Temporary Arahantship?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Temporary Arahantship?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:12 pm

This relates to something brought up in another thread. The a Sutta there is a story about a bhikkhu Godhika who kept reaching arahantship and then falling away from it so that on the 7th time that this happened he killed himself.

Isnt arahantship suppost to be permanent though, so how could someone reach it and fall away again six times? Any clarification on this would be greatly appreciated. :smile:
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Re: Temporary Arahantship?

Postby bodom » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:19 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo

With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


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Re: Temporary Arahantship?

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:22 pm

You are correct that arahantship is taught to be irreversible. I found this translation of the relevant passage:

"Venerable Godhika while abiding diligent to dispel touched the release of mind in concentration. Then venerable Godhika fell away from that release of mind in concentration."

I don't know what "release of mind in concentration" means but I have not seen that phrase as a description of arahantship. Perhaps it refers to one of the jhana states?
- Peter

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Re: Temporary Arahantship?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:24 pm

Thank you both, as i do not believe arahantship is temporary it must mean jhana state or something like it.
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Re: Temporary Arahantship?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:29 pm

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Re: Temporary Arahantship?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:48 pm

Thanks mikenz66, that last link was very helpful :namaste:

There is something else i have found in relation to arahants.

[quote=] There is a ‘fully enlightened being’ called an ‘arahant’, who is perfect - NOT

There is no such thing as an arahant who is completely different from ordinary people because he/she is perfect. The question of whether someone can be perfect is fruitless and unhelpful. Every person can move in the enlightenment direction, and away from the endarkenment direction. (It is probably better not to speak of ‘arahants’.)[/quote]

http://www.wanderings.net/notebook/Main ... idNOTTeach

Arent arahants suppost to be perfect however?
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Re: Temporary Arahantship?

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:43 pm

that site doesnt seem very authoritve... :|
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: Temporary Arahantship?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:43 pm

Greetings Craig,

Arahants are perfect to the extent that they can no longer have mindstates that are based in greed, aversion or delusion. To think they can move in the "endarkenment direction" is therefore simply incorrect.

Retro. :)
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Re: Temporary Arahantship?

Postby robertk » Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:36 am

Godhika attained arahatship after he cut his throat in the short time before death. He was not even a sotapanna at the time of using the knife according to the Theravada texts.

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Re: Temporary Arahantship?

Postby Heavenstorm » Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:49 am

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