Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

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Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby Adrien » Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:35 am

It seems that it is commonly assumed that arahants are totally liberated from suffering, even if they still experience pain. I've been wondering for a while whether parinibbana brings a little higher level of peace than "simple" nibbana...

In some suttas, the words of Buddha suggest that there is still a preference for some states than others, and that he would mind providing efforts for nothing. Regarding parinibbana, this would be unrelevant because there isn't plurality of states of mind...

I choosed two excerpts of suttas that boggle me a little, could someone answer the questions following ?

Then in the mind of the Blessed One, who was alone, and had retired into solitude, the following thought arose: 'I have penetrated this doctrine which is profound, difficult to perceive and to understand, which brings quietude of heart, which is exalted, which is unattainable by reasoning, abstruse, intelligible (only) to the wise. This people, on the other hand, is given to desire, intent upon desire, delighting in desire. To this people, therefore, who are given to desire, intent upon desire, delighting in desire, the law of causality and the chain of causation will be a matter difficult to understand; most difficult for them to understand will be also the extinction of all samkhâras, the getting rid of all the substrata (of existence1), the destruction of desire, the absence of passion, quietude of heart, Nirvâna! Now if I proclaim the doctrine, and other men are not able to understand my preaching, there would result but weariness and annoyance to me.'

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe13/sbe1312.htm#page_84_fr_1

-> Can a Buddha experience weariness and annoyance ?

And thus Ven. Angulimala became another one of the arahants.

Then Ven. Angulimala, early in the morning, having put on his robes and carrying his outer robe & bowl, went into Savatthi for alms. Now at that time a clod thrown by one person hit Ven. Angulimala on the body, a stone thrown by another person hit him on the body, and a potsherd thrown by still another person hit him on the body. So Ven. Angulimala — his head broken open and dripping with blood, his bowl broken, and his outer robe ripped to shreds — went to the Blessed One. The Blessed One saw him coming from afar and on seeing him said to him: "Bear with it, brahman! Bear with it! The fruit of the kamma that would have burned you in hell for many years, many hundreds of years, many thousands of years, you are now experiencing in the here-&-now!"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.086.than.html

-> Why did the Buddha feel the need to advice Angulimala to bear the pain ? In the first hand, you would think that an arahant can't do anything wrong, and that he has the wisdom to know how to behave. And in the second hand, it is strange to think about an arahant "bearing" something, if we consider that there is no more suffering for him. I would think that pain cannot affect his mind anymore, and that he wouldn't need to "do" something about it (the "bearing" should be natural, and it shouldn't even be called "bearing").
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Re: Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby Hanzze » Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:54 am

Why did the Buddha feel the need to advice Angulimala to bear the pain ?

Do you think Angulimala was an Arahant at this time?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby Adrien » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:30 am

Yes I do, and I don't think the sutta is ambiguous about that... Why are you asking ? You don't ?
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Re: Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby Hanzze » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:50 am

You don't ?

No, would be strange and would even lead to the same questions you have quoted.

So you think he attained Arahant hood befor Buddha say this to him? How do you come to this thought?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby Adrien » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:55 am

That's funny because I don't understand how you don't !

Then Ven. Angulimala, dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute, in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world." And thus Ven. Angulimala became another one of the arahants.

Then Ven. Angulimala, early in the morning, having put on his robes and carrying his outer robe & bowl, went into Savatthi for alms. Now at that time a clod thrown by one person hit Ven. Angulimala on the body, a stone thrown by another person hit him on the body, and a potsherd thrown by still another person hit him on the body. So Ven. Angulimala — his head broken open and dripping with blood, his bowl broken, and his outer robe ripped to shreds — went to the Blessed One. The Blessed One saw him coming from afar and on seeing him said to him: "Bear with it, brahman! Bear with it! The fruit of the kamma that would have burned you in hell for many years, many hundreds of years, many thousands of years, you are now experiencing in the here-&-now!"
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Re: Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:03 am

Dipa Ma said that she was at least an Anagami. And she said that she felt negative emotions, just that she didn't suffer with them. Her words were "they do not burn". (curiously, that's what I think Daniel Ingram says...)
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby Hanzze » Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:20 am

Adrien wrote:That's funny because I don't understand how you don't !

Then Ven. Angulimala, dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute, in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world." And thus Ven. Angulimala became another one of the arahants.

Then Ven. Angulimala, early in the morning, having put on his robes and carrying his outer robe & bowl, went into Savatthi for alms. Now at that time a clod thrown by one person hit Ven. Angulimala on the body, a stone thrown by another person hit him on the body, and a potsherd thrown by still another person hit him on the body. So Ven. Angulimala — his head broken open and dripping with blood, his bowl broken, and his outer robe ripped to shreds — went to the Blessed One. The Blessed One saw him coming from afar and on seeing him said to him: "Bear with it, brahman! Bear with it! The fruit of the kamma that would have burned you in hell for many years, many hundreds of years, many thousands of years, you are now experiencing in the here-&-now!"

Did not read it before, seems we two have a problem with this sutta now :jumping: Maybe a later handicraft work out of many.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby Hanzze » Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:47 am

Hanzze wrote:
Adrien wrote:That's funny because I don't understand how you don't !

Then Ven. Angulimala, dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute, in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world." And thus Ven. Angulimala became another one of the arahants.

Then Ven. Angulimala, early in the morning, having put on his robes and carrying his outer robe & bowl, went into Savatthi for alms. Now at that time a clod thrown by one person hit Ven. Angulimala on the body, a stone thrown by another person hit him on the body, and a potsherd thrown by still another person hit him on the body. So Ven. Angulimala — his head broken open and dripping with blood, his bowl broken, and his outer robe ripped to shreds — went to the Blessed One. The Blessed One saw him coming from afar and on seeing him said to him: "Bear with it, brahman! Bear with it! The fruit of the kamma that would have burned you in hell for many years, many hundreds of years, many thousands of years, you are now experiencing in the here-&-now!"

Did not read it before, seems we two have a problem with this sutta now :jumping: Maybe a later handicraft work out of many.

Btw, did you thought about what is meant by it? :tongue:
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby Adrien » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:06 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:Dipa Ma said that she was at least an Anagami. And she said that she felt negative emotions, just that she didn't suffer with them. Her words were "they do not burn". (curiously, that's what I think Daniel Ingram says...)

If it doesn't burn, why would the Buddha advice an Arahant to bear with pain ?

Hanzze wrote:Did not read it before, seems we two have a problem with this sutta now :jumping:

Am I right if I understood that it is the sutta that you didn't read before and that now you have the same problem than me with this sutta ?

Hanzze wrote:Maybe a later handicraft work out of many.

I didn't understand this, my english's fault.

Hanzze wrote:Btw, did you thought about what is meant by it? :tongue:

I would say the pain from his wounds. But again : do you find it unclear ?
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Re: Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby Hanzze » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:11 pm

How comes that you think the "it" is about pain? - > "fruit of the kamma"
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby Adrien » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:28 pm

I would say that the pain is the fruit of Angulimala's kamma.

I'm sorry Hanzee, but I have the feeling that your questions aren't helping the thread. If you have ideas, or answers, please express them directly. If you have other questions, would you mind asking them via pm ? That way the thread would stay short and neat, which may allow more people to read and answer it.

Anyway, thank you for your interest.
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Re: Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby Hanzze » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:32 pm

?? Who would feel pain, there are just wounds and blood. It's just that Angulimala might have thought, that after attaining of nibbana, kamma would no more ripe. It does anyway, but one is no more touched. "The fruit of the kamma that would have burned you in hell for many years...."

The pain is something that comes up in ones own perception and can even touch people who are totally not involved. How comes that you feel pain, when you hear, read, see blood?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:07 pm

Ajahn Maha Bua, when he was describing his experience of attaining arhantship, wept at the memory as he described the experience. This lead to detractors publicly commenting he couldn't have achieved 'true' bodhi because if he had, he wouldn't show such emotion. He said in a follow-up commentary that it was foolish to think an arhant couldn't weep. That it was the skhandas that wept, but the citta of an arhant was unaffected. Perhaps something to consider in this discussion.

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Re: Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby santa100 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:54 pm

Adrien wrote:
"Can a Buddha experience weariness and annoyance ?"

Yes, His "body" still can. The World Honored One attained freedom from samsara, not a steel body that is impervious to physical pains. Due to the big limitation of common expression language, we need to interprete the Buddha's common expression of "there would result but weariness and annoyance to me" to mean the crude Five Aggregates, not "Himself", for an Enlightened One has completely eliminated all conceits about "I", "mine", and "myself".

"Bear with it, brahman! Bear with it!"

Same idea as the first question, just common language expression. As a matter of fact, I'd be surprised if I saw the Enlightened One saying nothing when seeing His noble disciple coming back with "head broken open and dripping with blood, his bowl broken, and his outer robe ripped to shreds"!!
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Re: Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby whynotme » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:14 am

BubbaBuddhist wrote:Ajahn Maha Bua, when he was describing his experience of attaining arhantship, wept at the memory as he described the experience. This lead to detractors publicly commenting he couldn't have achieved 'true' bodhi because if he had, he wouldn't show such emotion. He said in a follow-up commentary that it was foolish to think an arhant couldn't weep. That it was the skhandas that wept, but the citta of an arhant was unaffected. Perhaps something to consider in this discussion.

BB

I don't believe in arahant who wept. The Buddha taught the standstill in front of feelings, if he wept because of emotion, then he was not arahant. Saying arahant can weep because of emotion is like saying arahant can have sexual intercourse and the mind still was unaffected because it is just only the skhandas that having sex. Emotion is cause and effect of the mind, the one who differs skhanda emotions to his responsibility is not an arahant

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Re: Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:22 am

Wasn't there a story of the Buddha losing a tear, when Mara told him that he will not disapear and continue his ways? (it can be that it is just a story)

But of course, a tear naturally arises if we have dust in the eye (to use this similie on more that only the perception of vedana). How ever, a tear has the purpose to wash out the dirt.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby whynotme » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:53 am

Hanzze wrote:Wasn't there a story of the Buddha losing a tear, when Mara told him that he will not disapear and continue his ways? (it can be that it is just a story)

But of course, a tear naturally arises if we have dust in the eye (to use this similie on more that only the perception of vedana). How ever, a tear has the purpose to wash out the dirt.

No, I haven't read anything like that in the suttas, it is possible a legend.
What I said is that tear caused by emotion, in every sentences I talked about emotion. If tear caused by physical cause, then it doesn't count, arahants or the buddha can have this kind of tear. But is this kind of tear worth to mention by an arahant? No, definitely, no

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Re: Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:09 am

It was just a try of a multilayer approach to the similie of dust in the eyes. You know, some are very attached to body and physicality and many very attached to feelings and mentality. I guess there is still dust coming along and there will be still tears to wash them away again and again. Maybe it's just that mentality and physicality is no more dismixed and wrong understood, not to speak of awarness to close the eyes when storm start to arise.

Sometimes awarness is so strong, that we even would to twinkle for hours which would easily damage our eyes.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby whynotme » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:33 am

Hanzze wrote:It was just a try of a multilayer approach to the similie of dust in the eyes. You know, some are very attached to body and physicality and many very attached to feelings and mentality. I guess there is still dust coming along and there will be still tears to wash them away again and again. Maybe it's just that mentality and physicality is no more dismixed and wrong understood, not to speak of awarness to close the eyes when storm start to arise.

Sometimes awarness is so strong, that we even would to twinkle for hours which would easily damage our eyes.

No matter how you mixed mental and physical things together, remember the two arrow simile? The Buddha only teachs about the destroying of the metal arrow.

IMO, don't use your awareness to judge an arahant awareness. Do you mean he as an arahant suddenly cried because of nothing? Look at the content of that story, he wept when he remembered the experience, it clearly indicates emotion. If it was physical cause then he can explain it easily, but he didn't. Instead, he used the typical story, the body cried but the mind doesn't, it clearly shows that he was not an arahant. Why do I say this? Maybe one day you will think you are an arahant but still have love and hate, and think the mind is unaffected. If you think like that, IMO, you are not even a sotapanna and so is Ajahn Maha Bua.

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Re: Arahants still experiencing pain AND suffering ?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:07 am

If I would be playful I would now answer: "IMO, don't use your awareness to judge an arahant awareness."

"Look at the content of that story, he wept when he remembered the experience" ahh, you talk about Ajahn Maha Bua. You might be right, but I don't know what has happened later. Some on there way to Arahantship cry even a lot and sometimes we do never hear stories after such happens and from later on.

Don't worry to much, you not on the wrong lane with your thought but it's somehow a waste of time to indentify Arahants, its good to know and be sure that there are some even not so seen.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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