Thai Saddha in Arahants and Relics

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Thai Saddha in Arahants and Relics

Postby SeerObserver » Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:59 am

Arahant monks, upon death, are either preserved/mummified or cremated. I haven't heard of any to be buried, although I would like to hear about any relevant accounts of that as well if there are some to discuss.

There are bodies of monks who have passed away on display in Thailand that have not decomposed. Many are said to be miraculously not decomposing, but is that the case with all of them or are some of them are acutally processed for preservation? Is it that an arahant has transcended certain natural phenomenon?

Then there is the matter of what remains after cremation. Oftentimes there are pellets and some other solid matter left behind which are then kept as relics. What exactly are these pellets, and how is what remains after the cremation of an arahant different from anyone else? When a non-arahant is cremated, is this matter not left behind? Is it only ashes and dust that remain? It has also been said that some bodies would not burn until certain conditions were met and things of that nature.

There is also a belief and practice regarding conjuring up relics. There are accounts of people praying for and receiving relics. Are these of the Buddha, Arahants, or whom? Also, what are they, bones?

Background information would be appreciated as well. Generally, what are the beliefs and practices behind relics? Specific examples, well-known or otherwise, would also be appreciated.
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Re: Thai Saddha in Arahants and Relics

Postby gavesako » Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:05 am

Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo of Wat Asokaram asked not to be cremated but instead for his body to be kept in a box.
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Re: Thai Saddha in Arahants and Relics

Postby SeerObserver » Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:57 am

gavesako wrote:Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo of Wat Asokaram asked not to be cremated but instead for his body to be kept in a box.

Namasakarn.

And what has since become of his body? Was it encased in glass and on display?

I also recently saw a thread somewhere about an arahant who had the head markings (one of the 32 signs), but don't recall the rest of the story. Also, I do not understand how this would not have been seen before. The story was that his hair covered these markings, but then you have to consider that monks shave their heads regularly.

I'm interested in any other accounts people care to mention along with any other background information to accompany, but I'm still wanting to know about what remains after cremation. What are the pellets, exactly...and are this matter not left behind when average joe citizen is cremated?
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Re: Thai Saddha in Arahants and Relics

Postby SeerObserver » Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:31 pm

Sarira.

The article really provides a good background for the understanding of this saddha, beliefs, and practices.

It would be interesting to know what the pellets are actually composed of.
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Re: Thai Saddha in Arahants and Relics

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:44 pm

they look like glass or plastic, i have a little stupa with some from thailand..
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Thai Saddha in Arahants and Relics

Postby Jechbi » Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:38 pm

Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Thai Saddha in Arahants and Relics

Postby nathan » Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:27 am

SeerObserver wrote:The story was that his hair covered these markings, but then you have to consider that monks shave their heads regularly.
First I heard of this story but I will point out that hair grows after death so unless it is shaved off it will continue to cover whatever surfaces still bear functional hair follicles. The nails also typically continue to grow. This often continues for a long time and hair and nails can become quite long. This may or may not occur with any consistency in these kinds of cases, I don't know maybe some others here do.

I have known quite a few funeral directors as personal friends and have been around quite a few corpses. It is usually possible to note the differences between a corpse from a life lived in self-restraint and self discipline from a corpse of one given over to passions. You can't lie through your autopsy or to your funeral directors. : ) Even if exact causes are unknown a lot can be determined in a summary way given sufficient evidence. I've never really looked into this stuff and probably always considered all of this a kind of morbid fascination when it is taken anywhere beyond a passing interest when the subject comes up sometimes. There is all kinds of neato toys in this world besides anyones bones to play with if that's what we want to do. No offense intended, but I find it a little humorous - the thought of anyone ever wearing a chunk of me around for good luck, that's a laugh.
:rofl:

On a side note I always thought an Arahat could be the ultimate detective, maybe 'Inspector Arahat' or something. Again, no offense, disrespect or passing of judgments intended. Just making observations, mostly of my thoughts on this.
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Re: Thai Saddha in Arahants and Relics

Postby SeerObserver » Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:05 pm

nathan wrote:
SeerObserver wrote:The story was that his hair covered these markings, but then you have to consider that monks shave their heads regularly.
First I heard of this story but I will point out that hair grows after death so unless it is shaved off it will continue to cover whatever surfaces still bear functional hair follicles. The nails also typically continue to grow. This often continues for a long time and hair and nails can become quite long. This may or may not occur with any consistency in these kinds of cases, I don't know maybe some others here do.

Right. I'm not sure exactly when the markings were said to have appeared. If this information is to be applicable to this story, then it would mean that the markings were covered up by hair but then seen after death. So someone would have shaved a corpse. There are a few threads on arahants and their relics and/or bodies on display over on E-Sangha, but I wasn't able to find this particular account when I looked over there again just now.
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Re: Thai Saddha in Arahants and Relics

Postby bazzaman » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:59 am

.
Last edited by bazzaman on Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thai Saddha in Arahants and Relics

Postby salmon » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:09 am

SeerObserver wrote:
nathan wrote:
SeerObserver wrote:The story was that his hair covered these markings, but then you have to consider that monks shave their heads regularly.
First I heard of this story but I will point out that hair grows after death so unless it is shaved off it will continue to cover whatever surfaces still bear functional hair follicles. The nails also typically continue to grow. This often continues for a long time and hair and nails can become quite long. This may or may not occur with any consistency in these kinds of cases, I don't know maybe some others here do.

Right. I'm not sure exactly when the markings were said to have appeared. If this information is to be applicable to this story, then it would mean that the markings were covered up by hair but then seen after death. So someone would have shaved a corpse. There are a few threads on arahants and their relics and/or bodies on display over on E-Sangha, but I wasn't able to find this particular account when I looked over there again just now.


Are you looking for THIS THREAD?
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Re: Thai Saddha in Arahants and Relics

Postby SeerObserver » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:22 am

salmon wrote:Are you looking for THIS THREAD?

That is the very thread I was referring to. Thanks, salmon. Looking it over again right now.
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Re: Thai Saddha in Arahants and Relics

Postby SeerObserver » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:35 am

From a link in the thread salmon found...
Soon after the temple people discovered that Kruba Woon had curls all over his scalp, just like a Buddha head (see above)! This was one of the 80 auspicious characteristics of a Great Man. People had not noticed these curls on his head while Kruba was alive, as they were concealed by his hair. But as the hair dropped off after he passed away, they suddenly realized the great Parami of this master, both spiritually and physically. This miraculous discovery not only serves to inspire faith in all devotees, but also tells us that the 32 marks and 80 characteristics are actual phenomena. As one accumulates more and more merit through Dhamma practice, the mind becomes refined and physical changes in the body inevitably follow. Kruba Woon's undecaying body is a living testament to this truth. Let us pay homage to him, sadhu.

Whew...nobody shaved the head of a corpse. But my original contention remains that these markings should have been discovered before death. Monks shave their heads regularly. Is anyone more familiar with this particular account?
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Re: Thai Saddha in Arahants and Relics

Postby nathan » Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:46 am

bazzaman wrote:I did a seach on "nails and hairs growing after death". All indications are that this is a myth (not the Jungian kind).
Some examples:...

http://www.hbo.com/autopsy/baden/qa_1.html

http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/ ... elieve.htm

http://www.ask.com/bar?q=does+hair%2C+n ... rgrow.html
Science, myth, science, myth. I wish science would make up it's mind. Thanks bazzaman.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Thai Saddha in Arahants and Relics

Postby clw_uk » Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:26 pm

I did read somewhere that the hair and nails appear to grow but this is because the skin starts to shrink due to loss of moisture, hence the nail and hair seem to get longer


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Re: Thai Saddha in Arahants and Relics

Postby nathan » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:39 pm

I don't think that the receding of skin at the cuticles could account for some of what I have seen with corpses but it isn't an important point to me one way or the other.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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