March 9, 2017; Pictures of dhāthu added June 10, 2017; Revised September 7, 2017; February 6, 2018; desana on jhana/magga phala added April 28, 2018
1. It is with great sadness that I report the Parinibbāna of my Noble teacher, Waharaka Abhyaratanalankara Thēro a month ago, on February 9, 2017.
- Even though he did not confirm attaining the Arahanthood, several years ago he had declared that he would not be reborn again (i.e., at least will attain the Antara Parinibbāna state), according to the video below.
- If someone dies with the three samyōjanā of kama raga, rūpa raga, and arūpa raga removed (and thus cannot grasp a bhava in any of the 31 realms) — but has not removed māna, uddacca, and avijjā samyōjanā — then one gets to what is called the Antara Parinibbāna state.
- The gandhabba would still survive the death of the body and come out and stay alive until the kammic energy for the human bhava is exhausted, at which point the actual anupadisēsa Nibbāna will take place, since a new bhava cannot be grasped. This is explained at the discussion forum topic “Antara Parinibbana“.
- From the accounts below, it is quite possible that he did attain Parinibbāna (i.e., bypassed the Antara Parinibbāna state) at the dying moment, which does happen.
2. When the news came out first, it was not clear whether the Thēro had passed away or whether he was in Nirōdha Samāpatti. One does not breath while in Nirōdha Samāpatti, but the body does not get cold. I am told that the body was warm for 6 days, but then it started to get cold. Therefore, his death was not declared for six days.
- Even though I made trips to Sri Lanka in 2014 and 2015, both times I did not get an opportunity to meet him because he was not well.
3. He was the first person to extract the true meanings of the key Pāli words in the Tipitaka in recent times— which have been mistranslated for hundreds of years.
- It appears that his Patisambhidhā Ñāna (the knowledge to extract the meanings of words) was at the same level as many of renowned Arahants at the time of the Buddha.
4. As I discussed in the post, “Four Conditions for Attaining Sotapanna Magga/Phala” , one has to learn the correct Dhamma from a Buddha or a true disciple of the Buddha. He was able to bridge a gap that will hopefully last until the end of the Buddha Sāsana (Ministry) of Buddha Gotama, which is expected to last for 2400 years from now for a total of 5000 years.
- I am grateful to his followers in Sri Lanka (Ven. Attidiye Sudheethadheera Thēro and others) who made recordings of thousands of hours of his dēsanas over the years. They have organized those recordings here: “Waharaka Sadaham dēsana” (updated September 11, 2017).
- Unfortunately, those are available only in Sinhala language. I will do my best to convey these true teachings in English at this website.
- I was able to meet Ven. Walasmulle Abhaya Thēro and Ven. Attidiye Sudheethadheera Thēro (both of whom were lay people at that time) on a trip to Sri Lanka in early 2014 and also in 2015. They provided me with many dēsana recordings before they became available on the internet. I am also grateful to Dr. Neranga Abeysinghe, with whom I had many discussions and who also updated me on recent events of Waharaka Thēro‘s last days.
- Ven. Walasmulle Abhaya Thēro conducts regular dēsanas and meditation sessions (in Sinhala). Recordings of those can be found at: “Nirapekshathwayemaga“. September 7, 2017: I have been somewhat concerned about the over-emphasis on jhāna in this program over the past few months; many people may be under the false impression that getting into jhāna necessarily means magga phala: “Samādhi, Jhāna (Dhyāna), Magga Phala“.
5. April 28, 2018: I found a desana by Waharaka Thero where he presents clear evidence that jhāna are not necessary to attain magga phala (it is in Sinhala language):
- The main point the Thero makes is that we know that there are jāti Sotapannas born in the human realm. But if a jhāna was REQUIRED to attain the Sōtapanna stage, then that person WOULD NOT be born in the human realm, but in a brahma realm corresponding that jhāna.
- September 7, 2017: Just yesterday, I came to know about Rathupasketiye Vimukthirathana Thēro in Sri Lanka, who had come to find the true meanings of the Tilakkhana independent of the Waharaka Thēro. It seems that people found out about this Thēro after the Parinibbana of Waharaka Thēro. His desanas (in Sinhala) can be found at: “Ariya Asankathaya“.
6. I must also express my gratitude to Ven. Meevanapalane Dhammalankara Thēro, who had been in close association with the Waharaka Thēro. I first came across these correct interpretations when I came across one of his dēsanas on the internet on July 30, 2013.
- Ven. Meevanapalane Dhammalankara Thēro‘s dēsanas can be found at: “Sirisaddharmaya“.
- However, he has also deviated from Waharaka interpretations in some cases and also started discussion on whether the Buddha was born in Sri Lanka, against the advice of Waharaka Thero.
7. June 6, 2017: I received some pictures of “dhathu” collected after the cremation of Waharaka Thēro‘s body. Some of an Arahant‘s bones are crystalized, and cannot be destroyed by fire or anything else. I selected the following two pictures out of many sent by Ven. Attidiye Sudheethadheera Thēro and Dr. Neranga Abeysinghe.
8. By the way, here is a historical picture of the “Tooth relic” of the Buddha kept at the “Daladā Maligāwa” in Kandy, Sri Lanka:
- Such Dhāthu of the Buddha or an Arahant are considered to be indestructible up to the end of the current “Buddha Sāsana“, which will last roughly another 2500 years.
9. Here is a youtube video of the funeral of the great Thēro (the speech by Mr. Chandana Siriwardhana — where he stated the possibility of Antara Parinibbāna of the Thēro — is in Sinhala language):