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Difference between Buddha and Arahant - Dhamma Wheel

Difference between Buddha and Arahant

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Darren_86
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Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby Darren_86 » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:25 am

Dear All,

I've been thinking about this for sometime and obviously cant get the answer. What was the difference between a Buddha and an Arahant, interms of enlightenment / nibbana.

I'm at the opinion that the attainment of nibbana is the same for both Arahant and Buddha; as it is indiscriminate, equanimate and cessation of sufferings. However, reading back some books (theravada lineage), there is definitely some difference there. Any ideas?

Many Thanks :broke:

Darren

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tiltbillings
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Re: Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:32 am


chownah
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Re: Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby chownah » Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:08 pm

Maybe as an analogy....it takes a certain amount of skill and concentration to be able to drive a car savely.....it takes alot more skill to be able to design a car and to drive it safely.
Arahants know how to drive a car safely....the Buddha is the one who designed the car and also knows how to drive it safely......it can be taken one step further by saying that the Buddha is the one who discovered the principles by which cars can be made and he figured out how to make a car and then made it and drove it and he also wrote (actually dictated more or less) a manual on how to drive a car which we can study so that we can learn how to drive a car.......we only learn to drive the car because that is all we need to do.....all that other stuff that the Buddha did is great but we are the lucky beneficiaries of all his effort and knowledge and we don't need to "invent the wheel" so to speak.....
chownah

sublime
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Re: Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby sublime » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:33 pm

Buddha was a more masterful presenter of lists, and he had that beautiful body. That's about it.

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cooran
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Re: Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby cooran » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:17 pm

Hello all,

What's the difference between a Buddha and an arahant?
The attainment of arahantship and Buddha-hood are identical: the attainment of the Deathless (Nibbana) and the complete and irreversible eradication of the defilements, the underlying cause of suffering. It is the Buddha who (re-)discovers the Dhamma on his own; it is the arahant who puts his teachings into practice and follows in his footsteps.

Here is the Buddha's answer to this very question:
[The Buddha:] "So what difference, what distinction, what distinguishing factor is there between one rightly self-awakened and a monk discernment-released?"
[A group of monks:] "For us, lord, the teachings have the Blessed One as their root, their guide, & their arbitrator. It would be good if the Blessed One himself would explicate the meaning of this statement. Having heard it from the Blessed One, the monks will remember it."
"In that case, monks, listen & pay close attention. I will speak."
"As you say, lord," the monks responded.
The Blessed One said, "The Tathagata — the worthy one, the rightly self-awakened one — is the one who gives rise to the path (previously) unarisen, who engenders the path (previously) unengendered, who points out the path (previously) not pointed out. He knows the path, is expert in the path, is adept at the path. And his disciples now keep following the path and afterwards become endowed with the path.
"This is the difference, this the distinction, this the distinguishing between one rightly self-awakened and a monk discernment-released."
— SN 22.58
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ml#arahant

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:24 pm

The Buddha set the Wheel in motion; Arhants keep it rolling.

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befriend
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Re: Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby befriend » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:05 pm

im reading a book called food for the heart by ajah chah and it talks about the difference. a buddha possesses something like infinite compassion, the 4 sets of something, according to him there IS a difference. ill check my book soon and re do this post.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

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manas
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Re: Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby manas » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:49 am

As I understand it, there is a vast difference between the knowledge of a Buddha, and the knowledge of one of his Arahant disciples. What we can attain as disciples is, of course, still the essence, the most precious thing: complete and utter liberation, Unbinding. But this gift came at a tremendous cost, in the sense of personal sacrifice by the aspiring Bodhisatta. I read that there are 100,000 Aeons of unbroken striving in the fulfillment of perfections etc, to become a Sammasambuddha, who can thus not only find the Path, but also teach it to others. Buddhas are extremely rare beings. Most beings will only leave Samsara as a disciple of a Buddha, but of course in the end both Buddha and disciple attain the same liberation. So it's perfectly understandable to want to bow down to the ground at the Buddha's feet, I mean the Buddha did the 'hard yards' for us, he found the Way; all we need to do is practise it...

The Buddha's knowledge is, for all intents and purposes infinitely greater than ours, but he gives us just one special gift, and one that really counts:

Simsapa Sutta: The Simsapa Leaves

Once the Blessed One was staying at Kosambi in the simsapa forest. Then, picking up a few simsapa leaves with his hand, he asked the monks, "What do you think, monks: Which are more numerous, the few simsapa leaves in my hand or those overhead in the simsapa forest?"

"The leaves in the hand of the Blessed One are few in number, lord. Those overhead in the simsapa forest are more numerous."

"In the same way, monks, those things that I have known with direct knowledge but have not taught are far more numerous [than what I have taught]. And why haven't I taught them? Because they are not connected with the goal, do not relate to the rudiments of the holy life, and do not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. That is why I have not taught them.

"And what have I taught? 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress': This is what I have taught. And why have I taught these things? Because they are connected with the goal, relate to the rudiments of the holy life, and lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. This is why I have taught them.

"Therefore your duty is the contemplation, 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress.' Your duty is the contemplation, 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.'"


:anjali:
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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tiltbillings
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Re: Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:03 am


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manas
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Re: Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby manas » Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:24 am

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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tiltbillings
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Re: Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:26 am


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manas
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Re: Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby manas » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:04 am

Tilt, I don't know of many references in sutta regarding what it takes for a being to attain Buddhahood. If you know of them, maybe you could let me know...the places where I read about fulfillment of perfections etc, (and over the years the information in readings I've made has been pretty consistent), all seem to concur on quite alot. But as you point out, they don't seem to be quoting sutta, but rather commentarial literature.

Anyway, you've made your point, and I will be more careful next time to keep any posts here at DW in accordance with sutta, since that would appear to be a requirement.

m. :anjali:
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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tiltbillings
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Re: Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:26 am


Darren_86
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Re: Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby Darren_86 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:26 pm

Dear All,

Thanks for your posting. I've grab a general understanding on this now.

:anjali:

Darren

chris98e
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Re: Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby chris98e » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:30 pm

I know one difference has to be that the Buddha has a bigger following than the Arahant if the Arahant has any. :anjali:

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Re: Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby chris98e » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:35 pm

The Buddha has the abitlity to inspire enlightment better. To put it simple, the Buddha is the better teacher. :candle:

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retrofuturist
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Re: Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:44 pm

Greetings Manasikara,

I think it would be a mistake to infer that these other things he had "known with direct knowledge" are necessarily all mysterious, mystical, other-worldly and fascinating.

They could just be any number of things, not connected with suffering and its cessation... how to shoot an arrow, how to play chess or other board games, how to whip up a cracking curry, how to do a handstand, how to repair a chariot, how to paint pretty pictures etc.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

lawphotog
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Re: Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby lawphotog » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:34 am

First of all, if some words may seem to be not very appropriate, then it is because of my poor english and limited knowledge of writing Dhamma in english.

As some people here already said there is a hugh differences between Buddha and Arahant. But there are also similarities here.
The similarities are both Buddha and Arahant will both go to Nirvana when they die. There are many answers here i have read few of them and i won't repeat those.

The differences are-

Buddha could become Arahant in his earlier lives but Buddha ( i am saying to the particular Buddha, Siddhattha Gotama) made a wish to become Buddha and fillfuling his Parami (Pāramitā) for 4 thinchy and a million world to become buddha. (someone pls help me to choose better word)

Normally, a person can become a noble state and will be in Nirvana no more than 7 life times with corrent practice and enough Parami from past lives. Yes I am talking about 4 stages of realization which are Sotapanna, sakadagami, anagami and Arahant. But if a person made a firm wish to become a Buddha, he don't become Sotapanna or sakadagami or anagami or arahant, he will just filful his Parami until he finally become a Buddha. The main reason is to save the world (i mean human, animal and all other heaven or spirtual beings). But of course, not everyone who made a wish to become Buddha will become Buddha.

Arahant is someone who follow and practice Buddha's teaching and get enlightenment. There are also Passacca buddha who are also Arahant but they get enlightened without a Buddha's teaching. There can be no Passacca buddha in the time of a Buddha.

Here is a monk who got enlightened and died as a Arahant about 50 years ago. Please refer to the following link.
http://www.dhammadownload.com/MogokSayadaw-mp3.htm

Sorry guys, it's just in Burmese not in english. But I could translate more about that, if anyone wants to know. I also want to know more about Arahant if there are any others in near past.

Hope my answer will add to others and helpful as well.

With Metta, Laurence.

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Re: Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby Nyana » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:18 pm


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tiltbillings
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Re: Difference between Buddha and Arahant

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:45 pm



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