What motivates Arahant?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby santa100 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:36 pm

Alex123 wrote:
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


But why can't arahants eat after their enlightenment? Starving oneself to death on purpose is the same as killing a sentient being, thus breaking the 1st Precept, something an arahant wouldn't do..
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby daverupa » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:47 pm

Motivation isn't the same as clinging or craving.

There can be sankhara, in other words, which are wholly unrelated to raga, dosa, moha, and these sankhara can be found amongst the five aggregates of an arahant, even though the aggregates are no longer subject to clinging. Compassion is a motive of this sort, for example.

Arahants still experience five aggregates, not just four...
    "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]
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:34 pm

santa100 wrote:But why can't arahants eat after their enlightenment?


Arahant has no perception of "I, me, mine" so how can he know that "I am hungry and I need to eat or I will die".

This is what I wonder.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Coyote » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:19 pm

Just because he/she does not identify with the aggregates does not mean he/she understands no distinction between one being and another. He/she knows "this is hunger" and eats because it is appropriate/because she will die.
"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 Alex123 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:21 pm

Coyote wrote:Just because he/she does not identify with the aggregates does not mean he/she understands no distinction between one being and another. .


But doesn't one need to identify with one's own aggregates to feed them, and not someone else's?
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:51 pm

Do you need to identify with a fellow hungry man's agregates in order to feed him?
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:58 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:Do you need to identify with a fellow hungry man's agregates in order to feed him?


I need to know that I am one person and he is another person. He is hungry not me, so I feed him and not me.

If I am hungry, then I need to eat, not him. I need to distinguish him from me. So one needs to perceive identity and difference.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Gena1480 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:18 pm

The Arahant abandon greed,delusion,anger
so the actions come from non-greed,non-delusion,non-anger.
he is untraceable
yet if you follow the path he took.
you will arrive at same destination.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:35 pm

Alex123 wrote:If I am hungry, then I need to eat, not him. I need to distinguish him from me. So one needs to perceive identity and difference.

Alex, what you need to do is find out what motivates you, not what motivates Arahants.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Buckwheat » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:37 pm

Alex123 wrote:...they do not cling to their body, so why eat?

Why not eat? To not seek food is also a choice.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Buckwheat » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:43 pm

Alex123 wrote:
santa100 wrote:But why can't arahants eat after their enlightenment?


Arahant has no perception of "I, me, mine" so how can he know that "I am hungry and I need to eat or I will die".

This is what I wonder.


Enlightenment is wisdom, not ignorance. Where does it say that an arahant is unable to perceive "I am hungry"? That seems like it would be ignorance, not wisdom.

In "the Not-Self Strategy", Ven. Thanissaro points out that "selfing" is an activity that we all do with ignorance. An arahant can still "self" but he does it with wisdom and compassion, seeing that there is actually no real and substantial self.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:49 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
Alex123 wrote: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" ?

The self is no more than a combination of parts, kamma, mind & body... but although there is no-thing that can be called a self or should be held as a self doesn't mean that the combination of parts is absent. it only means that there is a combination of parts, not, as assumed, that there is a self.

That is only my understanding anyway.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:26 pm

Buckwheat wrote:
Alex123 wrote:...they do not cling to their body, so why eat?

Why not eat? To not seek food is also a choice.


Not doing something doesn't have to be actively doing the opposite.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:29 pm

Buckwheat wrote: Where does it say that an arahant is unable to perceive "I am hungry"?


Because Arahant doesn't have "I, me, mine".

Buckwheat wrote:
An arahant can still "self" but he does it with wisdom and compassion, seeing that there is actually no real and substantial self.


Doesn't this contradict anatta? Can self be unreal and non-substantial (if there is no self, then it cannot have any properties)?
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:08 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Alex123 wrote:If I am hungry, then I need to eat, not him. I need to distinguish him from me. So one needs to perceive identity and difference.

Alex, what you need to do is find out what motivates you, not what motivates Arahants.


Well said, Bhante!
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Buckwheat » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:00 am

Alex123 wrote:
Buckwheat wrote: Where does it say that an arahant is unable to perceive "I am hungry"?


Because Arahant doesn't have "I, me, mine".

Buckwheat wrote:
An arahant can still "self" but he does it with wisdom and compassion, seeing that there is actually no real and substantial self.


Doesn't this contradict anatta? Can self be unreal and non-substantial (if there is no self, then it cannot have any properties)?

This is the weakness with the "No-Self" translation, and why many (incl Ven Thanissaro) translate it as "not-self". To play off Cittasanto's excellent explanation, I might add that seeing the collection of parts is a form of selfing, but without clinging to this as something more than an assembly of parts (ie: not falling for the magician's illusion) it does not lead to dukkha. She is not motivated by the illusion. She is motivated by wisdom and compassion.

Another approach: When a magician performs his trick, cutting a lady in half, a person full of delusion believes that the lady is cut in two. That is the situation for you and I. The arahant has figured out the magicians trick, and knows the lady is not being cut in half. He is still able to see the illusion, but he also knows the reality of what is really going on.

Hope that helps. If not, ignore my words, as I am not an authority on the topic.
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby ground » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:34 am

Alex123 wrote:
santa100 wrote:But why can't arahants eat after their enlightenment?


Arahant has no perception of "I, me, mine" so how can he know that "I am hungry and I need to eat or I will die".

This is what I wonder.

But how can you know what another, arahat or not, is thinking?

Who instilled all these ideas into your brain? :sage:

Do not believe everything it thinks ...
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby SDC » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:10 am

Alex, in your scenario it is as if the arahant is in less in harmony with reality than everyone else. I know that you know this is not the case, but your idea of the arahant is an experience of confusion with circumstances.The puthujjana engages in delusional, inconsistent harmony with reality, but the arahant is in complete harmony. Why would a decision be made to deliberately cause disharmony?
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby Alex123 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:50 pm

ground wrote:But how can you know what another, arahat or not, is thinking?


The suttas do speak that Arahant has no perception of "I, me, mine". Without this, I don't see how or why one would respond to anything. It seems to me that ANY thing we do is in some form a personal reaction to external stimuli or circumstances. When I walk it is so that I would gain something, even this gain is due to doing something good for someone else. I choose to avoid walking off the cliff because then this, not other body would get hurt.

I wish I could explain myself better.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Postby kirk5a » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:16 pm

Alex123 wrote:The suttas do speak that Arahant has no perception of "I, me, mine". Without this, I don't see how or why one would respond to anything. It seems to me that ANY thing we do is in some form a personal reaction to external stimuli or circumstances. When I walk it is so that I would gain something, even this gain is due to doing something good for someone else. I choose to avoid walking off the cliff because then this, not other body would get hurt.

I wish I could explain myself better.

What's the problem with avoiding hurting the body? Here's the distinction to contemplate:
"This, monks, is the path of practice leading to self-identification.
...
One assumes about the body that 'This is me, this is my self, this is what I am.

Now, this is the path of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification.
...
One assumes about the body that 'This is not me, this is not my self, this is not what I am.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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