Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Understanding The Path to Arhatship*
The word “Arhat” is an ancient term which means a person has become a Saint, Paramahamsa, a Wali, or a highly Developed Being (-Extracted from Wikipedia, Modified by author).
Generally the term Arhat means the Higher Self or the Buddha Nature (which is called Atma or “the Soul” in some traditions) -has finally freed itself from the suffering of Samsara or the Cycle of Birth, Death & Rebirth.
When a Practitioner consciously begins to Practice regular Intense Purification – including that of the Body, Speech & Mind – they may decide to enter onto The Path of Arhatship.
Through the development of “Awareness orMindfulness” of our Bodies, of our Breath and our transient Thoughts & Emotions- our Spiritual Progress may be accelerated.
The Practitioner may then reach a Realization that these aspects of one’s identity are not really a part of the Higher Self, the Soul or the Atma, or one’s Buddha Nature - then the Practitioner - through the observation of these constantly changing Phenomena -begins to grasp a new Reality.
It is easy to understand one’s innerconfusion - because through listening to the constant messages of our physical bodies & the excessively loud voice of our personalities - we tend to Identify“ourselves” with our physical bodies and with our Lower Nature.
Habitual emotional responses arising from within the personality, such as unregulated Perceptions & Reactions – can be Purified & eventually become Tranquil. The result is Inner Calmness & Stillness - and a Sense of Deep Inner Peace.
Within this State of Calmness & Stillness, the Practitioner may realize that they hold a strong Attachment to their most prized worldly possessions, to their dearly Beloved Ones or to their Families or they may realize that they are excessively Attached to a certain Job or to a certain Position in life. This freshly defined understanding causes an internal assessment to occur.
Fundamental causes of our Internal Suffering can then be revealed – as we understand that through one's Experience - if something is lost or someone unexpectedly leaves our lives – this Experience causes the Practitioner to grasp a core concept in life -- that truly “Everything is Subject to Change! Nothing lasts Forever!”
When a Practitioner is able to SEE - that all of these extremely “important” issues - are Transient, that they are Temporary & that caring for our “things & issues” is filling up the majority of their free time – then they also realize how many useless pastimes are clouding the Mind & Consciousness. It is through the bright light of this discovery - that Internal Transformation begins to take place.
Releasing Illusions of Worldly Permanence also permits a Practitioner to become serenely filled with a deeper level of Awareness or Mindfulness.
When Practitioners can accept the progression of Constant Change – with Internal Detachment – they may reach a State of Freedom from the Stress, or the discomfort of constantly Striving, of endless working for useless things – which lead one to have a sense of never being filled-up - even by all of their many amazing accomplishments.
Within the Stillness & Peace of these realizations - they may begin to achieve a Stable State of Inner Peace and Serenity – that is undisturbed by the previously exciting external phenomena …
Practitioners should strive to Practice Diligently to perfect Positive Moral Qualities within their personality. When developed, such traits contribute to a Loving Sense of Deep Oneness - with every Person and every Being. Regular Practice of Oneness - eventually lead to Lovingly experiencing Oneness with God & Oneness with All.
Rapid Spiritual Development is also accelerated - when a Practitioner attains higher degrees of Compassion through striving to become a source of Inspiration & Guidance to others. This may take place naturally through one’s personal contributions to others, through Selfless Acts of Service, through their Active Practice of Loving Kindness – brought about by a keen dedicated desire to serve both Humankind and Mother Earth.
This writer would like to emphasize that she does not agree with the concept of Development stopping when Arhatship is achieved.
She strongly advocates Practitioners to strive to Serve All Sentient Beings – until every last being has reached “Freedom”or “Enlightenment” …
May Infinite Loving Blessings be with All!
*Please note that after Arhatship is achieved - new levels of development continue …
During the life of the Lord Buddha - many of His senior students were recognized as Arhats**.
** The term Arhat is noted differently in various religions and spiritual traditions and is even spelled - Arahant (Pali), Arihant (Jain), Arhat (Sanskrit), Dgrabcompa (Tibetan), Rakan (Japanese), Lo-Han (Chinese) or simply - Arhat.
Source: Facebook Charlotte Anderson