Path vs Fruit of stream-entry

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maranadhammomhi
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Path vs Fruit of stream-entry

Post by maranadhammomhi » Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:01 am

From what I have gathered there are two aspects to the attainment of stream-entry...Sotāpattimagga & Sotāpattiphala, the path & fruit. Of these, & similarly with other noble states, which is it that is impossible to fall back from? Which occurs along with the abandoning of the three lower fetters? What is the distinction? How does the former occur compared to the latter, in an experiential sense? As much clarification as possible is appreciated, I have wondered about this for sometime & as such can't recollect all of my questions & confusions regarding the issue.
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santa100
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Re: Path vs Fruit of stream-entry

Post by santa100 » Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:38 am

maranadhammomhi wrote:How does the former occur compared to the latter, in an experiential sense?
I'm not a Sotapanna and so won't be able to provide any info. in an "experiential" sense. But some conceptual info. from Ven. Bodhi's "Eightfold Path" might be useful:
8NP wrote:Insofar as they bind us to the round of becoming, the defilements are classified into a set of ten "fetters" (samyojana) as follows: (1) personality view, (2) doubt, (3) clinging to rules and rituals, (4) sensual desire, (5) aversion, (6) desire for fine-material existence, (7) desire for immaterial existence, (8) conceit, (9) restlessness, and (10) ignorance. The four supramundane paths each eliminate a certain layer of defilements. The first, the path of stream-entry (sotapatti-magga), cuts off the first three fetters, the coarsest of the set, eliminates them so they can never arise again. "Personality view" (sakkaya-ditthi), the view of a truly existent self in the five aggregates, is cut off since one sees the selfless nature of all phenomena. Doubt is eliminated because one has grasped the truth proclaimed by the Buddha, seen it for oneself, and so can never again hang back due to uncertainty. And clinging to rules and rites is removed since one knows that deliverance can be won only through the practice of the Eightfold Path, not through rigid moralism or ceremonial observances.

The path is followed immediately by another state of supramundane consciousness known as the fruit (phala), which results from the path's work of cutting off defilements. Each path is followed by its own fruit, wherein for a few moments the mind enjoys the blissful peace of Nibbana before descending again to the level of mundane consciousness. The first fruit is the fruit of stream-entry, and a person who has gone through the experience of this fruit becomes a "stream-enterer" (sotapanna). He has entered the stream of the Dhamma carrying him to final deliverance. He is bound for liberation and can no longer fall back into the ways of an unenlightened worldling. He still has certain defilements remaining in his mental makeup, and it may take him as long as seven more lives to arrive at the final goal, but he has acquired the essential realization needed to reach it, and there is no way he can fall away.

SarathW
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Re: Path vs Fruit of stream-entry

Post by SarathW » Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:42 am

Each path is followed by its own fruit, wherein for a few moments the mind enjoys the blissful peace of Nibbana before descending again to the level of mundane consciousness.
You attain the path only once and all subsequent mind moments are fruits.
It is important to note that there are few kinds of Sotapanna and Anagamis.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

perkele
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Re: Path vs Fruit of stream-entry

Post by perkele » Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:13 am

Hello maranadhammomhi!

I share your curiosity and have asked the very same questions recently, mainly triggred by this and this previous thread here.
I asked about these points in most detail in a German buddhist forum because the topic had come up in passing between two members there, and I received some partial and mostly speculative (or experiential but not theoretically clarified) answers.
A monk picked up and answered my questions here and here on this other forum/virtual monastery in some more definite partial detail (also in German).

I have still not gotten back to either of them. I am glad that you ask these questions here now in such precision so that I can try and gather, clarify (for myself) and share what answers I have received so far.
maranadhammomhi wrote:Of these, & similarly with other noble states, which is it that is impossible to fall back from?
It is my understanding that it is impossible to fall away from either. Once attained the path it is impossible to fall away from it, and one will attain the fruit at the latest at the end of the current lifetime (backed up by this sutta).
(I had misunderstood this message by Ven. Pesala here previously and misinterpreted it as meaning that one could still fall off from the path - which was the reason that I expressed my perplexion here and on the German buddhist forum. But actually Ven. Pesala had clearly said only that "One developing the path leading to Stream-winning could fall-back." - But one developing the path is of course different from someone who has attained the path. Just mentioning this so longwinded here in case you might have had similar confusions.)
maranadhammomhi wrote:Which occurs along with the abandoning of the three lower fetters?
It is my understanding that abandoning (or weakening, in the case of sakadagami) of fetters occurs only with fruition (phala). (According to what German (and Austrian) buddhists have said, and what I think I have also read previously at some point in the suttas.)
maranadhammomhi wrote:What is the distinction? How does the former occur compared to the latter, in an experiential sense?
According to a German buddhist and ex-monk here, the path moment is characterized by a clear comprehension/experience of the three characteristics (anicca, dukkha, anatta - or maybe only one of them), whereas the fruition moment is characterized by elimination of fetters.
However, I believe his understanding is not accurate, and he only related his experience and what he interpreted as magga and phala respectively, without knowing the clear definition and distinction.

According to this answer here by Ven. Johann (previously known as Hanzze or _hanzze in this forum, when he was still a layman) the path moment is "triggered" by some "complete coming together of all the path factors", which may occur most commonly while hearing the Dhamma and listening with appropriate attention (yoniso manasikara) and "having laid down the rod" (i.e. being humble(d) and respectful, and thus really receptive at that moment), if I understand correctly. And the fruition moment (at which the fetters are destroyed [or weakened in the case of sakadagami]) can occur directly afterwards or at some later point (at the latest at the moment of death) when there is strong and clear enough mindfulness and concentration to comprehend the three characteristics in full depth.

I believe, the above-quoted (by santa100) explanation by Bhikkhu Bohdhi (and others who claim that path and fruition must always occur directly after another without delay, or even equate the two)
8NP wrote:The four supramundane paths each eliminate a certain layer of defilements. The first, the path of stream-entry (sotapatti-magga), cuts off the first three fetters, the coarsest of the set, eliminates them so they can never arise again.
is in so far inaccurate that the wasting away of fetters occurs only at the moment of fruition. I believe I have read this explicitly in the suttas, but I don't know the reference now. And, as previously mentioned there is sutta support for the case that the fruition moment occurs delayed in relation to the path moment up until to the moment of death.

:anjali:

R1111
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Re: Path vs Fruit of stream-entry

Post by R1111 » Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:57 am

Distinction between Phala and Magga is that Magga exists in context of Samsara and 5 Aggregates, while Phala is cessation of conventional reality (Aggregates) and is thus not experienced by a person. What exists for the person is knowledge of Magga and Phala.

2600htz
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Re: Path vs Fruit of stream-entry

Post by 2600htz » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:43 pm

SarathW wrote:
Each path is followed by its own fruit, wherein for a few moments the mind enjoys the blissful peace of Nibbana before descending again to the level of mundane consciousness.
You attain the path only once and all subsequent mind moments are fruits.
It is important to note that there are few kinds of Sotapanna and Anagamis.

Hello:

If all subsequent mind moments are the fruit, why in the suttas they talk about "the 8 kinds of individuals" ? (AN 5.179).
Or why they talk about "stream-winners & those practicing to realize the fruit of stream-entry"? (Ud 5.5).

Regards.

SarathW
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Re: Path vs Fruit of stream-entry

Post by SarathW » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:42 am

There are:
Sotapanna fruit, Sakdhagame fruit, Anagami fruit and Arahant fruit etc.
Even if you observe the five precepts you immediately experience the fruits.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Maarten
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Re: Path vs Fruit of stream-entry

Post by Maarten » Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:26 pm

I can't quote any resources, but as I understand it there are special experiences that can occur as a result of the practice. In those experiences you learn something very deep about yourself. As a result of what you learned you will now start to change some of your views and habbits, you will condition yourself differently than before, until eventually those fetters will be gone.

The mind works through conditioning / brain washing you can't get any huge changes instantly.

So first you would be a worldling. Then you will have a special experience (path moment) then you will brainwash your newfound knowledge into yourself until the 3 fetters are gone (fruit)

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