I wish to verify the reference of events claimed by Bhante Vimalaramsi:

  1. Buddha said there are 80 different kinds of beings in your body that are dying everyday;
  2. Also, a certain Arahant with psychic ability saw death of living beings in ground, water, and air, so he stood in one spot, stopped drinking water, and started holding his breath, so Buddha replied the purpose of attaining Arahantship is so that we could get off the Wheel of Samsara and not have these kinds of problem again.

See the video at https://youtu.be/TSwtv7VqMh0?t=101 .

Do you guys have any idea of the source? Was this recorded in any of the suttas or vinaya, or simply a late commentary, abhidhamma, or modern scholarship, etc.?

The closest account I had came across is controversy of Cakkhupala stepping on ants during walking meditation (https://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/verseload.php?verse=001), and Vinaya rules on filtering water before using (which is more likely referring to water-borne insects, rather than microorganisms).


1. I found the closest source for the first question on 80 kinds of beings in our body:

§44 Firstly, it is shared by the eighty families of worms (parasites). There too, creatures live in dependence on the outer skin, on the inner skin, on the flesh, on the sinews, on the bones, on the marrow, feeding on these things. And there they are born, grow old and die, evacuate and make water; and the body is their maternity home, their hospital, their charnel ground, their privy and their urinal.

— The Path of Purification, Chapter VII, 25 https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/khantipalo/wheel271.html

2. Yet for the second one, still not sure where did Bhante Vimalaramsi quoted it from?

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Read sections [5] [6] [7] & [9] in MN 119 about the various types of psychic powers.

As for claims made by Bhante Vimalaramsi on 80 kinds of beings in our body, I cannot answer this question.

As for an Arahant almost commit suicide out of compassion to refrain from harming "small living beings" (maybe either insects or microorganisms), this does not sound Buddhist.

As for the account of Cakkhupala stepping on ants during walking meditation, this is merely a Dhammapada Commentary composed probably hundreds of years after the Buddha.

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For those interested in the principles of proper source evaluation, the primary source should ideally be asked about a quote or a reference first.

Seeing as Bhante Vimalaramsi is alive and breathing he is most suitable to substantiate/refute the claims you quote.

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