Arahat

The attainment of arahatship otherwise known as 4th Path in the Theravada Four Path Model, is considered by some to the end of the specific axis of development related to the Third Training, that of Wisdom.

Various other spellings of Arahat include Arhat and Arahant. It may be translated variously as Saint or Conquerer.

There is much controversy regarding the criteria for what an arahat is and how the word should be used, as well as whether or not it marks the end of the training in Wisdom.

The standard dogma of arahatship is that the arahat is free from the following Ten Defilements: 1) Personality Belief 2) Attachment to Rites and Rituals 3) Skeptical Doubt 4) Lust 5) Hatred 6) Attachment to the Formed Realms 7) Attachment to the Formless Realms 8) Restlessness and Worry 9) Conceit 10) The Last Veil of Unknowing

See those sub-headings for thoughts on the verifiable truths behind each of those.

In general, most of the standard dogma is bound up in an odd mix of truth and idealism.

Arahatship or Fourth Path follows that of the Anagami or Third Path in that model.

Correlations with other maps are also controversial, and it may by some be considered equivalent to the Tenth Bhumi of the Tibetan Bhumi System, and possibly to Satori or perhaps Kensho of Zen, though there is also controversy about how those words are used.

The way the term arahat tends to be used on the DhO is as follows:

  • The Arahat feels done with the path of Wisdom in the very specific and ultimate sense of that word, as in the classic phrase "done is what is to be done". Gone is the compulsion that drove them to higher and higher paths. Gone is the sense that there is more to know or do on that front. This is a lasting and abiding wisdom that is reinforced by the way their basic sensate experience presents itself.
  • The Arahat perceives reality in a way that is direct and unfiltered through duality at a very core level. This is their baseline of experience, and doesn't require effort to occur.
  • The Arahat is "traceless here and now", meaning that in their sensate field of experience, they do not feel at a fundamental level that any sensations can be said to either be them or not be them, and thus the whole field of experience is simply that, a field of experience.
  • That said, within that field of experience the standard apparatus of mental processes and discrimination obviously can occur just as before.
  • The DhO doesn't tend do subscribe to the standard Limited Emotional Range Model, the Limited Action Model or related models, such as those involving emotional or psychological perfection.
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