The attainment of the Arhats

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Astus
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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Astus » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:58 am

Wayfarer wrote:That is because bodhisattvas are able to be voluntarily re-born - as the statement says - out of 'compassion and prayer' rather than being compelled by karma and klesa. But, nowhere does this statement say that Arhats are re-born anywhere, I had understood that the whole condition of the Arhat was 'no further re-birth'.
Arya-bodhisattvas have realised the emptiness of all appearances, so they are not bound by them any more. Arhats are also free from clinging to phenomena, so they are not bound by samsara either. The difference in the case of bodhisattvas, as you say, is that they are driven by bodhicitta. Since arhats do not have bodhicitta, there is no cause of birth at all. And that is why it is repeated in Mahayana scriptures that the most important thing is to have compassion for all beings, otherwise a bodhisattva strays to the path of sravakas and ends birth in nirvana.
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 Wayfarer » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:02 am

:namaste:
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Rakz » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:14 am

Malcolm wrote:
Rakz wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:I understand that they take rebirth in Hinayana Pure Lands.
Does it say this anywhere in the suttas?

No, this idea advanced by TKF finds no scriptural basis in sūtra, tantra, vinaya, abhidharma or anywhere else.

I know because I looked.

Also, the five pure abodes are not buddhafields/pure lands. They are perishable realms in the sense that beings are born there and pass away. They are in fact part of samsara.
Yup that's what I thought.

TKF you are very mistaken on this. Read the actual suttas where the Buddha talks about arahats rather than going by what your teacher says. That's the best advice I can give you. :)

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:06 am

Astus wrote:
Wayfarer wrote:That is because bodhisattvas are able to be voluntarily re-born - as the statement says - out of 'compassion and prayer' rather than being compelled by karma and klesa. But, nowhere does this statement say that Arhats are re-born anywhere, I had understood that the whole condition of the Arhat was 'no further re-birth'.
Arya-bodhisattvas have realised the emptiness of all appearances, so they are not bound by them any more. Arhats are also free from clinging to phenomena, so they are not bound by samsara either. The difference in the case of bodhisattvas, as you say, is that they are driven by bodhicitta. Since arhats do not have bodhicitta, there is no cause of birth at all. And that is why it is repeated in Mahayana scriptures that the most important thing is to have compassion for all beings, otherwise a bodhisattva strays to the path of sravakas and ends birth in nirvana.
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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by kirtu » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:20 am

Rakz wrote: TKF you are very mistaken on this. Read the actual suttas where the Buddha talks about arahats rather than going by what your teacher says. That's the best advice I can give you. :)
This is not very good advice, at least not as written.

If TKF's teachers are traditional, then this is very bad advice although one could in fact pose questions based on the sutra's, etc.

If one's teachers were ordinary, uneducated non-traditional teachers then one should reconsider that relationship.

In fact oral teaching from my Sakya teacher partially supports TKF's assertion although I would not have put it as he did ("Hinayana Pure Lands"). The standard Sakya view is that Arhats are indeed reborn in some kind of Pure Realm where they are intoxicated by samadhi.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Rakz » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:57 am

kirtu wrote:
Rakz wrote: TKF you are very mistaken on this. Read the actual suttas where the Buddha talks about arahats rather than going by what your teacher says. That's the best advice I can give you. :)
This is not very good advice, at least not as written.

If TKF's teachers are traditional, then this is very bad advice although one could in fact pose questions based on the sutra's, etc.

If one's teachers were ordinary, uneducated non-traditional teachers then one should reconsider that relationship.

In fact oral teaching from my Sakya teacher partially supports TKF's assertion although I would not have put it as he did ("Hinayana Pure Lands"). The standard Sakya view is that Arhats are indeed reborn in some kind of Pure Realm where they are intoxicated by samadhi.

Kirt
You would rather follow what your teacher says even if what he/she says is completely false and contradicts what the Buddha actually said in the scriptures? That's mind boggling. I wouldn't trust any teacher who would say something like that no matter how "traditional" they appear to be. What's wrong is wrong.

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by kirtu » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:08 am

So from Wilkerson's Yogini Eye, Three Paths One Result, pg 68, after quoting from the Lankavatara Sutra
After attainment of a samadhi body ...
the text quotes from Buton Rinchen Drup who explicitly states that Arhats are reborn in a pure realm and then later aroused by a Buddha.
At that moment, rebirth will occur in a lotus blossom in a completely pure [yet ultimately] transitory realm; [this is what is meant by] "after attainment of a samadhi body."


So while not establishing a hierarchy of "Hinayana Pure Lands" this is an explicit statement by one of the greatest Tibetan Buddhist scholars stating that from the perspective of Tibetan Buddhism Arhats are indeed reborn in a pure realm.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:20 am

kirtu wrote:So from Wilkerson's Yogini Eye, Three Paths One Result, pg 68, after quoting from the Lankavatara Sutra
After attainment of a samadhi body ...
the text quotes from Buton Rinchen Drup who explicitly states that Arhats are reborn in a pure realm and then later aroused by a Buddha.
At that moment, rebirth will occur in a lotus blossom in a completely pure [yet ultimately] transitory realm; [this is what is meant by] "after attainment of a samadhi body."


So while not establishing a hierarchy of "Hinayana Pure Lands" this is an explicit statement by one of the greatest Tibetan Buddhist scholars stating that from the perspective of Tibetan Buddhism Arhats are indeed reborn in a pure realm.

Kirt
Thanks for this - Buton is a great source too. :smile:

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Astus » Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:07 pm

kirtu wrote:the text quotes from Buton Rinchen Drup who explicitly states that Arhats are reborn in a pure realm and then later aroused by a Buddha.
Chapter 7 of the Lotus Sutra mentions the apparitional/phantom city as a temporary rest for those with insufficient faith as a reference to sravakas.

"Knowing that they have reached nirvana
And attained arhatship, the Buddha immediately
Gathers the great assembly together
And teaches the True Dharma.
All the buddhas explain and teach
The three vehicles through skillful means.
Although there is only the single buddha vehicle,
They teach two in order to provide a place of rest."

(Lotus Sutra, BDK ed, p 138)

Vasubandhu explains the parable as:

"The arrogance [of those who] refer to what is actually nothing as something. Having [attained] mundane meditative trances and meditational attainments, they form the notion [that what they have attained is] nirvana, [though] [what they have] actually [attained] is not nirvana. It should be known that “The Parable of the Phantom City” is given as the antidote to this misconception.
...
[The parable] for the fourth type of person cause him, through expedient means, to enter the city of nirvana. The “city of nirvana” refers to the city of contemplations and meditative trances. Having gone past this city, he is then later made to enter the city of great nirvana."

(The Commentary on the Lotus Sutra, in Tiantai Lotus Texts, BDK ed, p 138-139)

So, what Buton seems to say and what Vasubandhu says is that arhats are not actually arhats, just people stuck within an absorption (dhyana).
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 Malcolm » Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:33 pm

kirtu wrote:
Rakz wrote: TKF you are very mistaken on this. Read the actual suttas where the Buddha talks about arahats rather than going by what your teacher says. That's the best advice I can give you. :)
This is not very good advice, at least not as written.

If TKF's teachers are traditional, then this is very bad advice although one could in fact pose questions based on the sutra's, etc.

If one's teachers were ordinary, uneducated non-traditional teachers then one should reconsider that relationship.

In fact oral teaching from my Sakya teacher partially supports TKF's assertion although I would not have put it as he did ("Hinayana Pure Lands"). The standard Sakya view is that Arhats are indeed reborn in some kind of Pure Realm where they are intoxicated by samadhi.

Kirt
No, this is not a standard Sakya view.

The standard Sakya view is that arhats are not reborn anywhere. They remain in a samadhi of cessation (the samadhi body), similar to formless realm beings. They are indeed revived from this samadhi of cessation to continue on the bodhisattva path, starting from the beginning on the path of accumulation.

Buton's views on this and that are not main stream Sakya.

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by kirtu » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:33 am

Rakz wrote: You would rather follow what your teacher says even if what he/she says is completely false and contradicts what the Buddha actually said in the scriptures? That's mind boggling. I wouldn't trust any teacher who would say something like that no matter how "traditional" they appear to be. What's wrong is wrong.
The facts are that even definitive sutras are interpreted to say nothing of tantra. Thus the admonition in Vajrayana to choose one's lama carefully.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Konchog1 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:19 am

Malcolm wrote:The standard Sakya view is that arhats are not reborn anywhere. They remain in a samadhi of cessation (the samadhi body), similar to formless realm beings. They are indeed revived from this samadhi of cessation to continue on the bodhisattva path, starting from the beginning on the path of accumulation.
So this is my question.

When a Arhat dies, you are saying that the Arhat rises from the clear light into the three and so forth. How does this happen without karma?
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by smcj » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:56 am

The way I've heard it put it that they are "aroused from their sleep by the blessings of bodhisattvas and buddhas" so that they can enter the Mahayana. I can't source it though.

This is not the Shravaka's perspective which I believe is cessation, unpopular though that idea is today.
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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Marc » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:07 am

Konchog1 wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The standard Sakya view is that arhats are not reborn anywhere. They remain in a samadhi of cessation (the samadhi body), similar to formless realm beings. They are indeed revived from this samadhi of cessation to continue on the bodhisattva path, starting from the beginning on the path of accumulation.
So this is my question.

When a Arhat dies, you are saying that the Arhat rises from the clear light into the three and so forth. How does this happen without karma?
Throwing some speculation here:
Could this be driven not by karma, but by a subtle grasping under the influence of subtle cognitive afflictions ?

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:29 am

Rakz wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Rakz wrote: TKF you are very mistaken on this. Read the actual suttas where the Buddha talks about arahats rather than going by what your teacher says. That's the best advice I can give you. :)
This is not very good advice, at least not as written.

If TKF's teachers are traditional, then this is very bad advice although one could in fact pose questions based on the sutra's, etc.

If one's teachers were ordinary, uneducated non-traditional teachers then one should reconsider that relationship.

In fact oral teaching from my Sakya teacher partially supports TKF's assertion although I would not have put it as he did ("Hinayana Pure Lands"). The standard Sakya view is that Arhats are indeed reborn in some kind of Pure Realm where they are intoxicated by samadhi.

Kirt
You would rather follow what your teacher says even if what he/she says is completely false and contradicts what the Buddha actually said in the scriptures? That's mind boggling. I wouldn't trust any teacher who would say something like that no matter how "traditional" they appear to be. What's wrong is wrong.
Wrong according to who? What my Teacher said was not false as evidenced by Buton Rinchen Drub.
Having said that, we can't just rely on literal translations of scriptures, we also have to use our intelligence and experience of Dharma, as well as our Teacher's direct instructions.

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Rakz » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:03 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Wrong according to who? What my Teacher said was not false as evidenced by Buton Rinchen Drub.
Having said that, we can't just rely on literal translations of scriptures, we also have to use our intelligence and experience of Dharma, as well as our Teacher's direct instructions.
It's a very loose interpretation and not even a standard view in Tibetan Buddhism as noted above.

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Malcolm » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:48 pm

Konchog1 wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The standard Sakya view is that arhats are not reborn anywhere. They remain in a samadhi of cessation (the samadhi body), similar to formless realm beings. They are indeed revived from this samadhi of cessation to continue on the bodhisattva path, starting from the beginning on the path of accumulation.
So this is my question.

When a Arhat dies, you are saying that the Arhat rises from the clear light into the three and so forth. How does this happen without karma?
They are revived by a Buddha from a samadhi of cessation. They then begin on the bodhisattva path, starting at the bottom.

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by Malcolm » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:49 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Rakz wrote:
kirtu wrote:
This is not very good advice, at least not as written.

If TKF's teachers are traditional, then this is very bad advice although one could in fact pose questions based on the sutra's, etc.

If one's teachers were ordinary, uneducated non-traditional teachers then one should reconsider that relationship.

In fact oral teaching from my Sakya teacher partially supports TKF's assertion although I would not have put it as he did ("Hinayana Pure Lands"). The standard Sakya view is that Arhats are indeed reborn in some kind of Pure Realm where they are intoxicated by samadhi.

Kirt
You would rather follow what your teacher says even if what he/she says is completely false and contradicts what the Buddha actually said in the scriptures? That's mind boggling. I wouldn't trust any teacher who would say something like that no matter how "traditional" they appear to be. What's wrong is wrong.
Wrong according to who? What my Teacher said was not false as evidenced by Buton Rinchen Drub.
Having said that, we can't just rely on literal translations of scriptures, we also have to use our intelligence and experience of Dharma, as well as our Teacher's direct instructions.
It merely means that your teacher repeated something erroneous stated by Buton. Buton is very popular among Gelugpas. Not so popular in Sakya.

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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by kirtu » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:13 am

kirtu wrote:So from Wilkerson's Yogini Eye,...
:oops: This was translated by Wayne Verrill, not Wilkerson.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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kirtu
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Re: The attainment of the Arhats

Post by kirtu » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:25 am

Malcolm wrote:
kirtu wrote:The standard Sakya view is that Arhats are indeed reborn in some kind of Pure Realm where they are intoxicated by samadhi.

Kirt
No, this is not a standard Sakya view.

The standard Sakya view is that arhats are not reborn anywhere. They remain in a samadhi of cessation (the samadhi body), similar to formless realm beings. They are indeed revived from this samadhi of cessation to continue on the bodhisattva path, starting from the beginning on the path of accumulation.
I may have misunderstood my Sakya lama's presentation as distinguishing between a samadhi body of cessation and a samadhi body resulting in rebirth in some kind of pure realm is basically a shedra level intellectual feat. I may have inadvertently glossed by teacher's intended meaning.
Buton's views on this and that are not main stream Sakya.
This, however, I am surprised about.

The quote I provided was also taken from a text by Sonam Tsemo although the Buton quote is from commentary added to the text.

In another comment Loppon Malcolm notes Buton is more popular amongst the Gelug than the Sakya (another surprise, at least for me). Nonetheless it highlights a difference, albeit a hair splitting one to be sure, between TB schools. Perhaps Tsongkhapa felt that Buton's view on this was more accurate? Whatever the case, no one (no TB that I am aware of) doubts that eventually Arhats will be aroused from their samadhi by a Buddha and will then continue on their way to full enlightenment.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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