The Qualities Of An Arahant Dhammapada 7

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Introduction

For a complete understanding of this sutta in the context intended by an awakened human being please read the linked suttas at the end of this article. ([x])

The Dhammapada is a twenty-six chapter volume in the fifth book of the Sutta Pitaka known as the Khuddaka Nikaya. The Khuddaka Nikaya is a fifteen-book collection of short texts difficult to classify within the other volumes. The Dhammapada is a collection of sayings of the Buddha in verse that can be read as a concise though thorough presentation of an awakened human being’s teachings. [1]

The Dhammapada is loosely formatted by topic. The individual topic(s) presented in each chapter mostly stand on their own with the understanding that everything the Buddha taught can only be understood and developed skillfully within the context of Dependent Origination and Four Noble Truths. [2,3]

This chapter is the Buddha’s description of an arahant. An arahant is a person who has developed a profound level of concentration. From a well-concentrated mind, a mind resting in Jhana, a person is able to integrate the Eightfold Path as the framework for developing profound wisdom and true compassion and has recognized and abandoned greed, aversion, and deluded thinking. [4]

Notice that there is nothing supernatural or superhuman regarding an arahant. Anyone who whole-heartedly engages with the Buddha’s Dhamma can awaken in this present life through the only path taught by an awakened human being. [5]

This chapter concludes with a description of the benefits that an Arahant has in the world and how true Arahant’s inspire others toward the Buddha’s Dhamma while having the refined mindfulness and inner calm to avoid adapting, accommodating, or embellishing the Buddha’s Dhamma to fit contradictory views.

My comments below are in italics.

 

The Qualities Of An Arahant

Dhammapada 7

The arahant, the perfected one, who has completed the (Eightfold) Path, who is free of disappointment, who is free of all worldly entanglements, has abandoned the fever of passion.

The Buddha’s third discourse was the Fire Discourse where he teaches that confusion, delusion, and suffering arise from “the flames of passion.” [6]

Mindful of Right Effort they are not attached anywhere. Like swans who abandon a lake, they leave home after home behind.

A mind well-concentrated through Right Meditation is always at peace. [4]

Those who abandon clinging do not accumulate and do not over-indulge with regards to food, whose purpose is understanding and unbound freedom, they cannot be tracked like the birds in the air.

Those whose fetters are destroyed and are not attached to food, whose purpose is understanding and unbound freedom, even their path cannot be tracked like the birds in the air.

The Buddha’s Dhamma is a True Refuge from the uncertainty of human life. [7]

All beings hold dear the wise who know restraint like a charioteer restrains a horse. All beings hold dear the wise who has destroyed pride, greed, aversion, and deluded thinking.

The wise, the Arahant, like the earth itself, resents nothing, is resolute as a stone pillar in the Dhamma, their mind pure, concentrated, refined, is free of all worldly entanglements.

Calm thoughts, calm speech, calm deeds, the Arahant, truly knowing the Four Truths, is perfectly tranquil and wise.

The Arahant is free of blind faith and knows the end of Karma. Having abandoned the fetters the cause for suffering has ceased. This one is the most excellent of people.

Inspiring indeed is the Arahant’s dwelling whether village, forest, or mountain.

Inspiring are the quiet spaces where worldlings find no pleasure, only peace. Inspiring is where Arahant’s, free of passion rejoice from abandoning chasing sensual pleasure.

An Arahant’s presence in the world provides true inspiration to others An Arahant, knowing the results of a mind rooted in ignorance does nothing to confuse, contradict, or distract from the Buddha’s Dhamma.

An Arahant has abandoned all fabrications including ignorant views that would result in “dharmas” that includes rights and rituals not taught by the Buddha but appeal to an un-awakened mind’s passion and need for continual sensory distraction.  [8]

End Of Chapter

 

  1. Pali Canon
  2. Dependent Origination – The Paticca Samuppada Sutta
  3. Four Noble Truths – The Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta
  4. Right Meditation – Samadhi – Jhanas
  5. Eightfold Path – The Magga-Vibhanga Sutta
  6. Fire Discourse
  7. True Refuge – The Ratana Sutta
  8. Arahant Sutta – Awakening In A Single Paragraph

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My Dhamma articles and talks are based on the Buddha's teachings  (suttas) as preserved in the Sutta Pitaka, the second book of the Pali Canon. I have relied primarily on Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s excellent and insightful translation of the Pali generously made freely available at his website Dhammatalks.org, as well as the works of Acharya Buddharakkhita, Nyanaponika Thera, John Ireland, Maurice Walsh, Hellmuth Hecker, and Sister Khema, among others, as preserved at Access To Insight.

Also, I have found Bhikkhu Bodhi's translations from Wisdom Publications Pali Canon Anthologies to be most informative and an excellent resource.

I have made edits to the suttas from these sources for further clarity, to modernize language, to minimize repetition, and maintain contextual relevance to Dependent Origination and Four Noble Truths.

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