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Criteria for once-returner and non-returner

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:59 pm
by fivebells
According to Wikipedia, once-returners are characterized by attenuation of sensuality and ill-will. It's not specific on what the level of attenuation is.

Is it that a once-returner has recognized that sensuality and ill-will are the central problems which can be addressed by the malleability of mind afforded by stream-entry, and has committed to eradicating them, at which point they are non-returners? Much like a stream-entrant has rejected self-view but still experiences becoming and birth, and becomes an arahant when that is eradicated?

Re: Criteria for once-returner and non-returner

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:36 am
by cooran
Please read these three pages - it will help to clarify:

Qualities of Ariya Persons
http://www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/ariyas4.htm

Ariyas Noble Persons
http://www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/mtinmon4.htm

From Puttajhana to Buddha
http://www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/ariyacht.htm

With metta
Chris

Re: Criteria for once-returner and non-returner

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:41 am
by retrofuturist
Greetings,
fivebells wrote:According to Wikipedia, once-returners are characterized by attenuation of sensuality and ill-will. It's not specific on what the level of attenuation is.
Apologies that the specifics are lost to my mind, but I believe a scholar (Gombrich, perhaps?) suggested that these two are differentiated in order to correlate to (and thus contrast with) a prevailing four-stage Vedic framework.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: Criteria for once-returner and non-returner

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:09 am
by fivebells
retrofuturist: Thanks, that's an interesting idea.

Re: Criteria for once-returner and non-returner

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:40 am
by lyndon taylor
I don't think you'll know for sure if you're a non returner till you don't return, It seems to me these criteria are rough estimations not intended to be taken literally all the time.

Re: Criteria for once-returner and non-returner

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:12 am
by IanAnd
lyndon taylor wrote:I don't think you'll know for sure if you're a non returner till you don't return, It seems to me these criteria are rough estimations not intended to be taken literally all the time.
Yes, the second comment is true of many things espoused by those of a persuasion.

With regard to the former comment, the process of returning is caused by a moment of desire for re-existence. If that desire has been cooled (or extinguished) it is likely one will KNOW this beforehand. Hence, non-returner. If one is a non-returner, he generally KNOWS such beforehand.

Re: Criteria for once-returner and non-returner

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:06 am
by Aloka
IanAnd wrote:
With regard to the former comment, the process of returning is caused by a moment of desire for re-existence. If that desire has been cooled (or extinguished) it is likely one will KNOW this beforehand. Hence, non-returner. If one is a non-returner, he generally KNOWS such beforehand.
So according to this reasoning, does that mean that anyone who is a practising Buddhist who knowingly has no desire for re-existence/rebirth (or for sensuality) is an Anagami ?

With kind wishes,

Aloka

Re: Criteria for once-returner and non-returner

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:44 am
by Zom
Is it that a once-returner has recognized that sensuality and ill-will are the central problems which can be addressed by the malleability of mind afforded by stream-entry, and has committed to eradicating them, at which point they are non-returners? Much like a stream-entrant has rejected self-view but still experiences becoming and birth, and becomes an arahant when that is eradicated?
Practice for all of them is the same - cultivating factors of the Noble Eightfold Path, deminishing unwholesome qualities, increasing wholesome. No one can say "when" you reach or shift from this stage to that - this is all individual.

What is more - there are not 4 stages, but much more, if you look at it in detail. For example, there can be 3 types of stream-enteres, 5 types of non-returners, depending on the strength of their qualities. And hardly you can say when you move from 3rd non-returner level to 4th -)

“Bhikkhus, there are these five faculties. What five? The faculty of faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, wisdom. These are the five faculties.

1) “One, bhikkhus, who has completed and fulfilled these five faculties is an arahant.
2) If they are weaker than that, one is an attainer of Nibbāna in the interval; (non-returner №5)
3) if still weaker, an attainer of Nibbāna upon landing; (non-returner №4)
4) if still weaker, an attainer of Nibbāna without exertion; (non-returner №3)
5) if still weaker, an attainer of Nibbāna with exertion; (non-returner №2)
6) if still weaker, one who is bound upstream, heading towards the Akaniṭṭha realm; (non-returner №1)
7) if still weaker, a once-returner;
8) if still weaker, a one-seeder; (stream-enterer №3)
9) if still weaker, a clan-to-clanner; (stream-enterer №2)
10) if still weaker, a seven-lives-at-moster; (stream-enterer №1)
11) if still weaker, a Dhamma-follower; (that on the path to stream-entry №2)
12) if still weaker, a faith-follower (that on the path to stream-entry №1)

SN 48.24 - http://www.palicanon.org/index.php/sutt ... -faculties

Also compare with 48.18:

“Bhikkhus, there are these five faculties. What five? The faculty of faith … the faculty of wisdom. These are the five faculties.

1) “One who has completed and fulfilled these five faculties is an arahant.
2) If they are weaker than that, one is practising for the realization of the fruit of arahantship;
3) if still weaker, one is a nonreturner;
4) if still weaker, one is practising for the realization of the fruit of nonreturning;
5) if still weaker, one is a once-returner;
6) if still weaker, one is practising for the realization of the fruit of once-returning;
7) if still weaker, one is a stream-enterer;
8) if still weaker, one is practising for the realization of the fruit of stream-entry.
9) But, bhikkhus, I say that one in whom these five faculties are completely and totally absent is ‘an outsider, one who stands in the faction of worldlings.’


Also, according to AN 10.75, even in one category of all these mentioned (once-returner in the sutta) there can be difference in qualities. So these things are not black-and-white.