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

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
bridif1
Posts: 213
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:42 pm

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

Post by bridif1 »

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!
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 24173
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

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

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,
bridif1 wrote: Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:25 am 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?
Not really, because what makes them arahants makes them beyond measure.

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

"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
User avatar
bridif1
Posts: 213
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:42 pm

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

Post by bridif1 »

retrofuturist wrote: Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:38 am Greetings,
bridif1 wrote: Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:25 am 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?
Not really, because what makes them arahants makes them beyond measure.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Hi Paul!

(I know I said it multiple times, but I know very little about suttas and references).
I read somewhere that in order to know whether a person was a noble one, you can evaluate his/her behavior and reactions, and ask him/her personally about his/her habitual tendencies.
That seems to indicate that some aspects can be measured and studied, at least in principle.

Kind regards!
User avatar
Zom
Posts: 2617
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
Contact:

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

Post by Zom »

That seems to indicate that some aspects can be measured and studied
What for? This won't lead people out of samsara .)
sentinel
Posts: 3236
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

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

Post by sentinel »

Zom wrote: Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:55 am
That seems to indicate that some aspects can be measured and studied
What for? This won't lead people out of samsara .)
If one is certain that person is an ariya , faith would arises , then listen to his/her sermons , hence , following his/her footsteps .
You always gain by giving
User avatar
SDC
Posts: 6811
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm

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

Post by SDC »

A non-ariya is not qualified to verify that degree of development, so even if a monastic were allowed to reveal such attainment it would make absolutely no difference. Perhaps it would rouse faith among followers, but if the claim were false the faith could end up being misplaced and wasted.
"As fruits fall from the tree, so people too, both young and old, fall when this body breaks." - Raṭṭhapāla (MN 82)
Pārāpariya | Phussa | Subhā of Jīvaka’s Mango Grove | Kappa
User avatar
Manopubbangama
Posts: 925
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:17 pm
Location: Pennsylvania Route 969 *Europe*

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

Post by Manopubbangama »

I could introduce you to a plethora of self-proclaimed arahants on the internet if you like.

I'm guessing that their numbers will be growing from now on, especially outside of Buddhist countries, unencumbered by the oppressive monastic patriarchy.
budo
Posts: 1752
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:16 am

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

Post by budo »

Imho, a display of supernormal power would be a better indicator of some form of attainment, although it doesn't mean they're an Ariya.
User avatar
Zom
Posts: 2617
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
Contact:

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

Post by Zom »

If one is certain that person is an ariya , faith would arises
One can be certain if Buddha personally confirms that. In all other cases it is a matter of belief.
Bundokji
Posts: 3470
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:57 pm

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

Post by Bundokji »

Maybe its the other way around. Maybe they appear only to people with real potential.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.
User avatar
SDC
Posts: 6811
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm

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

Post by SDC »

Bundokji wrote: Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:52 pm Maybe its the other way around. Maybe they appear only to people with real potential.
Exactly.

"One who sees dependent origination sees the Dhamma."

"Whoever sees the Dhamma sees the Buddha."

I image the same can be applied to the arahat.
"As fruits fall from the tree, so people too, both young and old, fall when this body breaks." - Raṭṭhapāla (MN 82)
Pārāpariya | Phussa | Subhā of Jīvaka’s Mango Grove | Kappa
User avatar
JamesTheGiant
Posts: 1396
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:41 am
Location: New Zealand

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

Post by JamesTheGiant »

bridif1 wrote: Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:25 am in order to allow scientists to investigate them empirically under controlled conditions and with much details about their neural and behavioral functioning as possible?
I think it's a great idea. Also if they could show some supernormal powers that often come with Enlightenment, have those powers tested and analysed, it would do a lot to bring people to Buddhism. And revolutionise materialistic science as well.

But the Buddha wanted people to keep it quiet and forbade Enlightened monks from showing their powers in public.
So what do I know, I guess he's right and I'm wrong.
budo
Posts: 1752
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:16 am

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

Post by budo »

JamesTheGiant wrote: Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:54 pm
bridif1 wrote: Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:25 am in order to allow scientists to investigate them empirically under controlled conditions and with much details about their neural and behavioral functioning as possible?
I think it's a great idea. Also if they could show some supernormal powers that often come with Enlightenment, have those powers tested and analysed, it would do a lot to bring people to Buddhism. And revolutionise materialistic science as well.

But the Buddha wanted people to keep it quiet and forbade Enlightened monks from showing their powers in public.
So what do I know, I guess he's right and I'm wrong.
Well you'd have Muslims and Christians calling them satan and attacking them..

Also they could lose their powers as soon as they try to use it for egotistical means as one cannot get to fourth jhana unless the 5 hindrances are suppressed.
User avatar
Aloka
Posts: 7266
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

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

Post by Aloka »

Manopubbangama wrote: Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:53 pm I could introduce you to a plethora of self-proclaimed arahants on the internet if you like.
Daniel Ingram, the guy who runs "Dharma Overground " claims to be an Arhat. I wonder if he's displayed any supernormal powers?

I am an arhat, having attained [full enlightenment] in April, 2003.

I have mastery of the [traditional eight] samatha jhanas [meditative absorptions], including Pure Land One and Pure Land Two, The Watcher, and Nirodha Samapatti [the "extinction of feeling and perception," a meditative state said to only be possible for arhats].

I have some experience with some other traditional attainments.
I can access the state [The DhO] calls No Dog.

http://wisdomquarterly.blogspot.com/201 ... ngram.html


:reading: ...... Image
Justsit
Posts: 720
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:41 pm

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

Post by Justsit »

bridif1 wrote: Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:25 am ... allow scientists to investigate them empirically under controlled conditions and with much details about their neural and behavioral functioning as possible?
You may find the following article of interest. A number of studies have been done using this type of scientific investigation with some Vajrayana monks. Mingyur Rinpoche, the subject of the article, is an advanced practitioner and highly regarded teacher. The results were intriguing.
https://www.lionsroar.com/how-meditatio ... your-life/

Please note, no claim is made here of anyone's level of attainment, nor any sectarian preference implied.
Post Reply