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The accessibility of arahantship today - Dhamma Wheel

The accessibility of arahantship today

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Dhammakid
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The accessibility of arahantship today

Postby Dhammakid » Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:20 pm

Hello all,
I pray this reaches you in good spirits.

I read somewhere that arahantship is no longer accessible today, and that we are essentially practicing to gain the good fortune of being born as a human during the dispensation of Maitreya Buddha.

Is this true? I understand it's probably harder to practice today than in the Buddha's time, but is it really impossible to gain liberation in today's world? I realize this has a lot to do with the "Dharma Ending Age" idea which has been discussed at length multiple times here, so I'll understand if you just want to post links to other threads.

:anjali:
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Re: The accessibility of arahantship today

Postby appicchato » Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:21 am


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Re: The accessibility of arahantship today

Postby Dhammakid » Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:29 am

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Re: The accessibility of arahantship today

Postby kc2dpt » Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:30 am

Some believe it is true.
Some believe it is not true.
Maybe it is and maybe it isn't.
Who knows?
Does it matter? Does our practice change?
- Peter


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Re: The accessibility of arahantship today

Postby adosa » Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:30 pm

I've asked that question before and it just led to consternation.

To paraphrase Ajahn Chan. Let go a little, good. Let go a little more, better. Let go of it all, best. This whole speculation thing to me is a little like a golfer worrying about his final score of a 72 hole tournament before even beginning play. It leads to a terrible result. It's much better to have practiced before hand then focus on one shot at a time, doing the best you can with each situation.


adosa
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183

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Re: The accessibility of arahantship today

Postby Prasadachitta » Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:35 pm

The teaching of the Buddha is
Sanditthiko
Opanayiko
Paccatam
Veditabbo
vinnuhi ti

It is well communicated, Immediately apparent, always applicable, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, and to be understood individually by the wise.


This is from the Ti Ratna Vandana which I regularly recite.

Part of what the Buddha taught is that total relinquishment is possible. I have confidence that this part of his teaching like all the rest is immediately apparent and always applicable. Even if I fall short of of what I am taught and do not see what is immediately apparent.

Kindly

Gabe
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Re: The accessibility of arahantship today

Postby Dhammakid » Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:38 pm

Thanks for your responses everyone. Looks like I'm getting the same answer from everyone, so I'll take it at that.

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Re: The accessibility of arahantship today

Postby Individual » Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:21 am

The best things in life aren't things.


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Re: The accessibility of arahantship today

Postby Ordinaryperson » Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:56 am


Actively trying to destroy the Three Unwholesome Roots of Greed, Hatred and Ignorance
Greed is the greatest danger of them all

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Re: The accessibility of arahantship today

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:50 am

This has been mentioned in another thread, but not here yet; that the 5,000 year Dhamma ending-age period is only in the Commentaries, not in the Suttas.

In the Suttas the Buddha did not give a specific time and now with the information age that we live in, with the internet, there appears to be no sign of the Dhamma ending anytime soon. In terms of Arahants in this time period, the Commentaries say non-returner is the highest, but some monks and teachers have at least talked of being near / knowing Arahants. S. N. Goenka, has stated that he had the pleasure of knowing several Sotappanas and other noble ones and one Arahant, who he was very close to (I assume his teacher, but he did not specify).
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Re: The accessibility of arahantship today

Postby Ordinaryperson » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:16 am


Actively trying to destroy the Three Unwholesome Roots of Greed, Hatred and Ignorance
Greed is the greatest danger of them all

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Re: The accessibility of arahantship today

Postby BlackBird » Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:38 pm

The Buddha has said that the Dhamma exists whether or not a Tathagata arises in this world.
The Fourth Noble Truth states that the Noble Eightfold Path is the way to put an end to suffering for good, to realise Nibbana.

Seems pretty clear cut to me.

In my opinion, the idea of 'letting it go' does not simply apply to whether or not there are Arahants in the world today. It applies to any intelectual sticking point. If you make a habit of letting go then sooner or later all your questions will answer themselves.
"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." -

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Re: The accessibility of arahantship today

Postby BudSas » Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:29 am

From Mahaparinibbana Sutta (D.16, translated by Bhikkhu Thanissaro):

... the Blessed One said, "In any doctrine & discipline where the noble eightfold path is not found, no contemplative of the first... second... third... fourth order [stream-winner, once-returner, non-returner, or arahant] is found. But in any doctrine & discipline where the noble eightfold path is found, contemplatives of the first... second... third... fourth order are found. The noble eightfold path is found in this doctrine & discipline, and right here there are contemplatives of the first... second... third... fourth order. Other teachings are empty of knowledgeable contemplatives. And if the monks dwell rightly, this world will not be empty of arahants."

Cheers
BDS

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Re: The accessibility of arahantship today

Postby Pannapetar » Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:42 am

There are plenty of arahants in the jungles of Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia, in the mountain ranges of India, Tibet, and China and in other places. They are usually not in the limelight as they prefer a simple and unassuming life style. They are often in remote places.

Cheers, Thomas

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Re: The accessibility of arahantship today

Postby Dhammakid » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:00 am

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Re: The accessibility of arahantship today

Postby Dhammakid » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:02 am

Thanks for your replies everyone. You've put this question into perspective for me.

Back to the cushion for me :smile:

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