika who kept reaching arahantship and then falling away from it so that on the 7th time that this happened he killed himself.

Isnt arahantship suppost to be permanent though, so how could someone reach it and fall away again six times? Any clarification on this would be greatly appreciated. :smile:
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bodom
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Re: Temporary Arahantship?

Post by bodom » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:19 pm

clw_uk wrote:This relates to something brought up in another thread. The a Sutta there is a story about a bhikkhu Godhika who kept reaching arahantship and then falling away from it so that on the 7th time that this happened he killed himself.

Isnt arahantship suppost to be permanent though, so how could someone reach it and fall away again six times? Any clarification on this would be greatly appreciated. :smile:
It was said that he achieved "temporary liberation of mind", or one or other of the higher superconscious states, but failed to gain final liberation because he was beset by illness.

The Connected Discourses of the Buddha, A Translation of the Sa.myutta Nikaaya, trans. Bikkhu Bodhi, Wisdom Publications, Boston, p. 420, note 309.

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Re: Temporary Arahantship?

Post by kc2dpt » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:22 pm

You are correct that arahantship is taught to be irreversible. I found this translation of the relevant passage:

"Venerable Godhika while abiding diligent to dispel touched the release of mind in concentration. Then venerable Godhika fell away from that release of mind in concentration."

I don't know what "release of mind in concentration" means but I have not seen that phrase as a description of arahantship. Perhaps it refers to one of the jhana states?
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clw_uk
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Re: Temporary Arahantship?

Post by clw_uk » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:24 pm

Thank you both, as i do not believe arahantship is temporary it must mean jhana state or something like it.
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Re: Temporary Arahantship?

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:29 pm

Perhaps there are misleading translations:
http://www.mettanet.org/tipitaka/2Sutta ... a-Samyutta" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
3. Venerable Godhika while abiding diligent to dispel touched the release of mind in concentration. Then venerable Godhika fell away from that release of mind in concentration.
...
I presume that "release of mind in concentration" is Jhana, a temporary release from the hindrances, not complete liberation. Similarly to the contemplation of mind states in the Satipatthana Sutta:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nysa.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
III. The Contemplation of Consciousness
...
Herein, monks, a monk knows ... the freed state of consciousness, as the freed state;[19] and the unfreed state of consciousness as the unfreed state.
...
[19.] Temporarily freed from the defilements either through the methodical practice of insight (vipassana) freeing from single evil states by force of their opposites, or through the meditative absorptions (jhana).
See also: http://members.tripod.com/~suttanta/khu ... ha043.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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clw_uk
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Re: Temporary Arahantship?

Post by clw_uk » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:48 pm

Thanks mikenz66, that last link was very helpful :namaste:

There is something else i have found in relation to arahants.

[quote=] There is a ‘fully enlightened being’ called an ‘arahant’, who is perfect - NOT

There is no such thing as an arahant who is completely different from ordinary people because he/she is perfect. The question of whether someone can be perfect is fruitless and unhelpful. Every person can move in the enlightenment direction, and away from the endarkenment direction. (It is probably better not to speak of ‘arahants’.)[/quote]

http://www.wanderings.net/notebook/Main ... idNOTTeach" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Arent arahants suppost to be perfect however?
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Re: Temporary Arahantship?

Post by jcsuperstar » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:43 pm

that site doesnt seem very authoritve... :|
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Re: Temporary Arahantship?

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:43 pm

Greetings Craig,

Arahants are perfect to the extent that they can no longer have mindstates that are based in greed, aversion or delusion. To think they can move in the "endarkenment direction" is therefore simply incorrect.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Temporary Arahantship?

Post by robertk » Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:36 am

Godhika attained arahatship after he cut his throat in the short time before death. He was not even a sotapanna at the time of using the knife according to the Theravada texts.

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Re: Temporary Arahantship?

Post by Heavenstorm » Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:49 am

clw_uk wrote:Thank you both, as i do not believe arahantship is temporary it must mean jhana state or something like it.
According to Kathavatthu, Points of Controversy, arahantship must be permanent,

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