Arahants in Early Buddhism

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.

Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:49 am

hi Vincent,
Just checked here and it would appear to be the same one so yes, he was enlightened, but it would still depend upon when you were referring to, and as I am not aware of any accurate chronology of the texts I wouldn't be able to give an accurate response in regard to those texts.
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."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5740
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:38 pm

User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10229
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby vinasp » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:02 am

Hi Cittasanto,

Sorry! I should have phrased the question better. I meant:

Who thinks that Anuruddha is an Arahant, from the quoted passage?

Regards, Vincent.
vinasp
 
Posts: 1211
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby vinasp » Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:10 am

Hi everyone,

There is an ambiguity in the Nikaya's about the status of the four jhanas,
the four formless attainments, and the ninth state called cessation.

Today, we are all told that these attainments are not, themselves,
enlightenment. This is said in every introduction to the Theravada
teachings. But it is not so clear in the Nikaya's, and it is possible
that many monks, at the time, thought that they were the way to
enlightenment.

The wrong eightfold path, which puthujjana monks are on, includes
wrong concentration. This may refer to the practise of the jhanas.

This practise is wrong if the monk thinks that the temporary liberation
attained is the final goal of the teachings. When he attains the highest
state - the cessation of perception and feeling - he thinks that he has
become an Arahant. Some monks then declare final knowledge.

This shows a misunderstanding of enlightenment, which is not a temporary
state, but one which is always present. This "permanent" liberation is
attained by the destruction of the three principle asava's by seeing.
As is described by the Buddha, for example, in MN 4.31-32.

If a puthujjana monk declares final knowledge, claiming to be an Arahant,
this is neither confirmed nor denied. He thinks that he is an Arahant, so
do all the other puthujjana monks who know him. These monks are never called
Arahants in the Discourses.

These other schools probably do not have suttas which call these monks
Arahants either. It is just their interpretation of the teachings, as
recorded in their commentaries.

Is it a misinterpretation, or is it just making explicit something which
is only implicit in the Nikaya's?

Regards, Vincent.
vinasp
 
Posts: 1211
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby vinasp » Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:18 pm

Hi everyone,

It seems to me, to be only a short step, from allowing many bhikkhus to
think that they are arahants, to classifying them as an inferior grade
of arahant. A type of arahant whose liberation is only temporary, and
who is capable of regression. Thus making "official" what was previously
only tacit.

Regards, Vincent.
vinasp
 
Posts: 1211
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby vinasp » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:51 pm

Hi Zom,

Quote;

"In pali SN there is a corrupted sutta, where it is said, that Arahant has to develop 5 indriyas. I guess, this was the reason why this debate appeared over time."

You may be referring to SN 48.58 - The Boar's Cave.

If so, then in my opinion this is not a corrupted sutta.

Nor do I think it has much relevance to the debate between some schools
about whether an arahant can regress.

But it may be important in connection with another question.
Did the apotheosis of the Buddha make it necessary to "downgrade" the
arahant, and to conceal what had previously been the highest stage?

Regards, Vincent.
vinasp
 
Posts: 1211
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby Zom » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:13 pm

If so, then in my opinion this is not a corrupted sutta.


How you would explain it then, if arahant in all suttas is described as one "who has nothing more to do in this life" ,)
User avatar
Zom
 
Posts: 810
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby vinasp » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:00 am

Hi Zom,

Quote:
"How you would explain it then, if arahant in all suttas is described as one "who has nothing more to do in this life"

A careful study of the five Nikaya's reveals many odd things which do not
fit the neat framework of the later orthodox interpretation. Here are some
points to reflect on.

1. Arahant- this is not a precise term and may apply to more than one stage.

2. The term "tathagata" is sometimes used in an odd way.

3. There is ambiguity about the number of asava's, three or four?

4. The five higher fetters are nowhere defined or explained.

5. The noble eightfold path is said to lead to the elimination of many
things, but some things seem to be omitted.

My own guess is that there was a late attempt to edit/modify the teachings.
This effort was abandoned before being completed, leaving a small number
of contradictory passages. [ and some odd discourses such as MN 117 ]
These changes relate only to the order in which things are to be eliminated,
and would have made a final path, beyond the noble eightfold path.

These are merely technical matters, there is nothing of any importance in
these changes. The final goal has always been the same, regardless of the
name or label used to designate it, or the number of stages required to
reach it.

Regards, Vincent.
vinasp
 
Posts: 1211
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby Zom » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:29 am

So, as far as I understood, you don't think that arahant is someone who has attained enlightenment? 8-)

1. Arahant- this is not a precise term and may apply to more than one stage.

2. The term "tathagata" is sometimes used in an odd way.

3. There is ambiguity about the number of asava's, three or four?

4. The five higher fetters are nowhere defined or explained.

5. The noble eightfold path is said to lead to the elimination of many
things, but some things seem to be omitted.


I don't see nothing odd in all of this - even if taken without orthodox commentaries. Everything is explained quite all right (of course, if we make a careful study of the five Nikaya's -)
User avatar
Zom
 
Posts: 810
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

Re: Arahants in Early Buddhism

Postby vinasp » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:35 am

Hi Zom,

Quote:
"So, as far as I understood, you don't think that arahant is someone who has attained enlightenment?"

Full enlightenment is a tathagata - who is also called arahant.

Regards, Vincent.
vinasp
 
Posts: 1211
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Previous

Return to Early Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest