The stream-enterer possesses four qualities. They are perfect confidence in Buddha, perfect confidence in Dhamma, perfect confidence in Sangha (four pairs of person), and noble virtuous behavior. A stream-enterer is the one who has gained the eye of Dhamma or vision of Dhamma. With the destruction of three lower fetters (identity view, doubt, distorted grasp of rules and vows), one becomes a stream-enterer, who is certain to attain Nibbana, within the maximum of seven more lives. A stream-enterer is the one who realizes whatever arises is subject to pass away. He stands before the door to deathless.
The meaning of taking refuge in triple gems, i.e. Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha has varying meaning, depending on your level of attainments, whether you are a learner (stream-enterer, once-returner, and non-returner), non-learner (arahant), or neither.
An arahant who possesses the path after being taught, whose taints are destroyed, do not know in full details of the experience, former lives, or Dhamma of the past, present, or future being taught by Buddhas. Not every arahant possesses six superknowledge, even if he does, he still do not know those qualities explicitly unique to Buddha. A Buddha is the one who is the originator of the path; whereas his disciples possess of the path afterwards by destroying all the taints.
An arahant has unwavering confidence in Buddha. But how? Whether is the Buddha in the past, present, or future, they must follow the same path, which is to say, by first abandoning the five hindrances, having his mind firmly established in the four establishments of mindfulness, having realized seven factors of enlightenment, thus awakening to unsurpassed enlightenment.
How does one utterly destroy the five hindrances? He practices four establishments of mindfulness.
What fulfills seven factors of enlightenment? Four establishments of mindfulness.
Noble Eightfold path is conditioned, which is to say, the supramundane path factor of right view of the one whose mind is taintless, is wisdom, faculty of wisdom, power of wisdom, enlightenment factor of discrimination of states. Mindfully one abandons wrong view and develops right view; that is right mindfulness. When one makes an effort to develop right view; that is right effort. Right mindfulness should be seen as four establishments of mindfulness. Right effort should be seen as four right strivings; they are generating desire to abandon arisen unwholesome states, generating desire to develop wholesome states that are yet to be arisen, generating desire to develop wholesome states that are already arisen, generating desire to prevent the arising of unwholesome states that are yet to be arisen. Right effort should be seen as faculty of energy, power of energy. With right view as condition, one would likewise fulfill right intention, right speech, right action, and right livelihood. The seven requisites brings forth right concentration.
The disciples, whether they are new or experienced in the Dhamma, would likewise practice four establishments of mindfulness for the utter destruction of suffering.
For an uninstructed person, he may praise of Tathagatha for variety of reasons, may it be accomplished teacher, a wonder maker, the one who has 32 marks of great person. When he has heard of Dhamma, he may not immediately practice Noble Eightfold Path which is for utter destruction of suffering but for happiness in this very life and the next life.
One should not see form, feeling, perception, volitional formation, and consciousness, which are impermanent, suffering, and non-self as Tathagatha.
Which is to say, taking refuge in Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha; the right practice is indeed as to follow the right path, the middle way, which is the four establishments of mindfulness.
Knowing the origination and passing away of suffering, one’s confidence in noble ones and Dhamma is unwavering; He either knows he himself is certain to attain Nibbana; or he already attains Nibbana in this very life; he knows those who follow the right path would indeed attain Nibbana.
Such practice is utterly different from other teachings, which may advocate pray to some higher beings that would lead to perfect happiness.
How does one recollect the Buddha, Dhamma, and the Sangha? When one knows what it takes to lead a holy life, which is the noble eightfold path that leads to utter destruction of suffering.