What happens to an arahant after death

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    • #14008

      Because it deals with parinibbana i have posted this here.

      Things are not clear to me. I can put these questions aside but i rather like to discuss this with somebody who can make things clear. I would appreciate references to Tipitaka.

      What happens with an arahant after dying?

      On the one hand it is said that a living being consist of five khandha’s. There is only a stream of constant changing physical and mental processes. And these all end at the death of an arahant.

      There is no continuation of a stream of citta’s. There does not arise a patisandhi citta anymore, i understood. There does not arise the rupa khandha anymore, not the vedana khandha, not the sanna khandha, not the sankhara khandha, not the vinnana khandha with, for example, all those citta vithi processes. It all comes to an end, i understood.

      If what we call an arahant, a living being, a person, really consist only of those five khandha’s, or would be only those constant changing mental and physical processes, then the only logical conclusion is that after death nothing continues and an arahant goes out like a flame. He/she does not go anywhere anymore. If…if a being IS only the stream of continue changing mental and physical processes that must be the conclusion.

      If something persist and continues after dying of an arahant, then that cannot be a khandha, not a gandhabba, not a stream of citta vithis, nor a stream of phyical and mental processes. It this right?

      If there is something that continues what is that?

      Mind? So then the model is that a living being consists of five khandha’s and a separate mind? A mind which is apparently something limited, something personal? Even while the conceit “I am” does not exist anymore, even without any sense of ‘mine’ and even without any khandha present to grasp still there is personal mind?

      And this mind entity would be the real identity of an arahant? Is this buddha-dhamma?

      The idea that an arahant exist after parinibbana, in some kind of individual form or kind of personal existence, in what way is this not the view of eternalism and atta or the idea of an eternal soul?


    • #14010
      y not

      It is as if I myself posted this. Some days ago I had it, in my own words of course, as a draft on my e-mail compose folder. But I never posted it. The reason is that Reality will remain as it is whether we understand the nature of Nibbana or whether we don’t. We cannot change Reality. What we CAN change is the nature of our existence in that Reality in the future,namely the elimination or reduction, at least, of the suffering that awaits us if we do nothing about it NOW…..and getting an answer to this question will not help in that direction at all. The Self-Perfected One emphasized this over and over again, much as Lal is doing now …’ it does not lead to unbinding, it does to lead to release’ etc,to quote some conventional English translations of the words.Personally,since when I was a boy I tend to lose myself in philosphical speculation and hard reasoning, especially when it has to do with Infinity and Eternity, but now I realize that I must guard against this tendency of mine, because that will be of no consequence to the IMPERATIVE task at hand – the elimination of DukKHA, or its gradual reduction. It is in fact a hindrance. Try to get a bit deeper into this. I myself am no one to offer advice – there are those who are prepared to do this,because they have been preparing themselves for it.It is clear, however,that Nibbana cannot be utter non-existence. One does not suffer in so many exsistences and strive hard to attain – non-existence! It cannot be so. And Dhamma cannot contain anything that does not make sense.

      You write: ‘ in what way is this not the view of eternalism and atta or the idea of an eternal soul’ I share your question here. See my post on ‘The Infinity Problem’ Feb 6th 8:11 am for my view on atta and anatta. I suggest you do it at once Sybe: I suspect that whole topic will be deleted soon, and understandbly too…as may this one as well.

    • #14011

      Siebe said: “What happens with an arahant after dying?”

      You can ask the same question in many ways. But you get the same answer from the Buddha, per Tipitaka. The same thing happens to an Arahant, as to what the Buddha said what will happen to him.

      I am copying my reply to you in the “The Infinity problem – BIG doubt” topic:

      In his very first desana, the Buddha clearly stated that in order to stop all future suffering, the goal of any person should be what he had attained. Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (SN 56.11): “..Ñāṇañca pana me dassanaṃ udapādi: ‘akuppā me vimutti, ayamantimā jāti, natthi dāni punabbhavo’”ti.”

      Translation: “..The knowledge and vision arose in me: ‘Unshakable is my liberation. This is my last birth. There is no more renewed existence for me.”.

      How more clear can one be?
      And there are many more suttas stating this clearly.

      The concept of Nibbana has been explained in many posts, including in the subsection: “Nibbana“,and in the post, “What Reincarnates? – Concept of a Lifestream“.

      Answers to your questions can be found in those posts and elsewhere in many posts. We also discussed these, over and over, under different topics in this forum.

      You do need to stop pushing your philosophical ideas at this forum. That takes the focus away from useful discussions. I am going to remove you as a forum participant if you post again like this without citing evidence from the Tipitaka. If you have evidence to the contrary, you can state that and provide evidence from the Tipitaka.

      There is only one reliable source of Buddha Dhamma, and that is the Tipitaka. That is the sole basis for this website, and therefore, for the discussions at this forum.

      P.S. I do understand that “stopping rebirth” or “stopping existence” could be an unsettling thought for many people. That is the ultimate goal, but one who is starting on the Path (even a Sotapanna) should not contemplate on that. One could start at the stage where one does not even believe in rebirth. I have emphasized this point at the “Living Dhamma” section, and many other posts throughout the website.

      I also recommend listening to the discourse in, “Three Marks of Existence – English Discourses“.

    • #14963

      This question was again asked by @firewns. So, let me put it in another way:

      An Arahant is not reborn anywhere in the 31 realms of this world when the physical body of the Arahant dies. Then the suffering (that is mostly experienced in the lower realms) ends permanently. The problem with the higher realms (where there is mostly happiness), is that they have finite lifetimes. One ALWAYS ends up in a lower realm, where there can be unimaginable suffering (the animal realm is one of the better ones).

      One is born in this world because one has the wrong perception that one can enjoy those material things that are available in this world and become happy.

      It is just like a fish thinking that the bait on the hook looks delicious and will bring happiness to it. The fish does not see the hook and that it will be subjected to much pain (hook tearing its mouth), and eventual death.

      In the same way, we (all living beings) think that those rupa in this world can bring us happiness. But just like the fish cannot see the suffering hidden in the bait, we cannot see the suffering hidden in sense pleasures. It is only to the purified mind of a Buddha the true nature of this wider world of 31 realms becomes clear. When one fully grasps that real anicca (and dukkha and anatta) nature of this world, one will not crave for those “pleasurable things” anymore.

      That understanding leads to the Arahanthood (via three stages of Sotapanna, Sakadagami, Anagami). When one attains Nibbana, one’s mind will not crave for those rupa which have anicca nature. Thus one’s mind will become FREE. In the language of Abhidhamma, nama (or mind) will stop craving for rupa, and thus namarupa formation will stop. A somewhat deep analysis is at: “Nāma & Rūpa to Nāmarūpa“.

      Nibbana can be experienced at various levels before one gets to the ULTIMATE RELEASE at the Arahanthood. Nibbana exists, just not in this world; see, “Nibbana“.

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