Any stream-enterer here?

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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby PeterB » Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:02 pm

That I believe is called " reductio ad absurdum". And as such needs no reply. :strawman:
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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby appicchato » Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:37 pm

Why am I commenting here is a good question (at least for myself)...but in regards to the statement: 'I...became a Buddha myself', my understanding is that one of the definitions of a Buddha is one who has re-discovered the Dhamma after it has been 'lost' (or ended)...and since we're (so we're told) approximately midway in this Dhamma age, that would seem pretty much to negate most anything one who makes such a statement has to say...
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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby Alex123 » Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:47 pm

Zom wrote:I think that answer to this question lies in Dhamma-Mirror Teaching.
If someone were absolutely sure that he/she is a stream-winner, then there would be just no need for the Buddha to give that teaching (why looking into the glass if you are sure? ,)


An interesting note. Venerable Sariputta (who probably was Arahant at that time) didn't know about stream-entry to anagami level and had to ask the Buddha.

http://metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/ ... ggo-e.html
AN9.12 (Saupādisesasuttaṃ)

Does this means that one can be certain only of Arhatship when one actually reaches it?
Last edited by Alex123 on Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby Pondera » Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:17 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Pondera wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Four.


Maybe five. Maybe six. Depends. One question:

If you have the cessation of perception and feeling,
Textual support for this statement, please.


I'm sorry. Do you want me to provide textual support for the statement, "if you have the cessation of perception and feeling,"? What I mean is "if a person enters the state of the cessation of perception and feeling..." etc.
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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby Pondera » Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:59 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Not necessarily, according to MN 70:

A monk may not have reached in his own person the 8 liberations, but through his wisdom the cankers have come to extinction in him. Such a person is called wisdom-liberated" (paññā-vimutta). Also: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.070.than.html.


The meaning of "Unbinding" is the same as "Nirvana/Nibbana". The interpretation of “nirodha-samāpatti” just indicates the skill and mastery over jhana that an Arahant possesses.

The "fruit" of Arahantship is the same fruit as with Awakening and Enlightenment. There is a difference, however between one who knows that state very well and one who only knows it haphazardly. Nirvana and Unbinding are the same thing. If a person realizes the fruit of Arahantship but fails to ever realize that fruit again in his life time; that would seem to indicate that he is nothing more than an “acquaintance” with Final Release. He is not a true member of the family or even a close relative of the Final Release. He is merely a person who happened to come across the Final Release by some means or another. In that respect one can realize Awakening without having passed through any of the jhanas before hand.

But with “nirodha-samāpatti” we're thinking about very accomplished disciples and monks. Notice in the translator's notes on the Susima Sutta that the “new” Arahants don’t deny having made contact with the jhanas. So it’s natural to assume that an Arahant is not simply a person who has reached final gnosis; for that would only mean that he had made contact with Final Awakening. A real Arahant is a person, more truthfully a devoted monk, who has extended final gnosis to its limits, knowing it's truth inside and out, whenever he wants, for a great length of time because of his extensive training and skill.

My brother tries to grow tomatoes in the summer on his deck outside the house. Sometimes it works, and other times it doesn’t. Compared to a real farmer he isn’t very productive. But he still knows how to grow tomatoes. He simply doesn’t want to grow tomatoes for a living and he doesn’t want to subsist off tomatoes only. A vegetable farmer on the other hand makes it his business to grow big, ripe tomatoes in abundance. So my brother is a farmer of types, distinguished only by his understanding of the growth cycle of the tomato plant and his small accomplishments in tomato growing. The farmer is also distinguished by his understanding of the growth cycle. But the farmer, the true farmer, is distinguished the most by his ability to grow many tomatoes in a growth season. He is also distinguished by his understanding of the growth cycle of many other plants.

Tomäto/tomáto; Potäto/potá`to

-Ponderá
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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby chownah » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:03 am

Pondera wrote:

The "fruit" of Arahantship is the same fruit as with Awakening and Enlightenment.

Pondera,
I usually consider that becoming an arahant and awakening and enlightenment are the same thing....it seems that you are considering them to be different things but with the same fruits...
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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:08 am

Greetings bhante,
appicchato wrote:in regards to the statement: 'I...became a Buddha myself', my understanding is that one of the definitions of a Buddha is one who has re-discovered the Dhamma after it has been 'lost' (or ended)...and since we're (so we're told) approximately midway in this Dhamma age, that would seem pretty much to negate most anything one who makes such a statement has to say...

Indeed - even Sariputta, Maha-Moggallana & co. were not Buddhas.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby Pondera » Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:56 pm

chownah wrote:Pondera,
I usually consider that becoming an arahant and awakening and enlightenment are the same thing....it seems that you are considering them to be different things but with the same fruits...
chownah


Yes, it seems to me that Enlightenment and Awakening are the fruits of being an Arahant. But being an Arahant doesn't mean that one has realized Awakening or Enlightenment, for even a person like myself might for some reason or another realize Awakening or Enlightenment (at least once in a life time).

The distinction of an Arahant is that he knows how to reach enlightenment time after time. Enlightenment really only enlightens a person the first time, I suppose, since that first time they realize something they hadn't realized before. But the continual entry into the state of awakening is no different from the initial enlightenment. It is only different because one can at least imagine before hand what one is going to experience once one has entered that state for the second, third, forth, or umpteenth time. But one full realization does not an Arahant make.

Arahants do not remain in Nirvana their entire lives. Hence it would seem inappropriate to distinguish a person as being an Arahant simply because of Nirvana. Their entry into Nirvana, because it is arbitrary and self employed, distinguishes the Arahant from the random person who has achieved full gnosis by chance or without ever having done so thereafter. That well tuned ability to go into the state of full gnosis distinguishes the Arahant and for that he deserves the honor. IMHO.
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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby Kenshou » Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:15 pm

Says who, might I ask?

I think you may have a knack for overcomplicating things.
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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby chownah » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:52 am

Pondera wrote:Arahants do not remain in Nirvana their entire lives. Hence it would seem inappropriate to distinguish a person as being an Arahant simply because of Nirvana. Their entry into Nirvana, because it is arbitrary and self employed, distinguishes the Arahant from the random person who has achieved full gnosis by chance or without ever having done so thereafter. That well tuned ability to go into the state of full gnosis distinguishes the Arahant and for that he deserves the honor. IMHO.

There are many questions I could ask about your post but thought it would be best to just look at this part. It seems to me that the Buddha taught that an arahant has dispelled ignorance and thus also clinging etc. entirely and so that it would never arise again....I guess you don't agree with this? I don't have a reference in mind but think that I could find one and probably more.....can anyone out there come up with a reference indicating that becoming arahata means no re-arising of the bad stuff?...ot shows that I have missed the point?.......
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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:07 am

Pondera wrote:Yes, it seems to me that Enlightenment and Awakening are the fruits of being an Arahant. But being an Arahant doesn't mean that one has realized Awakening or Enlightenment, for even a person like myself might for some reason or another realize Awakening or Enlightenment (at least once in a life time).
If one is not awakened, attained bodhi, one is not an arahant.

That which is the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion is asankhata, free from the conditioned." SN IV 359 and SN IV 362

That which is the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion is nibbana. SN IV 251 and IV 321

The destruction of greed, hatred, and delusion is arahantship. SN IV 252.

"Whoever frees himself from the passions of greed, hatred, and ignorance, they call him, one who is self developed, made divine, thus-gone (tathagata), awake (buddha), one who has left fear and hatred, and one who has let go of all." Itivuttaka 57
[/quote]
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby meindzai » Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:32 pm

Alexei wrote:Yes, I know about three fetters.
There is a lot of people who don't grasp at precepts & practices. Many don't have any doubts, especially folks at traditional buddhist countries.
Self-identity views (lack of regarding oneself as five khandhas) are more reliable, but how can one assess them?

So I said that I don't see a certain criterion for stream-entry.

meindzai wrote:I have yet to meet a person that I would say has abandoned the three fetters.

I think many members of this forum would say this in some degree.


After 10 years of practice I would not dare say I am anywhere close to abandoning the fetters, and I don't think those who have practiced 40 or more years would say so either.

"To some degree" means lessening the grip of the fetters, perhaps, but that is far, far, far from abandoning.

-M
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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby daverupa » Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:35 pm

Does anyone else find it strange that there seems to be a certain... popularity? ... in claiming that one isn't a sotapanna even after n-years of practice? Doesn't this seem to be a sign that the practices are, I don't know... not as efficacious as they ought to be?

...or rather, that the practices undertaken for that length of time are... deficient, somehow?

I'm not one to buy the idea that a Dhamma-declining age is even in force, to say nothing of having it mean that meditation is less efficacious by fiat. Nor am I inclined to think that "modernity" is at fault since that term is uselessly vague. What else might we say about this apparent lack of success on the part of the laity? Purely a matter of the laity taking on the monastic prohibition against saying such things?

...but Citta the Householder had no such problem proclaiming his attainment to the Jains of his neighborhood...
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby kirk5a » Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:45 pm

daverupa wrote:Does anyone else find it strange that there seems to be a certain... popularity? ... in claiming that one isn't a sotapanna even after n-years of practice? Doesn't this seem to be a sign that the practices are, I don't know... not as efficacious as they ought to be?

...or rather, that the practices undertaken for that length of time are... deficient, somehow?

I don't think it's good practice to go around telling everyone how NOT-enlightened you are, as if that was somehow a better thing to do than go around saying than how ENlightened you are. But we can hardly blame folks for doing that, given the 3rd degree given to anyone who dares so much as imply they have achieved any insight through this practice whatsoever.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:54 pm

Interesting question, Dave,

If you listen to talks by Burmese-trained monks in the Mahasi/U Pandita lineage, such as
U Vivekananda posting.php?mode=reply&f=16&t=9879 it is clear that (in their view) they are teaching from experience of the paths, and that stream entry is quite possible for lay people willing to put in sufficient effort.

Similarly for Joseph Goldstein http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/, Steve Armstrong http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/170/ (who spent a couple of years as a monk in Burma), and other lay teachers.

I mention the above in particular only because they are teachers I'm familiar with, so they are the ones for which I've registered that message.

:anjali:
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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby PeterB » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:26 pm

When Luang Por Chah said ( frequently ) " do not be a Boddhisattva, do not be an arahant , do not be anything " he wasnt making an inverse boast. He wasnt suggesting that practice has no outcome.
He wasnt implying that we should proclaim our failure. Or be coy about our attainment.
He was saying that attainment in Dhamma is in the realisation of anicca..of shunyata.
And was therefore not compatible with ontological expressions of status or attainment.
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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby Zom » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:26 pm

By the way, interesting to note: everywhere in canon people gained stream-entry through listening to the Dhamma, and nowhere - through meditation :reading:
Why is that? Because stream-entry means gaining "right views" but not "right knowledge" (which is the 9th path factor actually).
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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:43 pm

daverupa wrote:Does anyone else find it strange that there seems to be a certain... popularity? ... in claiming that one isn't a sotapanna even after n-years of practice? Doesn't this seem to be a sign that the practices are, I don't know... not as efficacious as they ought to be? ...or rather, that the practices undertaken for that length of time are... deficient, somehow?

yes, quite strange... perhaps because what one considers "right" practice may be not and being self-contented one settles for it for years actually doing nothing in particular...
reminds me of an Ajahn Chah quote somehow...
Q: Is it necessary to sit for very long stretches?
Answer: No, sitting for hours on end is not necessary. Some people think that the longer you can sit, the wiser you must be. I have seen chickens sit on their nests for days on end! Wisdom comes from being mindful in all postures. Your practice should begin as you awaken in the morning. It should continue until you fall asleep. Don't be concerned about how long you can sit. What is important is only that you keep watchful whether you are working or sitting or going to the bathroom[...]


best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby Pondera » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:17 pm

Kenshou wrote:Says who, might I ask?

I think you may have a knack for overcomplicating things.


That's why my name is Pondera. I have a knack for overcomplicating things. I'm a ponderer. But, if your question is; "who says that Arahants don't remain in Nirvana their entire lives?", I think my response would be, most affectionately, "Somewhere in the suttas, the point is made that an Arahant doesn't remain in the state of total Unbinding for their entire life on earth."

chownah wrote:There are many questions I could ask about your post but thought it would be best to just look at this part. It seems to me that the Buddha taught that an arahant has dispelled ignorance and thus also clinging etc. entirely and so that it would never arise again....I guess you don't agree with this? I don't have a reference in mind but think that I could find one and probably more.....can anyone out there come up with a reference indicating that becoming arahata means no re-arising of the bad stuff?...ot shows that I have missed the point?.......
chownah


I do agree that in an Arahant; greed, ignorance, and lust cease to exist. I do not believe that their entire lives are spent in one unending state of Final Gnosis. Simply recall that upon the death of the Buddha, he entered in and out of all four jhanas one after the other up to final gnosis, then all the way back down, then up to the fourth jhana again and he passed away.

"3.15 The Buddha then entered the first jhana, the second jhana, the third jhana, the fourth jhana. Then he entered the sphere of Infinite Space, the sphere of Infinite Conciousness, the sphere of Nothingness, the sphere of Neither-perception-nor-nonperception. Then, he attained the cessation of feeling and perception.

Leaving the attainment of cessation of feeling and perception, he entered the sphere of Neither-perception-nor-nonperception, the sphere of Nothingness, the sphere of Infinite Conciousness, the sphere of Infinite Space. Then he entered the fourth jhana, the third jhana, the second jhana, the first jhana.

Leaving the first jhana, he entered the second jhana, the third jhana, the fourth jhana.Leaving the fourth jhana, the Blessed One immediately passed away." DN 16.

It's seems apparent that even the Buddha lived and existed in separate states of mind and body from time to time. But the total destruction of greed, lust, and ignorance is something I believe stays healthy and alive in the heart and mind of a fully awakened being.

I am not an Arahant or a Preyetka Buddha, or anything like that because I simply can't attest to being a passionless person. I am guilty of all manner of hatred, greed, and delusion. Hence, if I were to admit to having attained final gnosis then my assertion that one dose of final gnosis does not an arahant make, would be, ultimately, based on my reasoning and experience. But that depends on whether or not I am willing, or capable, or claiming such a thing. And I am not willing to make such a claim, or capability therein either or else wise, neither (that is to say) - of such sorts in this kind.

-Pondera
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Re: Any stream-enterer here?

Postby Aloka » Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:07 pm

PeterB wrote:When Luang Por Chah said ( frequently ) " do not be a Boddhisattva, do not be an arahant , do not be anything " he wasnt making an inverse boast. He wasnt suggesting that practice has no outcome.
He wasnt implying that we should proclaim our failure. Or be coy about our attainment.
He was saying that attainment in Dhamma is in the realisation of anicca..of shunyata.
And was therefore not compatible with ontological expressions of status or attainment.


Some similar comments from Ajahn Sumedho:

Some of you might have the desire to become the Buddha of the age, Maitreya, radiating love throughout the world – but instead, I suggest just being an earthworm, letting go of the desire to radiate love throughout the world. Just be an earthworm who knows only two words – 'let go, let go, let go'

http://www.amaravati.org/abmnew/documents/cittavivaka/data/04lett.html

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