YOU CANNOT POST. OUR WEB HOSTING COMPANY DECIDED TO MOVE THE SERVER TO ANOTHER LOCATION. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN VIEW THIS VERSION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW POSTING AND WILL NOT SAVE ANYTHING YOU DO ONCE THE OTHER SERVER GOES ONLINE.

Layman Arahant - Dhamma Wheel

Layman Arahant

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Astus
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 12:37 pm

Layman Arahant

Postby Astus » Thu May 06, 2010 12:56 pm

There is an interesting essay by Piya Tan: . Basically it shows how the view that an arahant must be a monk or die shortly is not necessarily true. I'd like to hear some educated opinions about it.

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Layman Arahant

Postby Ben » Thu May 06, 2010 1:28 pm

Greetings Astus, its good to see you here on Dhamma Wheel.
I'll just move the thread out of the classical theravada thread as the guidelines do not permit the type of discussion you wish to engage in.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Freawaru
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:26 pm

Re: Layman Arahant

Postby Freawaru » Thu May 06, 2010 4:07 pm


Astus
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 12:37 pm

Re: Layman Arahant

Postby Astus » Thu May 06, 2010 6:46 pm

Ben,

Thanks, I found the only discussion in that part about Lay Arahants, so thought it's OK there.

Freewaru,

I've never met that kind of interpretation, nevertheless, it sounds interesting.

Richard
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 2:18 pm

Re: Layman Arahant

Postby Richard » Thu May 06, 2010 9:12 pm

In a footnote to his essay, "The Jhanas and the Lay Disciples according to the Pali Suttas," Bhikkhu Bodhi says, "The question of lay arahantship is a vexed one. While the texts record several cases of lay people who attained arahantship, immediately afterwards they either take ordination or expire." It seems the highest achievement of most laypeople is to reach the stage of non-returner--an amazing achievement considering all the obstacles that ordinary life puts in the way. As a layman myself, I no longer feel "vexed" by the difficulty, but just move forward the best I can.

Reductor
Posts: 1381
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Layman Arahant

Postby Reductor » Fri May 07, 2010 12:58 am


Astus
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 12:37 pm

Re: Layman Arahant

Postby Astus » Mon May 10, 2010 12:26 pm

It seems not many people got interested in the possiblity of a lay arahant, or the essay is too long to go through...

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Layman Arahant

Postby Ben » Mon May 10, 2010 12:52 pm

Dear members

In contributing to this discussion, please limit your comments to issues raised by the OP and the essay provided by the OP.
Members wishing to discuss whether non-Buddhists can be come arahants, can post here: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4318
Any off-topic commentary from this point may disappear mysteriously...
Thanks for your cooperation.

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

User avatar
sukhamanveti
Posts: 169
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:33 pm
Location: U.S.A.

Re: Layman Arahant

Postby sukhamanveti » Mon May 10, 2010 3:14 pm

Hi, Astus.

> There is an interesting essay by Piya Tan: Layman Saints. Basically it shows how the view that an arahant must be a monk or die shortly is not
> necessarily true.

Piya Tan seems to inflate the number of layman arahats (in part 15) by assuming without sufficient justification that “seeing the Deathless” must necessarily refer to the attainment of arahatship, however, the Anguttara-atthakatha, commenting on AN VI, 131, says that it may refer to the attainment of any of the earlier stages of enlightenment (stream-enterer, once-returner, or nonreturner). Similarly, although Ven. Musila (in the Kosambi Sutta of the Nidanasamyutta of SN) “sees and knows” that Nibbana is the cessation of becoming and is an arahat (or arahant), Ven. Narada in the same sutta “sees and knows” that Nibbana is cessation *without* the attainment of arahatship, comparing his degree of attainment to that of a man who catches a glimpse of water (=Nibbana) in a well without having any contact with that water. In other words, one can see the Deathless at an earlier stage. One need not be an arahat.

I think it remains true that arahats among the lay followers in the Pali Canon tend to become monks (because the household life is incompatible with their attainments) or pass on.

Ed

EDIT: I corrected a redundancy.
Sīlaṃ balaṃ appaṭimaṃ.
Sīlaṃ āvudhamuttamaṃ.
Sīlamābharaṇaṃ seṭṭhaṃ.
Sīlaṃ kavacamabbhutaṃ.


Virtue is a matchless power.
Virtue is the greatest weapon.
Virtue is the best adornment.
Virtue is a wonderful armor.

Theragatha 614


Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ,
kusalassa upasampadā,
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ,
etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ.


Refraining from all wrong-doing,
Undertaking the good,
Purifying the mind,
This is the teaching of the buddhas.

Dhammapada v. 183/14.5

dennis60
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 12:12 am

Re: Layman Arahant

Postby dennis60 » Mon May 10, 2010 3:52 pm

This is a few paragraphs in an article that addresses your question....

Lay life and arahantship. Though there are many instances of persons attaining spiritual development up to the third stage of non-returner, instances are not many of individuals attaining arahantship while yet being laymen. Yasa attained arahantship while being a layman, but he, too, entered the Order immediately afterwards (Vin.I.15-20). Khemā, chief of the Buddha's women disciples, attained arahantship before she entered the Order, but she entered the Order with the consent of her husband Bimbisāra, probably on the same day (ThigA.126f). Suddhodana, the father of the Buddha, attained arahantship a little while before his death (DPPN. s.v. Suddhodana). The Mahāvamsa (chap. xvi, 10-11) records that fifty-five brothers headed by the chief minister Mahā Arittha attained arahantship in the tonsure hall, while their heads were being shaved prior to being admitted into the Order. In the Kathavatthu (157-8) the question whether a layman can become an arahant is discussed. The point maintained in it is that what matters is not the external characteristics of a recluse or a layman, and that anybody who is free from the mental fetters and lives a life of complete renunciation could attain arahantship. King Milinda, too, maintains this view and quotes the following words of the Buddha: "I would magnify, o brethren, the supreme attainment either in a layman or in a recluse. Whether he be a layman, o brethren, or a recluse, the man who has reached the supreme attainment shall overcome all the difficulties inherent therein, shall win his way even to the excellent condition of arahantship" (Man. trsl., SBE. vol.36, p.56), but so far this statement has not been traced in the Tipitaka. In the Milindapañha (ibid. p.57) again, a question is posed as to why a person should enter the Order if laymen, too, could attain arahantship. In reply it is shown that facilities and opportunities for cultivating the mind are greater if one enters the Order, since monks are not bound up with duties of laymen such as earning to maintain oneself, wife and children and looking after the needs of relatives. In the Subha Sutra (M.II.197) the Buddha says that a person, whether he be a layman or a recluse, who leads a virtuous life, ever striving to cleanse the mind of impurities, would progress in the path to liberation.

There is a current belief among the Buddhists that when a layman attains arahantship he should enter the Order the same day or else he would die before the end of that day. Nagasena, too, confirms this view. It is difficult to trace from canonical sources any evidence to substantiate this view.

Again, if we examine the connotation of the word anāgāmī (non-returner to the material world) we obtain more evidence to support the view that arahantship is attainable outside the Order of monks. If an anāgāmī does not attain arahantship in that very existence, he will pass away and will be reborn among the Suddhāvāsā deities, where he will put an end to reiterated existence (see anāgāmī).

the whole article is here.....


User avatar
Lazy_eye
Posts: 996
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:23 pm
Location: Laurel, MD
Contact:

Re: Layman Arahant

Postby Lazy_eye » Mon May 10, 2010 11:13 pm

Astus,

Thanks for the topic and essay. I found it interesting not only because of the lay arahantship question specifically, but more generally because of its detailed discussion about the layperson's relationship to the various path stages.

It strikes me that once a person gets to anagami, the monk/lay distinction becomes a moot point. After all, at that stage one has really ceased to be a "householder" in any meaningful sense of the word, and all the fetters are gone except for attachment to jhana states, conceit, restlessness and our old friend ignorance. So I can't see how the external life conditions should make any difference -- even if such a person has not left the home physically, he/she is not "at home". It would just be like having a vinaya-observing monk residing in the house, no?

Which makes me wonder: what reasons would there be not to ordain at the anagami stage, let alone arahant? Just to wrap up household affairs?

LE

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Layman Arahant

Postby Ben » Tue May 11, 2010 3:44 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Layman Arahant

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 11, 2010 3:48 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine


Paññāsikhara
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am
Contact:

Re: Layman Arahant

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun May 23, 2010 2:15 pm

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

Paññāsikhara
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am
Contact:

Re: Layman Arahant

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun May 23, 2010 2:21 pm

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

Virgo
Posts: 1315
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: Layman Arahant

Postby Virgo » Sun May 23, 2010 2:36 pm



User avatar
bodom
Posts: 5713
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Layman Arahant

Postby bodom » Sun May 23, 2010 4:20 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


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

Anicca
Posts: 393
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:11 am
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma

Re: Layman Arahant

Postby Anicca » Sun May 23, 2010 4:42 pm


User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23012
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Layman Arahant

Postby tiltbillings » Sun May 23, 2010 4:49 pm



Return to “General Theravāda discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 45 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine