Author Topic: What happens to an Arhat after death?  (Read 15200 times)

Offline anata123

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Re: What happens to an Arhat after death?
« Reply #135 on: September 24, 2012, 12:30:54 pm »
You can describe space as being empty and call it the empty space, but to explain something that is empty and at the same time being full is confusing.
You can speculate that at one time space was empty, but now there are object in space and therefore space is not empty anymore.
You can say the cup used to be empty, but now it is full of water. But to say that the cup is empty and full at the same time is confusing.
Again you can describe space as being empty and call it the empty space, but to explain something that is empty and at the same time being full is confusing.
Quote by Optimus
Quote
“Good Knowing Advisors, the emptiness of the universe is able to contain the forms and shapes of the ten thousand things: the sun, moon, and stars; the mountains, rivers, and the great earth; the fountains, springs, streams, torrents, grasses, trees, thickets, and forests; good and bad people, good and bad dharmas, the heavens and the hells, all the great seas, Sumeru and all mountains–all are contained within emptiness. The emptiness of the nature of worldly men is also like this."
Source: http://cttbusa.org/6patriarch/6patriarch5.asp


Again I have a different translation on this. Now let us try to understand what he is teaching here.

Is he trying to teach that space can be empty and at the same time is not empty?

Or is he trying to teach something else completely away from the idea of space being empty and at the same time is not empty?

Here is another translation from A Buddhist Bible:
Quote
The illimitable void of the universe is capable of holding myriads of things of various shapes and form, such as the sun and the moon, and the stars, worlds, mountains, river, rivulets, springs, woods, bushes, good men, bad men, laws pertaining to goodness and to badness, heavenly planes and hells, great oceans, and all the mountains of Mahameru.
Space takes in all these, and so does the voidness of our nature. We say that essence of mind is great because it embraces all things since all things are within our nature.
When we see the goodness or the badness of other people, and are not attracted by it, nor repulsed by it, nor attached to it, then the attitude of our mind is as void as space.


Here he is trying to teach that although there are objects within space, but space did not interfere or manipulate those objects in any ways. These objects move freely within it.
In the same way we should cultivate detachment within us.
Although we see the goodness or the badness of other people, but we are not attracted by it, nor repulsed by it, nor attached to it, then the attitude of our mind is as void as space.
Learn to ignore the goodness or the badness of other people in the same we space ignore the objects within it.

Quote
If outer space was not empty - if outer space was all full - then how would it be able to contain all the galaxies in the whole universe?


Like I said before and I will say it again.
You can describe space as being empty and call it the empty space, but to explain something that is empty and at the same time being full is confusing.

You can speculate that at one time space was empty, but now there are object in space and therefore space is not empty anymore.

Now lets look at space more deeply on its emptiness. If you look at space in a deeper level you will come to see that space is neither full nor empty nor without empty.

It is essential to look at space more deeply on its emptiness because all the location of things and places are within it and therefore we can come to understand how this question, “Where does an Arahant go after death?” should be understood.

If you were the only thing to exist in the entire universe, even then you cannot truthfully say space is empty.

If there is nothing at all that exist in space then how would anyone know that space even exist? Space would lose its identity.

When you say if outer space was not empty - if outer space was all full - then how would it be able to contain all the galaxies in the whole universe:

 It is implying that the empty space is one thing, object within the empty space is another thing, and your consciousness with the perception of sight is another thing.

But, without consciousness with the perception of sight, and objects within space, space would lose its validity.
But when I ask how does space come into existence?

I would be implying that space is one thing, objects are another thing and the mind is different from space and the objects within it.
Then I should ask, how does space arise within the mind?

Shurangama Sutta:
Buddha: Why do you so easily forget this natural, wonderful, and enlightening mind of perfect purity this mysterious mind of radiant brightness.
Why are you still bewildered of realizing your consciousness?
Open space is nothing but invisible dimness.
Sensations of form are mingled into illusive and arbitrary conceptions of phenomena.
From these false conceptions of phenomena arise the development of the consciousness of the body.
So, within the mind, these jumbling of causes and conditions, segregates into groups and coming into contact with the world external objects.

Anata123: so what are these jumbling causes and condition?

Mahātaṇhāsankhaya Sutta
Quote
Buddha:[/b] “Bhikkhus, consciousness is reckoned by the particular condition dependent upon which it arises. When consciousness arises dependent on the eye and forms, it is reckoned as eye-consciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on the ear and sounds, it is reckoned as ear-consciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on the nose and odours, [260] it is reckoned as nose-consciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on the tongue and flavours, it is reckoned as tongue-consciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on the body and tangibles, it is reckoned as body-consciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on the mind and mind-objects, it is reckoned as mind-consciousness. Just as fire is reckoned by the particular condition dependent on which it burns—when fire burns dependent on logs, it is reckoned as a log fire; when fire burns dependent on faggots, it is reckoned as a faggot fire; when fire burns dependent on grass, it is reckoned as a grass fire; when fire burns dependent on cow dung, it is reckoned as a cow dung fire; when fire burns dependent on chaff, it is reckoned as a chaff fire; when fire burns dependent on rubbish, it is reckoned as a rubbish fire—so too, consciousness is reckoned by the particular condition dependent on which it arises. When consciousness arises dependent on the eye and forms, it is reckoned as eye-consciousness…when consciousness arises dependent on the mind and mind-objects, it is reckoned as mind-consciousness.


“So, bhikkhus, with ignorance as condition, formations [come to be]; with formations as condition, consciousness; with consciousness as condition, mentality-materiality; with mentality-materiality as condition, the sixfold base; with the sixfold base as condition, contact; with contact as condition, feeling; with feeling as condition, craving; with craving as condition, clinging; with clinging as condition, being; with being as condition, birth; with birth as condition, ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

 
Anata123: So these jumbling of causes and conditions, segregates into groups and coming into contact with the world external objects.
So what are the world external objects and how do they arise within the discrimination mind?

They are mountains, rivers, the great open spaces, the great oceans, and the worlds and they arise through the great elements being in reciprocal development.

Shurangama Sutta:
Buddha:
From the discrimination of ignorance bring into the false conception of an existing vibratory motion that by reason of desire and grasping and the perpetuating influences of habit energy,
 accounts for all the basic conceptions of the primary Elements, the solidity of earth, the fluidity of water, the heat of fire, and the motivity of wind.
Amid them it is the nature of fire to move upward and the nature of water to move downward.
From these two elements being in reciprocal development, there arise within the discrimination mind, rivers, and volcanoes, and land.

As water takes precedence within the discrimination mind oceans appear.

As fire takes precedence within the discrimination mind continents and islands appear.
T
he great ocean is also in reciprocal development with the illusive conception of fire within the discrimination mind, and reveals the fact that the blazing fire is arising continuously.

The continents and islands are also in reciprocal development with the false conception of water within the discrimination mind revealing the fact that rivers and streams are ever flowing.

If the false conception of water is running very slowly within the discrimination mind and the flame is in high state of activity, then there arise the high mountains and volcanoes which after all are only combinations of the false conceptions of water and fire within the mind.
So if we strike flints, sparks of fire shoot out, and if we melt rocks, they will become liquid.
If the false conception of water within the mind predominates over the false conception of earth, then the phenomenon of grasses and trees rises.
As grasses and trees are also false conception of the mind, as soon as they are compressed they become water again.

Thus all these false conception of phenomena have their reciprocal developments and successive manifestations within the mind, and by means of cause and conditions there rises the false conception of the reciprocal continuance of the phenomena that appear within the discrimination mind as the false idea of the world’s existence.

Anata123: When mountains, rivers, volcanoes, grasses, trees the great oceans,ect comes into existence within the discrimination mind did they arise without space?

Or did mountains, rivers, volcanoes, grasses, trees, the great oceans,ect comes into existence with space?

The reason why you say space is full or space is empty is because you hold on to the notion that the location of your mind is within the body and that all the external thing such as mountains, rivers, volcanoes, grasses, trees, the great oceans that is within the open space to regard them as outside your body.

Shurangama Sutta:
Buddha:
All of you have been accepting this confusing conception of phenomena as being your own true nature of mind.

As soon as you accepted it as your true mind, is it any wonder that you become bewildered and supposed it to be localized in your physical body, and that all the external objects such as mountains, rivers, the great open spaces, and the whole world, were outside the body.
Is it any wonder that you failed to realize that everything you have so falsely conceived has its only existence within your own wonderful, enlightening mind of true essence.

In likeness you have abandon all the great, pure, calm, ocean of water, and clung to one bubble which you not only accept, but which you regard as the whole body of water in all the hundreds of thousands of seas.

Anata123: and because all the ideas and the thinking mind is within the sphere of the false mind or the discrimination mind you have formulate questions within that sphere, which has no basis in reality.

In this way the question where does an Arahant go after death does not apply because the universal true mind is not within the sphere of the false and discrimination mind.

To understand this better is to know what nirvana is.

But, can the phenomena of open space and the phenomena of mountains, rivers, volcanoes, grasses, trees, the great oceans falsely reveal itself without the perception of sight?

Shurangama Sutta:
Ananda:
If space does not belong to the perception of sight, we could not see the open space
and if the open space does belong to the perception of sight, then why should we discriminate upon it and call it space?
I am convinced now that all objects whatsoever be they little or big, wherever they are manifestation and appearances, all belong to the perception of sight.

Buddha: So it is, Ananda, so it is.

Ananda: But, we are all alike unable to detect the presence of anything to be called the perception of sight among appearances of phenomena, nor are we able to point out an analogous something that transcends all objects.

Buddha: So it is, Ananda, so it is.
There is neither the essence of the perception of sight, nor any other essential nature transcending al objects. There is no such thing as the perception of sight.

Anata123: What is nirvana?

Nirvana is the cessation of the discrimination mind.
Nirvana is where it is recognised that there is nothing but what is seen of the mind itself; is where, recognising the nature of the self-mind, one no longer cherishes the dualisms of discrimination; is where there is no more thirst nor grasping; is where there is no more attachment to external things. Nirvana is where the thinking-mind with all its discriminations, attachments, aversions and egoism is forever put away.

Shurangama Sutta:
Buddha: if your mind, after the objects is removed from sight, still has its discrimination nature, does it necessarily mean that your discriminating mind has lost its substantiality?

Does it not rather mean that you are now discriminating merely the shadows and reflection of unreal things which had their origin in objects in the presence of our sight?

Objects certainly are not permanent; as they vanish, does your true mind vanish, also?

If the true mind vanishes, then the Dharmakaya would be exterminated and who would be devoted to the practice of attaining perseverance in getting rid of the developments arising from the conception of phenomena?

LANKAVATARA Sutta:
Buddha:
What they think is extinction of mind, is really the non-functioning of the mind's external world to which they are no longer attached. That is, the goal of tranquillization is to be reached not by suppressing all mind activity but by getting rid of all discriminations and all attachments.

Anata123: in this way the Buddha taught this:
Nandakovāda Sutta:
Quote
Nandaka: “Sisters, what do you think? Is the eye permanent or impermanent?” —
Bhikkhunīs: “Impermanent, venerable sir.”—
Nandaka:“Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?”—
 Bhikkhunīs: “Suffering, venerable sir.”—
Nandaka: “Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?”—
Bhikkhunīs: “No, venerable sir.”
Nandaka: “Sisters, what do you think? Is the ear....the nose...the tongue...the body...the mind permanent or impermanent—“Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?”—
Bhikkhunīs: “Suffering, venerable sir.”—
Nandaka: “Is what is impermanent, suffering, [272] and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?”—
Bhikkhunīs: “No, venerable sir.
Nandaka:Why is that?
Bhikkhunīs: Because, venerable sir, we have already seen this well as it actually is with proper wisdom thus: ‘These six internal bases are impermanent.’”
 Nandaka: “Good, good, sisters! So it is with a noble disciple who sees this as it actually is with proper wisdom. “Sisters, what do you think? Are forms…sounds…odours… flavours…tangibles…mind-objects permanent or impermanent?” —
Bhikkhunīs: “Impermanent, venerable sir.”—
Nandaka: “Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?”—
 Bhikkhunīs: “Suffering, venerable sir.”—
Nandaka: “Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?”—
Bhikkhunīs: “No, venerable sir.
Nandaka:Why is that?
Bhikkhunīs: Because, venerable sir, we have already seen this well as it actually is with proper wisdom thus: ‘These six external bases are impermanent.’”


Anata123: There are those who wonder why the Buddha gave away these information and here is the answer.
LANKAVATARA Sutta:
Buddha:
The reason why I teach the doctrine of Tathagatahood is to cause the ignorant and simple-minded to lay aside their fears as they listen to the teaching of egolessness and come to understand the state of non-discrimination and imagelessness.

The doctrine of the Tathagata-womb is disclosed in order to awaken philosophers from their clinging to the notion of a Divine Atman as transcendental personality, so that their minds that have become attached to the imaginary notion of "soul" as being something self-existent, may be quickly awakened to a state of perfect enlightenment.

GODDARD, DWIGHT  (2011-02-21). A BUDDHIST BIBLE (p. 41).  . Kindle Edition. 
 


 

 

« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 12:36:10 pm by anata123 »

Offline anata123

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Re: What happens to an Arhat after death?
« Reply #136 on: October 27, 2012, 01:45:11 pm »
I fear some do not accept this answer from the Mahayana point of view.
Here are some quotes from the Theravada text that back up what I have presented above.

Sāriputta and Koṭṭhita Sutta:

Mahākoṭṭhita: “How is this, friend? When asked, ‘How is it, friend, does the Tathāgata exist after death?’ … And when asked, ‘Then, friend, does the Tathāgata neither exist nor not exist after death?’—in each case you say: ‘Friend, the Blessed One has not declared this.’

What now, friend, is the cause and reason why this has not been declared by the Blessed One?”

Sāriputta: “‘The Tathāgata exists after death’: this, friend, is an involvement with form.

The Tathāgata does not exist after death’: this is an involvement with form. ‘

The Tathāgata both exists and does not exist after death’: this is an involvement with form. ‘

The Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist after death’: this is an involvement with form.

“Friend, one who knows and sees form as it really is, who knows and sees its origin, its cessation, and the way leading to its

cessation, cannot thinks: ‘The Tathāgata exists after death,’ or ‘The Tathāgata does not exist after death,’ or ‘The Tathāgata both

exists and does not exist after death,’ or ‘The Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist after death.

“Friend, it is one who is devoid of lust for form, who is devoid of desire, affection, thirst, passion, and craving for form,

cannot thinks: ‘The Tathāgata exists after death,’ or ‘The Tathāgata does not exist after death,’ or ‘The Tathāgata both exists and does not exist after death,’ or ‘The Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist after death.’

“This, friend, is the cause and reason why this has not been declared by the Blessed One.”

Mahānidāna Sutta:

Buddha: ‘And if anyone were to say to a monk whose mind was thus freed: “The Tathāgata exists after death״,350 that would be a wrong opinion and unfitting,

 likewise: “The Tathāgata does not exist..., both exists and does not exist..., neither exists nor does not exist after death.” Why so?

As far, Ananda, as designation and the range of designation reaches,

as far as language and the range of language reaches,

as far as concepts and the range of concepts reaches,

as far as understanding and the range of understanding reaches,

as far as the cycle reaches and revolves — that monk is liberated from all that             by super-knowledge

Walshe, Maurice (2005-06-10). The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Digha Nikaya (Teachings of the Buddha) (Kindle Locations 3657-3662). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

Moggallāna Sutta

Vaccha: “What, Master Moggallāna, is the cause and reason why, when wanderers of other sects are asked such questions, they give such answers as: ‘The world is eternal’ or ‘The world is not eternal’; or ‘The world is finite’ or ‘The world is infinite’; or ‘The soul and the body are the same’ or ‘The soul is one thing, the body is another’; or ‘The Tathāgata exists after death,’ or ‘The Tathāgata does not exist after death,’ or ‘The Tathāgata both exists and does not exist after death,’ or ‘The Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist after death’? [393]

And what is the cause and reason why, when the ascetic Gotama is asked such questions, he does not give such answers(or he does not declare these things)?

Moggallāna: But, Vaccha, the Tathāgata, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One, regards the eye thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’
Therefore, when the Tathāgata is asked such questions, he does not give such answers.

Bodhi, Bhikkhu (2005-06-10). The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya (Teachings of the Buddha) (Kindle Locations 25691-25693). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: What happens to an Arhat after death?
« Reply #137 on: June 13, 2013, 09:57:57 pm »
From the Nirvana Sutra, just before the Buddha enters Nirvana, he says this:
Quote
If you perceive things truly, you will become free from attachment, separated from them, you will indeed be liberated. I have well crossed the watery waste of existence. I abide in bliss, having transcended suffering, therefore I am devoid of unending desire, I have eliminated attachment and gained Liberation [moksha]. There is no old age, sickness or death for me, my life is forever without end. I proceed burning bright like a flame. You must not think that I shall cease to exist. Consider the Tathagata [i.e. Buddha] to be like [Mount] Sumeru: though I shall pass into Nirvana here [i.e. physically die], that supreme bliss is my true nature [dharmata].
Tibetan version, translated by Stephen Hodge.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvana_Sutra#cite_note-Tibetantr-17
So even though the Buddha's physical body is just about to die, his true nature is eternal and is not born, does not get old or sick and does not die - hence why we shouldn't think that the Buddha no longer exists after his death.


The Buddha also clarifies the analogy that is often quoted of Nirvana being like a flame going out:
Quote

The Buddha-Tathagatas are NOT eternally extinguished in Nirvana like the heat of an iron ball that is quickly extinguished when cast into water. Moreover, it is thus: just as the heat of an iron ball is extinguished when thrown into water, the Tathagata is likewise; when the immeasurable mental afflictions have been extinguished, it is similar to when an iron ball is cast into water - although the heat is extinguished, the substance / nature of the iron remains. In that way, when the Tathagata has completely extinguished the fire of the mental afflictions that have been accumulated over countless aeons, the nature of the diamond Tathagata permanently endures - not transforming and not diminishing.

Tibetan version, translated by Stephen Hodge.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvana_Sutra#cite_note-Tibetantr-17

Offline songhill

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Re: What happens to an Arhat after death?
« Reply #138 on: June 14, 2013, 01:16:18 pm »
You can describe space as being empty and call it the empty space, but to explain something that is empty and at the same time being full is confusing.
 

It is not that confusing—not in Mahayana texts. For example:

Quote
"The first is the knowledge that the Tathagata-embryo is empty: that it is apart from all defilements and apart from knowledge which does not lead to liberation. The second is the knowledge that the Tathagata-garbha is not empty: that it contains inconceivable dharmas [qualities] more numerous than the sands of the Ganges, which embody the Buddhas’ wisdom of liberation” (A Treasury of Mahayana Sutras, 378).

Offline ground

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Re: What happens to an Arhat after death?
« Reply #139 on: June 14, 2013, 01:20:50 pm »
Quote
What happens to an Arhat after death?
When I killed the arhat I died. After that I was still alive. does that answer the question?  :fu:

Offline Yellowbellied Sapsucker

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Re: What happens to an Arhat after death?
« Reply #140 on: June 14, 2013, 01:58:13 pm »
Quote
What happens to an Arhat after death?
When I killed the arhat I died. After that I was still alive. does that answer the question?  :fu:
Wow. Okay, now I don't feel singled out at all by your posts on my vegetarian thread.

Offline ground

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Re: What happens to an Arhat after death?
« Reply #141 on: June 14, 2013, 02:00:16 pm »
Quote
What happens to an Arhat after death?
When I killed the arhat I died. After that I was still alive. does that answer the question?  :fu:
Wow. Okay, now I don't feel singled out at all by your posts on my vegetarian thread.
See, now you have made a connection to dharma (CNN's words)   :teehee:

 :fu:

Offline Yellowbellied Sapsucker

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Re: What happens to an Arhat after death?
« Reply #142 on: June 14, 2013, 02:03:02 pm »
Quote
What happens to an Arhat after death?
When I killed the arhat I died. After that I was still alive. does that answer the question?  :fu:
Wow. Okay, now I don't feel singled out at all by your posts on my vegetarian thread.
See, now you have made a connection to dharma (CNN's words)   :teehee:

 :fu:

Yeah, before you I was lost but now I'm found. Hallelujah!  :lmfao:

Offline ground

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Re: What happens to an Arhat after death?
« Reply #143 on: June 14, 2013, 02:07:00 pm »
Yeah, before you I was lost but now I'm found. Hallelujah!  :lmfao:
I bless you.  :fu:

Offline songhill

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Re: What happens to an Arhat after death?
« Reply #144 on: June 16, 2013, 09:17:10 pm »

Because, there are two kinds of passing away—[the ordinary] discontinuous passing away and the passing away which is the inconceivable transference.  The discontinuous passing away belongs to the sentient beings, who have reconnection (pratisamdhi) [with sense organs].  The passing away which is the inconceivable transference belongs to the bodies made of mind (manomaya-kaya) of Arhats, Pratyekabuddhas, and of Bodhisattvas great beings, who have attained power, up to their reaching the terrace of enlightenment. ~ The Lion's Roar of Queen Srimala

Offline ground

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Re: What happens to an Arhat after death?
« Reply #145 on: June 16, 2013, 09:50:33 pm »
Great wondrousness makes children's eyes open wide.  :fu:

 


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