ricketybridge wrote:This is slightly OT, but I don't really understand why it's expected or desirable for an arahant to be all coy about their enlightenment. I certainly understand the impulse to judge and be suspicious of anyone who claims such a thing, but if the Buddha himself didn't make it such a secret, why should we assume other arahants should?
But to answer the original question, I would imagine that yes, there must be living arahants in the world today (the Dalai Lama, for instance?), and yes, it must be possible, or else it means that the Buddha and every subsequent arahant were basically lying, which I find pretty far-fetched.
A practical and intelligent post. You see a lot of people who just because they believe that they will never personally become enlightened in this lifetime believe that it's also impossible for everyone else to accomplish it. Or at least they don't open their mind to the fact that it could be possible, very possible. For example, they think sotapannas won't have sex or watch television or some other silly such things. Tell that kind of thing to Visakkha, a sotapanna at the age of SEVEN (and remember, this was only 2500 years ago roughly) who went on the have TEN sons and TEN daughters in that lifetime, engaging in sensual pleasure. Is she the one that also wore the top that was encrusted with diamonds and gems so much so that she looked like a walking jewelery shop or was that another sotapanna? I have people tell me countless ridiculous things about sotapannas and other ariyans, and yet they say I am the one who doesn't know what he is talking about. Haters... geesh.