To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

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new
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To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by new » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:16 pm

In Saṃyutta Nikāya 55:5 the Buddha says that one who possesses the Noble Eightfold Path is called a stream-enterer. What does it mean to possess the Noble Eightfold Path?

R1111
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Re: To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by R1111 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:03 pm

My version is that it simply means knowing the Path. Rather than knowing directions as one is instructed a Stream Winner has arrived at the Destination and knows the Path for himself. He has the Path in this sense while Non-Ariya has directions of another.
There is probably also some connection to having appropriated/internalized something and being unable to lose it.

As far as i know The Buddha never explained it in a Discourse but i havent read all of it.

Derek
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Re: To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by Derek » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:35 pm

Yo hi, bhante, iminā ariyena aṭṭhaṅgikena maggena samannāgato, ayaṃ vuccati sotāpanno.

The key word is samannāgato ("endowed with"), which is why iminā ariyena aṭṭhaṅgikena maggena ("this noble eightfold path") is instrumental.

The previous few lines equated the noble eightfold path with the stream. These final lines equate the stream-enterer with "one endowed with the noble eightfold path."

perkele
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Re: To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by perkele » Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:41 am

Derek wrote:The previous few lines equated the noble eightfold path with the stream. These final lines equate the stream-enterer with "one endowed with the noble eightfold path."
Is one "endowed with the path" really someone who has reached stream-entry? Or is it possibly someone still on the path to stream-entry? As there is apparently this distinction between path and fruit for all the "noble attainments", and there was the assertion here that one who is still on the path to stream-entry could still slip away from it (which I find a bit puzzling, because there are suttas like this where the Buddha speaks of a certain class of persons, who are "incapable of passing away until [they have] realized the fruit of stream-entry", which are, I think, otherwise identified as "faith followers" or "dhamma followers" respectively, and I thought would fall into and make up the category of those persons who are clearly and definitely on the path to stream-entry as belonging to the "four pairs" of noble persons).

Maybe it is just due to somewhat confusing terms, partially stemming from the suttas, and partially from commentaries and/or abhidhamma - that, according to the suttas, one "endowed with the path" is definitely a "complete" stream-enterer (who has already attained the "fruition" (phala) moment of stream-entry, and not only the "path" (magga) moment [I think these magga and phala moments are actually Abhidhamma terms and concepts]), whereas one "on the path (magga) to stream-entry" according to Abhidhamma terminology would then actually be someone who is "on the path to becoming 'one endowed with the path', i.e. becoming a stream-enterer". :?

Derek
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Re: To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by Derek » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:12 am

perkele wrote:Is one "endowed with the path" really someone who has reached stream-entry?
That was to some extent answered in the essay "What Is Stream-Entry?" that I linked to in the previous thread on this subject (the first link in your post). In brief, these "religious" definitions of stream-entry are a later teaching, and the path/fruit definitions are even later.

perkele
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Re: To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by perkele » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:28 am

Derek wrote:
perkele wrote:Is one "endowed with the path" really someone who has reached stream-entry?
That was to some extent answered in the essay "What Is Stream-Entry?" that I linked to in the previous thread on this subject (the first link in your post). In brief, these "religious" definitions of stream-entry are a later teaching, and the path/fruit definitions are even later.
Thanks for pointing out. Your advice and contributions in the topics here have all been very helpful and spot-on pertinent to the topics raised wherever I have seen so far. I appreciate that very much, and your essay on stream-entry is already on my reading list for when I find time for it. :anjali:
I have just raised related questions to the one brought up in the OP here and the previous topic on a German buddhist discussion board, mainly to find some answers what it is about with these path and fruition moments. (The German buddhists there were just expressing uncertainy regarding the question whether these "path" and "fruition" moments always occur in direct succession or not, and I sprinkled in and expanded upon the questions which I picked up from here.) Maybe your essay will be of help for me to elucidate some things more straightforwardly.
:thanks:

pegembara
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Re: To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by pegembara » Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:12 am

Here is a more direct description.
At Savatthi. "Monks, eye-consciousness is inconstant, changeable, alterable. Ear-consciousness... Nose-consciousness... Tongue-consciousness... Body-consciousness... Intellect-consciousness is inconstant, changeable, alterable.

"One who has conviction & belief that these phenomena are this way is called a faith-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.

"One who, after pondering with a modicum of discernment, has accepted that these phenomena are this way is called a Dhamma-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.

"One who knows and sees that these phenomena are this way is called a stream-enterer, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

SarathW
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Re: To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by SarathW » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:28 am

The way I understand when a person realises that this is the path and this is not, he become a Sotapanna.
There is at least three type of Sotapanna.
Once you have no doubt about the path you become a Saddhanusari or Dhammausari person.
Obviously, you have to start practicing. Observing five precepts are the first sign of this.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

vinasp
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Re: To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by vinasp » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:23 am

Hi new,

new said: - "What does it mean to possess the Noble Eightfold Path?"

It is never explained, because it cannot be explained in words.

The conceptual mind cannot grasp that which leads to the transcending of the conceptual mind.

That would be like the conceptual mind attempting to grasp conceptually the realm of the non-conceptual.

It is the arising of the non-conceptual mind, through which a unified state replaces the previous conceptual fragmentation.

"When all dhammas have been removed, all ways of speaking have also been removed."

Each of us has a non-conceptual mind which is prior to the conceptual mind, but we get stuck in the conceptual mind.

Regards, Vincent.

rajitha7
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Re: To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by rajitha7 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:45 am

Read this page. This has been tested and proven to work.

https://puredhamma.net/seeking-nibbana/ ... ha-anatta/
Unsurpassed is the Lord’s way of teaching the Dhamma concerning one’s proper moral conduct. One should be honest and faithful, without deception, chatter, hinting or belittling, not always ready to add gain to gain, but with the sense-doors guarded, moderate in food, a promoter of peace, observant, active and strenuous in effort, a meditator, mindful, with proper conversation, steady-going, resolute and sensible, not hankering after sense pleasures, but mindful and prudent. This is the unsurpassed teaching concerning a person’s proper ethical conduct. - Sampasādanīya, Dīgha Nikāya 28

paul
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Re: To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by paul » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:08 pm

Q: What does it mean to possess the Noble Eightfold Path?

A: It means at the time of stream entry there is a "change-of-lineage" where the preparatory work having been done, the mind rejects and turns away from the external, the path arises as a unity and the mind turns towards nibbana for the first time.

Derek
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Re: To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by Derek » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:36 pm

perkele wrote:Your advice and contributions in the topics here have all been very helpful and spot-on pertinent to the topics raised wherever I have seen so far.
Thank you.
perkele wrote:The German buddhists there were just expressing uncertainy regarding the question whether these "path" and "fruition" moments always occur in direct succession or not
Below are some extracts from the Visuddhimagga, chapter XXII, paragraphs 11, 14, and 15, on pages 703 and 704 of the Ñānamoli translation. They describes the final stages leading up to stream-entry, namely, change-of-lineage knowledge, path knowledge, and fruition knowledge:
And without pausing after the sign given by the change-of-lineage knowledge, the path follows upon it in uninterrupted continuity, and as it comes into being, it pierces and explodes the mass of greed, the mass of hate, and the mass of delusion, never pierced and exploded before.

And not only does it cause the piercing of this mass of greed, etc., but it also dries up the ocean of suffering of the round in the beginningless round of rebirths. It closes all doors to the states of loss. It provides actual experience of the seven noble treasures. It abandons the eightfold wrong path. It allays all enmity and fear. It leads to the state of the Fully Enlightened One’s breast-born
son. And it leads to the acquisition of many hundred other blessings. So it is the knowledge associated with the path of stream-entry, the provider of many hundred blessings, that is called knowledge of the path of stream-entry.

Immediately next to that knowledge, however, there arise either two or three fruition consciousnesses, which are its result.
For a contemporary description, here is Daniel Ingram on change-of-lineage knowledge, path knowledge, and fruition knowledge. These extracts are taken from Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha in the 2007 edition, chapter 24, pages 211 and 212:
13. Change of Lineage

Having understood things just as they are, this next stage, which also lasts for just a moment, “does the damage,” as a friend of mine joyfully put it. It permanently changes the minds of the meditators in ways that I will discuss in just a bit. They leave the ranks of the unenlightened and join the ranks of those that are. While the social designation of formal lineage transmission is a very useful thing to have received, the results of this stage are in fact what that symbolic act is all about. They have done it, and thus attain . . .

14. Path

This stage also lasts just a moment, and after the first completed progress of insight it marks the first moment of the newly awakened
being’s awakened life. The first time around, this is called “stream entry” or “first path” in the Theravada, the “fourth stage of the second path” or “the first bhumi” in the Tibetan tradition, and many names in Zen that are purposefully ambiguous. After a subsequent, new progress of insight it marks the attainment of the next level of awakening, and there are lots of names for those that will be discussed shortly. It is directly followed by . . .

15. Fruition

This is the fruit of all the meditator's hard work, the first attainment of ultimate reality, emptiness, Nirvana, God or whatever you wish to call it. In this non-state, there is absolutely no time, no space, no reference point, no experience, no mind, no consciousness, no nothingness, no somethingness, no body, no this, no that, no unity, no duality, and no anything else. Reality stops cold and then reappears. Thus, this is impossible to comprehend, as it goes completely and utterly beyond the rational mind and the universe. To “external time” (if someone were observing the meditator from the outside) this lasts only an instant. It is like an utter discontinuity of the space-time continuum with nothing in the unfindable gap.

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Re: To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:42 pm

new wrote:In Saṃyutta Nikāya 55:5 the Buddha says that one who possesses the Noble Eightfold Path is called a stream-enterer. What does it mean to possess the Noble Eightfold Path?
The commentaries explain the phrase as referring to the simultaneous arising of all eight of the path-factors at the ariyan path-consciousness-moment. But to grasp what this means one needs to understand how the Eightfold Path is conceived in the Abhidhamma. Do you? If not I can go over it tomorrow.

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Re: To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by Derek » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:37 pm

Dhammanando wrote:one needs to understand how the Eightfold Path is conceived in the Abhidhamma. Do you? If not I can go over it tomorrow.
I would certainly be interested in learning about this.

new
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Re: To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by new » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:19 am

Wow, lots of answers here. :thanks: I don't have the time right now to read/answer all of them, but I'm going to do it later. :reading:
R1111 wrote:My version is that it simply means knowing the Path. Rather than knowing directions as one is instructed a Stream Winner has arrived at the Destination and knows the Path for himself. He has the Path in this sense while Non-Ariya has directions of another.
There is probably also some connection to having appropriated/internalized something and being unable to lose it.
I see, it may be a difference between knowledge and undestanding.

paul
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Re: To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by paul » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:33 am

"When the course of insight practice is entered, the eight path factors become charged with an intensity previously unknown.
They gain in force and fuse together into the unity of a single cohesive path heading towards the goal. In the practice of insight all eight factors and three trainings co-exist; each is there sup- porting all the others; each makes its own unique contribution to the work. The factors of moral discipline hold the tendencies to transgression in check with such care that even the thought of unethical conduct does not arise. The factors of the concentra- tion group keep the mind firmly fixed upon the stream of phe- nomena, contemplating whatever arises with impeccable pre- cision, free from forgetfulness and distraction. Right view, as the wisdom of insight, grows continually sharper and deeper; right intention shows itself in a detachment and steadiness of purpose bringing an unruffled poise to the entire process of contemplation.
Insight meditation takes as its objective sphere the “condi- tioned formations” (sankhara) comprised in the five aggregates. Its task is to uncover their essential characteristics: the three marks of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and selflessness.

Because it still deals with the world of conditioned events, the Eightfold Path in the stage of insight is called the mundane path (lokiyamagga). This designation in no way implies that the path of insight is concerned with mundane goals, with achievements falling in the range of samsara. It aspires to transcendence, it leads to liberation, but its objective domain of contemplation still lies within the conditioned world. However, this mundane contemplation of the conditioned serves as the vehicle for reach- ing the unconditioned, for attaining the supramundane. When insight meditation reaches its climax, when it fully compre- hends the impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and selflessness of everything formed, the mind breaks through the conditioned and realizes the unconditioned, Nibbana. It sees Nibbana with direct vision, makes it an object of immediate realization.
The breakthrough to the unconditioned is achieved by a type of consciousness or mental event called the supramundane path
(lokuttaramagga). The supramundane path occurs in four stages, four “supramundane paths,” each marking a deeper level of real- ization and issuing in a fuller degree of liberation, the fourth and last in complete liberation. " 'The Noble Eightfold path", Bikkhu Bodhi.

2600htz
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Re: To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by 2600htz » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:42 pm

new wrote:In Saṃyutta Nikāya 55:5 the Buddha says that one who possesses the Noble Eightfold Path is called a stream-enterer. What does it mean to possess the Noble Eightfold Path?
Hello:

It just means that because the sotapanna attained nibbana, he knows how he attain it. He realized by himself "this is the way to have that experience".
And that is following the noble eightfold path.


Regards.

form
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Re: To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by form » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:54 pm

I would think when the eight factors fused together rather than being seen as separated.

new
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Re: To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by new » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:43 pm

Derek wrote:Yo hi, bhante, iminā ariyena aṭṭhaṅgikena maggena samannāgato, ayaṃ vuccati sotāpanno.

The key word is samannāgato ("endowed with"), which is why iminā ariyena aṭṭhaṅgikena maggena ("this noble eightfold path") is instrumental.

The previous few lines equated the noble eightfold path with the stream. These final lines equate the stream-enterer with "one endowed with the noble eightfold path."
Thanks for a nice short lesson in Pāli. It helps to understand the sentence a little bit better.
perkele wrote:Is one "endowed with the path" really someone who has reached stream-entry? Or is it possibly someone still on the path to stream-entry?
I think that is precicely what this quote says. One who has reached the stream-entry = one endowed with the path.
perkele wrote:As there is apparently this distinction between path and fruit for all the "noble attainments", and there was the assertion here that one who is still on the path to stream-entry could still slip away from it (which I find a bit puzzling, because there are suttas like this where the Buddha speaks of a certain class of persons, who are "incapable of passing away until [they have] realized the fruit of stream-entry", which are, I think, otherwise identified as "faith followers" or "dhamma followers" respectively, and I thought would fall into and make up the category of those persons who are clearly and definitely on the path to stream-entry as belonging to the "four pairs" of noble persons).
I think it means, that there is the case when one is on the path to stream-entry, and has attained the stage of faith-/Dhamma-follower, but there is also the case when one is on the path to stream-entry and has not (yet) attained one of these two intermediary stages.
vinasp wrote:Hi new,

new said: - "What does it mean to possess the Noble Eightfold Path?"

It is never explained, because it cannot be explained in words.

The conceptual mind cannot grasp that which leads to the transcending of the conceptual mind.

That would be like the conceptual mind attempting to grasp conceptually the realm of the non-conceptual.

It is the arising of the non-conceptual mind, through which a unified state replaces the previous conceptual fragmentation.

"When all dhammas have been removed, all ways of speaking have also been removed."

Each of us has a non-conceptual mind which is prior to the conceptual mind, but we get stuck in the conceptual mind.

Regards, Vincent.
Thanks Vincent.
But, I don't really understand your explanation because I don't know what
- the conceptual mind, (does it mean you see form and you recognize the individual components - a tree, a leaf, etc.?)
- the non-conceptual mind, (does it mean you see form and you do not recognize the individual components?)
- a unified state (of mind) (something else yet?)
mean exactly. But, I think, I get the general idea that it's difficult to describe it using words.


Thanks for all other answers as well. I have not yet arrived at a definite conclusion, for myself.

I think this question may relate to a bigger question: whether the practises of the Noble Eightfold Path are to be followed in sequence or simultaneously. Because that could define how the stream-enterer is endowed with the Noble Eightfold Path.

My interpretation
Maybe one is endowed with the Noble Eightfold Path when one clearly understands that the ultimate fulfillment can only be found by following the Buddha's teaching, and because of that understanding (gained by abandoning the three lower fetters), one resolves to turn his attention strongly towards the Noble Eightfold Path (as the only path).

The world contains a lot of diverse distractions, sensual pleasures, views, other spiritual paths, ... So it's hard to turn away from everything and focus on just one path, especially if one still has doubts. The stream-enterer achieves this focus to a great degree (he knows that this is how the ultimate goal is reached), but not completely (because he still hasn't abandoned the seven remaining fetters).

Being endowed with the Noble Eightfold Path = to abandon the three lower fetters = to be a stream-enterer.

R1111
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Re: To possess the Noble Eightfold Path

Post by R1111 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:19 pm

Path factors work together, right understanding of reality leads to proper determinations that in turn leads to doing and developing right things as in but not limited to not killing, watching one's speech, learning about Dhamma and training meditation. Eventually all of it culminates, as in all path factors become "Right" and at that moment Cessation of Aggregates(Everything) occurs. We say that person has entered Cessation of Feeling and Form. When emerging from the Attainment the person is endowed with direct knowledge of release from all bondage and vision of the Unmade element(Nibbana), he has gone beyond faith, has seen the indescribable, tasted the highest happiness. He is then Stream Winner, endowed with direct realization of 4 Noble Truths, his father is The Buddha and his mother is The Dhamma.
Keep in mind that The Nibbana it self is not experienced by anybody during the Attainment. That is why it said that Cessation of is experienced rather than Arising of Nibbana. It is sort of tricky.

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