Who was the youngest Arahat?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Who was the youngest Arahat?

Postby vanquisher91 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:04 am

I believe Rahula was the youngest to become ordained by The Buddha at age 7, but was he also the youngest to attain enlightenment?
vanquisher91
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:58 am

Re: Who was the youngest Arahat?

Postby cooran » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:46 am

Hello ,

Not sure how old Rahula was when he became enlightened, but I think he may have been older than 7 years:
http://www.palikanon.com/namen/r/raahula.htm

But Seven years seems to be the youngest age for a few of them:

Thag 6.10
When I was seven & newly gone forth, having conquered with my power the great powerful serpent, I was fetching water for my preceptor from the great lake, Anotatta, when the Teacher saw me & said: "Look, Sariputta, at that one, the young boy coming there, carrying a pot of water, well-centered within, his practices — inspiring; his bearing — admirable. He's Anuruddha's novice, mature in his powers, made thoroughbred by a thoroughbred, good by one who is good, tamed by Anuruddha, trained by one whose task is done. He, having reached the highest peace & realized the unshakable, Sumana the novice wants this: 'Don't let anyone know me.'"
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

The other monks all did the same, until at last only a seven-year old novice, who was also an Arahant, remained. The novice said that he was inexperienced, but Potthila insisted so the novice gave him this instruction:
“Venerable sir. There are six openings in a mound, which an iguana makes his home. If you want to catch the iguana, close up the five exits from the mound, and wait for it to come out from the last exit. There are six doors through which sense-objects can enter. If you close five of them, and keep watch at the mind-door, your task will be accomplished.
What the young Arahant advised was for Potthila not to allow impulsion to hang on to any of the five sense-doors, but to shut them all, and note only the mind-door so that impulsion could lead him on to insight. This gave the learned monk a clue to the method of insight practice. When one sees, one must stop at the thought moment of determining and note all phenomena with mindfulness. It is the same as saying, “When you see, you just see it.” Having practised meditation as suggested, Potthila attained Arahantship.
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... clnk&gl=au

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7515
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Who was the youngest Arahat?

Postby chownah » Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:09 pm

Cooran,
I've been trying to find the Theravada source for the stuff about the 7 year old arahant because I find his example interesting and want to verify its source....do you know where it comes from?
chownah
chownah
 
Posts: 2667
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Who was the youngest Arahat?

Postby Stephen K » Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:23 pm

chownah wrote:Cooran,
I've been trying to find the Theravada source for the stuff about the 7 year old arahant because I find his example interesting and want to verify its source....do you know where it comes from?
chownah



Hi chownah, here you are:


Two seven-year-old Arahats were Samanera Sumana and Samanera Pandita (Sukha) (Ref: Dhammapada V. 382 & V.80)

http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/numbers.htm
Stephen K
 
Posts: 779
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:53 pm

Re: Who was the youngest Arahat?

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:33 pm

Sopaka was another one, he was fully ordained at the age of 7 since he was fully enlightened (Theragatha 486).
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8043
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Who was the youngest Arahat?

Postby grasshopper » Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:10 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Sopaka was another one, he was fully ordained at the age of 7 since he was fully enlightened (Theragatha 486).


If these Buddhist concepts such as Nibbana preceeded by the 4 Stages of Enlightenment are really true, I find it abs-bloody-lutely amazing how some kids can penetrate the veil of ignorance and crack the Anatta nut when most adults can not.

I think even Lady Vishaka is said to have become a Stream-enterer by the age of 7 when Buddha visited her hometown. Pretty lofty aye....
grasshopper
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 4:40 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Who was the youngest Arahat?

Postby cooran » Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:50 am

Hello grasshopper,

Samsara has no discernible beginning. ‘Streams of becoming’ (Beings) have been reborn uncountable times through aeon after aeon according to their Kamma. Those who are arahants at the age of seven years in this lifetime, have put in the hard yards in uncountable previous lifetimes. It isn’t as if this is a one-time life experience and somehow, miraculously, a little child has attained Nibbana by chance, a cute smile, or good luck.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7515
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Who was the youngest Arahat?

Postby ajahndoe » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:07 am

Grasshopper: Why should we find it odd that a child can more easily see truth than an adult? They have not been subject to the same extreme amount of "conditioning of ignorance" while they are yet young in years, and their minds are very malleable. The Buddha's teachings are nothing less than an expression of Truth and a method to unbind one from this conditioning which is in large part passed on by society. A child is much more likely to see Truth, but they would need to be guided by one or more adults that can properly raise and teach the child these things.
ajahndoe
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:47 am

Re: Who was the youngest Arahat?

Postby grasshopper » Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:14 am

Cooran and Ajahndoe, I agree, it is just that I find it remarkable that an innocent looking kid can go the distance when I haven't yet :tongue:

I am certainly open to the idea that if rebirth etc etc are true, then the child could be spiritually mature to cut through the crap and hit the bull's eye of Enlightenment...but it is so stunning and amazing 'cos we tend to think or at least I, that kids are kids etc.
grasshopper
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 4:40 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Who was the youngest Arahat?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:44 am

Cunda (#2), possibly the younger brother of the Ven. Sáriputta, was by some accounts a very young arahant, too.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.
Paññāsikhara
 
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am

Re: Who was the youngest Arahat?

Postby JimKai » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:27 pm

cooran wrote:Hello ,

Not sure how old Rahula was when he became enlightened, but I think he may have been older than 7 years:
http://www.palikanon.com/namen/r/raahula.htm

But Seven years seems to be the youngest age for a few of them:

Thag 6.10
When I was seven & newly gone forth, having conquered with my power the great powerful serpent, I was fetching water for my preceptor from the great lake, Anotatta, when the Teacher saw me & said: "Look, Sariputta, at that one, the young boy coming there, carrying a pot of water, well-centered within, his practices — inspiring; his bearing — admirable. He's Anuruddha's novice, mature in his powers, made thoroughbred by a thoroughbred, good by one who is good, tamed by Anuruddha, trained by one whose task is done. He, having reached the highest peace & realized the unshakable, Sumana the novice wants this: 'Don't let anyone know me.'"
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

The other monks all did the same, until at last only a seven-year old novice, who was also an Arahant, remained. The novice said that he was inexperienced, but Potthila insisted so the novice gave him this instruction:
“Venerable sir. There are six openings in a mound, which an iguana makes his home. If you want to catch the iguana, close up the five exits from the mound, and wait for it to come out from the last exit. There are six doors through which sense-objects can enter. If you close five of them, and keep watch at the mind-door, your task will be accomplished.
What the young Arahant advised was for Potthila not to allow impulsion to hang on to any of the five sense-doors, but to shut them all, and note only the mind-door so that impulsion could lead him on to insight. This gave the learned monk a clue to the method of insight practice. When one sees, one must stop at the thought moment of determining and note all phenomena with mindfulness. It is the same as saying, “When you see, you just see it.” Having practised meditation as suggested, Potthila attained Arahantship.
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... clnk&gl=au

with metta
Chris

Thank you for this, very inspiring :anjali:
User avatar
JimKai
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:50 pm
Location: Helsinki, Finland


Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 2 guests