Points of Controversy

22.2. Of Moral Consciousness

Controverted Point: That the Arahant is ethically conscious when completing existence at final death.

Theravādin: You are implying that an Arahant is achieving karma of merit, or karma of imperturbable character; that he is working karma affecting destiny, and rebirth, conducive to worldly authority and influence, to wealth and reputation, to beauty celestial or human… .

You are implying that the Arahant, when he is passing away, is accumulating or pulling down, is eliminating or grasping, is scattering or binding, is dispersing or collecting. Is it not true of him that he stands, as Arahant, neither heaping up nor pulling down, as one who has pulled down? That he stands, as Arahant, neither putting off nor grasping at, as one who has put off? As neither scattering nor binding, as one who has scattered? As neither dispersing nor collecting, as one who has dispersed?

Andhakas: But does not an Arahant pass utterly away with lucid presence of mind, mindful and aware? You agree. Then is this not “good “consciousness?