Revealing Arahantship to laity

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Revealing Arahantship to laity

Postby clw_uk » Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:36 pm

Greetings



Are members of the Sangha allowed to reveal if they are arahants or not to the laity?





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“ 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
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Re: Revealing Arahantship to laity

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:20 am

clw_uk wrote:Are members of the Sangha allowed to reveal if they are arahants or not to the laity?

If I recall correctly, it is forbidden by the Vinaya for a monastic to reveal any attainments to the laity.
- Peter

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Re: Revealing Arahantship to laity

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:28 am

Reporting truthfully any attainment (not just Arahant, I think) to a lay person requires confession:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... l#pc-part1
8. Should any bhikkhu report (his own) superior human state to an unordained person, when it is factual, it is to be confessed.

Reporting untruthfully is a defeat:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ti.html#pr
4. Should any bhikkhu, without direct knowledge, claim a superior human state, a truly noble knowledge and vision, as present in himself, saying, "Thus do I know; thus do I see," such that regardless of whether or not he is cross-examined on a later occasion, he — being remorseful and desirous of purification — might say, "Friends, not knowing, I said I know; not seeing, I said I see — vainly, falsely, idly," unless it was from over-estimation, he also is defeated and no longer in affiliation.

Metta
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Re: Revealing Arahantship to laity

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:31 am

Greetings Craig,

I believe the reason it is an offence is because unscrupulous monks could use it as leverage to receive better requisites from the laity, who expect that the merit accumulated from their offerings will be commensurate with the spiritual attainments of the recipient.

Metta,
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Re: Revealing Arahantship to laity

Postby cooran » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:13 am

Hello all,

Retrofuturist said: I believe the reason it is an offence is because unscrupulous monks could use it as leverage to receive better requisites from the laity


Yes, I agree. It could also be because the person deludedly thinks some experience means they really are an Ariya. One person who springs to mind used to post on E-S and was very offended when his claims were met with scepticism .... an emotion which I don't think an arahant would feel.

It is always a little sad when elderly ordained people speak of conversing with devas etc. ..... you get the same thing in nursing homes with the language fitting the religion of the person convinced they have had a spiritual experience, and often it is simply confusion, or the very early signs of the onset of dementia.

And, often it isn't the person themselves, but their disciples after their death, who claim their teacher was an arahant .... then you go through the whole examining the ashes and finding relics not consumed by the fire ... this is common in Thailand when well-known monks are cremated.

metta
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Re: Revealing Arahantship to laity

Postby clw_uk » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:43 am

Thanks for posts


My reason for asking was because Maha Boowa seems to strongly imply that he is an arahant





:anjali:
“ 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
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Re: Revealing Arahantship to laity

Postby Ben » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:33 am

Hi Craig

It may be more worthwhile concentrating on the teaching and instruction of your own teacher rather than question something that may or not be attributed to another teacher. Ven Maha Boowa may infer that he is an arahant, perhaps it is something that came through via translation, but the important thing is your own practice.
Metta

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sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

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Re: Revealing Arahantship to laity

Postby nathan » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:36 am

Chris wrote:Hello all,

Retrofuturist said: I believe the reason it is an offence is because unscrupulous monks could use it as leverage to receive better requisites from the laity


Yes, I agree. It could also be because the person deludedly thinks some experience means they really are an Ariya. One person who springs to mind used to post on E-S and was very offended when his claims were met with skepticism .... an emotion which I don't think an arahant would feel.

It is always a little sad when elderly ordained people speak of conversing with devas etc. ..... you get the same thing in nursing homes with the language fitting the religion of the person convinced they have had a spiritual experience, and often it is simply confusion, or the very early signs of the onset of dementia.

And, often it isn't the person themselves, but their disciples after their death, who claim their teacher was an arahant .... then you go through the whole examining the ashes and finding relics not consumed by the fire ... this is common in Thailand when well-known monks are cremated.

metta
Chris
First of all I agree, if possessively defending a pov implying a transcendent perspective is somehow personally important to someone it isn't transcendent, and I'm sure the pointlessness of trying to do so would be obvious except in the case of someone else who is the seeing things the same way.

I would be very careful about broadly characterizing states of mind and types of perception. It is very easy to misjudge very many things. So long as you recognize the limits of perception that go into your characterizations and the extent to which you imply you can apply these observations. I think my experience with those who have senile dementia has revealed things to me about it you might find as hard to accept but I understand quite differently and still entirely consistently with the parts of classical Theravada that don't sit well within some more contemporary frames of reference for a lot of people in a lot of ways. I don't like having to stress that frequently biases are a two way street all the time. It can be hard to tell in very subtle matters which way the dhamma consistently runs. So I won't belabor any point except to say that you are glossing over many things that might have been counter indications of conditions that if all the unavailable indications were also so aligned might make your interpretive comments apply at times but I do not think in any of these cases they would cover the other possibilities at all times. That many people can be plain silly is simple to observe all the time. We don't need to continually reference the absurd or equate it to things that aren't to convey perspectives. It can become as tiresome as occasionally baseless (which is worth examining at length for some people most of the time anyways) but sometimes merely more expansive perspectives that aren't well considered or well referenced either.

Not trying to be critical at all I simply acknowledge some phenomena that you may not, just not given to limiting my pov unnecessarily to those of anyone else or imposing my own in any way.

I am not going to make any claims about anything except what I think is widely acceptable as doctrinally sound but what people are going to presume about our selves or each other or about anything is something we all need to acknowledge as such in actually doing it or we do continually remain somewhat ignorant and blind to what more we might truly know which I have yet to find serious limits to the potentials of. I'm not suggesting vigilance and caution aren't always useful as well in conjunction with various of kinds of openness to having our perspectives radically expanded in beneficial ways. I think awakening has to be like that, it doesn't seem that dhamma and discipline is shutting me down to possibilities so much as it pries me open to them.

metta & upekkha
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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}
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Re: Revealing Arahantship to laity

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:33 pm

clw_uk wrote:My reason for asking was because Maha Boowa seems to strongly imply that he is an arahant

"Strongly imply" can be in the eye of the beholder. You seem to be fond of making assertions and accusations without backing them up. Instead of simply slandering a well respected monk, how about providing a quote that you think is questionable and we can discuss it?

Or, as Ben said, you could actually focus on your own practice, which is what Buddhism is really all about.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Revealing Arahantship to laity

Postby clw_uk » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:05 pm

Greetings


I was just interested if he was or not im sorry if being curious is a crime now :? im not really losing sleep over it

I only asked if one can reveal if they are arahants because i really didnt know if they could but looks like im once again being perceived in a negative way and once again met with hostility, seems to be the norm now

my main reason for believing he is comes from his book that i quoted, when he is speaking about how an arahant can cry he seems to speak from a deep knowledge of what Arahantship is like, i suppose he hasnt come out and said it directly though

I tell you quite frankly: I no longer experience past, present, or future; for I no longer have any trace of conventional reality left within my heart. I can assure you that nothing more remains. Such is the power of the Lord Buddha’s Dhamma for overcoming the kilesas. Dhamma resides in the heart. The kilesas also dwell in the heart and are its enemies. And we are the ones caught in the middle, bearing the good and bad fortune that results from this clash, for we belong to the heart, just as the heart belongs to us.


There are more parts that, to me anyway, strongly suggest he is an arahant and i didnt know if one was allowed to even strongly suggest it, now since i have nowhere else to ask i thought i would post it here but if i shouldnt ask such things let me know and i will stop asking questions

http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... ntship.htm


Or, as Ben said, you could actually focus on your own practice, which is what Buddhism is really all about


Thank you but I do focus on my practice, in reguards to if Maha Boowa is an arahant or not i was merely interested, you seem to be assuming (once again :roll: ) that im deeply focused on if he is or not, which isnt the case
“ 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
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Re: Revealing Arahantship to laity

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:51 pm

clw_uk wrote:i didnt know if one was allowed to even strongly suggest it

I don't think it is certain. Some people will criticize a monk for making strong suggestions, other won't criticize a monk for making strong suggestions. :shrug:
- Peter

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Re: Revealing Arahantship to laity

Postby gavesako » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:52 pm

Ajahn Maha Boowa has "shed tears of joy" and declared his attainment of arahantship in front of a layperson (actually someone quite advanced in practice, it seems) as well as on camera a few years ago. This has caused a lot of controversy. See Ajahn Jayasaro talking about this here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u76o7xZe ... L&index=39

I have recently been contemplating the similarity (in terms of being an "archetype" of a certain kind of monk) between Ajahn Maha Boowa and Maha Kassapa. There are a number of parallels between them. I may write some kind of essay about this later. But just a few points: both of them have followed the example of their teacher and attained high spiritual states; both have become charismatic leaders standing out of the normal Sangha community and sometimes taking initiative in "undemocratic" ways to achieve something; both have gone further than other monks in declaring their attainments openly and with force; both have voiced open criticism against other monks who were not part of their particular group. Often we can read: "Maha Kassapa. The monk that succeeded the Buddha as leader of the Sangha and convened the First Council." Well, he did not actually have the authority to do it, did he? And his authority was apparently not accepted by all. He also demonstrated his superiority over Ananda:


"Beware, friend Ananda, or else the Sangha may further examine you. How is it, friend Ananda, was it you to whom the Exalted One referred in the presence of the Sangha when saying: 'I, O monks, can attain at will the four fine-material and immaterial meditative absorptions, the cessation of perception and feeling, the six supernormal knowledges; and Ananda, too, can so attain'?"

"Not so, venerable sir."

"Or was it that he said: 'Kassapa, too, can so attain'?"

"Yes, venerable sir."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 5.html#ch7


And referring to his own attainments, he stated quite frankly that it is not possible to hide them just like it is impossible to cover a mountain with a leaf. That is quite a statement, I think.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
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Re: Revealing Arahantship to laity

Postby clw_uk » Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:09 pm

That was a very good video, thank you Bhante


It gives an idea of Moha Boowa's reasoning in revealing his enlightenment
“ 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
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