terryshine wrote:Could you please confirm that what you are saying here is - that it is not necessary to have previous rebirth knowledge to attain stream entry but it is necessary to have knowledge of rebirth in the future, to attain stream entry?
Secondly, what if one has no views or interest in past lives or future rebirth. Is such a person excluded from attaining?
It is unnecessary to have knowledge of past or future existences to attain Stream-winning. To gain such knowledge requires the meditator to be an adept in attaining the jhānas.
If one has studied Buddhism for forty years, is it possible to hold no views on rebirth? Someone new to the Dhamma might be expected to have no views about something he or she has never even thought about, but clearly you have read many books on Buddhism and listened to numerous Dhamma talks. The Brahman householder of Sāla, to whom the Buddha taught the Apaṇṇaka Sutta (MN60)
were new to the teaching. You are not, so I would expect you to have formed a view by now — hopefully one that is open to further inquiry.
Holding the fixed view that rebirth does not occur after death, that there are no other realms of existence, and that there are no recluses like the Buddha who can know such things, is a wrong view of Annihilationism that obstructs realisation and definitely leads to hell.
As it says in the Mahāsīhanāda Sutta
regarding the evil-minded bhikkhu, Sunakkhatta who claimed that the Buddha had no psychic powers:
Mahāsīhanāda Sutta (MN12) wrote:“Sāriputta, when I know and see thus, should anyone say of me: ‘The recluse Gotama does not have any superhuman states, any distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones. The recluse Gotama teaches a Dhamma (merely) hammered out by reasoning, following his own line of inquiry as it occurs to him’ — unless he abandons that assertion and that state of mind and relinquishes that view, then as (surely as if he had been) carried off and put there he will wind up in hell. Just as a bhikkhu possessed of virtue, concentration and wisdom would here and now enjoy final knowledge, so it will happen in this case, I say, that unless he abandons that assertion and that state of mind and relinquishes that view, then as (surely as if he had been) carried off and put there he will wind up in hell.”