What motivates Arahant?

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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby mogg » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:31 am

I heard that an Arahant will die within 7 days (?) unless he/she joins the sangha (I don't have the reference sorry). There is no reason to go on living except to teach the dhamma. This is why there are no lay Arahants described in the suttas (if they are a lay anagami and attain arahantship, they will join the sangha).
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:52 am

mogg wrote:I heard that an Arahant will die within 7 days (?) unless he/she joins the sangha (I don't have the reference sorry).

I also could not find any reference, other than in the Milindapañha:

The Lay Arahant

This 7 day limit is something inferred, rather than stated AFAIK. There are several cases of lay people becoming Arahants and then immediately ordaining. Those who had to go in search of an almsbowl and robes often seemed to have been gored to death by a cow. There are also cases like those of Ghātikāra or Mahānāma who were Non-returners, but not Arahants. These cases support the unstated idea of the lay life being unable to support the condition of Arahantship for a long time. What would be the motivation for an Arahant to continue living the household life? If he or she is unattached to anything, why not ordain?

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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Alex123 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:37 am

Dear Bhante,

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: What would be the motivation for an Arahant to continue living the household life? If he or she is unattached to anything, why not ordain?


What if, lets say, a woman becomes an Arhant and cannot ordain due to being married or held by her parents (against her will)? What if someone isn't allowed to be ordained, yet becomes an Arahant? What if one can't get to nearest monastery for ordination within 7 days? I think that there are plenty of possibilities possible.

Thanks,

With best wishes,
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby binocular » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:02 am

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.


:goodpost:
Absolutely!
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby binocular » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:14 am

Alex123 wrote:If Arahant has no self view, no perception of self, no greed, anger or delusion, then why does Arahant eat or do anything? :?: Arahant has no craving to prolong or protect the existence of his body. When Arahant walks somewhere, why does s/he avoid walking off the cliff? Arahant isn't supposed to have fear or concern for his own body, and no self perception either. It seems that certain amount of perception of self is required to respond to situation and to avoid starving to death, walking into a wall rather than door, getting ran over by a car, eaten by tiger, etc. If person had absolutely no perception of self, clinging, aversion or delusion, then what would motivate him to move or change anything?


Here, things get a bit delicate, but one thing can be pointed out: the aggregates are not all there is. If they would be, then the kind of nihilism that you're pointing at would ensue. But to the best of my knowledge, the suttas never state that the aggregates are all there is. Although there is probably some dispute on this among Buddhist schools.


Alex123 wrote:The issue is that in the absence of identifying with one's body: "This is I, me, mine" why would one prefer to do with it one thing or another? One isn't supposed to feel that "my body needs this or that". Likes and dislikes motivate one to do this or that. For example if one feels cold and one doesn't like it, then one will be motivated to put on more clothing to feel warm. Without like/dislike, nothing would move one to do anything.


You are projecting.

What to you or to someone else may look like an action based on preference, or on greed or on concern over oneself, to another person, it may not.


Alex123 wrote:If Arahant has no self view, no perception of self, no greed, anger or delusion, then why does Arahant eat or do anything?

But they do not cling to their body, so why eat? They don't cling to existence, and they don't cling to helping (to whatever extent that is possible) others either. Without clinging to the body (in order to...), one would die and be unable to help others.

As I understand it, certain perception of self is required to respond to stimuli such as hunger, heat, cold, danger, etc. One protects oneself and one responds accordingly because one knows that "I am in danger or discomfort therefor I, not someone else, need to do something". IMHO.


The simplest explanation would be that they do not eat or appear to protect their bodies for the same reasons that run-of-the-mill people do. Which is why run-of-the-mill people can't easily understand them or relate to them.


For comparison, here's an example from a different religion, from a branch of Hindusim: according to them, an advanced devotee of God does everything for the sake of pleasing God. He eats, he sleeps, he goes to work, he has a family etc. etc. but he does all this for the sake of pleasing God, not for the sake of pleasing himself. So externally, such a devotee may pretty much appear like everyone else, but as far as his intentions go, be completely different than other people who are not devotees.


The question "What motivates an arahant?" may not even apply.
It may be a kind of question like "Why do potatoes not fly?"
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Alex123 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:42 am

binocular wrote:What to you or to someone else may look like an action based on preference, or on greed or on concern over oneself, to another person, it may not.


All actions are based on preference. One has to prefer one course of action versus another. A holy person can prefer to help others rather than oneself. In order to help others, one needs to perceive others. Of course in order to help others, one needs to make sure that one is alive and well enough to do that. In order to help others, one needs to be healthy enough and to do that one needs to perceive oneself and one's own body needs (food, water, shelter, clothing, etc).

It seems that most, if not all actions are response to some circumstances, to some problems, to some imperfection. For example, if one is cold, that circumstance
makes one put on more cloth to keep one's body warm so it doesn't get sick, or freeze to death. In order to help others, one needs to care for the body enough to do that.

Of course I could be wrong. These are some ideas that I have open to correction.
Last edited by Alex123 on Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby binocular » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:51 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:The Lay Arahant

This 7 day limit is something inferred, rather than stated AFAIK. There are several cases of lay people becoming Arahants and then immediately ordaining. Those who had to go in search of an almsbowl and robes often seemed to have been gored to death by a cow. There are also cases like those of Ghātikāra or Mahānāma who were Non-returners, but not Arahants. These cases support the unstated idea of the lay life being unable to support the condition of Arahantship for a long time. What would be the motivation for an Arahant to continue living the household life? If he or she is unattached to anything, why not ordain?


A casual observation shows that not everything is possible. For example, everything else remaining the same, rocks don't fall up when let go out of one's hand.

If an arahant has exhausted his or her kamma, then the things that usually befall people, don't befall an arahant anymore.
So I'm thinking there are scenarios that are experienced by run-of-the-mill people, but which are not experienced by people who are more advanced.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Alex123 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:56 am

binocular wrote:If an arahant has exhausted his or her kamma, then the things that usually befall people, don't befall an arahant anymore.


What happened to Arhat Angulimala, MahaMoggallana? What about Buddha's back trouble? Orthodox teaching is that those were bad results of kamma did before.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby binocular » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:02 pm

Alex123 wrote:All actions are based on preference. One has to prefer one course of action versus another.


Options (and thus an opportunity to act on preferences) exist only in a mind that is not unified.

Secondly, to act on a preference requires a position. One could argue that since a position is something that a Tathagata has done away with, him acting on preferences does not apply.


Alex123 wrote:
binocular wrote:If an arahant has exhausted his or her kamma, then the things that usually befall people, don't befall an arahant anymore.


What happened to Arhat Angulimala, MahaMoggallana? What about Buddha's back trouble? Orthodox teaching is that those were bad results of kamma did before.


Sure, but this is also where past kamma ended.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Alex123 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:19 pm

binocular wrote:
Alex123 wrote:All actions are based on preference. One has to prefer one course of action versus another.


Options (and thus an opportunity to act on preferences) exist only in a mind that is not unified.


Without any other options, one is like a billiard ball being hit and fallowing momentum.

binocular wrote:Secondly, to act on a preference requires a position.


It requires one to know the possible courses of actions, and choosing one, ex: "to help others".

binocular wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
binocular wrote:If an arahant has exhausted his or her kamma, then the things that usually befall people, don't befall an arahant anymore.


What happened to Arhat Angulimala, MahaMoggallana? What about Buddha's back trouble? Orthodox teaching is that those were bad results of kamma did before.


Sure, but this is also where past kamma ended.


It ended at Parinibbana.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby binocular » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:28 pm

Alex123 wrote:Without any other options, one is like a billiard ball being hit and fallowing momentum.


Like I said earlier, this is where it gets delicate - as we enter the zone of true-nature arguments. One could argue that once the defilements are done away with, what is left is one's true nature and then one acts according to one's true nature. This isn't robotic; it is in another category altogether.


binocular wrote:Secondly, to act on a preference requires a position.


It requires one to know the possible courses of actions, and choosing one, ex: "to help others".


That is just one example of an analysis of the situation, and an analysis that may not apply in the case of an arahant.


It ended at Parinibbana.


After becoming enlightened, they didn't make any new kamma; the results of old kamma may last a while, though.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby mogg » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:08 am

binocular wrote:Here, things get a bit delicate, but one thing can be pointed out: the aggregates are not all there is. If they would be, then the kind of nihilism that you're pointing at would ensue. But to the best of my knowledge, the suttas never state that the aggregates are all there is. Although there is probably some dispute on this among Buddhist schools.

This is incorrect (to the best of my knowledge). MN 109 (with comments from Ven. Nyantiloka):

And what, in brief, are the Five Groups of Existence? They are
corporeality, feeling, perception, (mental) formations, and
consciousness.
All corporeal phenomena, whether past, present or future,
one’s own or external, gross or subtle, lofty or low, far or near,
all belong to the Group of Corporeality; all feelings belong to
the Group of Feeling; all perceptions belong to the Group of
Perception; all mental formations belong to the Group of Formations;
all consciousness belongs to the Group of
Consciousness.

These Groups are a fivefold classification in which the Buddha
has summed up all the physical and mental phenomena of existence,
and in particular, those which appear to the ignorant man
as his ego or personality. Hence birth, decay, death, etc. are also
included in these five Groups which actually comprise the whole
world.


In terms of 'existence' there is nothing outside of the 5 khandas. Nibbana is 'non-existence'.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby ground » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:13 am

binocular wrote:Here, things get a bit delicate, but one thing can be pointed out: the aggregates are not all there is. If they would be, ...

Right, there are the aggregates and in addition there is the intellect *irony* :sage:
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby SarathW » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:16 am

“But in the case of a monk who has attained the cessation of perception & feeling, his bodily fabrications have ceased & subsided, his verbal fabrications ... his mental fabrications have ceased & subsided, his vitality is not exhausted, his heat has not subsided, & his faculties are exceptionally clear”.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Motivation is a mental fabrication and do not applicable to Arahants.
The existing body of an Arahant was a result of his past Kamma and he/she will live until his past kamma, in regard to body is exhausted.
He/she will live with knowledge (wisdom) without attachment and anger.
He/she will exercise Brahama Viharas.

He may live in a house, temple or under a tree. He is not abide by rules (220 Vinaya rules)
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby daverupa » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:04 am

SarathW wrote:Motivation is a mental fabrication and do not applicable to Arahants.


Verbal fabrication as well, right? Yet they spoke.

:shrug:
    "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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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Buckwheat » Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:48 pm

SarathW wrote:Motivation is a mental fabrication and do not applicable to Arahants.

The aggregates do not cease for the arahant. Clinging to the aggregates ceases for the arahant. Does the body of the arahant cease? Or does his clinging to the body cease? It is because of clinging to the aggregates that greed anger and delusion keep a tight grip on our intentions.

At least this is my understanding.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby SarathW » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:25 am

daverupa wrote:
SarathW wrote:Motivation is a mental fabrication and do not applicable to Arahants.


Verbal fabrication as well, right? Yet they spoke.

:shrug:


----------------
In norma life (not meditating) they speak and think and walk etc. But Karmically inoperative.

When they are in Nirdhasamapatti state, their bodily,mental and verbal fabrication cesase to exist.
------------------------------



• kiriya (or kriya)-citta
'functional consciousness' or 'karmically inoperative consciousness', is a name for such states of consciousness as are neither karmically wholesome (kusala), nor unwholesome (akusala), nor karma-results (vipāka); that is, they function independently of karma.
Thus are also called all those worldly mental states in the Arahat which are accompanied by 2 or 3 noble roots (greedlessness, hatelessness, undeludedness), being in the Arahat karmically neutral and corresponding to the karmically wholesome states of a non-Arahat, as well as the rootless mirth-producing (hasituppāda) mind-consciousness-element of the Arahat; further, that mind-element (mano-dhātu) which performs the function of advertence (āvajjana) to the sense object (Tab. 70), and that mind-consciousness-element (manoviññāna-dhātu) which performs the functions of deciding (votthapana) and advertence to the mental object
The last-named 2 elements, of course, occur in all beings.
Together with karma-resultant consciousness (vipāka) it belongs to the group of 'karmically neutral consciousness' (avyākata).
http://www.palikanon.com/english/wtb/g_m/kiriya.htm
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Kamran » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:33 am

If interested, Analayao has published audio of a fascinating university course on the Arahant in Early Buddhist Discourse. It reviews the suttas in detail.

http://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg. ... es2012.htm
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby acinteyyo » Tue May 07, 2013 8:46 pm

I think it's inappropriate to think about an arahant in the way like: "The arahant is hungry", "The arahant eats" or "An arahant experiences satisfaction". This only leads to a difficult thicket of odd views imho...

If one cannot put such considerations aside I think it's better to think about it like so:

There arises a feeling of a lack of nutriments due to certain conditions, which is commonly called "hunger" discovered by consciousness, which itself arose due to certain circumstances. These events are followed by results which emerge from causes triggered by the arising of the events before. A lot of things change while the conditions for the arising of the feeling of lack of nutriments ceases. The cessation of that feeling and the changes are notices by consciousness again... then there may be silence or not or other similar things may happen or not...

This way at least prevents the pitfall of dragging a hidden self-construct unto the image of an arahant which reveals itself later and leads to problems which were brought into the considerations from the very beginning just to make all this into a waste of time...

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

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