The attainment of the Arhats

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Malcolm
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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Malcolm » Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:35 pm

Astus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Freedom from attachments does not equal freedom from proliferation.
When no concepts grasped, how can there be proliferation?

"There's no trail in space,
no outside contemplative.
People are smitten with objectifications (papanca),
but devoid of objectification (nippapanca) are the Tathagatas."

(Dhp 18.254)
If it did, arhats would be omniscient. They also could not fall back from the state of arhatship, but some do.
Those are clearly problematic points, but secondary.
I see, so you have become a follower of Tilt Billings, and now you think that arhats are tathāgatas.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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PuerAzaelis
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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by PuerAzaelis » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:41 pm

Malcolm wrote:Understanding that there is no ghost in the machine is a not a refutation or negation of the machine's substantiality.
To me this is the main point.

You could be liberated but still be dreaming.

The discussion about whether or not arhats still have attachments, obscurations, etc. is besides the point.
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

For posts from this user, see Karma Dondrup Tashi account.

4526547
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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by 4526547 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:06 pm

It seems like Astus is the only vocal one in this thread familiar with or accurately portraying the perspective of the "Hinayana" sutras.
From that perspective, we have:

Arhats are not reborn after death. They have escaped samsara. They are no longer subject to duhkha. They have attained the goal of the path. This is final, and there is no falling back. They do not take rebirth in "Hinayana Pure Lands." They do not abide in a passive state waiting for a cause of rebirth. They do not choose to be reborn" anywhere, as they are not reborn. They do not intend to abide in a place where they can experience uninterrupted solitary peace -- "experience" requires birth. Arhats cannot be said to exist after final nirvana (AKA parinirvana, nirvana without residue) is attained, nor can they be said to not exist. They are not aroused from solitary peace and set on the Mahayana path. They are not reborn in some kind of Pure Realm where they are intoxicated by samadhi. They do not remain in a samadhi of cessation, similar to formless realm beings, nor are they revived from this samadhi of cessation to continue on the bodhisattva path, starting from the beginning on the path of accumulation. Their attainment is not an obstacle to full enlightenment, they are fully enlightened. They have no traces after death. They understand the emptiness of phenomena. They do not not fall back from the state of arhatship.

A tathagata AKA samyaksambuddha (such as Shakyamuni or the future Maitreya) is an arhat, but a special kind, distinct from sravaka arhats in that he teaches the path to sravakas and is not a sravaka himself. The Mahayana path is the path to become a samyaksambuddha. The "Hinayana" path is the path to become a sravaka arhat, to end duhkha for oneself. Both paths lead to arhatship AKA full enlightenment AKA the final eradication of duhkha upon death.

This is only the "Hinayana" sutras' perspective, naturally, and Mahayana perspective may or may not differ.

:anjali:

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Admin_PC » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:44 pm

Mahayana perspective is different of course, but even in the Pali canon there are differences:
- Sariputra doesn't teach everything to the householder on his deathbed and the Buddha rebukes him for not teaching him fully according to his capacity, thus showing Sariputra not have the Tathagata's power of knowing the capacities of others.
- Elsewhere it is mentioned that of all the Buddha's disciples none knew their previous births as far back as the Buddha, thus showing that they are not omniscient in terms of their own mindstreams.
- The Buddha's last words to Sariputra in the Mahaparinirvana Sutra is actually a criticism for speaking about something he doesn't know about (ie. the teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha vs prior Tathagatas), thus showing Sariputra not to be omniscient in terms of the path.
- Sravaka Arhats don't possess all the 10 powers of the Tathagata.
Thus it cannot be said that they are fully enlightened.
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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by 4526547 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:55 pm

Indeed. I guess it depends on one's definition of full enlightenment. 10 powers, omniscience, etc. are not necessary to reach the end of duhkha. The destination (or lack thereof) of tathagatas and arhats is the same: nirvana. (Again, "Hinayana" perspective.)

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by 4526547 » Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:01 am

In other words, there are indeed differences in capacities between a tathagata and a "mere" arhat, but these differences are "inessential" in that arhats still attain the same goal. What matters on a personal level is the cessation of duhkha. What matters for all other beings is a different matter.

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Astus » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:58 am

Malcolm wrote:now you think that arhats are tathāgatas.
The problem I'm raising here is that ascribing attachment to arhats is not supported by reason. So far there has been no substantiated argument against that. It is another issue if buddhahood is defined on the basis of the complete absence of attachment.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by dreambow » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:48 pm

The different capacities of an Arhat is just mere intellectual play. To discuss awakening in this light is best not
to be rigid or exclusive. How can one discuss at length the indescribable?

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by White Lotus » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:27 pm

In Zen one is taught to see the ordinary mind (own nature). In the Nirvana Sutra we are told that even a 10th bhumi boddhisatva does not see his own nature and yet it seems to me that there are some Theravadins who see mind. Am i correct? Is there any fundamental difference in the Yanas? Sometimes i wonder if there is. Do we fabricate illusory differences? Tom. :?:

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Malcolm » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:19 pm

Astus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:now you think that arhats are tathāgatas.
The problem I'm raising here is that ascribing attachment to arhats is not supported by reason. So far there has been no substantiated argument against that. It is another issue if buddhahood is defined on the basis of the complete absence of attachment.
Attachment is not the issue, traces are. For example, the Prajñāpāramitā states:
  • Subhuti, while there is no difference in the abandonment of affliction, the Tathāgata has abandoned all connection with traces. Srāvakas and pratyekabuddhas have not abandoned all connection with traces...there are aspects of bodily and verbal desire, hatred and ignorance in śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas. However, the traces of those are not harmful in the same way they are for common immature people.
Or་ the Ārya-bodhisattva-piṭaka-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra states:
  • The uncontaminated pristine consciousness (jñāna) of the śrāvakas
    has not completely destroyed traces.
The Ārya-laṅkāvatāra-mahāyāna-sūtra states:
  • Just as a log floating on the ocean
    is always moved by waves,
    likewise confused śrāvakas
    are moved by the "wind" of characteristics.
    Though prevented from being activated,
    they are confused through the other traces of affliction,
    and intoxicated by the bliss of samadhi,
    they abide in the uncontaminated dhātu (nirvana).
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Malcolm
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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Malcolm » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:23 pm

4526547 wrote:
This is only the "Hinayana" sutras' perspective, naturally, and Mahayana perspective may or may not differ.
Correct. What is being explored here, Tilt, is the Mahāyāna perspective on what it means to be an arhat.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

White Lotus
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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by White Lotus » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:12 pm

Oneness. Buddha and arhat are not the same not different and yet they both see mind, as does any child or dog, but they know what they see. One vehicle/eckayana. Everything is enlightened. Mind, emptiness. Oneness. :meditate:

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Malcolm
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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Malcolm » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:38 pm

White Lotus wrote:Oneness. Buddha and arhat are not the same not different and yet they both see mind, as does any child or dog, but they know what they see. One vehicle/eckayana. Everything is enlightened. Mind, emptiness. Oneness. :meditate:
Well, guess you better start writing your own sūtras.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Admin_PC » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:58 pm

dreambow wrote:The different capacities of an Arhat is just mere intellectual play. To discuss awakening in this light is best not
to be rigid or exclusive. How can one discuss at length the indescribable?
Bodhicitta (or lack thereof) is not mere intellectual play.
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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by dreambow » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:11 pm

It is intellectual play if the comments are rigid, narrow and commentary upon commentary.

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by 4526547 » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:15 pm

Malcolm wrote:Correct. What is being explored here, Tilt, is the Mahāyāna perspective on what it means to be an arhat.
I thought that Mahayana did not reject "Hinayana" sutras, just does not focus on sravaka arhatship, but instead on the path to becoming a tathagata/samyaksambuddha. I thus thought that "Hinayana" and Mahayana were coherent with each other, simply being two different paths. Am I wrong?

Also, I am not Tilt--why assume? (Unless you were being snide or sarcastic.)

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Admin_PC » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:19 pm

dreambow wrote:It is intellectual play if the comments are rigid, narrow and commentary upon commentary.
Maybe if it were, but in this situation the case is supported by extensive quotes from a large range of sutras (Agamas/Nikayas as well as Mahayana sutras) and direct words from realized, authoritative teachers - so the point is fairly moot. I shouldn't have to point out that on the Mahayana forum, Mahayana sutras & the works of those such as Nagarjuna, Shantideva, et al are authoritative, and referring to them as "intellectual play" is inappropriate.
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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Astus » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:11 pm

Malcolm wrote:Attachment is not the issue, traces are.
By traces do you mean anusaya? If yes, the Samuccaya (p 100-101) has the same list as the Anusaya Sutta, and they need to be abandoned and destroyed (AN 7.12), otherwise there is still rebirth (SN 12.38). Even though the Srimaladevi Sutra (ch 5, BDK ed p 26-28, cf. Brunnhölzl: When the Clouds part, p 364-365) splits up the list and calls ignorance not removed by arhats, since that ignorance itself means the cognitive obscuration where one still clings to concepts, I still find no basis for assigning that to arhats. So, where do those traces exist in an arhat in your view?
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by PuerAzaelis » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:32 pm

He just quoted three sutras answering precisely that. What else is he supposed to do?
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

For posts from this user, see Karma Dondrup Tashi account.

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Astus » Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:14 am

PuerAzaelis wrote:He just quoted three sutras answering precisely that. What else is he supposed to do?
The three quotes merely state that

"Srāvakas and pratyekabuddhas have not abandoned all connection with traces"
"not completely destroyed traces"
"they are confused through the other traces of affliction"

and the questions raised are in response to that concept of remaining traces.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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