Survival of the Arhat: mixing ultimate and conventional.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Survival of the Arhat: mixing ultimate and conventional.

Postby Sacha G » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:07 pm

Hi
The question "Does the arhat survive after death" seems at first a legitimate question. The Buddha, as many may know, didn't anwer simply yes or no but pointed to the fact that the arhat is not even found in the present, so how could he survived or be annihilated. Ultimately that is true.
BUT
If now I say: "will you come to my dinner tomorrow?" and you would answer "since I'm not found even in the present, how could I come to your dinner", you would understand that I'm not very satisfied.
In the same way, the arhat is annihilated after death, when one speaks according to the convention of the world seems a good way of saying. In the same way that you say "he left the room", meaning "the five aggregates of X left the room", you might say "the arhat got annihilated at death" meaning "the 5 aggregates were annihilated" (apart from form, which stays some time, I agree).
I kind of feel there's a mixing of plans (ultimate and conventional) which troubles me.
Of course the Buddha had specific reasons to answer as he did, but to me, it is less clear than generally agreed.
Hope this was not too confused. :juggling:
So what do you think? :group:
Pali and Theravada texts:
http://dhamma.webnode.com
Sacha G
 
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:16 pm
Location: France

Re: Survival of the Arhat: mixing ultimate and conventional.

Postby nathan » Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:02 pm

Sacha G wrote:So what do you think? :group:


If your simply soliciting opinion then I would reply that this type of question and all similar questions such as, 'could a Buddha be Swedish', etc. are properly viewed in light of the Buddha's arrow metaphor wherein someone struck by an arrow refuses to have it pulled out before first ascertaining what sort of arrow it is, where it was made, what it was made from, who sent it and so on. To be honest, any truly satisfactory potential answers to such questions, even this one specifically, can only be had by realizing the fruit of arahatta for oneself, in the interim the best practice is to set these kinds of concerns aside.

:anjali:
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
nathan
 
Posts: 692
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:11 am

Re: Survival of the Arhat: mixing ultimate and conventional.

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:22 pm

Imagine you have moved to a country where a certain drink is highly valued, but you know it to be a deadly poison. If you denounce it outright, you will only get rejection for your efforts. It will only work if you approach the matter softly.. The Buddha cared only to end your suffering.. despite your best efforts to evade him :tongue:
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
rowyourboat
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Survival of the Arhat: mixing ultimate and conventional.

Postby clw_uk » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:29 pm

nathan wrote:
Sacha G wrote:So what do you think? :group:


If your simply soliciting opinion then I would reply that this type of question and all similar questions such as, 'could a Buddha be Swedish', etc. are properly viewed in light of the Buddha's arrow metaphor wherein someone struck by an arrow refuses to have it pulled out before first ascertaining what sort of arrow it is, where it was made, what it was made from, who sent it and so on. To be honest, any truly satisfactory potential answers to such questions, even this one specifically, can only be had by realizing the fruit of arahatta for oneself, in the interim the best practice is to set these kinds of concerns aside.

:anjali:



What he said
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3479
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: Survival of the Arhat: mixing ultimate and conventional.

Postby Uilium » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:45 am

Sacha G wrote:Hi
The question "Does the arhat survive after death" seems at first a legitimate question. The Buddha, as many may know, didn't anwer simply yes or no but pointed to the fact that the arhat is not even found in the present, so how could he survived or be annihilated. Ultimately that is true.
BUT
If now I say: "will you come to my dinner tomorrow?" and you would answer "since I'm not found even in the present, how could I come to your dinner", you would understand that I'm not very satisfied.
In the same way, the arhat is annihilated after death, when one speaks according to the convention of the world seems a good way of saying. In the same way that you say "he left the room", meaning "the five aggregates of X left the room", you might say "the arhat got annihilated at death" meaning "the 5 aggregates were annihilated" (apart from form, which stays some time, I agree).
I kind of feel there's a mixing of plans (ultimate and conventional) which troubles me.
Of course the Buddha had specific reasons to answer as he did, but to me, it is less clear than generally agreed.
Hope this was not too confused. :juggling:
So what do you think? :group:


The Buddha is trying to get students to think as a mediator would experience ultimate reality... I think. It seems lots of meditation teachers will say something that is a mix of ultimate and conventional truth like, "it is what it is". Beginners will say what do you mean it is what it is? of course it is what it is! Hopefully if the teacher is good s/he would explain what they mean so as not to drive students away. I cant come over tommorow cuz I have no self so how can I come over? I never thought that people would ever speak to each other with the perspective of ultimate reality, I always thought of ultimate reality as more of a utility to see the truth that way I can accept anything :)
Uilium
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:08 pm

Re: Survival of the Arhat: mixing ultimate and conventional.

Postby DAWN » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:05 am

An Arahant will survive after his death, if his ego will survive before his death
But if his ego still here when he die, why he's called an Arahant?
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
User avatar
DAWN
 
Posts: 801
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:22 pm

Re: Survival of the Arhat: mixing ultimate and conventional.

Postby reflection » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:28 am

From a 'conventional' point of view, the arahant is annihilated, but in reality the five aggregates are cessated. Cessation isn't the same as annihilation, because, just like 'the arahant', the five aggregates are not solid things, they are processes.

At Savatthi. Then the Venerable Ananda approached the Blessed One,
paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him: "Venerable sir,
it is said, 'cessation, cessation.' Through the cessation of what things is
cessation spoken of?" "Form, etc, consciousness, Ananda, is impermanent,
conditioned, dependently arisen, subject to destruction, to vanishing, to
fading away, to cessation. Through its cessation, cessation is spoken of.


I think this is actually a very good question, because we should know what we are practicing for. And we should know where the arrow is located before we can pull it out.
Last edited by reflection on Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
reflection
 
Posts: 1115
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: Survival of the Arhat: mixing ultimate and conventional.

Postby DAWN » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:38 am

Completely ! Just some anatta processes

:namaste:
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
User avatar
DAWN
 
Posts: 801
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:22 pm

Re: Survival of the Arhat: mixing ultimate and conventional.

Postby pegembara » Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:43 am

Image

Is the one born the same as that which dies?


Mara:

By whom was this living being created?
Where is the living being's maker?
Where has the living being originated?
Where does the living being
cease?

Sister Vajira:

What? Do you assume a 'living being,' Mara?
Do you take a position?
This is purely a pile of fabrications.
Here no living being
can be pinned down.


Just as when, with an assemblage of parts,
there's the word,
chariot,
even so when aggregates are present,
there's the convention of
living being.

For only stress is what comes to be;
stress, what remains & falls away.
Nothing but stress comes to be.
Nothing ceases but stress.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
pegembara
 
Posts: 624
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:39 am


Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests