How was it technically verified in Theravada?

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Viachh
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How was it technically verified in Theravada?

Post by Viachh »

How was it technically verified in Theravada that someone reached the ariya level (arhant, etc.)?
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SDC
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Re: How was it technically verified in Theravada?

Post by SDC »

It wasn't.
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Viachh
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Re: How was it technically verified in Theravada?

Post by Viachh »

SDC wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:32 pmIt wasn't.
If they didn’t check, then at least how did it happen: did the ariya that reached the level inform the others about it? As it is known, only arhants were allowed to the first cathedral, which means they were somehow determined.
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Re: How was it technically verified in Theravada?

Post by justindesilva »

Viachh wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:19 pm
SDC wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:32 pmIt wasn't.
If they didn’t check, then at least how did it happen: did the ariya that reached the level inform the others about it? As it is known, only arhants were allowed to the first cathedral, which means they were somehow determined.
From what I have learnt only lord Budda could identify an aryan or a marga pala labhi. This fact is reflected in various suttas.
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Re: How was it technically verified in Theravada?

Post by Volo »

AN 10.86 wrote:On one occasion the Venerable Mahākassapa was dwelling at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the squirrel sanctuary. There the Venerable [162] Mahākassapa addressed the bhikkhus: “Friends, bhikkhus!”

“Friend,” those bhikkhus replied. The Venerable Mahākassapa said this:

“Here, friends, a bhikkhu declares final knowledge thus: ‘I understand: “Destroyed is birth, the spiritual life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more coming back to any state of being.”’ The Tathāgata or his disciple who is a jhāna-attainer—skilled in attainment, skilled in others’ minds, skilled in the ways of others’ minds—questions him, interrogates him, and cross-examines him. When he is being questioned, interrogated, and cross-examined by the Tathāgata or his disciple, he comes to an impasse and is flustered. He meets with calamity, meets with disaster, meets with calamity and disaster.

“The Tathāgata or his disciple who is a jhāna-attainer … encompasses his mind with his own mind and considers: ‘Why does this venerable one declare final knowledge thus: “I understand: ‘Destroyed is birth … there is no more coming back to any state of being’”?’ The Tathāgata or his disciple, having encompassed his mind with his own mind, understands: ‘This venerable one overestimates himself, imagines that his estimate of himself is valid, thinks that he has attained what he has not attained, accomplished what he has not accomplished, and achieved what he has not achieved, and by overestimation of himself he declares final knowledge thus: “I understand: ‘Destroyed is birth … there is no more coming back to any state of being.’”
Last edited by Volo on Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SDC
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Re: How was it technically verified in Theravada?

Post by SDC »

Viachh wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:19 pm
SDC wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:32 pmIt wasn't.
If they didn’t check, then at least how did it happen: did the ariya that reached the level inform the others about it? As it is known, only arhants were allowed to the first cathedral, which means they were somehow determined.
Sorry, I didn't understand you at first.

As Justin said, only an arahant was capable of recognizing another arahat. Otherwise there is no other external criteria and definitely nothing that would indicate it for a non-ariya.

If two people are sekha they would have to share their views with one another in order to know that they both have the right view. Essentially only those with right view would be able to know it about themselves and others.
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Re: How was it technically verified in Theravada?

Post by DNS »

There isn't any physical characteristic that one can see, for example there is no cranial protrusion that suddenly appears in an arahant.

It is easier to rule out the ones that are definitely not noble. That can be seen by observing anyone that does not have perfect sila, i.e. keeping the precepts, especially the 5 and/or 8.

For example, if you see someone completely drunk on alcohol or deliberately stepping on a grasshopper or other such breaks in sila, then you can know they are not noble, at least not higher than sotapanna (there is a debate about whether sotapannas can deliberately break sila or not).

However, seeing someone with perfect sila does not necessarily mean that they are noble, though. They could just be on-the-way, but not quite there yet.
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Re: How was it technically verified in Theravada?

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Viachh wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:19 pm As it is known, only arhants were allowed to the first cathedral
What's the Cathedral? I've never heard of it.
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Re: How was it technically verified in Theravada?

Post by TRobinson465 »

I think only the Buddha knew. Even Ananda had to prove he was an arahant by levitating to the first council. Unless that was just a formality or something.
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Re: How was it technically verified in Theravada?

Post by Antaradhana »

JamesTheGiant wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:23 pm
Viachh wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:19 pm As it is known, only arhants were allowed to the first cathedral
What's the Cathedral? I've never heard of it.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe20/sbe20119.htm
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".
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Re: How was it technically verified in Theravada?

Post by JamesTheGiant »

Antaradhana wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:13 pm
JamesTheGiant wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:23 pm
Viachh wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:19 pm As it is known, only arhants were allowed to the first cathedral
What's the Cathedral? I've never heard of it.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe20/sbe20119.htm
Oh, they must mean "Council" not "Cathedral."
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Re: How was it technically verified in Theravada?

Post by form »

Those that attended the first council are technically not Theravadians.
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Re: How was it technically verified in Theravada?

Post by SarathW »

Viachh wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:37 am How was it technically verified in Theravada that someone reached the ariya level (arhant, etc.)?
You can verify it yourself.
This is called the reviewing knowledge.
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Re: How was it technically verified in Theravada?

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,

Not sure you're being entirely consistent here, David... or did you change your mind as you went?

:tongue:
DNS wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:46 pm It is easier to rule out the ones that are definitely not noble. That can be seen by observing anyone that does not have perfect sila, i.e. keeping the precepts, especially the 5 and/or 8.

For example, if you see someone completely drunk on alcohol or deliberately stepping on a grasshopper or other such breaks in sila, then you can know they are not noble, at least not higher than sotapanna (there is a debate about whether sotapannas can deliberately break sila or not).
I know about the sutta incidence of the drunk sotapanna that Nanavira Thera refers to in his Letters, but for me the most telling instance is of Channa the arahant, blamelessly "taking the knife". This demonstrates to me that outward acts of morality are subjectively relative to the inner realisation, mindstate and intention (cetana) of the individual in question. To negate that suggestion, and superimpose objective standards on the situation, or even a training list from the suttas, would appear to be an example of attachment to rites-and-rituals (silabbatupadana). Thus, I question the whole "perfect sila" concept, because I don't trust anyone short of an arahant to comprehend what that actually entails. As such, I don't think it can be conclusively relied upon as a criteria usable by sekhas or puthujjanas.

As for the question at hand, I recall a sutta saying that people have the capacity to "recognise" any other person at the same level or lower, but not recognise those who are higher than their current standing. If anyone knows the sutta and can share it that would be great. In the absence of that, it can be summarised neatly by the old saying, "it takes one to know one".

In terms of self-analysis, criteria are supplied in SN 48.53 - Sekha Sutta.

Metta,
Paul. :)
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Re: How was it technically verified in Theravada?

Post by Zom »

As for the question at hand, I recall a sutta saying that people have the capacity to "recognise" any other person at the same level or lower, but not recognise those who are higher than their current standing. If anyone knows the sutta and can share it that would be great. In the absence of that, it can be summarised neatly by the old saying, "it takes one to know one".
There is no such sutta. Verification of arahantship can either be done by the Buddha, or by the special arahant with iddhi of mind-reading (not every arahant can do that). Lower levels, especially paths, cannot be recognized with full certainty by anyone except the Buddha.
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