Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
SarathW
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Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby SarathW » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:40 am

Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

It seems that Arahant do not think that he is higher lower or equal to someone. However they do bowdown, circle around etc to Buddha.
However Buddha do not do the same to an Arahant.
Why?
===========
Sensing that "The Teacher approves of me," Ven. Khema got up from his seat, bowed down to the Blessed One, circled him — keeping him on his right — and left.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
:thinking:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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TheNoBSBuddhist
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Re: Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:43 am

Arahant comes from the Pali word arahati meaning ‘worthy’ or ‘noble’ and is a title given to someone who has attained enlightenment as a result of listening to and practising the teachings of a Buddha.
Buddhism is unique among the major world religions in that followers can attain to the same level as the founder. In Buddhism, anyone can attain enlightenment and reach the same wisdom and title as the Buddha, an enlightened one.

However, as a sign of respect and reverence, I would presume a "Pupil" - whatever they have managed to achieve - would always show deference to his - or her - "Teacher".
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

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Re: Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:27 am

On a worldly level yes.
The buddha had no direct help findi g the path and as a result kows the intricacies and wrong turns to avoid.
Also the buddha is called an arahant.
On a spiritual leven no. An enlightened being is of the same mind as another enlightened being.
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
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Re: Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:14 am

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

      >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
      -- Proverbs 26:12

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Kasina
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Re: Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby Kasina » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:42 pm

Cittasanto wrote:On a worldly level yes.
The buddha had no direct help findi g the path and as a result kows the intricacies and wrong turns to avoid.
Also the buddha is called an arahant.
On a spiritual leven no. An enlightened being is of the same mind as another enlightened being.

:goodpost:
"This world completely lacks essence;
It trembles in all directions.
I longed to find myself a place
Unscathed — but I could not see it."


Sn 4.15 PTS: Sn 935-951 "Attadanda Sutta: Arming Oneself"

"You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go... This is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life..."

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SarathW
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Re: Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby SarathW » Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:32 am

Considering Bhikkhu Bodhi’s comments (see below) I understand it as follows:

Respect the elders and the seniors is a great Buddhist monks tradition and ethics.
Even a 50 year old person (even he is an Arahant) ordained today has to bow down to the person (younger and no an Arahant) ordained yesterday.
The same way if a person disrobe and re join the order, the person will lose his seniority.
I think lay person (even if the person is an Arahant) has to bow down to a monk (not Arahant) based on the same principal.

In that sense Buddha is the highest in the order.
Am I correct?

=======================

Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:Thus the Buddha is distinguished from the arahant disciples, not
by some categorical difference in their respective attainments, but by his role: he is the first one in this historical epoch to attain liberation, and he serves as the incomparable guide in making known the way to liberation. He has skills in teaching that even the most capable of his disciples cannot match, but with regard to their world-transcending attainments, both the Buddha and the arahants are ‘buddho’, "enlightened," in that they have comprehended the truths that should be comprehended. They are both ‘nibbuto’, in that they have extinguished the defilements and thereby attained the peace of nirvâna. They are both ‘suvimutto’, fully liberated. They have fully understood the truth of suffering; they have abandoned craving, the origin of suffering; they have realized nirvâna, the cessation of suffering; and they have completed the practice of the noble eightfold path, the way leading to the cessation of suffering
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Kusala
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Re: Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby Kusala » Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:30 am

SarathW wrote:Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

It seems that Arahant do not think that he is higher lower or equal to someone. However they do bowdown, circle around etc to Buddha.
However Buddha do not do the same to an Arahant.
Why?
===========
Sensing that "The Teacher approves of me," Ven. Khema got up from his seat, bowed down to the Blessed One, circled him — keeping him on his right — and left.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
:thinking:


Arahants, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas -------> http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ttvas.html
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"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
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Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

SarathW
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Re: Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby SarathW » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:07 am

SarathW wrote:Considering Bhikkhu Bodhi’s comments (see below) I understand it as follows:

Respect the elders and the seniors is a great Buddhist monks tradition and ethics.
Even a 50 year old person (even he is an Arahant) ordained today has to bow down to the person (younger and no an Arahant) ordained yesterday.
The same way if a person disrobe and re join the order, the person will lose his seniority.
I think lay person (even if the person is an Arahant) has to bow down to a monk (not Arahant) based on the same principal.

In that sense Buddha is the highest in the order.
Am I correct?

=======================

Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:Thus the Buddha is distinguished from the arahant disciples, not
by some categorical difference in their respective attainments, but by his role: he is the first one in this historical epoch to attain liberation, and he serves as the incomparable guide in making known the way to liberation. He has skills in teaching that even the most capable of his disciples cannot match, but with regard to their world-transcending attainments, both the Buddha and the arahants are ‘buddho’, "enlightened," in that they have comprehended the truths that should be comprehended. They are both ‘nibbuto’, in that they have extinguished the defilements and thereby attained the peace of nirvâna. They are both ‘suvimutto’, fully liberated. They have fully understood the truth of suffering; they have abandoned craving, the origin of suffering; they have realized nirvâna, the cessation of suffering; and they have completed the practice of the noble eightfold path, the way leading to the cessation of suffering


I appreciate if someone answer my question.
What is the order of respect for each other as monks?
Specially in connection with Bikkhuni's order.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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TheNoBSBuddhist
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Re: Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:17 am

Oh, don't ask about Bhikkuni order. Disrespected in many places, and not recognised.
A Bhikkuni will always be lower than a Bhikku, as far as many are concerned.


as far as I have been made aware....

http://www.awaken.com/2012/12/bhikkhuni ... rdination/

This is fascinating:

http://blogs.dickinson.edu/buddhistethi ... -final.pdf


:namaste:
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

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waterchan
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Re: Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby waterchan » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:09 am

SarathW wrote:
What is the order of respect for each other as monks?
Specially in connection with Bikkhuni's order.


Depends on whether you believe that the eight garudhammas were taught by the Buddha.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)

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TheNoBSBuddhist
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Re: Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:15 am

Thank you, waterchan;

I personally do not believe they were.

:namaste:
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

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bharadwaja
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Re: Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby bharadwaja » Mon May 12, 2014 5:16 pm

The Buddha was himself an arahant and is therefore not higher or lower than any other arahant. Neither is he equal to or unequal to any other arahant. The reason is that measuring arahant-ness is a pointless thing.

Yet you rightly observed that the Buddha alone among (Buddhist) arahants receives more respect from Buddhists. That is not because he is a higher arahant but due to the following reasons:

1. No other Buddhist (or maybe non Buddhist) arahant has gone so much out of the way as to spend their entire life instructing non-Buddhists and Buddhists alike. So people feel grateful to him.

2. Among all arahants only his story is so well documented. So even if there are other arahants we don't know much about them.

3. This difference is purely from the point of view of non-arahants. An arahant would not feel the need to venerate the Buddha except as a predisposition i.e. habit.

Arahant does not mean noble, it means foe-slayer. In the context of Buddhism it refers to the Arahant's victory over Mara ("death")

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Re: Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby SarathW » Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:52 am

The Blessed One addressed venerable Anuruddha: `Anuruddha, are you alright, do you have any fatigue owing to want of morsel food?''Venerable sir, we are alright, we have no fatigue owing to lack of morsel food'. `Anuruddha, are you united and friendly without a dispute, like milk and water and do you abide seeing each other with friendly eyes?' `Venerable sir, we are united like milk and water, friendly, without a dispute and abide seeing each other with friendly eyes,' `Anuruddha, how do you abide united like milk and water, friendly, without a dispute seeing each other with friendly eyes?' `Venerable sir, this thought occurs to me It is gain for me that I live with such co-associates in the holy life. So I abide with bodily actions of loving kindness towards these venerable ones openly and secretly. With verbal actions of lovingkindnesstowards these venerable ones openly and secretly. With mental actions of loving kindness towards these venerable ones openly and secretly Sometimes it occurs to me what ifI discard my thoughts and concede to the thoughts of these venerable ones. So I discard my thoughts and concede to the thoughts of these venerable ones. Venerable sir, we are various in bodies, and one in mind.”

http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2S ... esa-e.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby form » Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:41 am

Higher in terms of deeper knowledge and ability to teach. And at any one time there will only be one Buddha in the world or none at all.

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Re: Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby chownah » Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:55 am

The buddha is not higher or lower....the buddha is dead.
chownah

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby Coëmgenu » Fri Nov 25, 2016 1:51 pm

Like Tiltbillings pointed out earlier, the idea of Buddha being "higher" than an arahant comes from Mahāyāna literature (and late Mahāyāna literature at that). The terms "arhat" and "arahant" might as well mean completely different things in Theravāda and Mahāyāna usage.
Bhagavā arahaṃ sammasāmbuddho:
Svākkhāto yena bhagavatā dhammo / Supaṭipanno yassa bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho
Tammayaṃ bhagavantaṃ sadhammaṃ sasaṅghaṃ / Imehi sakkārehi yathārahaṃ āropitehi abhipūjayāma.
(Dedication of Offerings)
All these dharmāṇi are the status of dharma, the standing of dharma, the suchness of dharma; the dharma neither departs from things-as-they-are, nor differs from things-as-they-are; it is the truth, reality, without distortion. (SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶

justindesilva
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Re: Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby justindesilva » Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:57 pm

From what I have read Lord budda is called Samma sambuddo. Lord budda is enlightened by his own efforts and at the stage of attaining buddahood he attained an extra 8th Jana under the bodhi tree.
Any other arhant has to attain the arhsntship under the guidance of a budda. Hence they can be termed anubudda.
Hence a samma sambudda is of a higher status from other arhants.

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Re: Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby plwk » Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:26 pm

...the idea of Buddha being "higher" than an arahant comes from Mahāyāna literature (and late Mahāyāna literature at that)
What a quick attribution to Mahayana and nothing from Theravada's ancient 'competitors' (from which some have contended of their ideas may have been absorbed / cross influenced by both sides)?

Mahasamghikas (with its various divisions), Sarvastivadins & Kasyapiyas share near identical ideas about how they understand and interpret on the transcendence and supramundane nature of the Buddha & Bodhisattvas over and above that of what is regarded as fallible Arhats as how Theravadins have their version on this matter as well.

Look up these works:
Baruah, Bibhuti. Buddhist Sects and Sectarianism. 2008. p. 446
Walser Joseph. Nāgārjuna in Context: Mahāyāna Buddhism and Early Indian Culture. 2005. p. 218
Sree Padma. Barber, Anthony W. Buddhism in the Krishna River Valley of Andhra. 2008. p. 44
Warder, A.K. Indian Buddhism. 2000. p. 277
Kalupahana, David. Buddhist Thought and Ritual. 2001. p. 109
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

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Re: Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby dhammarelax » Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:27 pm

SarathW wrote:Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

It seems that Arahant do not think that he is higher lower or equal to someone. However they do bowdown, circle around etc to Buddha.
However Buddha do not do the same to an Arahant.
Why?
===========
Sensing that "The Teacher approves of me," Ven. Khema got up from his seat, bowed down to the Blessed One, circled him — keeping him on his right — and left.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
:thinking:


The Buddha discovers the path and the Arahants follow it:

SN 22.58 The Perfectly Enlightened One

“The Tathagata, students, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One, is the originator of the path unarisen before, the producer of the path unproduced before, the declarer of the path undeclared before. He is the knower of the path, the discoverer of the path, the one skilled in the path. And his disciples now dwell following that path and become possessed of it afterwards.
“This, students, is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between the Tathagata, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One, and a student liberated by wisdom.”
MN 38: "Abandoning harsh speech he abstains from harsh speech, he speaks words that are gentle, pleasant to the ear, and loveable as go to the heart, are courteous, desired by many and agreeable to many"

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Re: Is Buddha higher than Arahant?

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:13 am

Coëmgenu wrote:Like Tiltbillings pointed out earlier, the idea of Buddha being "higher" than an arahant comes from Mahāyāna literature (and late Mahāyāna literature at that).


What I'm accustomed to hearing from Mahayanists is that sammāsambuddhas and arahants are identical with respect to liberation, i.e., they're both equally free from defilements, but differ in that arahants don't enjoy as great a cognitive range as sammāsambuddhas. I doubt it was Mahayanists who originated this idea, for one will find the same claim in the Paṭisambhidāmagga; e.g. in its account of which of the ten Tathāgata powers may be shared by arahants and which may not.

Coëmgenu wrote:The terms "arhat" and "arahant" might as well mean completely different things in Theravāda and Mahāyāna usage.


Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. The problem here is that the Indian Mahayanists were inconsistent in their conception of an arahant. In some texts he is conceived exactly as he is in Theravadin texts (i.e., he is katakaraṇīya — "one who has done what had to be done"), while in others he's represented as an inferior and only semi-liberated being who still has more work to do.
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