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THE BUDDHA AND HIS TEACHINGS
Venerable Nārada Mahāthera
THE STATE OF AN ARAHANT
The Tipitaka abounds with interesting and self-elevating sayings that describe the peaceful and happy state of an Arahant, who abides in the world, till the end of his life, serving other seekers of truth by example and by precept.
In the Dhammapada the Buddha states:
 Of life in the round of existence, i.e., an Arahant.
 One gives up sorrow by attaining Anāgāmi, the third stage of Sainthood. It is at this stage one eradicates completely attachment to sense-desires and illwill or aversion.
 Sabbadhi, the five Aggregates etc.
 There are four kinds of ganthas (ties)-- namely,
1. covetousness (abhijjhā), 2. ill-will (vyāpāda), 3. indulgence in (wrongful) rites and ceremonies (sīlabbataparāmāsa), and 4. adherence to one's preconceptions as truth (idam saccābhinivesa).
 This verse refers to the ethical state of an Arahant. Heat is both physical and mental. An Arahant experiences bodily heat as long as he is alive, but is not thereby worried. Mental heat of passions he experiences not.
 Arahants wander whithersoever they like without any attachment to any particular place as they are free from the conception of "I" and "mine".
 There are two kinds of accumulation -- namely, kammic activities and the four necessaries of life. The former tend to prolong life in Samsāra and the latter, though essential, may prove an obstacle to spiritual progress.
 To get rid of the desire for food.
 Nibbāna is Deliverance from suffering (vimokkha). It is called Void because it is void of lust, hatred and ignorance, not because it is nothingness or annihilation. Nibbāna is a positive supramundane state which cannot be expressed in mundane words. It is Signless because it is free from the signs of lust etc. Arahants experience Nibbānic bliss while alive. It is not correct to say that Arahants exist after death, or do not exist after death, for Nibbāna is neither eternalism nor nihilism. In Nibbāna nothing is eternalized nor is anything, except passions, annihilated. Arahants experience Nibbānic bliss by attaining to the fruit of Arahantship in this life itself.
 By indakhila is meant either a column as firm and high as that of Sakka's or the chief column that stands at the entrance to a city.
Commentators state that these indakhilas are firm posts which are erected either inside or outside the city as an embellishment. Usually they are made of bricks or of durable wood and are octagonal in shape. Half of the post is embedded in the earth, hence the metaphor as firm and steady as an indakhila.
 Tādi is one who has neither attachment to desirable objects nor aversion to undesirable objects. Nor does he cling to anything. Amidst the eight worldly conditions -- gain and loss, fame and infamy, blame and praise, happiness and pain -- an Arahant remains unperturbed, manifesting neither attachment nor aversion, neither elation nor depression.
 As they are not subject to birth and death.
 From all deftlements.
 Since his mind is absolutely pure.
 The pun in the original Pāli is lost in the translation.
 Assaddho -- lit., unfaithful. He does not merely accept from other sources because he himself knows from personal experience.
 Akata, Nibbāna. It is so called because it is not created by anyone. Akataññū can also be interpreted as ungrateful.
 The links of existence and rebirth. Sandhicchedo also means a house-breaker that is a burglar.
 Hata + avakāso, he who has destroyed the opportunity.
 Vanta + āso, he who eats vomit is another meaning.
 By means of the four paths of Sainthood. Gross forms of desire are eradicated at the first three stages, the subtle forms at the last stage.
 Ninna and thala, lit., low-lying and elevated grounds.
 The passionless Arahants rejoice in secluded forests which have no attraction for worldlings.
 Free from the disease of passions
 Kiñcana, such as lust, hatred, and delusion which are hindrances to spiritual progress.
 Pāram -- the six personal sense-fields.
 Apāram -- the six external sense-fields.
 Not grasping anything as "me" and "mine."
 He who practises concentration (samatha) and insight (vipassanā).
 Āsīnam -- living alone in the forest
 By realizing the four Truths and eradicating the fetters
 That is, Nibbāna.
 Who has understood the four Noble Truths.
 Devoted to religious austerity.
 Because he, having destroyed the Passions would be reborn no more.
 The burden of the Aggregates.
 Who knows the way to the woeful states, to the blissful states, and to Nibbāna.
 Literally, towards beings.
 Those who are attached to the Aggregates.
 Lust, hatred, delusion, pride and false views.
 Undisturbed by defilements.
 That is, attachment to sense-desires.
 Arati, dislike for forest life (commentary).
 Upadhi. There are four kinds of upadhi,-- namely, the aggregates (khandha), the passions (kilesa), volitional activities (abhisamkhāra), and sense-desires (kāma)
 That is, the world of Aggregates.
 Usabham, fearless as a bull.
 Mahesim, seeker of higher morality, concentration, and wisdom.
 Vijitāvinam, the conqueror of passions.
 Nahātakam, he who has washed away all impurities.
 Buddham, he who has understood the four Noble Truths.
 Sagga, the six heavenly Realms, the sixteen Rūpa Realms, and the four Arūpa Realms.
 Apāya the four woeful states.
 Jātikkhayam, i.e. Arahantship.
 Abhiññāvosito, i.e., reached the culmination by comprehending that which should be comprehended, by discarding that which should be discarded, by realizing that which should be realized, and by developing that which should be developed (commentary).
 Sabbavositavosanam, i.e., having lived the Holy Life which culminates in wisdom pertaining to the Path of Arahantship, the end of all passions.
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Sincere thanks to Mr Pham Kim Khanh - Nārada
Center, Seattle, U.S.A.,
for making this digital version available (Binh Anson, September 2002).
(See also: Vietnamese translation - "Đức Phật và Phật Pháp")
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last updated: 01-09-2002