Do you think you ever met Arahant?

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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby Tex » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:42 pm

Lee_123 wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:It was a joke, Lee. A play on Alcoholics Anonymous and their 12-step program. I don't think there was any snarkiness (or disrespect) intended. :tongue:


You guys ought to lay off the heavy judgmentalism. The guy made a snarky remark purporting to read my mind.


Snarky remarks don't often come with a :smile: at the end. Take it easy, friend, no one's judging you! It's all good.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby Laurens » Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:40 am

With all these people saying that they have never encountered an arahant, dare I ask the next logical question that comes to mind; Is there even such a thing as an arahant?

In their rules a monk or a nun is not allowed to disclose what their attainments may or may not be, so we cannot assume that there are any such beings within the monastic community - so no viable evidence can be attained there. If a member of the lay followers makes a claim for being an arahant - this is almost always seen as a case of spiritual materialism or delusion, and their claims are not treated as viable evidence (even though they might be worth investigating), where then is the illusive arahant? On what basis do we really have to accept the claim that there is even such a thing as an 'arahant'?

I don't know if there is such a thing, but I feel its a reasonable and perhaps important to examine exactly why you even think such a thing might exist.
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan
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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:44 am

Laurens wrote:With all these people saying that they have never encountered an arahant, dare I ask the next logical question that comes to mind; Is there even such a thing as an arahant?

In their rules a monk or a nun is not allowed to disclose what their attainments may or may not be, so we cannot assume that there are any such beings within the monastic community - so no viable evidence can be attained there. If a member of the lay followers makes a claim for being an arahant - this is almost always seen as a case of spiritual materialism or delusion, and their claims are not treated as viable evidence (even though they might be worth investigating), where then is the illusive arahant? On what basis do we really have to accept the claim that there is even such a thing as an 'arahant'?

I don't know if there is such a thing, but I feel its a reasonable and perhaps important to examine exactly why you even think such a thing might exist.

When there's no evidence for you for the existence of arahants, then the logical outcome is not necessarily that there aren't any arahants, because there's also no adequate evidence for the non-existence of arahants. In this case I recommend not to jump to conclusions and leave the issue as it is. Better to not hold any position at all as to hold one just based on supposition. You don't have to go for the extremes. You don't have to believe that there are arahants if you're not convinced. But this doesn't mean to go for the other extreme and grasp the view that there aren't any arahants then. I think you know what I'm trying to say.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby Laurens » Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:53 am

acinteyyo wrote:When there's no evidence for you for the existence of arahants, then the logical outcome is not necessarily that there aren't any arahants, because there's also no adequate evidence for the non-existence of arahants. In this case I recommend not to jump to conclusions and leave the issue as it is. Better to not hold any position at all as to hold one just based on supposition. You don't have to go for the extremes. You don't have to believe that there are arahants if you're not convinced. But this doesn't mean to go for the other extreme and grasp the view that there aren't any arahants then. I think you know what I'm trying to say.

best wishes, acinteyyo


Well indeed, I didn't say that I held such a view, if you read what I wrote I said I don't know. I was merely saying that the absence of evidence begs the question.

I haven't gone to the other extreme, I am still trying to pursue the truth (whatever that may be), but I feel that its important to take out our razors and examine even the most uncomfortable aspects of our constructed identity. I think even if it makes you feel as uncomfortable as hell (and especially so then) we should scrutinize every aspect of what we believe. Why do you accept the claim that there is arahants? What would the implications be on your identity as 'so-and-so - The Buddhist' if there were no such thing? I think its definitely healthy to ask ourselves questions like that.

Also I don't think its that unreasonable to reject claims based on no evidence. When someone makes a claim without any attempts to substantiate it, it is entirely reasonable to say "I reject that claim based on the fact that there is no evidence to back it up" - that's the whole premise of Atheism. Also to reject a claim is not to say that it isn't true rather it can be more like saying "I don't see how you can say that". I don't know if arahants exist but I feel its fair for me to reject the claims until there is some tangible evidence to go by.
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan
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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Jun 12, 2010 3:33 pm

Yes you said you don't know, on the other hand you asked:
Laurens wrote:where then is the illusive arahant?
maybe that enticed me to think you might hold a position already to greater or lesser extent...
well... okay, I understand now. ;)
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby A_Martin » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:21 am

Yes, at least 4, 3 of them are deceased by now.
Two of them I only saw: Lungphu Ghia, Lungphu Laa, One I lived and trained under him for 15 years and only recently passed away, on jan 30th 2011, that is Luangta Maha Bua. One of them who is still alive, and I sometimes have the chance to talk to: Lungphu Lee.
You can say, whatever people want to believe that is the truth for them. They are all normal human beings, no special air, e.g. no conceit around them. You could literally walk through them, without them rejecting it, that is to say they have no conceit, that makes them protect themselves.
The only time it might be necessary to know if one is an Arahant, is then when one is stuck in ones practice. They will instantly know at what level of practice you are, and then be able to guide you in the right direction.
If you believe your teacher is an arahant, then trust in him, subdue to him completely and follow his teaching until you attain to what he has attained, then you will know if he is an arahant. Just remember what the Lord Buddha said: To fight alone an army of soldiers is easier than to fight oneSELF!. If you cannot trust or subdue, submit to a teacher, how can you get rid of SELF?
Even if in our ages a Lord Buddha would appear, we would not know and we would not believe, because our fetter of doubt is too strong. We so easily believe what science teaches us, not noticing, that science over the years of time is contradicting itself, telling us that they found new evidence that the assumption they made us believe in the past is not true. And now we have to believe the new assumption, that will be proven to be invalid as well in the near future.
Good Luck!
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Re: Do you think you ever met Arahant?

Postby fabianfred » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:17 pm

I believe Peter B is talking about Phra Sumedho......am i right?

I consider that i have met two Arahants, and perhaps more. Luang Por Jaran the abbot of Wat Amphawan and Supawan Green. Naturally neither of them admit to this attainment, but they are both a great example and encouragement.
I remember another Thai monk I met at Wat Rampoeng who is a popular lecturer and travels widely. He told me that he had met several people who were Anagami in Europe, and that they were Christians. I never asked him more about that but wished I had. He also said that he thought his own teacher, Luang Por Thong of Wat ChomThong was very special and he had to really guard his thoughts when in his presence.
Once someone asked the Buddha if one could reach Nibbana when following the teachings of other teachers, he replied...'Yes....as long as their teachings contain the 4NT and 8FP' ...which i do not believe any do.
I remember a story about LP Jaran when he had a Christian priest come to practice Vipassana at his temple, and he attained to Stream-entry. He said when leaving that he could not convert to Buddhism now, but knew that he would only live for a short time. Presumably to return in his next life and become a Buddhist. Many of the highly respected masters might have come into this final life already at the stage of Stream-entry.
As to the question of whether there are Arahants or even any of the four stages alive today....the Buddha said that as long as there exists those who practice the teaching of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness (Vipassana) then there will be Sotapanna and naturally thence Arahants.
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