An arahant without dhamma knowledge?

I supposed Lord Buddha arahant disciples numbered more than 500 , but , I wonder has any of them without any dhamma knowledge at all ?!


Is this a trick question?:grin:

Nop , one of the disciple whom can never remembered what ever teaching he heard , no memory of any kind . I supposed .


Maybe if an arahanth developed Dementia after becoming an arahanth!

(I realize this answer is rather late!)

with metts

Ketamine or oxycoton will do, sir. And doctor will take good vacations in Seychelles.
Everyone will profit.

May I say sir, that your remark is very inappropriate to my liking. And very disrespectful for the arahants.

But respectful of the dhamma. Even the all powerful Buddha succumbed to disease, and old age. I believe in honesty; without which kilesas will hide behind a role and status of a monk or dhamma teacher.

UK doctors get paid enough, thanks.

with metta


Friend @Pison,
I agree with you. It is indeed inappropriate.
Friend @Mat, having reached arahathood, an arahat will still be aware and equanimous of all his suffering till the very moment s/he passes away, no matter the circumstance.
Hope that clears it :slight_smile:
I meant no disrespect to anybnody… Just shared my thoughts.

Be happy!

An Arahat with least dhamma knowledge?
An Arahat without much dhamma knowledge?
Patisena, a layman had the good fortune of having born during the time of the Gotama Buddha. He also had the good fortune of hearing the Buddha’s vacana and was soon ordained.

Now, Patisena was very advanced in years and forgetful in nature. Though he was adept in following the dhamma, he would forget suttas and had trouble recollecting.

So the Buddha, having realized Patisena’s troubles, made him learn only one simple sutta by heart. (Sorry, I do not know what that sutta is.)
Patisena would recite the one sutta for days to follow and ultimately attained arahathood.

An arahat with no knowledge of dhamma whatsoever?
None that i have heard or read about. I do not think that’s even possible.

1 Like

Thank you friend @abhinava . I appreciate.

It seems that Patisena story appears in Sahassa vagga of Dhammapada. But which sutta, I can’t say.

I am going to be honnest with brother @Mat.
I don’t consider him as a friend, because we might have some principles in common (all beings do); but I see myself applying them differently.

For instance, I would not have answered to my remark on inappropriateness of his, by trying to make Lord Buddha “possible” candidate to dementia.
Why ?
Because short view on Dhamma makes some people confound mano and citta.

Ahrahants dwell in liberated citta.
Mano is kama loka ayatana. If arahat dwells beyond kama loka, arahat is invisible from maras.
Body (kaya) decay is another matter.

1 Like

And a great lesson I just had was


Might MN 139 & MA 169 be exact parallels for this extract, this should be proper reading of MN 139:

‘Anuyogo ca kho sadukkho eso dhammo saupaghāto saupāyāso sapariḷāho;
Indeed, to (anu-yogo) yoke after (external ?) is a painful, hurtful, despairful, and feverish experience.

Dhamma is just mere experience. And kaya, vedana and citta are constituents of that experience.

Thing (purposeful artifact) derives from principle - dhamma (experience of a dependently originated event,) derives from thing.

If principle is origin of ignorance, so to speak; dhamma is coming of existence of ignorance, through paṭiccasamupāda (dependent origination,) and paṭiccasamuppana (dependently arisen [phenoma]).
Dhamma is what one experiences.
Dhamma is not just experience of principle. It is experience of thorough dependently originated event.

And I pretty much agree with Ajahn Sujato and Dr. Brahm.

We must admit now that the brain has to play a part in our experiencing of stimuli- chemicals can affect perception of the world. Image + eye gives rise to eye consciousness etc. etc. so the physical is the cause for a mental experiencing. Dementia is not to be seen any differently from diarrhoea -it’s suffers shouldn’t be stigmatized and it is not their fault. No Buddha is perfect, though pure in being arahanths - all of them leave their wives and children despite our desire for everything in the Dhamma to be pure perfection, it is merely the sukha aspect of, ignorance.

Dhamma(ta)- phenomena (experience)
Dhamma- mental object (object of mano)
Dhamma- teachings -about phenomena (so called conventional and ultimate), and what can be inferred, through pattern recognition (tilakkhana, causality), summarization (Four noble truths), and pondering on causation (paticcasamuppada; as well as the method of removing craving, aversion, delusion as well as the Path out of all phenomena (Nibbana, as lived meditative experience).

To fully understand the paticcasamuppada is not only to experience it, but also to ‘collapse’ it- vijja (wisdom) does away with delusion (avijja), into cessation (nirodha).


I have a hard time dealing with you Sir, because we are on two very different levels.
You are of this old school speaking still about conventional and ultimateTeaching; of which no serious people still pay any attention nowadays (was their any such concept in EBT anyway).
Or about dhamma as “mental-object”, without precising that it is external ayatana. Which is field of sensory experience. Very special “object” indeed, that seems to be a bit tabooed.
(I take opportunity to tell @DKervick that external ayatana is not “OUR external sense”?!? - to who you haven’t made any remark to, when you quoted his extract.
Did I just say taboo ? ).

Or again about Paṭiccasamuppāda as “pondering on causation” .
One ponders ON Paṭiccasamuppāda - However, Paṭiccasamuppāda is not “pondering on causation”.
prati-√i-ya-sam-ut-√pad - means literally “experiment of arising” .
Too much importance has been given by old school on causation, and not on experiment.
Getting rid of “this, that gives that”, comes after knowledge of experiment. Not before. And it is removing craving that removes causation; and not causation that removes craving (in good order of process).
You don’t really seem to understand that nuance.

Nibbana is stilling of co-actions or co-productions (stilling of all sankharas (sam-kr)) , through transcendence (samatikkamma) of all fields of experiences.
That is to say: External (ayatanani) >Internal (ayatanani) >Space>Consciousness>Nothingness> Perception>Feeling.
That is to say, on “macro” level, transcending in this order:
Kama loka>Rupa loka>Arupa loka.

Which is definitely not what is taught by old school, or somewhat secular new “buddhism”.

For instance, we are not here into putting space and consciousness into one thing. Making one things out of two. But instead about transcending from being into two things, to one thing only. That is to say from being confronted to both fields of experience, that are space and consciousness, and transcending them to consciousness alone - which is higher field of experience.

Buddhism is not about making one thing out of two.
It is about picking higher field of experience, out of two fields. One field being lower than the next.
Progressing from fields to fields.
And you have never been clear about that. Particularly about kama loka transcending process.

And, no. Buddha could not have been subject to dementia. No mara could have tempered with his mano; and definitely not with his citta; which would have (eventually) overriden the former.

You know that very well.

I don’t really think that you understand me when you “like” my posts. Because, as I just said, we are on two very different levels.
Thanks anyway. I would not question your good intention.

1 Like

A reminder of the Sutta Central Guidelines.

With Metta

Viveka (on behalf of the moderators)


I think that @Mat should apologize now, for being very rude to arahants, and even to Lord Buddha.

“Buddha succumbed to disease”, says @Mat.
That is not excuse - nor is it good knowledge and respect about Dhamma.

I know lay people who die with all their mano. Let alone their citta.

I know no occurence of dementia in arahants in EBT.

No excuse, and very wrong and unkind remarks about arahants and Lord Buddha.

1 Like

As far as I know, the Sutta Central guidelines do not establish any requirements for adherence to some conception of religious orthodoxy. Opinions of many kinds about the correct interpretation of the suttas, and about the truth or falsity of the views the suttas articulate, so long as they are expressed in a polite way with due consideration of the feelings of others, may be posted and debated.


Thank you.

This is exactly how, I felt.
When, through “gentle” agressiveness and ambiguity of that sort, someone insults arahants, and indirectly Lord Buddha, he is hurting deeply my feelings.

Knowing how much assaults of maras (and Mara) have been difficult for them to sustain, I find their efforts pretty offended.
Very much.

Back to the original question (can an Arahant achieve that state without Dhamma knowledge?), the more useful question for some people may be, how does an Arahant acquire Dhamma knowledge? Among the ways of acquiring Dhamma knowledge is to assiduously read the suttas. Another path is to listen to teachers talk about the Dhamma. For people who cannot read, can listening to Dhamma talks provide a sufficient means to becoming an Arahant? I know of several Dhamma teachers who have instructed their students to “put down the books and just practice.” Is practice a way to know the Dhamma? Is it sufficient absent reading the suttas? It seems to me that Dhamma knowledge can come through many forms, some of which may not necessarily be immediately apparent.


Of course one needs knowledge of dhamma to be arahants.

But Lord Buddha said that Dhamma would be corrupted 1000 years after his death. And that people would rather listen to sweet talkers, than to his talks.
Put upon that, that many suttas have no parallels, and that translations, instead of trying to make words correct, become “interpretative”.

How good is Dhamma nowadays ?

Add on top of that, this neo secular global tendency of “buddhism”. What to expect ?

When I hear “ajhan” say that one should enjoy life, I wonder if Lord Buddha did not say instead that one should feel piti and sukha of body, abhippamodda of citta, and forget all that in third and fourth jhana, to enter neither pain, nor pleasure, and purity of mindfulness due to equanimity.

Teaching nowadays is gross, with no nuance. And most of the times, very oriented towards kama loka (Mara’s loka), which is appealing to the masses.

Buddhism is religion. Not philosophy anymore. And with this “teaching”, there can’t be no arahant.

Maybe that’s what they want.

1 Like

As far as right speech and the SC guidelines go, Right Speech requires that one is mindful and aware of conditioned responses, and that one restrains acting on them.
The thoughts and assumptions we make, and the feelings that are aroused in us as a result, are our own responsibility. It is how one has interpreted a point that someone has made, ie the reaction that one has to a point rather than the point itself, that requires attention

It is not the role of any participants to “correct” the views of others. Rather, if it is beneficial to do so, one can present Dhamma points to illustrate the issues, and keep personal views out of it.

Moderators also operate from a position of monitoring that behaviours are in line with the guidelines - not anything to do about judgement of individuals.