@R1111, I am sorry that the discussion turned a little personal and at times a little sour as well, and the feelings are hurt
How this discussion turned out to be: It is a reminder to all of us, that we have lot more things to achieve, a lot more things to learn, both in our spiritual progress and in our lives, is it not?
R1111 wrote: What it boils down to actually is that the Buddha never proclaimed that it is impossible, there are six things that are truly impossible for a Sotapanna to do according to the Tipitaka. Like it or not that is what has been proclaimed as impossible, that which cannot happen. Everything else by direct implication can happen, it is possible, not impossible. This is basic logic.
He did not say with same words that it is impossible as with the six things, in that you are right. However, the five precepts are used as a benchmark (among other things) to test oneself, to test oneself to have attained the Sotapana state or not, according to the AN 5.179. The choice of words (in pali) to describe the situation is interesting and of utmost importance. (a wonderful comparative translation here >>
My current understanding about it is:
A sotapana would look at the five precepts from a view point not available for an ordinary person (of being attained such high mental state), so that, the "restrain" is automatic, or rather it is "restrained by way of reasoning". It is restrained because he do not have the first two fretters, sakkhaya dhitti (self view? better not to have translated that word either!) and vicikicci (doubt on the path, doubt on Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha), which automatically leads to a rapid reasoning away from committing anything to break the five precepts.
So for a Sotapana, it is crystal clear that there is no gain (and in fact a loss) in breaking a precept. And a Sotapana dwells in a happiness here and now ( about his understanding of the world and realization of the truth, he rejoices in the qualities of the Buddha Dhamma and Sangha), which implicitly makes it breaking a precept "a paradox"!, there is no happiness or advantage he gains by breaking one.
...Also think about implications of me being right and how many people blocked themselves from heavenly rebirth and path realization just by denouncing Ven. Nanavira. According to the commentary anyways.
Not aware of what Ven. Nanavira said and what all that is about, but about our discussion here with regard to the OP:
Have you considered the implication of us being wrong (in thinking a Sotapana can break 5 precepts)? we might wrongly estimate our progress in the path (if we think a Sotapana can break the 5 precepts), which might be counter productive, and even may be illusive.
But consider the other side, say we accept the view a Sotapana cannot break the 5 precepts, only thing can happen is that we may achieve a higher goal than what we think of what we have achieved!,
compared to the other alternative..., I would rather test myself when I cannot break any of the 5 precepts by way of automatic reasoning!