was jesus an arahant

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
binocular
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by binocular »

aflatun wrote:But you do seem intent on restricting Christianity to crude and narrow interpretations, which is totally fine of course.
I actually have here before me a fancily bound selection from Caussade's Abandonment to Divine Providence that I have made myself to carry with me. It's a lovely book full of helpful advice on how to weather hard times and have faith in God; especially the letters are lovely. It's the only Christian book that I still have.
Look, for example, at the letters on pgs. 72, 139, 156, 136, 143, 135, 140, 155, 157, and 170.

And yet when I think that all this lovely advice is about a god who might punish me with eternal damnation if I don't get it right in this lifetime, all that loveliness I had felt just seconds ago vanishes.
Whatever crudeness or narrowness there is in my interpretations of Christianity, it is because of the threat of eternal damnation, as I think that that threat annuls whatever beauty and value that Christianity may have to offer otherwise.
And I still feel that what I said does generally hold for those that do consider themselves in one camp vs. the other and involve themselves in such polemics.
I agree, but I'm not in any such camp (which seems to be part of the problem). If I would have the comofrt of belonging to a camp, many things would be easier fo me.
And to me it reveals the nature of the whole thing. Views are never innocent or merely "intellectual"
Perhaps some other people, like me, also find that they don't belong to a camp, even if others ascribe to them such belonging.
OK, but is someone here making big claims that need to be put to the test?
Yes, some posters here have defended Christianity.
Or perhaps you're saying this is what Christianity does by nature?
Yes, as does any religion that threatens with eternal damnation or with other lasting, irrepairable negative consequences. (Such as the idea forwarded by some Mahayanis that Theravadins are doomed to a lesser level of attainment and that at some point, it is too late to change paths.)
I know you know this, but you don't need to concern yourself with other people's antics.
Are they really just antics? Or could they be saying something about the texture of Ultimate Reality?
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
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Sam Vara
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by Sam Vara »

form wrote:
Sam Vara wrote:
form wrote: Maybe Carl Rogers.
Maybe. Do you think he fits the canonical definitions, or are you revising them?
Identity view, doubts and clinging on to rules and rituals have different interpretations.
Yes, they do. Can you interpret them with sufficient laxity so as to elevate Carl Rogers to stream entry?
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aflatun
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by aflatun »

binocular wrote: I actually have here before me a fancily bound selection from Caussade's Abandonment to Divine Providence that I have made myself to carry with me. It's a lovely book full of helpful advice on how to weather hard times and have faith in God; especially the letters are lovely. It's the only Christian book that I still have.
Look, for example, at the letters on pgs. 72, 139, 156, 136, 143, 135, 140, 155, 157, and 170.

And yet when I think that all this lovely advice is about a god who might punish me with eternal damnation if I don't get it right in this lifetime, all that loveliness I had felt just seconds ago vanishes.
Whatever crudeness or narrowness there is in my interpretations of Christianity, it is because of the threat of eternal damnation, as I think that that threat annuls whatever beauty and value that Christianity may have to offer otherwise.
Eternal damnation coming from a personal being is indeed hard to swallow, I get it. There are many interpretations of hell as merely a temporary kind of 'forever' vs. "Eternal," and as actually impermanent and eventually 'growing cool" via divine compassion in the Abrahamic traditions, but I can't think of a Christian example at the moment. It also doesn't make it go over any more easy that a personal being would do that in the first place. Sometimes personal choices are emphasized over divine justice too, depending on who you ask. In any event I never swallowed much of this myself in days gone past, or I de-personalized the ideas into oblivion, so it never vexed me all that much. No need for you of course to come to any reconciliation with the idea, you can just drop it :)

For my part I find a world where the big fish eat the little ones and things can suck for a lifetime, let alone eons, pretty hard to swallow, regardless of how this is explained. But I'm a big fat baby, and a brat.
I agree, but I'm not in any such camp (which seems to be part of the problem). If I would have the comofrt of belonging to a camp, many things would be easier fo me.
stay out of all camps, just stay binocular :)
binocular wrote:Yes, some posters here have defended Christianity.
Are those defenses metaphysical claims necessarily, or just recommending a more charitable reading? Probably both I guess. Feel free to beat any one up you wish :tongue:
Yes, as does any religion that threatens with eternal damnation or with other lasting, irrepairable negative consequences. (Such as the idea forwarded by some Mahayanis that Theravadins are doomed to a lesser level of attainment and that at some point, it is too late to change paths.)
That particular threat never made any sense to me. What's lesser about being permanently liberated?
Are they really just antics? Or could they be saying something about the texture of Ultimate Reality?
Maybe just saying something about how people can suck. If you metapysicalize it you're gonna end up a Schopenhauerian style pessimist :mrgreen: It took me a while to pull myself out of that
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16
form
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by form »

Sam Vara wrote:
form wrote:
Sam Vara wrote:
Yes, they do. Can you interpret them with sufficient laxity so as to elevate Carl Rogers to stream entry?
The difference in interpretations and our background will lead to different conclusions. My view is difficult for you to accept.
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Sam Vara
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by Sam Vara »

form wrote: The difference in interpretations and our background will lead to different conclusions. My view is difficult for you to accept.
If you say so. You haven't said what your view is, yet, and why Carl Rogers deserves that consideration ahead of Roy Rogers or Buck Rogers...
chownah
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by chownah »

Sam Vara wrote:
form wrote: The difference in interpretations and our background will lead to different conclusions. My view is difficult for you to accept.
If you say so. You haven't said what your view is, yet, and why Carl Rogers deserves that consideration ahead of Roy Rogers or Buck Rogers...
You left out perhaps the most likely candidate who could appear on your list....Mr. Rogers (Fred......google him).
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Sam Vara
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by Sam Vara »

chownah wrote: You left out perhaps the most likely candidate who could appear on your list....Mr. Rogers (Fred......google him).
chownah
Never heard of him before....but yes, you're right!
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Coëmgenu
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by Coëmgenu »

binocular wrote:Yes, as does any religion that threatens with eternal damnation or with other lasting, irrepairable negative consequences. (Such as the idea forwarded by some Mahayanis that Theravadins are doomed to a lesser level of attainment and that at some point, it is too late to change paths.)
If you are interested in further exploring the strange sectarian games rival religious movements play with each other:

The narrative is not quite so bleak, and it actually complements the attainments of the arhat, though in a typically "backhanded" way that can be expected of a former embattled religious minority gaining sudden advantage.

The masters of Śrāvakayāna, or the arhats, enter into a samādhi, to be roused by Maitreya Bodhisattva to serve as bodhisattvāḥ in his dharma-dispensation.

One can view this as a favourable end to practitioners of rival traditions, but it is also a backhanded allowance into salvation: the Śrāvakayānist may practice his/her dispensation to completion, only to arrive at the end goal of bodhisattva anyways.
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.

(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
binocular
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by binocular »

Coëmgenu wrote:/.../
Since you're back in this thread:
I'd like to see your reply to this -- https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f ... 60#p431782
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
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aflatun
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by aflatun »

Coëmgenu wrote: The masters of Śrāvakayāna (which is commonly associated with contemporary/historical Theravāda but shouldn't necessarily be (it is unlikely these early Mahāyānists were referring to the island tradition of Sri Lankan Buddhism, the predecessor of modern Theravāda(s)), or the arhats, enter into śūnyatāsamādhi, to be roused by Maitreya Bodhisattva to serve as bodhisattvāḥ in his dharma-dispensation.
Isn't this samadhi of the Arahants interpreted as the cessation of perception and feeling? Or something else? I thought it was the former, which I always found somewhat strange, but I know some people do equate nirvana with that particular cessation full stop.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16
binocular
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by binocular »

Coëmgenu wrote:If you are interested in further exploring the strange sectarian games rival religious movements play with each other:

The narrative is not quite so bleak, and it actually complements the attainments of the arhat, though in a typically "backhanded" way that can be expected of a former embattled religious minority gaining sudden advantage.

The masters of Śrāvakayāna (which is commonly associated with contemporary/historical Theravāda but shouldn't necessarily be (it is unlikely these early Mahāyānists were referring to the island tradition of Sri Lankan Buddhism, the predecessor of modern Theravāda(s)), or the arhats, enter into śūnyatāsamādhi, to be roused by Maitreya Bodhisattva to serve as bodhisattvāḥ in his dharma-dispensation.

One can view this as a favourable end to practitioners of rival traditions, but it is also a backhanded allowance into salvation: the Śrāvakayānist may practice his/her dispensation to completion, only to arrive at the end goal of bodhisattva anyways.
Do you realize just how grossly rude this is??

It's right up there with Christian missionaries in traditionally Buddhist countries who preach to the Buddhists saying that God, in his infinite goodness and wisdom, had sent them the Buddha to prepare them for Christ.
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
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Coëmgenu
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by Coëmgenu »

binocular wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:If you are interested in further exploring the strange sectarian games rival religious movements play with each other:

The narrative is not quite so bleak, and it actually complements the attainments of the arhat, though in a typically "backhanded" way that can be expected of a former embattled religious minority gaining sudden advantage.

The masters of Śrāvakayāna (which is commonly associated with contemporary/historical Theravāda but shouldn't necessarily be (it is unlikely these early Mahāyānists were referring to the island tradition of Sri Lankan Buddhism, the predecessor of modern Theravāda(s)), or the arhats, enter into śūnyatāsamādhi, to be roused by Maitreya Bodhisattva to serve as bodhisattvāḥ in his dharma-dispensation.

One can view this as a favourable end to practitioners of rival traditions, but it is also a backhanded allowance into salvation: the Śrāvakayānist may practice his/her dispensation to completion, only to arrive at the end goal of bodhisattva anyways.
Do you realize just how grossly rude this is??

It's right up there with Christian missionaries in traditionally Buddhist countries who preach to the Buddhists saying that God, in his infinite goodness and wisdom, had sent them the Buddha to prepare them for Christ.
Hence why I said "backhanded". There is an idiom in the English language: "backhanded compliment". An example of this: "Wow, Jake isn't nearly as dumb as he looks!". The samādhi of the Arhats strikes me as "backhanded salvation", but to be fair, if this backhanded clause didn't exist, Mahāyāna would teach that Theravādins are "damned" in one degree or another, forever essentially. Despite it being rude, it is considerably less bleak than how it was initially presented. This is only the case from the most dogmatic interpretations anyways.

I don't really bother myself with that sort of thing though. The samādhi of the arhats is an possible product of soured intersectarian relations being incorporated into dominant interpretations of Buddhadharma, IMO.
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.

(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
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Coëmgenu
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by Coëmgenu »

aflatun wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote: The masters of Śrāvakayāna (which is commonly associated with contemporary/historical Theravāda but shouldn't necessarily be (it is unlikely these early Mahāyānists were referring to the island tradition of Sri Lankan Buddhism, the predecessor of modern Theravāda(s)), or the arhats, enter into śūnyatāsamādhi, to be roused by Maitreya Bodhisattva to serve as bodhisattvāḥ in his dharma-dispensation.
Isn't this samadhi of the Arahants interpreted as the cessation of perception and feeling? Or something else? I thought it was the former, which I always found somewhat strange, but I know some people do equate nirvana with that particular cessation full stop.
I don't really know tbh.

The only reason I even know of this obscure (by my reckoning) sectarian samādhi is because Malcolm (of course) was talking about it a while back on DharmaWheel.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.

(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
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Maitri
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by Maitri »

No. Jesus was not an arahant. He was a 1st century Jewish Rabbi and probably a Zealot/Essene. Though he was a very charismatic teacher and gifted speaker of spiritual insight, he taught his own people's religious tradition and history.

There is no need to overlay Buddhist teachings and categories onto him. It's not appreciated when Christians attempt to do this to the Buddha so we should not do likewise to Jesus. We can respect Jesus's teachings and life of its own accord and on its own merit. It doesn't diminish him to say he was not an arahant. That is not the goal of the Jewish or Christian life anyways.
"Upon a heap of rubbish in the road-side ditch blooms a lotus, fragrant and pleasing.
Even so, on the rubbish heap of blinded mortals the disciple of the Supremely Enlightened One shines resplendent in wisdom." Dhammapada: Pupphavagga

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/
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aflatun
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by aflatun »

Coëmgenu wrote:
aflatun wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote: The masters of Śrāvakayāna (which is commonly associated with contemporary/historical Theravāda but shouldn't necessarily be (it is unlikely these early Mahāyānists were referring to the island tradition of Sri Lankan Buddhism, the predecessor of modern Theravāda(s)), or the arhats, enter into śūnyatāsamādhi, to be roused by Maitreya Bodhisattva to serve as bodhisattvāḥ in his dharma-dispensation.
Isn't this samadhi of the Arahants interpreted as the cessation of perception and feeling? Or something else? I thought it was the former, which I always found somewhat strange, but I know some people do equate nirvana with that particular cessation full stop.
I don't really know tbh.

The only reason I even know of this obscure (by my reckoning) sectarian samādhi is because Malcolm (of course) was talking about it a while back on DharmaWheel.

Ditto my friend! And he remember him equating it with cessation of perception and feeling in at least one instance, which struck me because I'm one of those weirdos that doesn't find the equation between that attainment and Nibbana particularly convincing...and I'm in decent company last I checked.

But he does know his stuff so I'm sure he's basing this on many reputable Mahayana sources, which IMO must be misreading the Pali suttas.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16
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