Entering the stream

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Element

Re: Entering the stream

Post by Element »

Dhammanando wrote:(Puggalapaññatti 16-17; Dutiyasikkhasutta AN. i. 232-3)
Thank you Dhammanando

Sounds like talk for encouragement from the "basket" called the suttas.

If one was a stream enterer, they would not consider "I" will have seven more lives.

A stream-enter would have supramundane right view, as expressed below:

"When a disciple of the noble ones has seen well with right discernment this dependent co-arising & these dependently co-arisen phenomena as they have come to be, it is not possible that he would run after the past, thinking, 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past?' or that he would run after the future, thinking, 'Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' or that he would be inwardly perplexed about the immediate present, thinking, 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?' Such a thing is not possible. Why is that? Because the disciple of the noble ones has seen well with right discernment this dependent co-arising & these dependently co-arisen phenomena as they have come to be."

[EDIT: off-topic picture removed - retro.]
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Dhammanando
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Re: Entering the stream

Post by Dhammanando »

Hi Element,
Element wrote:If one was a stream enterer, they would not consider "I" will have seven more lives.

A stream-enter would have supramundane right view, as expressed below:

"When a disciple of the noble ones has seen well with right discernment this dependent co-arising & these dependently co-arisen phenomena as they have come to be, it is not possible that he would run after the past, thinking, 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past?' or that he would run after the future, thinking, 'Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' or that he would be inwardly perplexed about the immediate present, thinking, 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?' Such a thing is not possible. Why is that? Because the disciple of the noble ones has seen well with right discernment this dependent co-arising & these dependently co-arisen phenomena as they have come to be."
This passage is describing the absence of the fetter of doubt in a noble disciple and the impossibility of his falling into eternalism or annihilationism.

It does not mean that a sotāpanna does not think at all about past or future lives.

Nor, does it have any bearing on the question of what the Buddha meant by such phrases as "seven times at the most" or "not coming to an eighth existence."

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta
Element

Re: Entering the stream

Post by Element »

Dhammanando wrote:It does not mean that a sotāpanna does not think at all about past or future lives.
Dhammanando

What you have stated clearly contradicts the quote, which states: "Not running after the past" or "running into the future".

One seeking stream entry or arahantship should abandon all existential thoughts about the future.

Buddha has declared this is many suttas, most notably MN 131.
He who sees the present dhammas just as they are
Is unshakeable, immovable & secure
They should accumulate such moments
Let one not trace back the past
Or yearn for the future-yet-to-come.
That which is past is left behind
Unattained is the "yet-to-come."
But that which is present he discerns —
With insight as and when it comes.
The Immovable — the-non-irritable.
In that state should the wise one grow
Today itself should one bestir
Tomorrow death may come — who knows?

MN 131
Last edited by Element on Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Element

Re: Entering the stream

Post by Element »

Dhammanando wrote:Nor does it have any bearing on the question of what the Buddha meant by such phrases as "seven times at the most" or "not coming to an eighth existence."
Element is guiding truely, for those interested in stream entry. However, it is wonderful to see a Bhikkhu bestowing faith & morality as equity. :P
And what, monks, is the power of benevolence? There are four ways of benevolence; by gifts, by friendly speech, by helpful acts and by bestowal of equity. This is the best of gifts: the gift of Dhamma. And this is the best of friendly speech: to teach again and again Dhamma to those who wish for it and who listen attentively. And this is the best of helpful acts: to arouse, instil and strengthen faith in the unbeliever; to arouse, instil and strengthen virtue in the immoral; to arouse, instil and strengthen generosity in the niggard; to arouse, instil and strengthen wisdom in the unwise. And this is the best bestowal of equity: if a stream-winner becomes equal to a stream-winner; a once-returner equal to a once-returner; a non-returner equal to a non-returner; and an arahant equal to an arahant. This, monks, is called the power of benevolence.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tml#book-9" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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mikenz66
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Re: Entering the stream

Post by mikenz66 »

Hi Element,
Element wrote:
Dhammanando wrote:It does not mean that a sotāpanna does not think at all about past or future lives.
Dhammanando

What you have stated clearly contradicts the quote, which states: "Not running after the past" or "running into the future".
You seem to omitting the problems of the present. The Sutta you quoted, as well as MN131, which you also quoted, warns about creating an "I" out of the past, future or present.
"Was I in the past? ... Shall I be in the future? ... or that he would be inwardly perplexed about the immediate present, thinking, 'Am I? ..."
Metta
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Entering the stream

Post by Ceisiwr »

I think it means that one will not have doubts about past future and also will have no need to look towards past or future.
"Analysis and synthesis are praised by the wise,
liberation in the Sāsana comes from analysis and synthesis;
the purpose of the method of analysis and synthesis is the ultimate"


Nāmarūpapariccheda
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Dhammanando
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Re: Entering the stream

Post by Dhammanando »

Hi Element,
Element wrote:
Dhammanando wrote:It does not mean that a sotāpanna does not think at all about past or future lives.
Dhammanando

What you have stated clearly contradicts the quote, which states: "Not running after the past" or "running into the future".
What I stated accords with the commentarial understanding of the quote, which is what this Classical Theravada Forum is concerned with. (If you have no interest in this, then it would be better for all of us that you stop posting here, as your posts will merely serve to distract from the sub-forum's proper focus). But even if there were no commentary, it still would not prove that my take on the passage is wrong. It would merely mean that we would have no criterion to decide what the scope of the word "running" is. We wouldn't know whether it encompasses any directing of one's mind to the past and future or just certain modes of directing the mind.
One seeking stream entry or arahantship should abandon all existential thoughts about the future.
You have mistaken an 'is' for an 'ought'. The sutta says that noble disciples do not... It doesn't say that worldlings should not... In fact worldings will..., since they are still fettered by doubt (vicikicchā). The abandoning of doubt requires the development of insight, but insight isn't developed by any contrived adherence to a supposed imperative not to think about past and future.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta
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cooran
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Re: Entering the stream

Post by cooran »

Dhammanando wrote:Hi Craig,
clw_uk wrote:We all know that it is said that when one becomes a stream-winner that they are certain to attain nibbana in no less than seven lives. How is this possible though? If one dies and is reborn then they would have forgotten all the teachings, practice etc in the past existence so wouldnt they be starting again from scratch?
One wouldn't be starting from scratch because the fetters abandoned in the life when stream-entry is attained remain abandoned throughout whatever subsequent lives remain. One wouldn't, for example, be able to fall into wrong view.

Also, although it is theoretically possible for a stream-enterer to be reborn as a human being, there don't seem to be any accounts of this happening in Pali literature. All the stream-enterers who fail to attain arahatta in the same life are reported to have been reborn in one or another of the heavenly realms. Being reborn in such places they have a perfect recall of their former life, and of the teachings, practice etc. that they had learned.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
Hello Ajahn,

I wasn't aware that those who have attained the status of stream-enterer and nothing further before they die are not likely to be born again in the human realm. Interesting.

I recall a comment in Sutta study with Bhante Dhammasiha a few weeks back, where (my recall - possibly incomplete) it was stated that the attainment of Stream Entry was not the 'walk in the park' many people thought it was ~ in fact, as Arahantship followed in no more than 7 rebecomings after Stream Entry, and as we have been Wandering-On through Beginningless Time, it follows that Stream Entry is the most difficult achievement of all. A little depressing for those of us still suffering from attraction to worldly activities and wandering-mind in meditation. :(

metta and respect,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Dhammanando
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Re: Entering the stream

Post by Dhammanando »

Dear Chris,
Chris wrote:I wasn't aware that those who have attained the status of stream-enterer and nothing further before they die are not likely to be born again in the human realm. Interesting.
Well, I really don't know whether it's likely or unlikely. It's just that I've never come across any accounts of it happening in the Pali texts, and nor have any of the more learned monks whom I've asked about it. But we shouldn't read too much into that, for even in the case of the sotapannas reborn as devas, the accounts are rather few in number and in most cases they only get their names in the books because they came back to visit the Buddha after death, or because they had been unusually close to him in their human life, or because their progress happens to make an unusually edifying (or unusually entertaining) story.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta
amrit
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Re: Entering the stream

Post by amrit »

As far as I can see you're all entangled in a great tangle, and too far away from attaining at least the first jhana. :cry: Don't waste your time arguing with each other. Not many people have courage and luck to become Theravada Buddhist Monk. A rare chance. Keep aside everything. your heads burning in fire. Hurry yourselves to extinguish it...!!!
Heavenstorm
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Re: Entering the stream

Post by Heavenstorm »

amrit wrote:As far as I can see you're all entangled in a great tangle, and too far away from attaining at least the first jhana. :cry:
Except that one can enter the stream without Jhanas, even the some hardcore Theravadins will agree that access concentration is enough for the entry and at that instance, supermundane Jhana will arise along with knowledges or discernments on the characteristics of the four Noble Truths and the end of the first three fetters.
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cooran
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Re: Entering the stream

Post by cooran »

Hello amrit, HeavenStorm,all,

I think I've posted this somewhere here already.
The Jhānas and the Lay Disciple According to the Pāli Suttas ~ Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
http://mail.saigon.com/~anson/ebud/ebdha267.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Dhammanando
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Re: Entering the stream

Post by Dhammanando »

Hi Amrit,

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel. I hope you'll benefit from your stay here. In the meantime I should like to ask you to please read the terms of service before posting again. The Classical Theravada Forum is not a suitable venue for delivering homilies.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
amrit wrote:As far as I can see you're all entangled in a great tangle, and too far away from attaining at least the first jhana. :cry: Don't waste your time arguing with each other. Not many people have courage and luck to become Theravada Buddhist Monk. A rare chance. Keep aside everything. your heads burning in fire. Hurry yourselves to extinguish it...!!!
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta
Heavenstorm
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Re: Entering the stream

Post by Heavenstorm »

Chris wrote: I think I've posted this somewhere here already.
The Jhānas and the Lay Disciple According to the Pāli Suttas ~ Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
http://mail.saigon.com/~anson/ebud/ebdha267.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Thanks for the articles, it confirms my previous guess that practitioners don't require any forms of Jhanas to enter into Stream enterer and once returner.

The article goes on to suggest that a first jhana is required to attain the stage of non returner. I have doubts on that claim given the fact that in the Buddha's discourse in Satipatthana Sutta entitled "The Discourse on the Arousing of Mindfulness". Never did He once mention about Jhanas in it and yes, concentration as a factor of enlightenment was mentioned but whether that equates to Jhana remains to be seen.

Furthermore, its mentioned in abhidharma that to be reborn in a fourth dhyana heaven, one require to cultivate a level of concentration reaching the same, that is the fourth jhana. Given the fact that the non returners dwells in the pure abodes which are among the fourth dhyana heavens, its rather strange that article suggested the first jhana as a requirement for attaining non returners since it would not be enough for the aryans to get rebirth in pure abodes. So, the likely alternative is that either the fourth jhana is the true requirement for attaining anagamis or that the supramundane jhana, which comes with the attainment of anagamis, is equivalent to the fourth jhana in quality and characteristics.

I tend to believe in the latter given a host of reasons like the one mentioned earlier (Satipatthana Sutta discourse), possibility of the existence of "dry insight" Arahants and Arahants that only attains the first form Jhana, etc.

What do you guys think?
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Dhammanando
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Re: Entering the stream

Post by Dhammanando »

Hi Heavenstorm,
Heavenstorm wrote:Furthermore, its mentioned in abhidharma that to be reborn in a fourth dhyana heaven, one require to cultivate a level of concentration reaching the same, that is the fourth jhana. Given the fact that the non returners dwells in the pure abodes which are among the fourth dhyana heavens, its rather strange that article suggested the first jhana as a requirement for attaining non returners since it would not be enough for the aryans to get rebirth in pure abodes. So, the likely alternative is that either the fourth jhana is the true requirement for attaining anagamis or that the supramundane jhana, which comes with the attainment of anagamis, is equivalent to the fourth jhana in quality and characteristics.

I tend to believe in the latter given a host of reasons like the one mentioned earlier (Satipatthana Sutta discourse), possibility of the existence of "dry insight" Arahants and Arahants that only attains the first form Jhana, etc.

What do you guys think?
1. As with all the ariyan paths and fruits, the supramundane jhāna at the moment of attaining the path and fruit of non-returning may be at the level of any of the five jhānas.
2. The fact that non-returners are reborn in the Suddhāvāsas is due to their eradication of all the causes for rebirth in the Kāmaloka, but their non-eradication of attachment to the refined material and immaterial spheres.
3. The level of Suddhāvāsa in which a non-returner is reborn is conditioned by his/her development of mundane jhāna in the case of those who have done this.
4. In the case of those who haven't (the bare insight workers), the level will be the lowest, i.e., the Avihā Suddhāvāsa.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta
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