Why Must The Buddha's Teachings Eventually Have to Be Let Go Of?

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    • #16580
      firewns
      Participant

      In one of Lal’s posts and possibly somewhere else, I think it was mentioned that an Arahant would eventually have to let go of even the Buddha’s Teachings, for the Buddha’s Teachings were like a raft that had enabled the Arahant to cross a river. Once the Arahant had crossed the river, then it would be silly to continue to carry the raft, after it had already served its purpose.

      I find this to be very interesting. How does an Arahant let go of the Buddha’s teachings?

      And why should an Arahant let go of the Buddha’s teachings? Is it because the Buddha’s teachings are sankata, arsing and passing away due to causes and conditions? For example, a Buddha Sasana exists due to a Buddha and His followers spreading the Buddha’s teachings. Once that Buddha and His followers have passed away, that Buddha Sasana ceases to exist.

      In this case, are the Buddha’s teachings themselves anicca? In a sense, they cannot be maintained indefinitely to one’s satisfaction. The Buddha’s teachings can get distorted and parts of it can fail to get passed down. It can become totally gone once the Buddha Sasana ends and before the next Buddha Sasana begins.

      If the Buddha’s teachings become distorted or incomplete, might that cause dukkha? For example, practitioners meditating on certain concepts might get stuck and confused. They may experience niramisa dukha vedana, lamenting their lack of progress after decades of intense, dedicated practice.

      Finally to Arahants, are the Buddha’s Teachings anatta? Is it the case that after having grasped their essence, they become devoid of worth and substance, and have to be let go of? To further cling to The Buddha’s Teachings would only serve to impede their progress?

      As a side question, can any sankata possess only two of the three characteristics of the Tilakkhana, such as anicca and anatta, and not all three? For example, I think that an asankata such as nama gotte is anatta in nature, but does not have anicca or dukkha. Thus the three characteristics do not have to occur together in the case of nama gotte, an asankata.

      I know this is probably far too advanced a question to ask. But I ask it in the slimmest of hopes that someone could attain Arahanthood after reading this post.

      Thank you so much in advance, Lal, for your answers to my questions.

    • #16595
      Lal
      Keymaster
      1. “..I think it was mentioned that an Arahant would eventually have to let go of even the Buddha’s Teachings”
      2. – It is not that an Arahant HAS TO let go of Buddha’s teachings. Buddha Dhamma is needed to attain Nibbana. Once attained there is NO NEED for it.

      3. “In this case, are the Buddha’s teachings themselves anicca?… Buddha’s teachings can get distorted and parts of it can fail to get passed down…” and “If the Buddha’s teachings become distorted or incomplete, might that cause dukkha? “
      4. – Distorted Dhamma is NOT Buddha dhamma.
        – Buddha Dhamma is NOT of anicca nature.

      5. “Finally to Arahants, are the Buddha’s Teachings anatta? Is it the case that after having grasped their essence, they become devoid of worth and substance, and have to be let go of? To further cling to The Buddha’s Teachings would only serve to impede their progress?”
      6. Sabbe sankhara anicca, sabee sankhara dukkha, and sabbe DHAMMA anatta.
        Sabbe dhamma includes all. So, yes in the end (once Arahanthood is attained) that is also of no use.
        – We need to remember that somethings in this world NEED to be used to attain Nibbana, even if they have anicca, dukkha, anatta nature.
        For example, doing punna kamma is an abhisankhara (it is a punnabhisankhara). So, it is of anicca nature. But we MUST do punna kamma to prepare the background to attain Nibbana.
        – In the step-by-step process, one stops doing papa kamma (apunnabhisankhara) first. Then as one gets closer to Arahanthood, any punnabhisankhara and anenjabhi sankhara (cultivating arupavacara jhana) will also be stopped. – – At Arahanthood, there is no more abhisankhara to be done, and no more Dhamma to be followed.

      7. “I think that an asankata such as nama gotte is anatta in nature, but does not have anicca or dukkha. Thus the three characteristics do not have to occur together in the case of nama gotte, an asankata.”
      8. – Anything is this world is of anatta nature, including nama gotta and even Buddha Dhamma. But one NEEDS Buddha Dhamma to attain Nibbana. Once Nibbana is attained, there is no need for Buddha Dhamma FOR THAT Arahant.

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