Can't be bothered arahant?

Is there a possibility that an arahant not interested in any affairs , either a person is sick or an animal being slaughtered ?
Or can’t be bothered about anything at all ?! Or is there any arahant that ended their life as soon as they attained liberation ?!

It seems that opting for quietistic uninvolvement is a thought that might occur to even the best arahants.

The Blessed One then asked the venerable Sāriputta: “What did you think, Sāriputta, when the Sangha of bhikkhus was dismissed by me?”

“Venerable sir, I thought thus: ‘The Sangha of bhikkhus has been dismissed by the Blessed One. The Blessed One will now abide inactive, devoted to pleasant abiding here and now; and we too shall now abide inactive, devoted to pleasant abiding here and now.’”

“Stop, Sāriputta, stop! Such a thought should not be entertained by you again.”



This is rather strange , indeed surprising !

AN 4.243 about Anuruddha:

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Kosambī in Ghosita’s Park. Then the Venerable Ānanda approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. The Blessed One then said to him:
“Has that disciplinary issue been settled yet, Ānanda?”
“How could that disciplinary issue be settled, Bhante? The Venerable Anuruddha’s pupil Bāhiya is still fully intent on creating a schism in the Saṅgha, but the Venerable Anuruddha doesn’t think of saying even a single word about it.
“But, Ānanda, when has Anuruddha ever concerned himself with disciplinary issues in the midst of the Saṅgha? Shouldn’t you, and Sāriputta and Moggallāna, settle any disciplinary issues that arise?

MN 124 about Bakkula:

“Friend, in the eighty years since I went forth I do not recall ever having accepted a robe from a householder …ever having worn a robe given by a householder…ever having cut a robe with a cutter…ever having sewn a robe with a needle… ever having coloured a robe with dye…ever having sewn a robe at the kaṭhina time…ever having worked on making robes for my companions in the holy life.”

“Friend, in the eighty years since I went forth I do not recall ever having given the going forth…ever having given the full admission…ever having given dependence…ever having had a novice wait on me.”

MN 26 about the Buddha himself after awakening:

“I considered: ‘This Dhamma that I have attained is profound, hard to see and hard to understand, peaceful and sublime, unattainable by mere reasoning, subtle, to be experienced by the wise. But this generation delights in attachment, takes delight in attachment, rejoices in attachment. It is hard for such a generation to see this truth, namely, specific conditionality, dependent origination. And it is hard to see this truth, namely, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of all acquisitions, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbāna. If I were to teach the Dhamma, others would not understand me, and that would be wearying and troublesome for me.’ Thereupon there came to me spontaneously these stanzas never heard before:
‘Enough with teaching the Dhamma
That even I found hard to reach;
For it will never be perceived
By those who live in lust and hate.
Those dyed in lust, wrapped in darkness
Will never discern this abstruse Dhamma
Which goes against the worldly stream,
Subtle, deep, and difficult to see.’
Considering thus, my mind inclined to inaction rather than to teaching the Dhamma.


Hmmm , shall we inclined to inaction rather than to learning the Dhamma ??

I think the last sentence should be understood in line with the context of what happened. I think the Buddha felt that this noisy group of monks needed teaching, not just abide silently in their own ignorance!

There are other instances when the Buddha did abide silently with other monks:

But when the king was not far from the mango grove, he was gripped with fear, trepidation, his hair standing on end. Fearful, agitated, his hair standing on end, he said to Jivaka Komarabhacca: “Friend Jivaka, you aren’t deceiving me, are you? You aren’t betraying me, are you? You aren’t turning me over to my enemies, are you? How can there be such a large community of monks — 1,250 in all — with no sound of sneezing, no sound of coughing, no voices at all?”
“Don’t be afraid, great king. Don’t be afraid. I’m not deceiving you or betraying you or turning you over to your enemies. Go forward, great king, go forward! Those are lamps burning in the pavilion hall.”
Then the king, going as far on his tusker as the ground would permit, dismounted and approached the door of the pavilion on foot. On arrival, he asked Jivaka: “Where, friend Jivaka, is the Blessed One?”
“That is the Blessed One, great king, sitting against the middle pillar, facing east, surrounded by the community of monks.”
Then the king approached the Blessed One and, on reaching him, stood to one side. As he was standing there — surveying the community of monks sitting in absolute silence, as calm as a lake — he felt inspired to exclaim: “May my son, Prince Udayibhadda, enjoy the same peace that this community of monks now enjoys!” DN2

with metta


I should prefer the latter, my interest being Buddhist sallekha, rather than Jainist sallekhana.

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But , seems that those noisy group included wisest sariputta was an arahant and monggalana , not all ignorant .

I agree, but I think, the thing that is most interesting for me in this story of Sariputta MN 67 is that his natural inclination was for inaction.

Thus regarding the question in the OP, I would say it’s not a question of whether the arahant “can’t be bothered” in the usual sense in which this phrase might be understood; rather the question is whether or not he was naturally inclined to inaction if left to his own devices. Clearly, at this point in the story, he’d run out of whatever conditioning/kamma caused him to teach and he required some input (“words of another”?) from outside of him, some new conditioning, in order to be spurred into action.

Thus in response to this

I would say that the primary purpose of “learning the Dhamma” is so that we can learn and inhabit/live/realise/experience/feel the natural phenomenon that is “inaction”; but not in the way this word is normally understood, with it’s usual trope of worldly conotations.

It seems the two arahants had different conditioning in operation: Ven Mogallana was an arahant and thus would have also had a natural inclination to stillness, yet the conditioning propelling him to teach his noisy students, was still in operation and for Ven Sariputta it was not. For Ven Sariputta, his Dhamma conditioning, which had gone beyond mere learning, was kicking in strongly.

Indeed, this sutta starts out with the Buddha’s natural inclination to peace and quiet and inaction taking hold of him strongly. He too needs the lay people and Brahma Sahampati to provide some new external conditioning. Interestingly, the thing that seems to motivate these embodiments of stillness and silence into action, is compassion. The compassion to help others learn how to be still and silent too.


The question is , Buddha seems to be affected by noises , that is aversion !
I thought liberated Arahant will not
have this kind of reaction !

Isn’t that free from defilements arahant filling their heart with loving kindness and compassion all the time ?! Why do they need someone else to trigger it ?!

It seems that Brahma Sahampati is much more alert and compassionate in this regard !

Because of anatta, no self.

They’re not acting from an impetus coming from within. Within the arahant is a being no longer inclined to move or make noise. They’ve seen anatta fully and the consequence of this is that they are utterly unbothered by the various scuryings of conditioning that may remain within them in the rest of their last life.

Ajahn Brahm’s similie of the Driverless Bus is a nice explanation. And then followed up by the Buddha’s (?) similie of the 7 ship wrecked sailors.

This is a very cool question! I love what you’re getting me to reflect on here! :star_struck:

I see the Arahant as being liberated from Greed, Hatred and Delusion. No longer wishing, craving, desiring to be, to not be and to live or to take another birth. No need for the boundaries of kindness, because kindness is just a naturally ocurring boundary anyway.

But, even though the process that is this being, the dependent orgination of this being, has cut off the craving for further life; the old conditioning of personality tendencies remain in force in an Arahant’s last life. Thus Ven Sariputta inclines to being more hermit like than Ven Mogallana.

Thus I think the Buddha was acting from two possible places:

  1. The arahants inclination for peace.

  2. He’s action is coming from an old bit of kamma/conditioning which involved him cultivating - in the past - a love for peace, quiet and seclusion.

This Dhamma is for one who resorts to solitude, not for one who delights in company.
AN 8.30

It might look on the outside as if he’s acting out of aversion. But if we take the Buddha’s Awakening on board out of faith and allow this to influence our imagination, we find other possibilities: he may have been acting out of Compassion, as a teaching to those noisy monks; he may have been acting out of many long years (the Sutta does indicate that he has been around for a long time already, when all this action in Catuma happens) of understanding how noisy monks operate; he may have been acting out of a solid understanding of his long time disciples, of what Sariputta and Mogallana’s personalities are like; he may have been acting out of a deep understanding of how people’s minds work and an experienced knowledge of how to instruct others; he may have been acting out of a desire to teach through being a good role model who values peace and quiet.

Indeed, I find it interesting to speculate, that if Brahma Sahampatti and the laity of Catuma had not intervened, the monks would still have been influenced by the lesson they were being taught. The difference being that Ven Sariputta’s students would have been left more to their own devices, and Ven Mogallana’s students would have received more direct guidance from him.

Thus there is a third possibility:

  1. He’s acting out of Compassion and his long years of experience as a Teacher.

This is something interesting to consider as well.

When the Buddha started teaching, he first went looking for people with “little dust in their eyes”. Then, later, among other situations, he also ended up having to debate with a bunch of people who didn’t “get it” straight away.

His first monks and nuns had few formal rules. As time passed, and the people joining the Sanghas included those with quite a bit more dust in their eyes, new rules came into being.

I think if you consider the Buddha’s mind as a living process (anatta) rather than a fixed entity (atta) then you can see why these changes would happen over time: he was still learning.

Not about the Dhamma. He got that fully.

But about people, how to deal with them and so on. I reckon the freshly minted Buddha may not have been as skilled a teacher as the one who parinibbaned in Kusinara. Indeed, I remember a story about how the new Buddha taught asubha to a group of monks, who subsequently were so grossed out by themselves that they killed themselves!! I think that it was after this the Buddha taught anapanasati and other beauty focused meditations. I’m not sure of the EBT references here though.

The commentary of this says they did this because of their bad karma. The Buddha wasn’t omniscient or present everywhere. We can’t expect him to be everything to everyone, less we make a God out of him. Other factors will influence any outcome- but his dispensation at least while he is alive all works out in the end - everyone is a stream entrant.

With metta

That is speculative .

So , liberated Arahant seems not concerned and caring to the world around anymore . Then , the buddhist has to face the consequences of that we are being accused as a bunch of peoples detached from reality and Escapist !

This would contradict the dhamma .

Well of course! I’m not claiming any deep insight.

This is what I’ve accepted based on my own humble insights into how I work, and also based on an intellectual/reflective acceptance of the EBTs - such as SN 22.59.

Yeah, I reckon so.

Mate, I reckon you’ve not read or have chosen to ignore most of what I wrote above! But that’s okay. :slight_smile: It’s easy to read something and go straight for the bits that we disagree with and let everything else fall out of focus! Perhaps it’s human nature to get into a bit of negative cherry picking! So it’s okay, but maybe have another look? :slight_smile:

Nah…a bunch of people really into finding out about reality! Four Noble Truths, yeah? Not Four Noble Lies!! :rofl:

Definitely!! And in a very different, radical way…one that causes lots of wisdom and loads of compassion. Yeah!! Hooray for more wisdom and compassion in the world…we can all only benefit from this. :grin:

Not at all. Well, not in my experience anyway. :slight_smile:

I find imagination a wonderful tool and assistance in developing meditation, dealing with hindrances and cultivating Right View - particularly as I’m no expert in any of these.

I remember having the opportunity to teach Science briefly to children. One of the things I kept saying to them was that every amazing scientific “discovery” was preceded by someone coming up with an imaginative theory or question about the world…how these people had to be open to all manner of strange possiblities before they could even come up with any cool hypotheses. How could these people discover/hypothesise/think to even look at/consider certain calculations or whatever? How? When they, like us, would have been mired in the accepted knowledge and conditioning of their time and place. How? Because they dreamed, they imagined, they challenged, they asked: “what if…?”

But hey man, it’s cool…you’re free to your views. I leave you with them and truly wish you much peace and lots of love. :heartpulse:


Hi bro , not so , not so . The correct part need no saying , the one in question need attention !

(中 mean middle )(also mean strike on)


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