Wouldn't be useful if Arahants reveal their state and achievements?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Re: Wouldn't be useful if Arahants reveal their state and achievements?

Post by auto »

come tell you are budhist, you might not get away so easy if you could hear the critisism you will fell over on spot. People take budhism so lightly nowadays.

Geez aren't it miserable, people just calling themselves followers of budha left and right..so bad
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Re: Wouldn't be useful if Arahants reveal their state and achievements?

Post by Laurens »

I think the rule makes sense and not a lot could be gained from changing it.

Firstly anyone can claim anything. If I was so inclined I could masquerade as an Arahant. A monk could do the same, this would then have an overall detrimental effect on the Sangha.

For instance if a monk were to make a false claim to arahantship they might be inclined to present their own ideas as what the Buddha intended. This would inevitably create schisms and have a detrimental effect on the Sangha and the propagation of the dhamma.

Having a rule that says you aren't allowed to lie about being an Arahant if you are a monk isn't going to cut it, because that won't stop someone from doing it if they are intent upon doing it. If nobody can make claims about their attainments, then anybody who does so is immediately suspect. Better that than giving any space for false claims.
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Re: Wouldn't be useful if Arahants reveal their state and achievements?

Post by auto »

Laurens wrote: Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:50 pm I think the rule makes sense and not a lot could be gained from changing it.

Firstly anyone can claim anything. If I was so inclined I could masquerade as an Arahant. A monk could do the same, this would then have an overall detrimental effect on the Sangha.

For instance if a monk were to make a false claim to arahantship they might be inclined to present their own ideas as what the Buddha intended. This would inevitably create schisms and have a detrimental effect on the Sangha and the propagation of the dhamma.

Having a rule that says you aren't allowed to lie about being an Arahant if you are a monk isn't going to cut it, because that won't stop someone from doing it if they are intent upon doing it. If nobody can make claims about their attainments, then anybody who does so is immediately suspect. Better that than giving any space for false claims.
1.So shall we see who has given opinion about nibbana then he/she actually claims to have glimpsed it and when having seen it then it means SE.
2.Those who practice im sure entertain thoughts about was it it? or what i did just experience woah, it could be attainment

internet site what is dedicated to dhamma is a hot spot of people coming to declare their attainment from practice and then they are gone, there is this traffic.
how many of them come and tell about second one, not so many, so yes if you have 4 distinct happenings and can write a book about it, then its nice achievement compared to the irregulars.

and by the way, the ego orwahtever skyrockets you need spill it out somewhere, share it. There are lot of manic states etc shall we isolate practioneers not welcome them at all??
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Re: Wouldn't be useful if Arahants reveal their state and achievements?

Post by DooDoot »

Manopubbangama wrote: Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:33 pm Not just him; of his acolytes many are arahants as well.
I recently recall the creator of a new dharma board recently claimed on this very forum (DW) that he had entered various jhanas and even cessation of perception & feeling. However, it seems this post has now been deleted.
budo wrote: Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:11 pmImho, a display of supernormal power would be a better indicator of some form of attainment, although it doesn't mean they're an Ariya.
It is reported a certain Galilean named 'Jesus' did this in Judea around 2000 years ago and that seemed to cause lots of chaos, both then & in the future; which seems to vindicate the disapproval of a display of supernormal power in DN 11.
budo wrote: Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:00 pmWell you'd have Muslims and Christians calling them satan and attacking them..
Don't forget also the Jews in Judea who reportedly attacked a certain Galilean named 'Jesus' around 2000 years ago. Since the majority of the Chosen People of God did not have faith in miracles of Jesus the Galilean, why would others? :shrug:
bridif1 wrote: Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:25 amHi!
For me, the foundation of the Buddha's Buddhahood is his morality. Personally, I think depression and anxiety are often related to the normalising of immorality in society. I think morality will resolve much of these heavy sufferings (rather than special insight). Why are people depressed & anxious? Poor families, poor relationships, lack of community, lack of real friends, broken relationships, social corporate expectations they can't meet, survivalist individualism, etc, etc.
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If a bhikkhu should wish: ‘May I become a conqueror of fear and dread, and may fear and dread not conquer me; may I abide transcending fear and dread whenever they arise,’ let him fulfil the precepts…

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JMGinPDX
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Re: Wouldn't be useful if Arahants reveal their state and achievements?

Post by JMGinPDX »

This is one area where I think the Zen guys have good advice...."cultivate Great Doubt."
Question all attainments, don't settle for achievements, keep pushing forward.
As soon as you think you've attained the goal, you've lost the goal.
Or as I've heard Ajahn Amaro say many times...asking "is that so?" to literally everything is essentially The Practice itself.
Right now, it's like this...
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Re: Wouldn't be useful if Arahants reveal their state and achievements?

Post by cappuccino »

JMGinPDX wrote:"cultivate Great Doubt"
The Five Spiritual Faculties
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Re: Wouldn't be useful if Arahants reveal their state and achievements?

Post by Dan74-MkII »

JMGinPDX wrote: Fri May 17, 2019 8:01 pm This is one area where I think the Zen guys have good advice...."cultivate Great Doubt."
Question all attainments, don't settle for achievements, keep pushing forward.
As soon as you think you've attained the goal, you've lost the goal.
Or as I've heard Ajahn Amaro say many times...asking "is that so?" to literally everything is essentially The Practice itself.
The meaning of Great Doubt in Zen is rather specific - it is to focus an overwhelming enquiry on the fundamental question, the koan, to basically keep the meditative focus 24/7.

As for the OP, it seems to me that the society already caters quite well for what most people care about - psychologocal health, being well-adjusted, minimising and managing and even sometimes curing anxiety and depression.

The Dhamma goes much further and it's not an aim most are interested in. To give you an anecdote, a guy I know well, an intelligent and decent IT expert once out of the blue asked me if I could recommend any resources on meditation. When I came up with a few sources and promised to send him some links, he clarified - "I am not interested in Enlightenment, I just want to use my time more efficiently."

Of course one may counter that most are not interested in Enlightenment, because they don't even believe in it. But to the extent that one is addicted to Samsara (and we all are, more or less), one is not really after Nibbana, but just a more comfy samsara. With frills and some lace or something..

So yes, I don't think the arahats' acrobatics would bring the effect you wish for.
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Re: Wouldn't be useful if Arahants reveal their state and achievements?

Post by bridif1 »

Dan74-MkII wrote: Fri May 17, 2019 8:54 pm So yes, I don't think the arahats' acrobatics would bring the effect you wish for.
Hi!

What a wonderful and insightful answer!
Now I just starting to notice this lack of interest and belief on the effectiveness of the Dhamma, so I agree on your point.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Kind regards!
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Re: Wouldn't be useful if Arahants reveal their state and achievements?

Post by cappuccino »

Dan74-MkII wrote:he clarified - "I am not interested in Enlightenment, I just want to use my time more efficiently."
if "I am" was interested in Enlightenment, "I am" would end

hence "I am" cares about time
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Re: Wouldn't be useful if Arahants reveal their state and achievements?

Post by ChooChoo »

I thought people weren't supposed to talk about their attainments.
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Re: Wouldn't be useful if Arahants reveal their state and achievements?

Post by cappuccino »

ChooChoo wrote: I thought people weren't supposed to talk about their attainments.
well I have some clarity
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Re: Wouldn't be useful if Arahants reveal their state and achievements?

Post by bridif1 »

ChooChoo wrote: Fri May 17, 2019 11:44 pm I thought people weren't supposed to talk about their attainments.
Hi ChooChoo!

That's exactly why this issue is so controversial and why I decided to ask about it.
I wanted to know if the rule could be put aside in consideration of the power of scientific methods and the potential of education about the measurable effects of high attainments.

Kind regards!
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Re: Wouldn't be useful if Arahants reveal their state and achievements?

Post by dhammapal »

One famous monk made a joke about the question of whether or not he was an arahant which to me seemed like dropping a hint rather than openly being humble about his defilements so laypeople wouldn't have assumed he was an arahant when giving him gifts, or believed and spread his teachings based on faith alone.
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Re: Wouldn't be useful if Arahants reveal their state and achievements?

Post by cookiemonster »

bridif1 wrote: Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:25 am Hi!

I'm aware of the prohibitions stated in the Vinaya about sharing their fruitions and ariya status with people outside the Sangha, and I agree -in general- with the reasons for it.

But since we are living in an age and time way different from the Buddha's days, where we value empirically proven knowledge, and where we deeply rely on the scientific method to guide certain aspects of our society, as we can see in the health and medical field.

The health of the mind is a real concern, everyday bigger in our agitated and stressed societies. Depression and anxiety are getting normalized, even when our material conditions and the protection given by our governments has never been as good as today.

Considering what has been said, don't you think that if there are Arahants alive, it could be useful for society as a whole if they made their ariya status public in order to allow scientists to investigate them empirically under controlled conditions and with much details about their neural and behavioral functioning as possible?

If that could be done, Buddhism could potentially stop being considered as mere religious superstition, and maybe public health could start using and standardizing Buddhist insights and methods for diminishing (and potentially ending) with suffering more effectively (in comparison with our current approach applied in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, with use of questionable methods and drugs).

In my ignorance, this seems as a compassionate measure for our modern times.

What are your thoughts about this?
It is worth breaking Vinaya rules for the sake of potential mass helping?
Or do you think that this kind of actions could lead to more negative consequences (relative to the potential gains)?

Thanks for your time!
It is said that an ariya can recognize those at their level of attainment and below.

Those in a lower stage must use attentive discernment to recognize those at a higher attainment: "as a layman enjoying sensual pleasures ... it’s hard for you to know whether these are arahants or on the path to arahantship. It’s through living together that a person’s virtue .. purity .. endurance .. discernment may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning." Ud6.2

Therefore, for an ariya to announce verbally, in a general way, their ariya status is, IMO, at most useless, at worst unskillful.
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Re: Wouldn't be useful if Arahants reveal their state and achievements?

Post by SDC »

cookiemonster wrote: Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:29 pm It is said that an ariya can recognize those at their level of attainment and below.

Those in a lower stage must use attentive discernment to recognize those at a higher attainment: "as a layman enjoying sensual pleasures ... it’s hard for you to know whether these are arahants or on the path to arahantship. It’s through living together that a person’s virtue .. purity .. endurance .. discernment may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning." Ud6.2

Therefore, for an ariya to announce verbally, in a general way, their ariya status is, IMO, at most useless, at worst unskillful.
Great post, cm.
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