Arahants

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Arahants

Postby phalanyani » Mon May 04, 2009 2:56 am

Does anybody have information about presently living Arahants? Are there any known?

with loving kindness the curious
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Re: Arahants

Postby Cittasanto » Mon May 04, 2009 8:53 am

I don't think they are known but I know some are suspected to be (applies to monks anyway)
personally I think Sitagu Sayadaw is an Arahant whether he is or not I don't know for certain but I suspect.

there are some Non monastic fellows who claim such attainments, but I doubt they are what they say.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Arahants

Postby rowyourboat » Mon May 04, 2009 12:30 pm

There are some sri lankan monks like ven premasiri, ven katukurunde nananda who are thought to be arahanths (and their teachers)- they have incredible knowledge of the dhamma with incredible practice. no confirmations of course. other suspected recent past sri lankan arahaths include ven matara nanarama, ven amathagavesi, Ven sumathipala. There are probably many more but these are the more prominant ones in the meditation circles. Nuns include ven Chandra mani, ven kusuma mani, ven khema mani. There potentially countless non-returners, once returners and stream entrants taught by these wonderful monks and nuns. :bow:

The seven stages of purification (ven matara nanarama)

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/bm7insight.pdf

The nibbana sermons (ven katukurunde nanananda):

http://www.beyondthenet.net/calm/clm_main1.asp

dhamma talks by ven amathagavesi

http://www.basicbuddhism.org/index.cfm?GPID=80
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Re: Arahants

Postby kc2dpt » Mon May 04, 2009 12:53 pm

phalanyani wrote:Does anybody have information about presently living Arahants? Are there any known?

with loving kindness the curious
phalanyani

How would we know?
What if I told you someone was arahant - how would you know if I was telling the truth? How would you know I wasn't deluded?

It's a serious question. What good does it do you for someone to tell you someone else is arahant?
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Arahants

Postby forestmat » Mon May 04, 2009 2:00 pm

Is it not a breach of Vinaya to declare oneself Arahant (if fully ordained)?

metta

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Re: Arahants

Postby gavesako » Mon May 04, 2009 2:17 pm

It is funny moving between different Buddhist circles and hearing the disciples declare that their teacher is an arahant, while at the same time implying that the others are not (I know this from the Thai forest tradition, where the Ajahns apparently hold that in Burma there are no arahants -- is this just nationalism or...?). Interestingly, even though it is an offence for a monk to declare oneself publicly (to laypeople) an arahant, there is an exception in the Vinaya where the Buddha says that if laypeople out of excessive devotion invite the monks saying, "May the venerables, may the arahants come to my house," it is okay to accept such an invitation. This shows that often people will use a word like "arahant" simply to express their devotion, without having any means of knowing where that person is actually at.
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Arahants

Postby kc2dpt » Mon May 04, 2009 5:52 pm

When I hear of people guessing that this or that teacher is arahant... I wonder if a puthujjana could tell the difference between an arahant and an anagami... or an anagami and a sakadagami... or a sakadagami and a sotapanna... or a sotapanna and one merely living restrained in speech and behavior, living frugally, living in accordance with the Vinaya. In this crazy world, if someone is simply nice on a regular basis we might feel prone to elevating them to saintly status.
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Re: Arahants

Postby phalanyani » Fri May 08, 2009 6:43 am

it is , indeed, a seriouse question. And i'm aware of the tendency of people to call their own teacher an arahant and declare others as not arahants. The reason why I'm asking is: if there really would be one, i'd shall go to find out if it's true and if it is so, learn.
But, of course, the internet is not a good place for investigations.

happy Vesakh
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Re: Arahants

Postby Cittasanto » Fri May 08, 2009 10:17 am

forestmat wrote:Is it not a breach of Vinaya to declare oneself Arahant (if fully ordained)?

metta

forestmat


There are rules prohibiting such declarations to laypeople but not other monastics but I do think there is a rule allowing the declaration to non-monastics also for particular reasons, but I am not 100% on that (been told a rule later to find out it didn't exist) maybe one of the monks can clarify more, but certainly the first part is correct!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Arahants

Postby appicchato » Fri May 08, 2009 12:35 pm

Peter wrote:...if someone is simply nice on a regular basis we might feel prone to elevating them to saintly status.


And deservedly so...
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Re: Arahants

Postby kc2dpt » Fri May 08, 2009 12:37 pm

phalanyani wrote:The reason why I'm asking is: if there really would be one, i'd shall go to find out if it's true

How would you find out if it's true?
- Peter

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Re: Arahants

Postby Cittasanto » Fri May 08, 2009 12:41 pm

Peter wrote:
phalanyani wrote:The reason why I'm asking is: if there really would be one, i'd shall go to find out if it's true

How would you find out if it's true?


well Ajahn Chah was punched to the head and knocked over by the force, he said he should send all his monks to london to practice metta after that.

I don't think that is advisable, but it does show allot
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Arahants

Postby rowyourboat » Fri May 08, 2009 6:00 pm

it's reasonable to doubt whether someoen is an arahanth or not... but at the same time all this doubt is also very erosive. It makes it sound like this is hardly possible. There are people out there 'with little dust in their eyes..' hey it might not be you, but at least lets stay open to the possibility!


:anjali:
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Re: Arahants

Postby phalanyani » Mon May 18, 2009 6:56 am

Peter wrote:
phalanyani wrote:The reason why I'm asking is: if there really would be one, i'd shall go to find out if it's true

How would you find out if it's true?


Have you ever seen a french person doing this gesture :shrug: ? When they do it it does not only say: I don't know, it also means: I don't care, not my concern.

hope to know when the moment comes.
have a good day
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Re: Arahants

Postby SeerObserver » Tue May 19, 2009 5:33 pm

Manapa wrote:
Peter wrote:
phalanyani wrote:The reason why I'm asking is: if there really would be one, i'd shall go to find out if it's true

How would you find out if it's true?


well Ajahn Chah was punched to the head and knocked over by the force, he said he should send all his monks to london to practice metta after that.

I don't think that is advisable, but it does show allot

I'm not familiar with this incident. Did this literally happen?
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Re: Arahants

Postby gavesako » Tue May 19, 2009 6:05 pm

No, but some guy made threatening gestures while the monks were walking on the street in London. Ajahn Chah did not seem to react at all...
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Arahants

Postby Ordinaryperson » Wed May 20, 2009 2:19 am

Manapa wrote:"well Ajahn Chah was punched to the head and knocked over by the force, he said he should send all his monks to london to practice metta after that."


Did that really happen in London? I just hope the person who punched Ajahn would be able to shoulder the negative karma he (assuming a man) generated for himself.

I am sure there are still Arahants around but finding and spotting them might not be easy. Those that hinted to my father in a very long winded ways or at least the way my father found out by himself by observation of things they done, passed away normally within 1 to 2 years after that. Things like a frail old looking monk managed to climb up a mountain waiting and ahead of my father and his friends long before they reach the top. By the way they set out first or at least long before the old monk did. Also, there was an old monk who used to go for early alms round with a large king cobra (10-13 feet long) ahead of him and when the villagers saw the large king cobra they knew the old monk was on the way so everyone waited to give him alms. When the old monk passed away the king cobra was never seen again. According to the locals and according to the old monk who explained to my father the king cobra was actually an "earth bound elf" that would eventually "go" with him. People who visited his temple were very cautious on the temple ground as the king cobra was around. The king cobra was never caged etc as it was just like any cobra roaming freely as it liked.
~Actively trying to destroy the Three Unwholesome Roots of Greed, Hatred and Ignorance~
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Re: Arahants

Postby gavesako » Wed May 20, 2009 7:00 am

Was that not a "Naga" (the king cobra)?
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Arahants

Postby Ordinaryperson » Wed May 20, 2009 6:47 pm

gavesako wrote:Was that not a "Naga" (the king cobra)?


Bhante,

The one in the mountain cave according to my father might be a Naga or at least a giant serpent like creature as in the cave there was strong "serpent aroma/smell", I think the old monk actually mentioned it to my father but not to my father's friends as they might be scared stiff.

The one that went for an alms round with the old monk was definitely a big King cobra not Naga as local villagers could recognised it.

:namaste:
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Re: Arahants

Postby Aleksandra » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:37 pm

Dear Bhikkhuni, I can understand why you may want to find an Arahat, but I don't think you will.
Not because I think there aren't any, but because I believe that an Arahat is not likely to declare that they are an Arahat. Not all the Arahats will teach either, the same as all the Buddhas didn't teach. Some Arahats don't want any contact with the world. Most of us can only ponder if someone is an Arahat or not.
My meditation teacher says that he would never tell one of his students that they have achieved the stage of Sotapanna as this would be the end of their practice. I think the similar thing would happen if a student is told that their teacher is an Arahat. He also says: "What use is for us knowing if someone is an Arahat?" meaning that only an Arahat benefits from being the Arahat, but we don't. We are wherever we are with our own development.
Some of the highly skilled teachers will not even teach a particular Dhamma subject if they think the student is not ready to understand it.
However, I think that you should continue to search for a good teacher. There will be more of those who are skilled Dhamma teachers (skilled in teaching the Suttas, giving good Dhamma talks...) and not so many who are also highly skilled meditation teachers, as teaching meditation is much more difficult and requires huge amount of different kind of knowledge and experience. I also believe that the relationship between the teacher and the student is very special and hard to describe. If you have had good and loving relationship with your parents, and if they were the most important people as you were growing up, when you find the right teacher, you may start to feel as if you have found a new set of parents.
May you find the best possible teacher.
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