Arahants

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: Arahants

Postby purple planet » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:56 am

Now reading a thread about merit i understood what is the most intersting thing to know

what does your friend think about merit ?

he became an arahant without to much merit and mostly concentrated on being mindful - right ?
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: Arahants

Postby ohnofabrications » Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:06 pm

Hi,

I've never heard her talk about merit, but she was a nice enough person...
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Re: Arahants

Postby Chi » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:28 pm

I didn't read all the responses here, but I am pretty sure Sayadaw U Pandita is assumed by many to have reached the highest goal.
Do Good, Avoid Evil, Purify the Mind.
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Re: Arahants

Postby manas » Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:52 am

Let's all become arahants. In this life or in a future life, but let's do it.

metta :anjali:
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Re: Arahants

Postby polarbuddha101 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:22 pm

manas wrote:Let's all become arahants. In this life or in a future life, but let's do it.

metta :anjali:


Sounds like a plan.

:D
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Re: Arahants

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:45 pm

Greetings,
polarbuddha101 wrote:
manas wrote:Let's all become arahants. In this life or in a future life, but let's do it.

metta :anjali:


Sounds like a plan.

:D

:thumbsup:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Any living Masters/Legends/Arahats?

Postby Zimesky » Fri May 31, 2013 8:45 pm

It always seems like that when I discover a teacher of such stature as Acariya Mun, Ajaan Boowa, Ajaan Chan or any other masters like them, I always seem to be a (give or take) a decade too late, and they will have passed on. These teachers leave behind incredible legacy's, stories, and lessons for us to learn from. This is a blunt question to be sure, and I fully understand some unwillingness to discuss this on a public forum. I'd be more than willing to discuss it privately. I'll take the risk of sounding like a fool, but are there any living masters, Arahats, Legends that are alive and well? To meet such a teacher, I would overcome and and all barriers, physical, mental, language you name it, to meet with them.
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Re: Any living Masters/Legends/Arahats?

Postby cooran » Fri May 31, 2013 9:02 pm

You may find this thread is of assistance:

Arahants
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1323

With metta,
Chris
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Re: Any living Masters/Legends/Arahats?

Postby Zimesky » Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:35 am

Thanks for that great link! I don't want to narrow my scope to Arahatts, any information on great meditation teachers is also sought.
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Re: Any living Masters/Legends/Arahats?

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:44 am

I don't think there are any arahants that are well known in the world today. If there are some they will most likely avoid being 'outed' so to speak, as it obviously leads to much more trouble than it's worth. Within my tradition I believe there are several ariyans, one of whom I've met whilst in Sri Lanka, but 95% of the Theravadin world wouldn't agree, so there you go.

That's the crux of it really. If you're an ariyan you don't want to get outed because of the trouble it causes - There would be just as many if not more disbelievers than believers and as an ariyan, your main motivation from teaching would have to be compassion, for the drive to reach arahantship once the path has been won is strong, you would just not want unnecessary distractions, the more expediently you can reach arahantship the better.

I've read Ajahn Maha Boowa's book on Ajahn Mun, and it's not my cup of tea by any stretch, I believe Ven. Boowa let his jhanas get the better of him and he fell into the unfortunate wrong view of eternalism, that much is quite clear from reading the book. I wouldn't call him enlightened and I personally doubt Ajahn Mun would have allowed his student to write such an embellished and frankly fictitious account. So no offense, but I don't think you missed out on much, besides a bit of jhanic bliss ;)

As for Ajahn Chah - Well the Jack jury's still out. He had a lot of wisdom, and was a meditator and teacher for the ages, that much is evident. I don't know if he was an arahant, and frankly I don't care.

What you should do is focus on taking what wisdom you can find in teachings that are available, and applying them to your life and practice. You don't need to have a meditation master in the room with you in order to make progress in the Buddha's dispensation.

metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Any living Masters/Legends/Arahats?

Postby Mr Man » Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:23 am

Zimesky wrote:Thanks for that great link! I don't want to narrow my scope to Arahatts, any information on great meditation teachers is also sought.
I think you should widen your scope more and go for great teachers (drop the meditation) or maybe even just good teachers. How do you think an Arahant will help you?
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Re: Arahants

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:09 pm

moderator note: I merged the 2 threads.

BlackBird wrote:As for Ajahn Chah - Well the Jack jury's still out. He had a lot of wisdom, and was a meditator and teacher for the ages, that much is evident. I don't know if he was an arahant, and frankly I don't care.


Speculating on who and who wasn't / is an arahant or even noble one is just that; speculation. Ajahn Chah was certainly a great teacher, meditator and did great work for the propagation of Dhamma. However, since I had Ajahn Brahm in my presence last year, I couldn't help but ask him point-blank if he felt Ajahn Chah was an arahant. (I think I have a youtube on the question and answer session.) Ajahn Brahm answered that he knew Ajahn Chah was an arahant when one day Ajahn Chah asked to him to go get something in his kuti. AB went there and was surprised to see how simple he lived, just a mat for sleeping on and virtually no possessions. AB said that Ajahn Chah had so many donors that he could have lived a very wealthy life. I have great respect and admiration for AB, but I didn't think that was a good reason to feel he was an arahant. Ajahn Chah was a monk, so it is expected that he would live like a monk and not have numerous possessions. In my opinion, AB should have mentioned something more along the line of his general demeanor, which of course I am sure was stellar.

BlackBird wrote:What you should do is focus on taking what wisdom you can find in teachings that are available, and applying them to your life and practice. You don't need to have a meditation master in the room with you in order to make progress in the Buddha's dispensation.


:goodpost:
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Re: Arahants

Postby chownah » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:51 pm

Ajahn Boowa used to be on Tv regularly giving talks....He chewed beetle while he talked and often there was a black dribble of the juice running down his chin. Before he died he announced that he did not want any elaborate funerary rites but the Thais couldn't resist and what they did was really ornate and bordering (perhaps reaching) the spectacular. I asked my wife about why they didn't do it like he wanted....she said that that was what he wanted but he was dead now.
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Re: Arahants

Postby Mr Man » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:27 pm

chownah wrote:He chewed beetle

Shouldn't that be "betel". :smile:
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Re: Arahants

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:54 pm

Mr Man wrote:
chownah wrote:He chewed beetle

Shouldn't that be "betel". :smile:
I guess even Arahants could chew beetles if they were already dead, but I am sure that betel was meant. Chewing betel would be a sure sign of craving in ordinary people, but it is quite possible that an Arahant might continue doing it through force of habit, if supporters continue to offer him betel after his attainment of Arahantship.

On the subject of Arahants declaring their knowledge, I was just reading this in the Mahāsī Sayādaw's discourse on the Sīlavanta Sutta, which I am currently editing:
The Khema Sutta (A.iii.358)
Once Venerable Khema and Venerable Sumana were respectfully waiting upon the Buddha residing at Jetavana monastery at Sāvatthi. Venerable Khema then addressed the Buddha thus: “Venerable Sir! An Arahant in whom all corruptions have become extinguished never considers that he has superiors, equals, or inferiors.” Venerable Khema’s asseveration is an admission of the total absence of the three types of pride in an Arahant. So an Arahant is one who has no sense of pride, which prompts him to compare himself to others. Having said this Venerable Khema left. Then Venerable Sumana addressed the Buddha, in almost the same vein, as follows. “Venerable Sir, An Arahant in whom all corruptions have become extinguished, never considers that he has no superiors, equals, or inferiors.” Having said this, he also left. Then the Buddha said: “Monks! Men of good family speak of Arahantship by inference in the way that the Venerable Khema and Sumana have just told me. Arahants do not openly proclaim themselves to be so, but they let it be known by indirect suggestions. Fools make a laughing-stock of themselves by declaring that they have become Arahants, and this results in a general opprobrium that usually torments them.”

In the same discourse, the Mahāsī Sayādaw refers to the habit of betel chewing.
Sense-objects comprise not only those that ordinarily sustain sensual pleasures, but also those that satisfy one’s tastes and comforts, like entertainments, soft beds, good food, and other forms of luxury. Addiction to tobacco and betel is addiction to the sense of taste. One who has developed no attachment to liquor or opium should be able to eradicate the habit of smoking and betel-chewing.
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Re: Arahants

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:45 pm

Greetings,

David N. Snyder wrote:I have great respect and admiration for AB, but I didn't think that was a good reason to feel he was an arahant.

Indeed, that was a stupid reason. Such reasoning would make a hobo or a self-mortifying ascetic an arahant.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Arahants

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:55 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Speculating on who and who wasn't / is an arahant or even noble one is just that; speculation. Ajahn Chah was certainly a great teacher, meditator and did great work for the propagation of Dhamma. However, since I had Ajahn Brahm in my presence last year, I couldn't help but ask him point-blank if he felt Ajahn Chah was an arahant. (I think I have a youtube on the question and answer session.) Ajahn Brahm answered that he knew Ajahn Chah was an arahant when one day Ajahn Chah asked to him to go get something in his kuti. AB went there and was surprised to see how simple he lived, just a mat for sleeping on and virtually no possessions. AB said that Ajahn Chah had so many donors that he could have lived a very wealthy life. I have great respect and admiration for AB, but I didn't think that was a good reason to feel he was an arahant. Ajahn Chah was a monk, so it is expected that he would live like a monk and not have numerous possessions. In my opinion, AB should have mentioned something more along the line of his general demeanor, which of course I am sure was stellar.
Of course it is speculation, and this thread is a bit unwholesome in as much as there is indulgence in such speculation. As for Ven Brahm story, it makes sense in as much as Ven B was living in direct contact with Ajahn Chah, which forms a context for Ven B's story. I imagine that seeing the inside of Ajahn Chah's kuti, it's simplicity and the feeling of it, as a place can provoke feelings as it reflects its owner, brought home all that Ven B thought about Ajahn Chah, but then that is mere speculation on my part and carries as much weight. This person/that person is/is not an arahant? Even if it could be proved, then what?
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
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Re: Arahants

Postby BlackBird » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:16 am

Spot on Tilt. A side from being able to pick said ariyans brains for how to get there oneself, what good does it do you to know whether someone's an arahant or not. You've still got to do the work yourself. There's no short cuts in Dhamma.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Arahants

Postby Viscid » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:47 am

The best evidence for Chah being an Arahant is:
Once a visitor asked Ajahn Chah if he was an arahant. He said, "I am like a tree in a forest. Birds come to the tree; they sit on its branches and eat its fruit. To the birds the tree may be sweet or sour or whatever. But the tree doesn’t know anything about it. The birds say sweet or they say sour, but from the tree’s point of view, this is just the chattering of birds."

Which is perfect.

Other things to look at are Chah's obvious wisdom, spontaneity and pedagogical creativity. Whatever he was, he was impressive.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: Arahants

Postby kirk5a » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:34 am

BlackBird wrote:Spot on Tilt. A side from being able to pick said ariyans brains for how to get there oneself, what good does it do you to know whether someone's an arahant or not. You've still got to do the work yourself. There's no short cuts in Dhamma.

What good does it do to proclaim that someone is not an arahant, has wrong view, and is a liar, as you have done?
"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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