arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby alan... » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:58 am

know of any arahant, non-returner, once returner, or stream winners in the world today or in recent times?

if you had to guess, who fits these titles?

i'm especially interested to know if anyone thinks someone they know or have met personally may be one of these and why.













i realize this is not something people announce and that if they do announce it they're likely and usually full of it and so any replies to this thread are complete speculation. i believe it's even a vinaya offense to announce attainments to lay people if i'm not mistaken (out of curiosity anyone have a reference?). i've seen the posts on similar threads letting the thread starter know this. but people change, new members with new info join, and things happen so i figured i would start a brand new thread about this.


EDIT: also side note, relics? i hear these are left behind after the cremation of an arahant. what are they? i've read in some thread on here they're just bone, but that makes no sense as any being will leave behind bone or teeth or what have you. they have to be something special if they are supposed to indicate arahantship, right? anyone know more about it?
Last edited by alan... on Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
alan...
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby cooran » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:08 am

Hello alan,

There are 15 pages of posts in''he thread
''How common is Stream Entry?''
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=5352

with 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 ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7513
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby alan... » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:09 am

cooran wrote:Hello alan,

There are 15 pages of posts in''he thread
''How common is Stream Entry?''
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=5352

with metta
Chris


thanks. i've perused some of these already, i was hoping for some new names and new perspectives.

alan... wrote:i've seen the posts on similar threads letting the thread starter know this. but people change, new members with new info join, and things happen so i figured i would start a brand new thread about this.
alan...
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby marc108 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:51 am

i think arahants are probably extremely rare, and the ones that do exist are not in the public eye. that being said, i think most of the well known masters have reached some level of enlightenment. Bhante Gunaratana, Ajahn Brahm, Ajahn Sujato, Ajahn Sucitto, Ajahn Amaro, Ajahn Sumedho,Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Bhikkhu Bodhi, Pa-Auk Sayadaw, Joseph Goldtstein, Richard Shankman, Jack Kornfield... the list goes on and on.

Someone asked my teacher something along the lines of how common stream entry was, and he believed there was a few in the room (of 20 or so serious practitioners)... hinting that it wasn't super common but also not extremely rare.
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."
User avatar
marc108
 
Posts: 464
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:10 pm

Re: arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby alan... » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:58 am

marc108 wrote:i think arahants are probably extremely rare, and the ones that do exist are not in the public eye. that being said, i think most of the well known masters have reached some level of enlightenment. Bhante Gunaratana, Ajahn Brahm, Ajahn Sujato, Ajahn Sucitto, Ajahn Amaro, Ajahn Sumedho,Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Bhikkhu Bodhi, Pa-Auk Sayadaw, Joseph Goldtstein, Richard Shankman, Jack Kornfield... the list goes on and on.

Someone asked my teacher something along the lines of how common stream entry was, and he believed there was a few in the room (of 20 or so serious practitioners)... hinting that it wasn't super common but also not extremely rare.


i agree fully. there must be stream enterers all over the world. surely a couple of arahants. and then there's the likely possibility that there are lower levels of accomplishment in which someone has realized the dhamma more or less but hasn't quite reached any of the four states named above. people like that are surely perfect to teach others, they just haven't had the permanent mental status change that locks in certain characteristics.
alan...
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby cooran » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:13 am

Hello alan, marc108,

I think there may be a misunderstanding of what is the most difficult to attain.

One can go aeons without becoming a Stream Enterer. But once this has occurred, one becomes an Arahant in not more than 7 rebirths.

''The Pali Canon recognizes four levels of Awakening, the first of which is called stream entry. This gains its name from the fact that a person who has attained this level has entered the "stream" flowing inevitably to nibbana. He/she is guaranteed to achieve full awakening within seven lifetimes at most, and in the interim will not be reborn in any of the lower realms.....''
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/stud ... tml#intro1

with 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 ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7513
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby alan... » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:18 am

cooran wrote:Hello alan, marc108,

I think there may be a misunderstanding of what is the most difficult to attain.

One can go aeons without becoming a Stream Enterer. But once this has occurred, one becomes an Arahant in not more than 7 rebirths.

''The Pali Canon recognizes four levels of Awakening, the first of which is called stream entry. This gains its name from the fact that a person who has attained this level has entered the "stream" flowing inevitably to nibbana. He/she is guaranteed to achieve full awakening within seven lifetimes at most, and in the interim will not be reborn in any of the lower realms.....''
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/stud ... tml#intro1

with metta,
Chris


no i get it. in the pali canon people reach these attainments left and right and the same is true for later literature. to assume that there is either zero or close to zero people today achieving even the lowest of the four seems a little to far in the opposite direction, nearly leading to a belief that the dhamma is dead or that it does not work as we try to use it today. if you really believe that there are next to none then why waste time practicing? why not just follow the precepts and forget the rest because if that's true then it probably doesn't work so you may as well just behave morally and hope for a rebirth where the dhamma still works.

the only way to know one way or another would be to know the minds of every living person on the planet. so since neither of us can do that neither of us can be correct nor can either of us really be "wrong". there may be stream enterers all over the place or there may be only one, or none. no way to tell. but what is for certain is that the pali canon presents them as attainable goals that are reached by many. i think a fairly safe assumption is that if one is living in a time with easy access to dhamma then perhaps one has already lived the aeons without becoming a stream enterer and now it's just up to them to practice hard while they have this fortunate life to live. if one had not the good kamma to be born in such a time then one would be born elsewhere and not hear the dhamma at all, this would be the aeons of samsara until one has good enough kamma to land in an era of dhamma. however to be here, now, you've probably already stored up a massive amount of good kamma and with serious dedication could probably enter the stream or at least reach another attainment that will assure a dhamma plentiful rebirth (i can't remember what these are but they exist, or at least i know there's some attainment that's not stream entry but guarantees no more lower realm rebirth...).

so yes it may take aeons but if you're born in a time where there is dhamma that is easily accessible and you are a human then stream entry is probably not some extremely rare and highly unlikely event. kamma and rebirth are not random. if you are surrounded by dhamma it's because of aeons of good kamma in the past so the time is now! don't put these attainments aeons away from you and everyone else. strive as though they are something you can reach!
alan...
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby daverupa » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:24 pm

alan... wrote:thanks. i've perused some of these already, i was hoping for some new names and new perspectives.


The best post in that other thread is this one, I think.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 4125
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby James the Giant » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:57 pm

I have met one monk who has been confirmed as Stream Enterer by a very senior Ajahn Chah first-generation-disciple. I was there when the senior Ajahn confirmed it. The room was electrified and excited at the Ajahn's words. The audience was other monks, and four very quiet laymen who sat at the back behind the monks and were astounded at what we were hearing.
Dunno what that's worth. Maybe it's an offence to say it of another bhikkhu, I don't know. But he didn't exactly say it explicitly... he said "I never say someone is a sotapanna, but in the case of Ajahn ________, I can say he is exactly like a sotapanna."

And I did a long retreat guided by a Burmese bhikkhu who I think has some Ariya status, but I have no confirmation of that. Just an impression.

Oh, and of course Daniel Ingram. It says so on the cover of his book.
Image
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
User avatar
James the Giant
 
Posts: 782
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:41 am

Re: arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby perkele » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:38 pm

Okay, this is just for possible inspiration. I'm not intending to debate any of this.

Arahants:
Ajahn Maha Bua. I am very sure he was an arahat. He said he was an arahat. Some people may take that as a reason to believe the opposite. When you read his books, especially Arahatta-Magga Arahatta-Phala, you can check for yourself if there's something that resonates with your intuition deep inside, or if you think he was just full of himself.
He had some disciples who, so I heard and believe, also became arahats, including the british-born Ajahn Paññavaddho, who, from what I read of his own talks and teachings, must have been a very wise, eloquent, friendly and inspiring person, with a temperament quite different from that of his teacher, but nonetheless completely content with living there, apparently having arrived in the right place.
I am quite sure, Ajahn Paññavaddho was an arahat, too. Alone from what Ajahn Maha Bua had to say about him. There was nothing but praise, he was without fault in his teacher's eyes, so it seems. And that is truly remarkable, considering that the teacher was Ajahn Maha Bua.
I think Ajahn Maha Bua was quite uncompromising in dealing with his students: Either you do the training to attain Nibbana, or you can leave! Must have been like that, more or less. :jumping: He was a rough and tough guy. Ajahn Paññavaddho must have gotten it right pretty fast. He must have been a marvelous person.
I think the remaining western disciples of Ajahn Maha Bua must also have attained some level of realization. Otherwise they wouldn't have been able to endure the rough ride with such a severe teacher for so long. Also I think Ajahn Maha Bua said something to the extent that "he is not worried about his spiritual friends anymore" or something like that in his last short desana before his death, where he just said some things to that extent, that he is ready to go now.
I have met one of them in person. I do not doubt his integrity in the least. And I do not doubt that he is done with the world, so to speak. At least to some degree that is irrevocable. Although he is not the most pleasent, or most inspiring for many, person to meet, I guess. I myself was very intimidated when I first met him, because he really does not come off as the most friendly radiating-metta kind of guy. I can only say that I am sure he would never tell a lie or pretend anything to anyone and that his determination and firmness and his contentment in that speak for him. He can also lighten up and have some humour, when he sees it as appropriate, but he is very earnest and serious and wants people to learn and be mindful when they want to learn from him.
If I had the guts and not so many unresolved problems that I'm entangled in I would try to find him and follow him by the hem of his robes like an annoying little kilesa. I wish him all the best in the forests of Thailand. He has no ambitions to come back and teach more I think.

Pa Auk Sayadaw. I believe he must also be an arahat or at least anagami, I think arahat. Why do I think that?
The first hint came from Sayalay Dipankara, one of his students. In a very long multi-parted interview on Dhammatube she talked about her own progress in Dhamma, and about stream-entry in a way that leaves no doubt for me that she must have attained stream-entry herself. The way she says things and expresses herself does not run counter to the Dhamma as far as I can understand it, she does not seem to be stupid, or an impostor or false and pretentious and driven by silly pride or something like that in any way that I could identify. So in conclusion I believe that she has attained at least stream-entry. There are some hints elsewhere that she has attained even more.
Based on that I concluded it to be very likely that her teacher Pa Auk Sayadaw should also be very advanced or even at the end of the path. And what I could read, hear or see on the internet, from himself and the accounts of his students, including some western lay disciples whose names I forgot but who gave some good Dhamma talks speaking about their own ways of practice and experience (including their own and, to me, completely believable accounts of remembering past lives by following the practice as they learned it), so as to inspire and instruct in line with their own capacities and abilities, I could not detect any false air or ill-inspired motivation there, but only true, deep and sound confidence. So based on that I believe that Pa Auk Sayadaw is probably also an arahat and showing people the right way, and there are probably some sotapannas and the like among his students.
I've also met one of his disciples, a bhikkhuni, from Germany. Don't know if she has reached stream-entry or anything. But she was a truly good and inspiring person, not given to shenanigans and nonsense, but faithfully and earnestly devoted to the teaching of the Buddha. (And oh, she was so beautiful, and oh such a lovely, soothing voice when she was chanting the Karaniya-Metta-Sutta :p - but that's something different.)

So these are two quite different pairs of shoes (or whatever you call it, excuse my English), even to an extreme in some way: Ajahn Maha Bua and his teachings and his disciples on the one hand, and Pa Auk Sayadaw and his teachings and his disciples on the other hand. But with both of them I strongly feel that this is the real deal. Ajahn Maha Bua came from a rural area in Thailand. And his way of teaching Dhamma was very rough and maybe even rude, as it seems.
But as far as I can tell it was truthful and uncompromising, not driven by false motivations, just in line with his character and his inquiry for truth. Pa Auk Sayadaw on the other hand has a very educated background, having become a novice monk in Burma at the age of 10, where the monastic order is the intellectual elite. He was born, so to speak into the hands of good teachers, more or less, so it seems. He is radiating metta so naturally and with ease, and approaching the Dhamma in a more composed and intellectual (for lack of better words) way, one that is in line with the way he knows and sees.
So there may be wide differences in character and temperament, according to different upbringing, previous karma and so on. And of course such different characters attract quite different flocks of students. But for me, I believe these both to be (respectively have been) arahats.
That's quite interesting. But even the Buddha already remarked something like that, when someone approached him and wondered why it was that these monks follow Moggalana, these monks follow Anuruddha, these monks follow Sariputta and so on. It's really interesting.

Another monk who some years ago passed away of whom I believe that he might have been an arahat was Bhante Ñanavimala, a German monk living in Sri Lanka. From what there is to be read about him, his solitary, devoted monk lifestyle that he followed with unflinching determination, composure and contentment, free like a bird, following the Buddha's teaching without need for anyone else's guidance or advice, strict and severe but completely content, he must really have been a most remarkable person. If he has not become an arahat, then he must be in the formless realms now with the anagamis, I guess. Anyway, that's what I believe from the little that I've read about him. But maybe can't be so sure about that. Maybe he was only a sotapanna. But for sure, he must have been a sotapanna at the very least. Maybe you want to read about him. There's not very much. Some accounts of various monks who met him, all of whom were very impressed and awe-inspired.

Another recent arahat, as far as I believe of course, was Mae-Chee Kaew, a female disciple of Ajahn Mun and later Ajahn Maha Bua. There's a biography of her, written by Ajahn Maha Bua, that reads a bit like a fantasy novel. But not in the way that I would say it's just fantasy, of course. Don't know if you will find it inspiring or silly.

And of course Ajahn Mun himself, the teacher of Ajahn Maha Bua, of Ajahn Chah (for only some days) and many others back in those days, who was the initiator of the now so-called Thai Forest Tradition, or what it originally was. All these rough cowboy Ajahns on tudong, striving for Nibbana.
There were quite a few later arahats among them, thus I have heard. There are some funny stories. For example one of them stopped eating and decided to starve to death, because he'd had enough and was not able to teach others, didn't want to waste anyone's time. There are so many different characters. Some can teach. Some can not. And they do it in so different ways, according to their character and the circumstances. So I believe in these stories because I heard or read them from monks in whose integrity I believe completely. That's all.

Ajahn Chah, I think, might also very likely have been an arahat, despite his debilitating condition later that seemed to reduce him to a vegetable. The many inspiring students he has taught by the example of his noble conduct and so forth, the Sangha that he raised as it were like a mother her children, to establish them in autonomy and self-reliance, like Ajahn Sumedho or Ajahn Jayasaro, for example, I think they speak for him and his abilities as a teacher. There are so many inspiring stories about Ajahn Chah, you know many of them, no doubt. I think he was probably an arahat. He lived with Ajahn Mun only for a couple of days, as far as I've heard. Then he set out to practice alone I think. Maybe he had heard enough to be on the right track on his own.

Who else? Bhante Ñanadipa, a danish (I think) monk in Sri Lanka, I guess he's also on a good way, and maybe quite far on that way.
And Bhante Rahula who wrote the text, of course, I think he's also on a good trip. Formerly tripping on LSD now he is tripping on Dhamma. And I think he won't come off that trip until he has attained Nibbana.
Many good bhikkhus going the good way, having found security in that, they can go where they see fit. May the force be with them.

So there are quite some people who are still on a good way I think. A way that will lead them to Nibbana, even today. Some may be in the public sphere to some extent, but probably most rather obscure and unknown. But I believe there are still quite a few, some dozens maybe. When they disappear we will probably hardly even notice. And we are suddenly just left with the noise of impostors.

Like this one maybe?
James the Giant wrote:Oh, and of course Daniel Ingram. It says so on the cover of his book.
Image


Before we end up with only that, left in only doubt and confusion, we should see that we become sotapannas ourselves dang fast, or see how we can follow the Dhamma to the best of our own abilities and our own understanding, or that what's left of it, as long as there is something left, or something right. Or we must find the middle way between left and right. What a daunting prospect.
:rolleye:

:buddha2: :coffee: :buddha1:
perkele
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:37 pm

Re: arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby alan... » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:25 am

perkele wrote:Okay, this is just for possible inspiration. I'm not intending to debate any of this.

Arahants:
Ajahn Maha Bua. I am very sure he was an arahat. He said he was an arahat. Some people may take that as a reason to believe the opposite. When you read his books, especially Arahatta-Magga Arahatta-Phala, you can check for yourself if there's something that resonates with your intuition deep inside, or if you think he was just full of himself.
He had some disciples who, so I heard and believe, also became arahats, including the british-born Ajahn Paññavaddho, who, from what I read of his own talks and teachings, must have been a very wise, eloquent, friendly and inspiring person, with a temperament quite different from that of his teacher, but nonetheless completely content with living there, apparently having arrived in the right place.
I am quite sure, Ajahn Paññavaddho was an arahat, too. Alone from what Ajahn Maha Bua had to say about him. There was nothing but praise, he was without fault in his teacher's eyes, so it seems. And that is truly remarkable, considering that the teacher was Ajahn Maha Bua.
I think Ajahn Maha Bua was quite uncompromising in dealing with his students: Either you do the training to attain Nibbana, or you can leave! Must have been like that, more or less. :jumping: He was a rough and tough guy. Ajahn Paññavaddho must have gotten it right pretty fast. He must have been a marvelous person.
I think the remaining western disciples of Ajahn Maha Bua must also have attained some level of realization. Otherwise they wouldn't have been able to endure the rough ride with such a severe teacher for so long. Also I think Ajahn Maha Bua said something to the extent that "he is not worried about his spiritual friends anymore" or something like that in his last short desana before his death, where he just said some things to that extent, that he is ready to go now.
I have met one of them in person. I do not doubt his integrity in the least. And I do not doubt that he is done with the world, so to speak. At least to some degree that is irrevocable. Although he is not the most pleasent, or most inspiring for many, person to meet, I guess. I myself was very intimidated when I first met him, because he really does not come off as the most friendly radiating-metta kind of guy. I can only say that I am sure he would never tell a lie or pretend anything to anyone and that his determination and firmness and his contentment in that speak for him. He can also lighten up and have some humour, when he sees it as appropriate, but he is very earnest and serious and wants people to learn and be mindful when they want to learn from him.
If I had the guts and not so many unresolved problems that I'm entangled in I would try to find him and follow him by the hem of his robes like an annoying little kilesa. I wish him all the best in the forests of Thailand. He has no ambitions to come back and teach more I think.

Pa Auk Sayadaw. I believe he must also be an arahat or at least anagami, I think arahat. Why do I think that?
The first hint came from Sayalay Dipankara, one of his students. In a very long multi-parted interview on Dhammatube she talked about her own progress in Dhamma, and about stream-entry in a way that leaves no doubt for me that she must have attained stream-entry herself. The way she says things and expresses herself does not run counter to the Dhamma as far as I can understand it, she does not seem to be stupid, or an impostor or false and pretentious and driven by silly pride or something like that in any way that I could identify. So in conclusion I believe that she has attained at least stream-entry. There are some hints elsewhere that she has attained even more.
Based on that I concluded it to be very likely that her teacher Pa Auk Sayadaw should also be very advanced or even at the end of the path. And what I could read, hear or see on the internet, from himself and the accounts of his students, including some western lay disciples whose names I forgot but who gave some good Dhamma talks speaking about their own ways of practice and experience (including their own and, to me, completely believable accounts of remembering past lives by following the practice as they learned it), so as to inspire and instruct in line with their own capacities and abilities, I could not detect any false air or ill-inspired motivation there, but only true, deep and sound confidence. So based on that I believe that Pa Auk Sayadaw is probably also an arahat and showing people the right way, and there are probably some sotapannas and the like among his students.
I've also met one of his disciples, a bhikkhuni, from Germany. Don't know if she has reached stream-entry or anything. But she was a truly good and inspiring person, not given to shenanigans and nonsense, but faithfully and earnestly devoted to the teaching of the Buddha. (And oh, she was so beautiful, and oh such a lovely, soothing voice when she was chanting the Karaniya-Metta-Sutta :p - but that's something different.)

So these are two quite different pairs of shoes (or whatever you call it, excuse my English), even to an extreme in some way: Ajahn Maha Bua and his teachings and his disciples on the one hand, and Pa Auk Sayadaw and his teachings and his disciples on the other hand. But with both of them I strongly feel that this is the real deal. Ajahn Maha Bua came from a rural area in Thailand. And his way of teaching Dhamma was very rough and maybe even rude, as it seems.
But as far as I can tell it was truthful and uncompromising, not driven by false motivations, just in line with his character and his inquiry for truth. Pa Auk Sayadaw on the other hand has a very educated background, having become a novice monk in Burma at the age of 10, where the monastic order is the intellectual elite. He was born, so to speak into the hands of good teachers, more or less, so it seems. He is radiating metta so naturally and with ease, and approaching the Dhamma in a more composed and intellectual (for lack of better words) way, one that is in line with the way he knows and sees.
So there may be wide differences in character and temperament, according to different upbringing, previous karma and so on. And of course such different characters attract quite different flocks of students. But for me, I believe these both to be (respectively have been) arahats.
That's quite interesting. But even the Buddha already remarked something like that, when someone approached him and wondered why it was that these monks follow Moggalana, these monks follow Anuruddha, these monks follow Sariputta and so on. It's really interesting.

Another monk who some years ago passed away of whom I believe that he might have been an arahat was Bhante Ñanavimala, a German monk living in Sri Lanka. From what there is to be read about him, his solitary, devoted monk lifestyle that he followed with unflinching determination, composure and contentment, free like a bird, following the Buddha's teaching without need for anyone else's guidance or advice, strict and severe but completely content, he must really have been a most remarkable person. If he has not become an arahat, then he must be in the formless realms now with the anagamis, I guess. Anyway, that's what I believe from the little that I've read about him. But maybe can't be so sure about that. Maybe he was only a sotapanna. But for sure, he must have been a sotapanna at the very least. Maybe you want to read about him. There's not very much. Some accounts of various monks who met him, all of whom were very impressed and awe-inspired.

Another recent arahat, as far as I believe of course, was Mae-Chee Kaew, a female disciple of Ajahn Mun and later Ajahn Maha Bua. There's a biography of her, written by Ajahn Maha Bua, that reads a bit like a fantasy novel. But not in the way that I would say it's just fantasy, of course. Don't know if you will find it inspiring or silly.

And of course Ajahn Mun himself, the teacher of Ajahn Maha Bua, of Ajahn Chah (for only some days) and many others back in those days, who was the initiator of the now so-called Thai Forest Tradition, or what it originally was. All these rough cowboy Ajahns on tudong, striving for Nibbana.
There were quite a few later arahats among them, thus I have heard. There are some funny stories. For example one of them stopped eating and decided to starve to death, because he'd had enough and was not able to teach others, didn't want to waste anyone's time. There are so many different characters. Some can teach. Some can not. And they do it in so different ways, according to their character and the circumstances. So I believe in these stories because I heard or read them from monks in whose integrity I believe completely. That's all.

Ajahn Chah, I think, might also very likely have been an arahat, despite his debilitating condition later that seemed to reduce him to a vegetable. The many inspiring students he has taught by the example of his noble conduct and so forth, the Sangha that he raised as it were like a mother her children, to establish them in autonomy and self-reliance, like Ajahn Sumedho or Ajahn Jayasaro, for example, I think they speak for him and his abilities as a teacher. There are so many inspiring stories about Ajahn Chah, you know many of them, no doubt. I think he was probably an arahat. He lived with Ajahn Mun only for a couple of days, as far as I've heard. Then he set out to practice alone I think. Maybe he had heard enough to be on the right track on his own.

Who else? Bhante Ñanadipa, a danish (I think) monk in Sri Lanka, I guess he's also on a good way, and maybe quite far on that way.
And Bhante Rahula who wrote the text, of course, I think he's also on a good trip. Formerly tripping on LSD now he is tripping on Dhamma. And I think he won't come off that trip until he has attained Nibbana.
Many good bhikkhus going the good way, having found security in that, they can go where they see fit. May the force be with them.

So there are quite some people who are still on a good way I think. A way that will lead them to Nibbana, even today. Some may be in the public sphere to some extent, but probably most rather obscure and unknown. But I believe there are still quite a few, some dozens maybe. When they disappear we will probably hardly even notice. And we are suddenly just left with the noise of impostors.

Like this one maybe?
James the Giant wrote:Oh, and of course Daniel Ingram. It says so on the cover of his book.
Image


Before we end up with only that, left in only doubt and confusion, we should see that we become sotapannas ourselves dang fast, or see how we can follow the Dhamma to the best of our own abilities and our own understanding, or that what's left of it, as long as there is something left, or something right. Or we must find the middle way between left and right. What a daunting prospect.
:rolleye:

:buddha2: :coffee: :buddha1:


this ajahn maha bua guy sounds pretty cool from what i'm reading on wikipedia.
alan...
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby alan... » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:12 am

on a side note, didn't the sarvastivadins teach that an arahant could back slide and still have faults and that only a full on buddha was perfect? i feel like i read this was one of the division points between them and theravada or maybe just early schools in general. if this was the theravada view also there would be arahants EVERYWHERE! think about all the amazing monks out there who may be nearly perfect and clearly understand the dhamma deeply but they slip up here and there. it's like zen, someone can be considered a master even if, for example, they're married and have a bit of a temper as long as they have at some point proven their deep understanding of zen. i'm not entirely sure this isn't such a bad thing. it's kind of sad that arahantship is almost scoffed at when spoken of and treated as some impossible goal. however i am very much a theravadin and as i read the pali canon arahants are quite perfect and have ended their defilements totally and permanently. i don't see much room for them being able to backslide or whatever.
alan...
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby SarathW » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:31 am

Persons who eradicated following ten fetters are Arahants:

Sutta Pitaka's list of ten fetters

The Pali canon's Sutta Pitaka identifies ten "fetters of becoming"
1.belief in a self (Pali: sakkāya-diṭṭhi)
2.doubt or uncertainty, especially about the teachings (vicikicchā)
3.attachment to rites and rituals (sīlabbata-parāmāso)
4.sensual desire (kāmacchando)
5.ill will (vyāpādo or byāpādo)
6.lust for material existence, lust for material rebirth (rūparāgo)
7.lust for immaterial existence, lust for rebirth in a formless realm (arūparāgo)
8.conceit (māna)
9.restlessness (uddhacca)
10.ignorance (avijjā)

As indicated in the table to the right, throughout the Sutta Pitaka, the first five fetters are referred to as "lower fetters" (orambhāgiyāni saṃyojanāni) and are eradicated upon becoming a non-returner; and, the last five fetters are referred to as "higher fetters" (uddhambhāgiyāni saṃyojanāni), eradicated by an arahant.

There is no place called Nirvana, there is no person to attain Nirvana and there is nothing to be attained.
So I think, you can't find one!
SarathW
 
Posts: 2036
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby alan... » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:18 am

SarathW wrote:Persons who eradicated following ten fetters are Arahants:

Sutta Pitaka's list of ten fetters

The Pali canon's Sutta Pitaka identifies ten "fetters of becoming"
1.belief in a self (Pali: sakkāya-diṭṭhi)
2.doubt or uncertainty, especially about the teachings (vicikicchā)
3.attachment to rites and rituals (sīlabbata-parāmāso)
4.sensual desire (kāmacchando)
5.ill will (vyāpādo or byāpādo)
6.lust for material existence, lust for material rebirth (rūparāgo)
7.lust for immaterial existence, lust for rebirth in a formless realm (arūparāgo)
8.conceit (māna)
9.restlessness (uddhacca)
10.ignorance (avijjā)

As indicated in the table to the right, throughout the Sutta Pitaka, the first five fetters are referred to as "lower fetters" (orambhāgiyāni saṃyojanāni) and are eradicated upon becoming a non-returner; and, the last five fetters are referred to as "higher fetters" (uddhambhāgiyāni saṃyojanāni), eradicated by an arahant.

There is no place called Nirvana, there is no person to attain Nirvana and there is nothing to be attained.
So I think, you can't find one!


indeed. that's what i was saying above. it is ironclad in the canon that these are the requirements and they are quite permanent. however i'm not sure what you mean by "you can't find one!". there are hundreds of arahants mentioned in the pali canon and many people "found" them. if there are arahants today and someone meets one they surely "found" them.
alan...
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:33 am

alan... wrote:
indeed. that's what i was saying above. it is ironclad in the canon that these are the requirements and they are quite permanent. however i'm not sure what you mean by "you can't find one!". there are hundreds of arahants mentioned in the pali canon and many people "found" them. if there are arahants today and someone meets one they surely "found" them.

When followers would ask the Buddha, "Where can an arahant be found after death?" he would answer, "An arahant cannot be found before death!"
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
User avatar
LonesomeYogurt
 
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: America

Re: arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby alan... » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:42 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:When followers would ask the Buddha, "Where can an arahant be found after death?" he would answer, "An arahant cannot be found before death!"


ugh, i hate saying this, but: sutta number please? i don't like to log stuff in my brain as "fact" until i have seen it in the pali canon or whatever text is being referenced. also i can't accept or reject what you're saying without knowing where it comes from.
alan...
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:00 am

Hi Alan,
alan... wrote:on a side note, didn't the sarvastivadins teach that an arahant could back slide and still have faults and that only a full on buddha was perfect? i feel like i read this was one of the division points between them and theravada or maybe just early schools in general. ....

See here for some discussion of this point:
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=11630


:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10269
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby alan... » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:15 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Alan,
alan... wrote:on a side note, didn't the sarvastivadins teach that an arahant could back slide and still have faults and that only a full on buddha was perfect? i feel like i read this was one of the division points between them and theravada or maybe just early schools in general. ....

See here for some discussion of this point:
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=11630


:anjali:
Mike


thanks
alan...
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby equilibrium » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:47 am

SarathW wrote:There is no place called Nirvana, there is no person to attain Nirvana and there is nothing to be attained.
So I think, you can't find one!
If there is no person to attain Nirvana.....then what is the point in buddhism?
There is nothing to be attained.....then why is one here?
If you can't find one.....then the teaching cannot be true!

The above statements are similar within the Heart Sutra.....reading and not understanding is not the same as one who reads and understands the true meaning.....they are two very different things!
User avatar
equilibrium
 
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:07 am

Re: arahant, non-returner, in the world today or recent times?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:03 am

alan... wrote:
LonesomeYogurt wrote:When followers would ask the Buddha, "Where can an arahant be found after death?" he would answer, "An arahant cannot be found before death!"


ugh, i hate saying this, but: sutta number please? i don't like to log stuff in my brain as "fact" until i have seen it in the pali canon or whatever text is being referenced. also i can't accept or reject what you're saying without knowing where it comes from.
See:


viewtopic.php?f=23&t=218&p=1871&#p1871
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19384
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Next

Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Sanjay PS and 9 guests