What motivates Arahant?

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What motivates Arahant?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:09 pm

Hello all,

If Arahant has no self view, no perception of self, no greed, anger or delusion, then why does Arahant eat or do anything? :?: Arahant has no craving to prolong or protect the existence of his body. When Arahant walks somewhere, why does s/he avoid walking off the cliff? Arahant isn't supposed to have fear or concern for his own body, and no self perception either. It seems that certain amount of perception of self is required to respond to situation and to avoid starving to death, walking into a wall rather than door, getting ran over by a car, eaten by tiger, etc. If person had absolutely no perception of self, clinging, aversion or delusion, then what would motivate him to move or change anything?

Any comments?

With best wishes,

Alex
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:22 pm

That is the Jain view and there actually are some Jain ascetics who literally starve themselves to death.

I imagine an arahant wouldn't do that out of compassion for others, to lead by good example and perhaps to teach others the Dhamma. But what about the solo meditating monk? I suppose he/she also doesn't want to give bad impression and also offer people the opportunity to make merit, providing food dana.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:33 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:That is the Jain view and there actually are some Jain ascetics who literally starve themselves to death.

I imagine an arahant wouldn't do that out of compassion for others, to lead by good example and perhaps to teach others the Dhamma. But what about the solo meditating monk? I suppose he/she also doesn't want to give bad impression and also offer people the opportunity to make merit, providing food dana.


Thank you for your answer.

If there is no perception of self, then there is no perception of other self to feel compassion for.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:41 pm

Alex123 wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:That is the Jain view and there actually are some Jain ascetics who literally starve themselves to death.

I imagine an arahant wouldn't do that out of compassion for others, to lead by good example and perhaps to teach others the Dhamma. But what about the solo meditating monk? I suppose he/she also doesn't want to give bad impression and also offer people the opportunity to make merit, providing food dana.


Thank you for your answer.

If there is no perception of self, then there is no perception of other self to feel compassion for.


There is the perception of beings suffering regardless.

As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "'A being,' lord. 'A being,' it's said. To what extent is one said to be 'a being'?"

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form, Radha: when one is caught up[1] there, tied up[2] there, one is said to be 'a being.'[3]

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for feeling... perception... fabrications...

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for consciousness, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being.'

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


These beings suffer. And arahants have compassion for the world.

"But, Kassapa, what compelling reason do you see that you for a long time have lived in the wilderness and have extolled living in the wilderness... that you have kept your persistence aroused and have extolled having persistence aroused?"

"Lord, I see two compelling reasons that for a long time I have lived in the wilderness and have extolled living in the wilderness... that I have kept my persistence aroused and have extolled having persistence aroused: seeing a pleasant abiding for myself in the here & now, and feeling sympathy for later generations: 'Perhaps later generations will take it as an example: "It seems that the disciples of the Awakened One and those who awakened after him lived for a long time in the wilderness and extolled living in the wilderness; were almsgoers and extolled being almsgoers; wore cast off rags and extolled wearing cast off rags; wore only one set of the triple robe and extolled wearing only one set of the triple robe; were modest and extolled being modest; were content and extolled being content; were reclusive and extolled being reclusive; were unentangled and extolled being unentangled; kept their persistence aroused and extolled having persistence aroused."'"

"Good, Kassapa. Very good. It seems that you are one who practices for the happiness of many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, benefit, & happiness of beings human & divine. So continue wearing your robes of cast off hemp cloth, go for alms, and live in the wilderness."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:02 pm

Alex123 wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:That is the Jain view and there actually are some Jain ascetics who literally starve themselves to death.

I imagine an arahant wouldn't do that out of compassion for others, to lead by good example and perhaps to teach others the Dhamma. But what about the solo meditating monk? I suppose he/she also doesn't want to give bad impression and also offer people the opportunity to make merit, providing food dana.


Thank you for your answer.

If there is no perception of self, then there is no perception of other self to feel compassion for.

there maybe a perception of beings, rather than selves. there is a difference.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby equilibrium » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:24 pm

Alex123 wrote:If there is no perception of self, then there is no perception of other self to feel compassion for.

Saying what it is does not mean one understands what it is.....if the statement is true, there is no need for Buddhism to exist as it allows one to escape the cycle of existence. The teaching of the path allows one to avoid the two extremes so to stay in the middle. Having this view would equate to that extreme.

It is the "mind" that needs to be set free! one can only set oneself free but not others.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby m0rl0ck » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:41 pm

Alex123 wrote:Hello all,

If Arahant has no self view, no perception of self, no greed, anger or delusion, then why does Arahant eat or do anything? :?: Arahant has no craving to prolong or protect the existence of his body. When Arahant walks somewhere, why does s/he avoid walking off the cliff? Arahant isn't supposed to have fear or concern for his own body, and no self perception either. It seems that certain amount of perception of self is required to respond to situation and to avoid starving to death, walking into a wall rather than door, getting ran over by a car, eaten by tiger, etc. If person had absolutely no perception of self, clinging, aversion or delusion, then what would motivate him to move or change anything?

Any comments?

With best wishes,

Alex


You are also one of the others. One of the multitude of sentient beings that you are supposed to feel compassion for. If an arahant treated him/her self any better or worse than anyone else, that would be a kind of pride, would it not?
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:56 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:That is the Jain view and there actually are some Jain ascetics who literally starve themselves to death.

I imagine an arahant wouldn't do that out of compassion for others, to lead by good example and perhaps to teach others the Dhamma. But what about the solo meditating monk? I suppose he/she also doesn't want to give bad impression and also offer people the opportunity to make merit, providing food dana.


Thank you for your answer.

If there is no perception of self, then there is no perception of other self to feel compassion for.

there maybe a perception of beings, rather than selves. there is a difference.


Can you please explain the difference between "perception of beings" and "selves" ?
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:16 pm

polarbuddha101 wrote:
"But, Kassapa, what compelling reason do you see that you for a long time have lived in the wilderness and have extolled living in the wilderness... that you have kept your persistence aroused and have extolled having persistence aroused?"

"Lord, I see two compelling reasons that for a long time I have lived in the wilderness and have extolled living in the wilderness... that I have kept my persistence aroused and have extolled having persistence aroused: seeing a pleasant abiding for myself in the here & now, and feeling sympathy for later generations:


Why Arahant should still have "persistence aroused" (against what?) if there is absolutely no way for kilesas to arise anymore?

Why would Arahant prefer "pleasant abiding for myself" is one has no perception of "I, me, mine"?
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:37 pm

Not all desires are defilements .Even for non-ariyas, the desire to be free from desire is a wholesome factor of enlightenment called “Chandiddhipāda,” which should be cultivated and maintained by wise reflection.

Arahants are free from all defilements — they have fully cultivated the 37 Requisites of Enlightenment and continue to maintain them. They take almsfood reflecting wisely:
Considering it thoughtfully, I use alms food, not playfully, nor for intoxication, nor for putting on bulk, nor for beautification, but simply for the survival & continuance of this body, for ending its afflictions, for the support of the holy life, (Thinking,) Thus will I destroy old feelings (of hunger) and not create new feelings (from overeating). I will maintain myself, be blameless, & live in comfort.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:43 pm

Alex123 wrote:Hello all,

If Arahant has no self view, no perception of self, no greed, anger or delusion, then why does Arahant eat or do anything? :?: Arahant has no craving to prolong or protect the existence of his body. When Arahant walks somewhere, why does s/he avoid walking off the cliff? Arahant isn't supposed to have fear or concern for his own body, and no self perception either. It seems that certain amount of perception of self is required to respond to situation and to avoid starving to death, walking into a wall rather than door, getting ran over by a car, eaten by tiger, etc. If person had absolutely no perception of self, clinging, aversion or delusion, then what would motivate him to move or change anything?

Any comments?

With best wishes,

Alex


The delight of nibbana, brahmaviharas and jhanas?
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: What motivates Arahant?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:26 pm

Alex123 wrote:why does Arahant eat
Because she is hungry.
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.

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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby santa100 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:03 pm

Alex123 wrote:
If Arahant has no self view, no perception of self, no greed, anger or delusion, then why does Arahant eat or do anything?


Because Arahants have completely abandoned the Five Hindrances, one of which is "sloth and torpor"..
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Coyote » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:32 pm

There are arahants who have walked off into the forest to die just like the jain ascetics though, aren't there? Especially if they are unable to teach or help others there would be no reason to keep the body alive.
I heard Ven. Thanissaro say that arahants eat and act as a functional human because it is the "proper" thing to do. To set a good example and because their nature is totally good.
Also just because an arahant is unmoved by phenomena doesn't mean they can't respond to them, know what is going on and act as best fits the situation.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby LG2V » Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:00 am

For an arahant, are the arising of the five khandhas purely inertia at that point? For example, wholesome states such as loving-kindness and wisdom and functional deeds such as eating and sleeping arise due to having been habitually conditioned over existence?

I have imagined in the past that personalities in samsara are vastly complex recursive functions, with five basic input values which represent the five khandhas; a part of this is inspired by Thanissaro Bhikkhu's "divide by zero" concept in which he uses chaos theory as an example of how systems can occasionally generate the "syntax errors" that would be associated with our interpretation of Awakening/Nibbana.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... nance.html

The goal of Buddhist practice, nibbana, is said to be totally uncaused, and right there is a paradox. If the goal is uncaused, how can a path of practice — which is causal by nature — bring it about? This is an ancient question. The Milinda-pañha, a set of dialogues composed near the start of the common era, reports an exchange where King Milinda challenges a monk, Nagasena, with precisely this question. Nagasena replies with an analogy. The path of practice doesn't cause nibbana, he says. It simply takes you there, just as a road to a mountain doesn't cause the mountain to come into being, but simply leads you to where it is.

Nagasena's reply, though apt, didn't really settle the issue within the Buddhist tradition. Over the years many schools of meditation have taught that mental fabrications simply get in the way of a goal that's uncaused and unfabricated. Only by doing nothing at all and thus not fabricating anything in the mind, they say, will the unfabricated shine forth.

This view is based on a very simplistic understanding of fabricated reality, seeing causality as linear and totally predictable: X causes Y which causes Z and so on, with no effects turning around to condition their causes, and no possible way of using causality to escape from the causal network. However, one of the many things the Buddha discovered in the course of his awakening was that causality is not linear. The experience of the present is shaped both by actions in the present and by actions in the past. Actions in the present shape both the present and the future. The results of past and present actions continually interact. Thus there is always room for new input into the system, which gives scope for free will. There is also room for the many feedback loops that make experience so thoroughly complex, and that are so intriguingly described in chaos theory. Reality doesn't resemble a simple line or circle. It's more like the bizarre trajectories of a strange attractor or a Mandelbrot set.

Because there are many similarities between chaos theory and Buddhist explanations of causality, it seems legitimate to explore those similarities to see what light chaos theory can throw on the issue of how a causal path of practice can lead to an uncaused goal. This is not to equate Buddhism with chaos theory, or to engage in pseudo-science. It's simply a search for similes to clear up an apparent conflict in the Buddha's teaching.

And it so happens that one of the discoveries of non-linear math — the basis for chaos theory — throws light on just this issue. In the 19th century, the French mathematician Jules-Henri Poincaré discovered that in any complex physical system there are points he called resonances. If the forces governing the system are described as mathematical equations, the resonances are the points where the equations intersect in such a way that one of the members is divided by zero. This, of course, produces an undefined result, which means that if an object within the system strayed into a resonance point, it would no longer be defined by the causal network determining the system. It would be set free.

In actual practice, it's very rare for an object to hit a resonance point. The equations describing the points immediately around a resonance tend to deflect any incoming object from entering the resonance unless the object is on a precise path to the resonance's very heart. Still, it doesn't take too much complexity to create resonances — Poincaré discovered them while calculating the gravitational interactions among three bodies: the earth, the sun, and the moon. The more complex the system, the greater the number of resonances, and the greater the likelihood that objects will stray into them. It's no wonder that meteors, on a large scale, and electrons on a small scale, occasionally wander right into a resonance in a gravitational or electronic field, and thus to the freedom of total unpredictability. This is why meteors sometimes leave the solar system, and why your computer occasionally freezes for no apparent reason. It's also why strange things could happen someday to the beating of your heart.

If we were to apply this analogy to the Buddhist path, the system we're in is samsara, the round of rebirth. Its resonances would be what the texts called "non-fashioning," the opening to the uncaused: nibbana. The wall of resistant forces around the resonances would correspond to pain, stress, and attachment. To allow yourself to be repelled by stress or deflected by attachment, no matter how subtle, would be like approaching a resonance but then veering off to another part of the system. But to focus directly on analyzing stress and attachment, and deconstructing their causes, would be like getting on an undeflected trajectory right into the resonance and finding total, undefined freedom.

This, of course, is simply an analogy. But it's a fruitful one for showing that there is nothing illogical in actively mastering the processes of mental fabrication and causality for the sake of going beyond fabrication, beyond cause and effect. At the same time, it gives a hint as to why a path of total inaction would not lead to the unfabricated. If you simply sit still within the system of causality, you'll never get near the resonances where true non-fashioning lies. You'll keep floating around in samsara. But if you take aim at stress and clinging, and work to take them apart, you'll be able to break through to the point where the present moment gets divided by zero in the mind.


Each stage of Awakening could be represented by the occurrence of one of these divisions-by-zero/"syntax errors" which fundamentally alters the input and output values of the subsequent function. For example:

1. Sotapanna/First "syntax error" = Prevents the occurrence of negative numbers (i.e., the five great crimes, rebirth in woeful planes)
2. Sakadagami/Second "syntax error" = Prevents the occurrence of numbers without end such as the square root of 2, pi, e, log, etc (i.e., a weakened predisposition towards anger and lust)
3. Anagami/Third "syntax error" = Prevents the occurrence of decimals (i.e., anger and lust)
4. Arahant/Fourth "syntax error" = Prevents the occurrence of future recursive operations after the current set of numbers have been processed, such as addition or multiplication of new sets.

Is this a valid way of looking at things?


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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby SDC » Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:21 am

Alex123 wrote:If there is no perception of self, then there is no perception of other self to feel compassion for.


The arahant is well aware of the conventional understanding of the puthujjana and will adopt that convention intentionally in order to communicate. And as David said a reason for doing this would likely be to teach and/or represent the dhamma.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby pegembara » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:14 am

Compassion.

have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then Ven. Radha went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "'A being,' lord. 'A being,' it's said. To what extent is one said to be 'a being'?"

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form, Radha: when one is caught up[1] there, tied up[2] there, one is said to be 'a being.'[3]

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for feeling... perception... fabrications...

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for consciousness, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being.'

"Just as when boys or girls are playing with little sand castles:[4] as long as they are not free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little sand castles, that's how long they have fun with those sand castles, enjoy them, treasure them, feel possessive of them. But when they become free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little sand castles, then they smash them, scatter them, demolish them with their hands or feet and make them unfit for play.

"In the same way, Radha, you too should smash, scatter, & demolish form, and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for form.

"You should smash, scatter, & demolish feeling, and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for feeling.

"You should smash, scatter, & demolish perception, and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for perception.

"You should smash, scatter, & demolish fabrications, and make them unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for fabrications.

"You should smash, scatter, & demolish consciousness and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for consciousness — for the ending of craving, Radha, is Unbinding."

Satta Sutta
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby ground » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:24 am

Alex123 wrote:Hello all,

If Arahant has no self view, no perception of self, no greed, anger or delusion, then why does Arahant eat or do anything? :?: Arahant has no craving to prolong or protect the existence of his body. When Arahant walks somewhere, why does s/he avoid walking off the cliff? Arahant isn't supposed to have fear or concern for his own body, and no self perception either. It seems that certain amount of perception of self is required to respond to situation and to avoid starving to death, walking into a wall rather than door, getting ran over by a car, eaten by tiger, etc. If person had absolutely no perception of self, clinging, aversion or delusion, then what would motivate him to move or change anything?

Any comments?

It is you who constructs all these ideas because you have conditioned yourself to think these ways. What would be your unconditioned ideas? :sage:
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby SarathW » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:46 am

The existing body of an Arahant is a result of previous Karma. So the existing body will continue until previous Karma is exhausted. Meanwhile he/she exercises Brhamavihara’s and no more accumulation of fresh Karma. Their actions are known as Kiriya Citta. :)
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:46 pm

santa100 wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
If Arahant has no self view, no perception of self, no greed, anger or delusion, then why does Arahant eat or do anything?


Because Arahants have completely abandoned the Five Hindrances, one of which is "sloth and torpor"..



But they do not cling to their body, so why eat? They don't cling to existence, and they don't cling to helping (to whatever extent that is possible) others either. Without clinging to the body (in order to...), one would die and be unable to help others.

As I understand it, certain perception of self is required to respond to stimuli such as hunger, heat, cold, danger, etc. One protects oneself and one responds accordingly because one knows that "I am in danger or discomfort therefor I, not someone else, need to do something". IMHO.
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