How common is stream entry?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Ben » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:17 am

Hi Ian,

IanAnd wrote:Yes, I think doubt is definitely one of the factors a sotapanna has to overcome along with the acknowledgment about the delusion of selfhood. Having these two in place helps to bring about a rational ending to clinging to rituals (the adherence to rules and observances) as this was, after all, Gotama's response to the emptiness of Brahminism's ritualistic practice of his day as it would have, in his opinion, little effect on the empirical practice that he was endeavoring to teach and make known. When a person understands all these factors and has made a personal inner commitment to the practice, not just because it "sounds nice," but because it makes sense and has made an indelible impression on his mind, then I think we give him (or her) a break and let him acknowledge to himself, at least, this achievement. No need to make a big deal about this by announcing it all over the place. The people who know this person will see it reflected in the way he lives his life


How about having glimpsed nibbana and living a life of pure sila?
What you seem to be advocating above looks to me like the definition of the cula-sotapanna.
kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15964
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Zom » Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:18 am

Despite all the varieties of definitions of sotapanna floating around in this and other threads, it seems possible that the Buddha (as opposed to the institutions that grew up around his teachings after his parinibbana and which began to categorize and doctrine-ize them) may have had a more simplified view of what reaching stream entry was about. I don't have any particular sutta passages in mind, just an overall abiding impression from the discourses that he wasn't as much of a stickler about this as some in the present day would have it.


Here is a sutta passage:

"Why, Mahaanaama, if these great sal trees could distinguish what is well spoken from what is ill spoken, I would proclaim these great sal trees to be Stream-Winners... bound for enlightenment, how much more so then Sarakaani the Sakyan! Mahaanaama, Sarakaani the Sakyan fulfilled the training at the time of death."

(http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html)

PS, by the way, no sutta says about "sotapanna's glimpse of nibbana".
User avatar
Zom
 
Posts: 790
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby legolas » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:25 pm

Zom wrote:
Despite all the varieties of definitions of sotapanna floating around in this and other threads, it seems possible that the Buddha (as opposed to the institutions that grew up around his teachings after his parinibbana and which began to categorize and doctrine-ize them) may have had a more simplified view of what reaching stream entry was about. I don't have any particular sutta passages in mind, just an overall abiding impression from the discourses that he wasn't as much of a stickler about this as some in the present day would have it.


Here is a sutta passage:

"Why, Mahaanaama, if these great sal trees could distinguish what is well spoken from what is ill spoken, I would proclaim these great sal trees to be Stream-Winners... bound for enlightenment, how much more so then Sarakaani the Sakyan! Mahaanaama, Sarakaani the Sakyan fulfilled the training at the time of death."

(http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html)

PS, by the way, no sutta says about "sotapanna's glimpse of nibbana".


:clap:
It really does seem that stream entry is possible for every reasonably moral person who listens to the Dhamma and acquires right view. Right view is never portrayed as a "FLASH" moment but as what it says, a Right VIEW or WAY or UNDERSTANDING of the way the world is.That is with craving as condition etc. This view will gradually govern a persons actions in a more & more complete way. The "FLASHES" would probably come later. :buddha1:
User avatar
legolas
 
Posts: 235
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:58 am

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Zom » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:05 pm

Actually there may be a flash when entering a stream of Dhamma. But this is not some mystic experience, but, indeed, perhaps this is just right understaning, like: "aaah, that is how it is!". This may happen listening to someone's sermon, or reading a book or an article. It is said that 2 conditions are necessary: - words of another, - appropriate attention (by the way, for wrong view to arise, also 2 needed - words of another and not-appropriate attention (ayoniso manasikara)).

Yesterday I also found interestin sutta that proves that no jhana needed to gain stream-entry:

Saradasutta - Autumn

Bhikkhus, in Autumn when there is a clear sky, without a single cloud and the sun rising high up in the sky destroys all the darkness and burns and scorches every thing. In the same manner to the noble disciple there arises the eye of the Teaching and together with that arising, three bonds get dispelled, the view of a self, doubts and taking virtues as the ultimate end of the holy life. After that the leading is by covetousness and hatred. He secluding the mind from sensual and demeritorious thoughts, with thoughts and thought processes and with joy and pleasantness born of seclusion abides in the first jhana. If the noble disciple dies at that time he has no bonds on account of which he is to be born in this world .

(pali original - http://studies.worldtipitaka.org/tipita ... /2.5/2.5.3)

That means, at first you enter the stream, and then only 2 major defilements remain - greed and aversion. Then, if you enter 1 jhana (as this sutta says), you will gain path to non-returning. So if you die, possessing this 1st jhana, you will be anagami.
User avatar
Zom
 
Posts: 790
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby acinteyyo » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:45 pm

Zom wrote:Actually there may be a flash when entering a stream of Dhamma. But this is not some mystic experience, but, indeed, perhaps this is just right understaning, like: "aaah, that is how it is!". This may happen listening to someone's sermon, or reading a book or an article. It is said that 2 conditions are necessary: - words of another, - appropriate attention (by the way, for wrong view to arise, also 2 needed - words of another and not-appropriate attention (ayoniso manasikara)).

Yesterday I also found interestin sutta that proves that no jhana needed to gain stream-entry:

Saradasutta - Autumn

Bhikkhus, in Autumn when there is a clear sky, without a single cloud and the sun rising high up in the sky destroys all the darkness and burns and scorches every thing. In the same manner to the noble disciple there arises the eye of the Teaching and together with that arising, three bonds get dispelled, the view of a self, doubts and taking virtues as the ultimate end of the holy life. After that the leading is by covetousness and hatred. He secluding the mind from sensual and demeritorious thoughts, with thoughts and thought processes and with joy and pleasantness born of seclusion abides in the first jhana. If the noble disciple dies at that time he has no bonds on account of which he is to be born in this world .

(pali original - http://studies.worldtipitaka.org/tipita ... /2.5/2.5.3)

That means, at first you enter the stream, and then only 2 major defilements remain - greed and aversion. Then, if you enter 1 jhana (as this sutta says), you will gain path to non-returning. So if you die, possessing this 1st jhana, you will be anagami.

quite interesting post... :thanks: Zom
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
User avatar
acinteyyo
 
Posts: 994
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Neuburg/Donau, Germany

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby IanAnd » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:41 pm

Ben wrote:
IanAnd wrote:Yes, I think doubt is definitely one of the factors a sotapanna has to overcome along with the acknowledgment about the delusion of selfhood. Having these two in place helps to bring about a rational ending to clinging to rituals (the adherence to rules and observances) as this was, after all, Gotama's response to the emptiness of Brahminism's ritualistic practice of his day as it would have, in his opinion, little effect on the empirical practice that he was endeavoring to teach and make known. When a person understands all these factors and has made a personal inner commitment to the practice, not just because it "sounds nice," but because it makes sense and has made an indelible impression on his mind, then I think we give him (or her) a break and let him acknowledge to himself, at least, this achievement. No need to make a big deal about this by announcing it all over the place. The people who know this person will see it reflected in the way he lives his life


How about having glimpsed nibbana and living a life of pure sila?

Was there any mention of negating this in what I wrote? If so, please show me where it was. (I'm nothing if not for expanding the definition a bit, within reason, of course.)

Ben wrote:What you seem to be advocating above looks to me like the definition of the cula-sotapanna.

You mis-comprehend, then. What idea is it that you accept as defining a cula-sotapanna? (Personally, I find the intitutionalized labels more trouble dealing with than they are worth.)
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
User avatar
IanAnd
 
Posts: 399
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:19 am
Location: the deserts of Arizona

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:35 pm

IanAnd wrote:I find the intitutionalized labels more trouble dealing with than they are worth.)
And you mean by this what?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19209
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby IanAnd » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:30 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
IanAnd wrote:I find the intitutionalized labels more trouble dealing with than they are worth.)
And you mean by this what?

Do you really want to ask that question? And if so, who really cares what is meant.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
User avatar
IanAnd
 
Posts: 399
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:19 am
Location: the deserts of Arizona

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:35 pm

IanAnd wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
IanAnd wrote:I find the intitutionalized labels more trouble dealing with than they are worth.)
And you mean by this what?

Do you really want to ask that question? And if so, who really cares what is meant.
Obviously, I do; otherwise, I would not have asked. You made the statement and what is meant by it is not at all clear.

intitutionalized labels Are you talking about the suttas, the commentaries, or something else all together? Damdifino, so I ask.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19209
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby IanAnd » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:50 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
IanAnd wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:And you mean by this what?

Do you really want to ask that question? And if so, who really cares what is meant.
Obviously, I do; otherwise, I would not have asked. You made the statement and what is meant by it is not at all clear.

intitutionalized labels Are you talking about the suttas, the commentaries, or something else all together? Damdifino, so I ask.

Okay. Labels created by religious institutions such as Theravada, Mahayana, Zen, Tibetan Vajrayana, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Islam, Jewish, Hindu you name it et al.

Institutional labels are in many cases these days (as in the past) used to first politically divide and then to categorize/differentiate people from one another who are otherwise of good faith. Not everyone uses them this way, but if you look at how they've been used down through history, we have the Catholic Inquisition, the Salem Witch trials, and the Mahayana/Hinayana controversy to name but a few. In more recent history, there are the state-run (meaning those that are officially backed, controlled, and condoned by the political regimes in those countries) religions of "Buddhism" in Thailand and Burma/Myanmar.

In terms of how this might affect those undertaking the practice and study of the Dhamma, such labels, when misused and/or misunderstood, can create sankharas in the mind by bating people into games of spiritual "oneupmanship" or what-have-you via namarupa (name-and-form), especially in those who are not yet knowledgeable enough about the Dhamma and able to halt these processes before giving way to them and to figure out the original definition and intent of such labels.
Last edited by IanAnd on Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
User avatar
IanAnd
 
Posts: 399
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:19 am
Location: the deserts of Arizona

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:55 pm

IanAnd wrote:Okay. Labels created by religious institutions such as Theravada, Mahayana, Zen, Tibetan Vajrayana et al.
Still not clear. So, feeling like a dentist here, in the context of this forum, are we talking about what? A label such as streamwinner? As maybe outlined in the suttas? If such a label is a problem, why?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19209
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:54 pm

I like Shinzen Youngs comments on stream entry at buddhist geeks:

The salient feature that is characteristic of enlightenment that’s independent of the tradition, whether it’s Christian, Buddhist, Moslem, Hindu, Sikh, Native, Atheist, etc.—the common denominator is that “shift in perception of I-amness”. However, depending on a person’s background, and also how a person interprets the experience, the language that’s used to describe what is realized may be very different.


http://www.buddhistgeeks.com/2010/06/on ... zen-young/
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
User avatar
m0rl0ck
 
Posts: 972
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:51 am

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Kenshou » Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:16 pm

Eh, I feel like that's trying a little too hard to find a common ground that may not even exist.
Kenshou
 
Posts: 1029
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby lojong1 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:02 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:the common denominator is that “shift in perception of I-amness”

Yep, that's there.

However, depending on a person’s background, and also how a person interprets the experience, the language that’s used to describe what is realized may be very different.

No doubt, just as two people 'cutting the cheese' may use different language to describe their realizations, depending on their backgrounds and how they interpret the experience.
lojong1
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:59 am

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby dhammapal » Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:45 am

One bhavana center leader cited a canonical story that during the Buddha’s time there were seven crores (seventy million) of stream-enterers in Savatthi and five crores of them were laymen.
From: The Buddhist Revival in Sri Lanka by George D. Bond
dhammapal
 
Posts: 649
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:23 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:49 am

dhammapal wrote:
One bhavana center leader cited a canonical story that during the Buddha’s time there were seven crores (seventy million) of stream-enterers in Savatthi and five crores of them were laymen.
From: The Buddhist Revival in Sri Lanka by George D. Bond
Those kind of numbers are indicative of later commentaries (and the Mahayana).
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19209
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby BuddhiHermit » Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:05 pm

My experience suggests that close to 10% of the population have experienced stream entry where that is defined as a Transpersonal experience. (Can we avoid getting bogged down in detailed proscriptions and definitions?)

Perhaps 2% of those have any idea of what it's about. The rest try and forget it, as it just complicates an already difficult life.

1% or less, try to build on the experience.

Knowing this makes minimal difference to one's progress along the Way.

On the other hand, isn't it wonderful, just BEING a Stream enterer, or maybe an Arahant.

The only problem I have found, is that the moisture from the stream tends to dissolve the adhesive of those Gold or red or blue stickers, - but if you look carefully, you can still see where they have been. :sage:
BuddhiHermit
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:24 pm

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby PeterB » Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:12 pm

Remind me Buddhihermit, are you the same guy that says he can change traffic lights by will ?
PeterB
 
Posts: 3904
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby PeterB » Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:44 pm

PeterB wrote:Remind me Buddhihermit, are you the same guy that says he can change traffic lights by will ?

The same person who claimed on ZFI to be able to do so by mental powers ?
PeterB
 
Posts: 3904
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby BuddhiHermit » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:05 pm

Peter,
I really thought you might have gone back and actually read what I wrote, but then you couldn't have quite as much fun as you seem to be having - Twice.
BuddhiHermit
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:24 pm

PreviousNext

Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 10 guests