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Arahantship already here? - Dhamma Wheel

Arahantship already here?

A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.

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clw_uk
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Arahantship already here?

Postby clw_uk » Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:56 pm

Greetings


Ive recently come to an understanding that Arahantship is something thats already here in the moment its just we dont see it or realize it because of the defilements, i was hoping to get the Classical teaching on this (if there is one). Is this in line with Classical Theravada teachings or not?



Metta


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tiltbillings
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Re: Arahantship already here?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:36 pm

What is the basis for your understanding? Knowing that, it would help to respond to what you are asking.

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cooran
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Re: Arahantship already here?

Postby cooran » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:37 pm

Hello clw_uk.

How did you come to this understanding? Which teachings in Theravada triggered it?

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: Arahantship already here?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:51 pm

Greetings Craig,

Arahantship is the permanent eradication of greed, aversion or delusion.

Moments in which these factors are not present could rightly be called vipassana (seeing things as they really are) but there is nothing permanent about this.

Not that it's relevant to Classical Theravada (though it may be related to the confusion, as far as I can tell) the Zen tradition often takes moments of "seeing things as they really are" as 'enlightenment' even though they too will concede such 'enlightenment' is temporary.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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cooran
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Re: Arahantship already here?

Postby cooran » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:08 pm

---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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retrofuturist
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Re: Arahantship already here?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:14 pm

Greetings Chris,

No... only modern Zen.

:sage:

It's always seemed an inappropriate use of the term 'enlightenment' to me.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Arahantship already here?

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:45 pm

yeah this is a mahayana teaching, though i think some forest ajahns have said similar things,
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Ben
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Re: Arahantship already here?

Postby Ben » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:52 pm

Hi all

I have not encountered any evidence within what is Classical Theravada.
The view that 'samsara is nibbana' or enlightenment is accessible within an instant, seems to be a later, Mahayana, teaching.

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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clw_uk
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Re: Arahantship already here?

Postby clw_uk » Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:08 pm

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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cooran
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Re: Arahantship already here?

Postby cooran » Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:21 pm

Hello clw_uk,

The Buddha taught that there is an orderly process which must happen to attain any of the Ariya stages. These involve the progressive extinguishing of unwholesome qualites.
Maybe read these teachings:

From Puthujjana to the Buddha
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/ariyacht.htm

QUALITIES OF ARIYA PERSONS
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/ariyas4.htm

Ariyas (Noble Persons)
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/mtinmon4.htm

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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kc2dpt
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Re: Arahantship already here?

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:30 am

Last edited by kc2dpt on Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
- Peter


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Dan74
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Re: Arahantship already here?

Postby Dan74 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:25 am

On a kind of a side note, I recall Ajahn Brahm saying in one of his talks that in the hell realm the door out is always there.

In the prison where I come as a chaplain, one of the guys recalled a near-death experience where he did find himself at one stage in something like a hell realm. He was suspended in midair in a pitch dark space. All he could see is chains hanging and people screaming. He was overcome by fear. Then eventually he recalled a prayer and was instantly transported towards a bright light. Well, that's his story anyway.

As for the Mahayana and Zen perspective that was mentioned, once one realises that the habits and what fuels them (the notion of a self that gains or loses) are empty, that is a mental fabrication without any inherent quality, this is called enlightenment. The difference can be between a glimpse and a full realisation. Glimpses are held to be a first step. As for realisations, some masters taught that there needs to be a period of stabilisation and others have argued that if this is a real enlightenment then there needs to be no further work to stabilise or refine it.

Nevertheless, defilements are not really defilements, they are just perceived as such because we do not have insight. In this sense everything that happens beckons us towards realisation. And everything is in this ultimate sense perfect, just as we are at this very moment doing our best. The best we know how. And tomorrow that will be different of course. After the realisation these habits (defilements) hold no sway over us since the wind has gone from the sails, so to speak. Instead one is driven by one's Bodhisattva Vows, ie compassion. This is the doctrine as I understand it.

In a sense it is sudden - a sudden insight just like the Buddha on seeing the Morning Star. And in another sense there is some work that lays the foundation. Or so it appears to the unenlightened.

_/|\_
_/|\_

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Re: Arahantship already here?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:28 am

Greetings Dan,

Thanks for sharing the perspective.

However, best I think now that we've covered the "this is where clw_uk may have gotten this impression from" angle, we can safely return to responding to, and discussing his question from a Classical Theravada standpoint.

:anjali:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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cooran
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Re: Arahantship already here?

Postby cooran » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:38 am

Hello Retrofuturist, Dan74,

If Dan's post is going to remain, then it would be good if you and Dan74 would say how the Buddha's teachings in the Pali Canon support such beliefs and how His teachings don't support them?

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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retrofuturist
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Re: Arahantship already here?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:44 am

Greetings Chris,

As you can see from my last post, I'm try to get this conversation...

:focus:

Dan's post helped to close the door on some issues that had arisen regarding the similarity between clw_uk's opening statement and the beliefs and interpretations of some other traditions. Dan's post is causing no harm. No one is being deceived into thinking it represents Classical Theravada and he is making no attempt for it to look that way.

As I said..

Now that we've covered the "this is where clw_uk may have gotten this impression from" angle, we can safely return to responding to, and discussing his question from a Classical Theravada standpoint.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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clw_uk
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Re: Arahantship already here?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:08 pm

Greetings


Is there anything in the commentaries or in the general orthodoxy that states that enlightenment or nibbana cannot already be present (i think i made a mistake using the word arahantship)?



Metta
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kc2dpt
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Re: Arahantship already here?

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:54 pm

- Peter


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Ngawang Drolma.
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Re: Arahantship already here?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:22 pm




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