10th December 2016

The Arahant

It is sweet even to hear the sound of the word “Arahant.” To be able to meet a venerable Arahant is an extremely fortu­nate event. In this human world, living among the humans, walking on this earth, these Arahants belong to a group of marvelous humans.

Arahants Cannot Be Measured

In this universe, these magnificent beings only appear with the help of a fully enlightened Buddha. This is because it is only under the instruction of the Buddha that the Noble Eight-Fold Path which leads to the attainment of the fruit of Stream-entry, Once-returning, Non-returning, and Ara­hantship is revealed. Therefore it is impossible to measure these Arahants who have achieved the ultimate purity, hav­ing destroyed all defilements.

“Monk Upasīva, there is no way to measure an Ara­hant who has achieved extinguishing, Nibbāna. If someone uses an ordinary unit of measurement to measure ordinary people, Arahants cannot be measured in this way. Once all defilements have been eradicated, all arguments cease.”

Upasīva Sutta, Sutta Nipāta verse 1076

Like Golden Swans

For an ordinary person, it is impossible to comprehend the life of Arahants. An Arahant’s life is unimaginably peace­ful, simple, and liberated. In this world the only person that walks with perfect freedom is an Arahant. In this time peri­od the very first person to become an Arahant was the fully

enlightened Buddha. The Buddha spoke about the lives of Arahants in this way:

“Arahants are well established in the Four Estab­lishments of Mindfulness. They are not bound by craving. Like the swans that fly away from the lake, they let go of everything, large and small.”

Dhammapada, verse 91

The Tamed Arahant

If the six sense bases are completely tamed in someone, that person is definitely an Arahant. The tameness that arises from virtue, concentration, and wisdom is mind-blowing. This is the exact reason that they are extremely humble.

“An Arahant tames his senses with the same skill that an expert horse tamer tames his horses. Be­cause of this they become utterly extinguished. Humble and with unshakeable minds, these un­blemished Arahants are a pleasant sight, even for the gods.”

Dhammapada, verse 94

Beautiful Is the Place They Reside

The Arahant sages who do wholesome actions, who speak wholesome words, and who think wholesome thoughts, make even the environment around them become beautiful. The liberated personality of these Arahant monks matches the beauty of nature very well. Like the beauty of a flower, they possess an untarnished, inherent beauty.

“Whether it be a village, a jungle, a valley, a hill or any other place, if Arahants dwell there, that place is truly delightful.”

Dhammapada, verse 98

Glowing with Wisdom

Possessing an enchanting wisdom, our Great Teacher, the Buddha, shared his knowledge with his disciples. Those dis­ciples used the power of the Buddha’s enchanting wisdom to stimulate their own wisdom. It was because of that power of wisdom that they were able to rise above the ordinary people. The Buddha explained that point in this way:

“A beautiful, fragrant lotus blooms in a mud-hole filled with filth along the highway road. In the same way, in the world with its ignorant, world­ly people that have stained and impure beliefs, a disciple of the Buddha will stand out among them, shining with brilliant wisdom.”

Dhammapada, verses 58 & 59

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