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In the Lokavipatti Sutta the 8 worldly dharmas are pleasure, pain, fame, disgrace, blame, praise, and gain, and loss. The Buddha also says the noble ones experience all of those but don't rebel against the loss etc. and don't welcome the praise etc.

In the Sallatha Sutta, the Buddha says that noble ones experience physical pain but don't follow it with mental pain.

This leads me to wonder: if noble ones don't have mental pain following physical pain, it would seem they don't experience loss, blame, and disgrace as mental pain either.

But how do they experience it? Is it a physical pain? In psychology they say that a broken heart over a loss literally hurts the heart, i.e. those freakish cases where a person dies of grief when their wife dies.

Does a noble one then feel physical pain when they are blamed, disgraced, hurt, or at a loss? Or perhaps everyone does but often run-of-the-mill people only notice the subsequent mental pain, whereas a noble one only feels the first half with no mental pain at all.

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  • Do you mean a noble disciple (aka disciple of the noble ones) or a noble one?
    – ruben2020
    Commented Jan 23 at 17:46
  • I mean a stream-enterer, once-returner, non-returner, or most importantly an arahant. Commented Jan 23 at 19:09

2 Answers 2

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Feeling physical pain is a chain of chemical reactions. So everyone feel it. Even Arahant feel it.(but only as a sense).

But since Arahant doesn't have self, they don't generate hate, love, greed towards pain or the cause of the pain. They only feel pain as a sense. Not as pain. (only as comfort or discomfort).

This is same for all 8 worldly dharmas. Because of this, they don't generate any bound with the outer world.

These processes are not somethings Arahant think and do.(like try to forget pain or keep the pain under control). It's their nature. They doesn't generate any thoughts around these 8 worldly dharmas like normal people do. They only sense them. All these are result of not having self/selfishness.

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For a noble disciple, my impression is loss (alābho) in AN 8.6 refers to loss of social &/or physical things, such as loss of devotee benefaction thus loss of alms food or shelter, etc, or loss of physical health; or loss of disciples.

AN 8.61 is specifically on the topic of the material gains (lābho) of monks. AN 8.61 says:

First, when a mendicant stays secluded, living independently, a desire arises for material possessions. They try hard, strive, and make an effort to get them. But material possessions don’t come to them. And so they sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion because they don’t get those material possessions. This is called a mendicant who lives desiring material possessions. They try hard, strive, and make an effort to get them. But when possessions don’t come to them, they sorrow and lament. They’ve fallen from the true teaching.

Next, when a mendicant stays secluded, living independently, a desire arises for material possessions. They don’t try hard, strive, and make an effort to get them. But material possessions do come to them. But they don’t become indulgent and fall into negligence regarding those material possessions. This is called a mendicant who lives desiring material possessions. They don’t try hard, strive, and make an effort to get them. And when possessions come to them, they don’t become intoxicated and negligent. They haven’t fallen from the true teaching.

In both AN 8.6 & AN 8.61, the Pali word for (material) 'gain' or 'possession' here is 'lābha'. I guess if the gain was a mental gain, the Pali might be 'paṭilābha', such as in:

Monks, there are four acquisitions (paṭilābhā) of individual character (attabhāva):

(i) From one's own volition but not the volition of others;

(ii) From not one's own volition but from the volition of others;

(iii) From both one's own volition & from the volition of others;

(iv) Neither from both one's own volition nor from the volition of others.

AN 4.171

Paṭilābho, used in SN 55.1 about obtaining the four factors of stream-entry; AN 8.2 about obtaining the wisdom fundamental to the holy life; AN 4.171 about acquiring individual character;vMN 106 about obtaining equanimity; SN 42.8 about acquiring a view; Dhp 333 about acquisition/gaining of wisdom.

We can research more later, however the following sutta also seems to support my theory, where social & physical acquisitions are 'labha' and where the mental acquisition of faith is 'paṭilabha'.

But what of the unsurpassable acquisition?

Lābhānuttariyañca kathaṁ hoti?

Some people acquire a child, a wife, wealth, or a diverse spectrum of things; or they acquire faith in an ascetic or brahmin of wrong view and wrong practice.

Idha, bhikkhave, ekacco puttalābhampi labhati, dāralābhampi labhati, dhanalābhampi labhati, uccāvacaṁ vā pana lābhaṁ labhati, samaṇe vā brāhmaṇe vā micchādiṭṭhike micchāpaṭipanne saddhaṁ paṭilabhati.

There is such an acquisition, I don’t deny it.

Attheso, bhikkhave, lābho; neso natthīti vadāmi.

That acquisition … doesn’t lead to extinguishment.

So ca kho eso, bhikkhave, lābho hīno gammo pothujjaniko anariyo anatthasaṁhito, na nibbidāya na virāgāya na nirodhāya na upasamāya na abhiññāya na sambodhāya na nibbānāya saṁvattati.

The unsurpassable acquisition is when someone with settled faith and love, sure and devoted, acquires faith in a Realized One or their disciple. …

Yo ca kho, bhikkhave, tathāgate vā tathāgatasāvake vā saddhaṁ paṭilabhati niviṭṭhasaddho niviṭṭhapemo ekantagato abhippasanno, etadānuttariyaṁ, bhikkhave, lābhānaṁ sattānaṁ visuddhiyā sokaparidevānaṁ samatikkamāya dukkhadomanassānaṁ atthaṅgamāya ñāyassa adhigamāya nibbānassa sacchikiriyāya, yadidaṁ tathāgate vā tathāgatasāvake vā saddhaṁ paṭilabhati niviṭṭhasaddho niviṭṭhapemo ekantagato abhippasanno.

AN 6.30

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