Author Topic: Arhats & the Dharmakaya  (Read 502 times)

Online IdleChater

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Re: Arhats & the Dharmakaya
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2017, 01:54:45 pm »

OK, so what happens after the bad habits are purified, the monk becomes an arahant, & then dies?

I think that depends.  If the arhant has taken the vows of a Bodhisatva, then he/she takes birth yet again.  If otherwise, then Nirvana awaits.

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I think you do understand what I'm trying to get at here, semantics aside.

Actually, no, I don't.

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I ask because the other day in lamrim class the statement was made that the belief is once an arahant dies, that's it. The mental continuum (as we express it) is cut off, no arising as a bodhisattva or buddha possibility. And I thought that must be some kind of misunderstanding of the position of the Theravadans. So I came here to check.

This isn't the best place to ask.  In fact, if this is a part of Lamrim you should be working with your guru on questions like these, not a bunch of people who are 1.) not part of your practice lineage, and 2.) not students of your guru.  What the Theravadins teach about rebirth is immaterial to your lamrim practice.  It may be an interesting intelectual excercise, but not important in the context of Lamrim

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Does the Theravadan tradition hold that the Buddha (dharmakaya)is still...aargh...available? This is where language becomes really annoying.

Again, if this is a Lamrim matter, then it's best kept in that context.  This isn't something a Theravdin need address for you.  It's contained in what is the Buddha's teaching in the First Turning and your Guru should be able to address that.



Offline Kodo308

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Re: Arhats & the Dharmakaya
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2017, 05:08:20 pm »

OK, so what happens after the bad habits are purified, the monk becomes an arahant, & then dies?

I think that depends.  If the arhant has taken the vows of a Bodhisatva, then he/she takes birth yet again.  If otherwise, then Nirvana awaits.

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I think you do understand what I'm trying to get at here, semantics aside.

Actually, no, I don't.

Well, I think your answer about the vows of a Bodhisattva does answer my question, at least in part.

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This isn't the best place to ask.  In fact, if this is a part of Lamrim you should be working with your guru on questions like these, not a bunch of people who are 1.) not part of your practice lineage, and 2.) not students of your guru.  What the Theravadins teach about rebirth is immaterial to your lamrim practice.  It may be an interesting intelectual excercise, but not important in the context of Lamrim

It was a statement made about what Theravadans believe, so I think this is one place to verify if that's the case. Tibetan dialectics often misrepresent other views to make their own point. I find it a disingenuous way to make an argument. And as we do have living, breathing, practicing Theravadans in our midst in the country, I also think it can create unnecessary misunderstandings.

If you don't feel it's important, that's merely your take. I'd appreciate it if you didn't tell me what is important for me, nor tell me how to practice as I have not asked for your guidance in that respect.


Offline francis

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Re: Arhats & the Dharmakaya
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2017, 06:08:05 pm »
Hi Kodo308,

That's fine. I'm using the terminology we use in our discussions.

How do you express reincarnation, what continues from incarnation to incarnation?

The Buddha did not teach reincarnation.

You might want to look up rebirth, because reincarnation is not a Buddhist teaching.

To be candid, this whole topic seems like a strawman to me. Suggest you also try Dhamma Wheel, a dedicated Theravada forum, if you seek more information on Theravada beliefs.

 :namaste:
"Enlightenment, for a wave in the ocean, is the moment the wave realises it is water." - Thich Nhat Hanh

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: Arhats & the Dharmakaya
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2017, 10:52:45 pm »
Hi Kodo308,

That's fine. I'm using the terminology we use in our discussions.

How do you express reincarnation, what continues from incarnation to incarnation?

The Buddha did not teach reincarnation.
 :namaste:

The Buddha taught a type of reincarnation which has been watered down to a reincarnation of bad habits rather than an eternal identity. The word 'rebirth' is used to distinguish between an eternal soul and a continuum of bad habits and bad behaviour.

The big question, for rational Westerners, is how are these bad habits transferred to another physical birth. Modern science is beginning to understand that an individual's behaviour in this life can affect his/her genes which are transmitted to his/her offspring. The expression, 'The sins of the father shall be visited upon the sons' seems unfair, but the reality is that this might be true in terms of modern genetics.

Online IdleChater

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Re: Arhats & the Dharmakaya
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2017, 06:24:12 am »
Hi Kodo308,

That's fine. I'm using the terminology we use in our discussions.

How do you express reincarnation, what continues from incarnation to incarnation?

The Buddha did not teach reincarnation.
 :namaste:

The Buddha taught a type of reincarnation which has been watered down to a reincarnation of bad habits rather than an eternal identity. The word 'rebirth' is used to distinguish between an eternal soul and a continuum of bad habits and bad behaviour.

The big question, for rational Westerners, is how are these bad habits transferred to another physical birth. Modern science is beginning to understand that an individual's behaviour in this life can affect his/her genes which are transmitted to his/her offspring. The expression, 'The sins of the father shall be visited upon the sons' seems unfair, but the reality is that this might be true in terms of modern genetics.

Wow, Vince, I think a citation is in order to back that up.

A scientific explanation of Karma?  Rand's "Anthem" coming true?  What next, Handmaids?

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: Arhats & the Dharmakaya
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2017, 09:20:29 am »
Hi Kodo308,

That's fine. I'm using the terminology we use in our discussions.

How do you express reincarnation, what continues from incarnation to incarnation?


The Buddha did not teach reincarnation.
 :namaste:


The Buddha taught a type of reincarnation which has been watered down to a reincarnation of bad habits rather than an eternal identity. The word 'rebirth' is used to distinguish between an eternal soul and a continuum of bad habits and bad behaviour.

The big question, for rational Westerners, is how are these bad habits transferred to another physical birth. Modern science is beginning to understand that an individual's behaviour in this life can affect his/her genes which are transmitted to his/her offspring. The expression, 'The sins of the father shall be visited upon the sons' seems unfair, but the reality is that this might be true in terms of modern genetics.


Wow, Vince, I think a citation is in order to back that up.

A scientific explanation of Karma?  Rand's "Anthem" coming true?  What next, Handmaids?


Hi Idle,
Epigenetics is the study of changes in an organism caused by modification of gene expression rather than the alteration of the genetic code itself. Epigenetic inheritance is the passing on of such modifications caused by behaviour and environmental influences, to future generations.

It's a relatively new science with some uncertainties, although the concept goes back to Darwinian times. There are many references on the internet. Here's one:
http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/inheritance/

"Epigenetic inheritance adds another dimension to the modern picture of evolution. The genome changes slowly, through the processes of random mutation and natural selection. It takes many generations for a genetic trait to become common in a population. The epigenome, on the other hand, can change rapidly in response to signals from the environment. And epigenetic changes can happen in many individuals at once. Through epigenetic inheritance, some of the experiences of the parents may pass to future generations. At the same time, the epigenome remains flexible as environmental conditions continue to change. Epigenetic inheritance may allow an organism to continually adjust its gene expression to fit its environment - without changing its DNA code."

And here's the wikipedia article.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgenerational_epigenetic_inheritance

Online IdleChater

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Re: Arhats & the Dharmakaya
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2017, 09:53:53 am »
Hi Kodo308,

That's fine. I'm using the terminology we use in our discussions.

How do you express reincarnation, what continues from incarnation to incarnation?


The Buddha did not teach reincarnation.
 :namaste:


The Buddha taught a type of reincarnation which has been watered down to a reincarnation of bad habits rather than an eternal identity. The word 'rebirth' is used to distinguish between an eternal soul and a continuum of bad habits and bad behaviour.

The big question, for rational Westerners, is how are these bad habits transferred to another physical birth. Modern science is beginning to understand that an individual's behaviour in this life can affect his/her genes which are transmitted to his/her offspring. The expression, 'The sins of the father shall be visited upon the sons' seems unfair, but the reality is that this might be true in terms of modern genetics.


Wow, Vince, I think a citation is in order to back that up.

A scientific explanation of Karma?  Rand's "Anthem" coming true?  What next, Handmaids?


Hi Idle,
Epigenetics is the study of changes in an organism caused by modification of gene expression rather than the alteration of the genetic code itself. Epigenetic inheritance is the passing on of such modifications caused by behaviour and environmental influences, to future generations.

It's a relatively new science with some uncertainties, although the concept goes back to Darwinian times. There are many references on the internet. Here's one:
http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/inheritance/

"Epigenetic inheritance adds another dimension to the modern picture of evolution. The genome changes slowly, through the processes of random mutation and natural selection. It takes many generations for a genetic trait to become common in a population. The epigenome, on the other hand, can change rapidly in response to signals from the environment. And epigenetic changes can happen in many individuals at once. Through epigenetic inheritance, some of the experiences of the parents may pass to future generations. At the same time, the epigenome remains flexible as environmental conditions continue to change. Epigenetic inheritance may allow an organism to continually adjust its gene expression to fit its environment - without changing its DNA code."

And here's the wikipedia article.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgenerational_epigenetic_inheritance


C'mon!  Epigentics is not something science is beginning to "understand". It barely suspects the actual implications, if there are any.

Besides, if people don't procreate as you promote, the point is moot.

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: Arhats & the Dharmakaya
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2017, 10:19:34 am »
C'mon!  Epigentics is not something science is beginning to "understand". It barely suspects the actual implications, if there are any.


Do you want more links? Here are a few:
https://blog.oup.com/2015/10/behavioral-epigenetics-nature-nurture/
https://www.whatisepigenetics.com/fundamentals/
http://discovermagazine.com/2013/may/13-grandmas-experiences-leave-epigenetic-mark-on-your-genes

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Besides, if people don't procreate as you promote, the point is moot.


Of course. If people don't procreate there can be no transmission of genetic or epigenetic traits, and any spirits hovering in the Bardo would have to enter copulating donkeys, or other animals.  :wink1:

 


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