Body of a Buddha vs. Arahant in Abhidhamma

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Body of a Buddha vs. Arahant in Abhidhamma

Postby brahmabull » Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:01 am

I've read here and elsewhere that the realization of Buddha and Arahant are the same. But are their bodies different in power, qualities, etc.? (According to Abhidamma)
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Re: Body of a Buddha vs. Arahant in Abhidhamma

Postby DarwidHalim » Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:16 am

I think majority of Theravada will have a view that Buddha is equivalent to Arahant due to their realization of what is called boddhi.

The difference other than that realization, such as their skills, cannot be used to differentiate Buddha and Arahant.
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Re: Body of a Buddha vs. Arahant in Abhidhamma

Postby brahmabull » Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:47 am

DarwidHalim wrote:I think majority of Theravada will have a view that Buddha is equivalent to Arahant due to their realization of what is called boddhi.

The difference other than that realization, such as their skills, cannot be used to differentiate Buddha and Arahant.


I see. Do others agree with this?
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Re: Body of a Buddha vs. Arahant in Abhidhamma

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:51 am

Greetings Brahmabull,

I do not recall seeing any cittas and cetasikas mentioned in the Abhidhamma that apply to a Buddha which would not apply similarly to an Arahant.... but then, I am not an Abhidhamma expert so don't take that as definitive.

their bodies different in power, qualities

Similarly the focus in Abhidhamma literature tends to be on mind and mindstates, rather than physical and bodily attributes.

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Re: Body of a Buddha vs. Arahant in Abhidhamma

Postby DarwidHalim » Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:00 am

I think the view of Bhikku Boddhi can enhance our view about it.

http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebdha335.htm
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Body of a Buddha vs. Arahant in Abhidhamma

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:32 am

This does not address the Abhidhamma, but it does address the issue of Buddha and the arahants from the stand point of the suttas:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=9747&start=20#p149864

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=9747&start=20#p149866
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Re: Body of a Buddha vs. Arahant in Abhidhamma

Postby Nyana » Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:22 am

brahmabull wrote:I've read here and elsewhere that the realization of Buddha and Arahant are the same. But are their bodies different in power, qualities, etc.? (According to Abhidamma)

It's standard canonical Theravāda that a buddha has knowledge and abilities not shared by arahant disciples. The Paṭisambhidāmagga (a text contained in the Khuddakanikāya) lists the following:

  • knowledge of the penetration of other beings' faculties
  • knowledge of other beings' biases and underlying tendancies
  • knowledge of the twin miracle*
  • knowledge of the attainment of great compassion
  • omniscience & unobstructed knowledge

    *i.e. the ability to produce fire and water from various parts of the body, as well as walk amid an aura of colors while a created image of his body sits or lies down, etc.
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Re: Body of a Buddha vs. Arahant in Abhidhamma

Postby brahmabull » Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:26 am

tiltbillings wrote:This does not address the Abhidhamma, but it does address the issue of Buddha and the arahants from the stand point of the suttas:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=9747&start=20#p149864

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=9747&start=20#p149866


Based on Bhikku Bodhi the only qualitative difference I can see is prowess with regard to instruction. But if I read your quotes correctly, there is nothing to stop an Arahant from developing this?
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Re: Body of a Buddha vs. Arahant in Abhidhamma

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:30 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
brahmabull wrote:I've read here and elsewhere that the realization of Buddha and Arahant are the same. But are their bodies different in power, qualities, etc.? (According to Abhidamma)

It's standard canonical Theravāda that a buddha has knowledge and abilities not shared by arahant disciples. The Paṭisambhidāmagga (a text contained in the Khuddakanikāya) lists the following:

  • knowledge of the penetration of other beings' faculties
  • knowledge of other beings' biases and underlying tendancies
  • knowledge of the twin miracle*
  • knowledge of the attainment of great compassion
  • omniscience & unobstructed knowledge

    *i.e. the ability to produce fire and water from various parts of the body, as well as walk amid an aura of colors while a created image of his body sits or lies down, etc.
But it should be kept in mind, this is not fully sutta stuff.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Body of a Buddha vs. Arahant in Abhidhamma

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:38 am

brahmabull wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:This does not address the Abhidhamma, but it does address the issue of Buddha and the arahants from the stand point of the suttas:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=9747&start=20#p149864

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=9747&start=20#p149866


Based on Bhikku Bodhi the only qualitative difference I can see is prowess with regard to instruction. But if I read your quotes correctly, there is nothing to stop an Arahant from developing this?
Theoretically, probably not. Practically, probably not so easy, depending upon any number of conditions. The point is that the suttas preserves a very radical take on the Buddha vis a vis the arahants that we can see starts to change with the Buddha becoming valorized (even in the suttas), having more and distinct powers and whatnot. That seems to be a natural human tendency to want our guy to be mightier than their guy. Though not completely, the Theravadins did seem to resist that tendency.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Body of a Buddha vs. Arahant in Abhidhamma

Postby brahmabull » Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:40 am

Hi Tilt,

I'm not following exactly the fluffy sutta and our guy their guy comment. Please clarify.
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Re: Body of a Buddha vs. Arahant in Abhidhamma

Postby brahmabull » Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:47 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
brahmabull wrote:I've read here and elsewhere that the realization of Buddha and Arahant are the same. But are their bodies different in power, qualities, etc.? (According to Abhidamma)

It's standard canonical Theravāda that a buddha has knowledge and abilities not shared by arahant disciples. The Paṭisambhidāmagga (a text contained in the Khuddakanikāya) lists the following:

  • knowledge of the penetration of other beings' faculties
  • knowledge of other beings' biases and underlying tendancies
  • knowledge of the twin miracle*
  • knowledge of the attainment of great compassion
  • omniscience & unobstructed knowledge

    *i.e. the ability to produce fire and water from various parts of the body, as well as walk amid an aura of colors while a created image of his body sits or lies down, etc.


Thank you
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Re: Body of a Buddha vs. Arahant in Abhidhamma

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:46 am

brahmabull wrote:Hi Tilt,

I'm not following exactly the fluffy sutta and our guy their guy comment. Please clarify.
No fluffy sutta; rather, what I said: "But it should be kept in mind, this is not fully sutta stuff." The Paṭisambhidāmagga is in-between the suttas and the Abhidhamma, which is assuming the historical understanding that the Abhidhamma came after the Buddha's death, and it is also reasonable to argue that the Paṭisambhidāmagga came after the Buddha's death.

As for the "other guy" comment, it is pretty much what it says. My dad can beat up your dad. To put it in very broad and crude terms, if the Jains posited that their guy was this way and that, the Buddhists responded by saying our guy is even more so. We probably would like to think that the early Buddhists would not do stuff like that, but they did. They even argued over how the Buddha's poop smelled.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Body of a Buddha vs. Arahant in Abhidhamma

Postby brahmabull » Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:18 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
brahmabull wrote:Hi Tilt,

I'm not following exactly the fluffy sutta and our guy their guy comment. Please clarify.
No fluffy sutta; rather, what I said: "But it should be kept in mind, this is not fully sutta stuff." The Paṭisambhidāmagga is in-between the suttas and the Abhidhamma, which is assuming the historical understanding that the Abhidhamma came after the Buddha's death, and it is also reasonable to argue that the Paṭisambhidāmagga came after the Buddha's death.

As for the "other guy" comment, it is pretty much what it says. My dad can beat up your dad. To put it in very broad and crude terms, if the Jains posited that their guy was this way and that, the Buddhists responded by saying our guy is even more so. We probably would like to think that the early Buddhists would not do stuff like that, but they did. They even argued over how the Buddha's poop smelled.


I see. I think my eyes didn't work well in the late hours. Can I ask you what is the rationale behind giving primacy to early texts? Then, what are the earliest of the early (pre-Sangha?) texts? Couldn't one argue that his teachings pre-Sangha are the real Buddhism, and then Buddha had to adjust the rhetoric to fit the emergence of a growing organization (whereby doctrines and rules were necessitated to keep order among the devotees)? If even the Buddha accepted an evolution of ideas and doctrines over his life, why wouldn't that continue after his death? I'm not arguing for an evolving Buddhism, I'm just trying to understand your position.
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Re: Body of a Buddha vs. Arahant in Abhidhamma

Postby brahmabull » Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:05 pm

Vasubhandu mentions in the Kosha that the Buddha's body is "Narayana" to house infinite knowledge. I'm wondering where this comes from.
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Re: Body of a Buddha vs. Arahant in Abhidhamma

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:23 pm

brahmabull wrote:Vasubhandu mentions in the Kosha that the Buddha's body is "Narayana" to house infinite knowledge. I'm wondering where this comes from.
Since the Kosa, a Sarvastivadin text, is rather later, well after the Sarvasitvadin Adbhidharma was and commentaries were penned, it really has no bearing here in the "Discovering Theravada" sub-forum. See the guidelines:


viewtopic.php?f=24&t=9992
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Body of a Buddha vs. Arahant in Abhidhamma

Postby brahmabull » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:51 pm

I see. Is there an unabridged English resource of Abhidhamma?
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Re: Body of a Buddha vs. Arahant in Abhidhamma

Postby Goedert » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:59 pm

They have the same realization of the 4 noble truth. An arahat may not have the same knowledge as the Buddha,.The knowledge of the Buddha is imensurable.
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