Sotapanna's Virtue

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby Zom » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:57 pm

In Ven. Pa-Auk's Sayadaw book about Kamma I've read out that it is impossible that a stream-enterer would deliberately kill any living being, steal anything, tell any lie, commit adultery.

As far as I know, suttas only say that it is impossible for him to kill father/mother/arahant, split sangha, spill Buddha's blood. That's it.
And, suttas say, that it is impossible for an arahant to kill, steal, so on...

So, from where does Ven. Sayadaw took that information on such an impossibility about sotapanna? :reading: :spy: :quote:
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Re: Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby David2 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:22 pm

Well, even for many people who are not sotapannas (or "farther") it is impossible to kill imo.

So I can't imagine how a sotapanna could kill.

(Sorry that I can't offer a sutta reference.)
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Re: Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby Zom » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:41 pm

The idea is that any such action (no matter how trifling) is impossible in any circumstances at all. While, actually, sotapanna still has delusion, lust and hatred. Yes, suttas are correct to say, that these things are impossible in any circumstances at all for an arahant, who has no more delusion, lust and hatred. But I think this is quite doubtful for a stream-enterer (who actually stands only at the very start of the Path). And so I think that in certain circumstances he is able to kill, steal or tell a lie.
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Re: Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby reflection » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:43 pm

There was a similar thread before.

Ben gave some references:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 3&start=20

Also,
"There is the case where a monk is wholly accomplished in virtue, moderately accomplished in concentration, and moderately accomplished in discernment. With reference to the lesser and minor training rules, he falls into offenses and rehabilitates himself. Why is that? Because I have not declared that to be a disqualification in these circumstances. But as for the training rules that are basic to the holy life and proper to the holy life, he is one of permanent virtue, one of steadfast virtue. Having undertaken them, he trains in reference to the training rules. With the wasting away of [the first] three fetters, he is a stream-winner, never again destined for states of woe, certain, headed for self-awakening.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby Zom » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:47 pm

Yes, thanks, but this sutta doesn't say that "it is impossible" for him. And, for example, there are suttas where Buddha directly speaks about "an impossibility".

For example:

"[1] It is impossible for a monk whose mental fermentations are ended to intentionally deprive a living being of life. [2] It is impossible for a monk whose mental fermentations are ended to take, in the manner of stealing, what is not given. [3] It is impossible for a monk whose mental fermentations are ended to engage in sexual intercourse. [4] It is impossible for a monk whose mental fermentations are ended to tell a conscious lie. [5] It is impossible for a monk whose mental fermentations are ended to consume stored-up sensual things as he did before, when he was a householder.

....

"Both before and now I say to you that an arahant monk whose mental fermentations are ended, who has reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, totally destroyed the fetter of becoming, and who is released through right gnosis, cannot possibly transgress these nine principles."
(nothing like that had I read about a stream-enterer)

"he is one of permanent virtue, one of steadfast virtue" - this can easily mean that generally he is of such virtue and keeps these rules.
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Re: Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby Zom » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:01 pm

At that thread Retro posed this Ven. Nyanavira quotation:

Nanavira Thera wrote:I venture to think that if you actually read through the whole of the Vinaya and the Suttas you would be aghast at some of the things a real live sotāpanna is capable of. As a bhikkhu he is capable of suicide (but so also is an arahat—I have already quoted examples); he is capable of breaking all the lesser Vinaya rules (M. 48: i,323-5; A. III,85: i,231-2); he is capable of disrobing on account of sensual desires (e.g. the Ven. Citta Hatthisāriputta—A. VI,60: iii,392-9); he is capable (to some degree) of anger, ill-will, jealousy, stinginess, deceit, craftiness, shamelessness, and brazenness (A. II,16: i,96). As a layman he is capable (contrary to popular belief) of breaking any or all of the five precepts (though as soon as he has done so he recognizes his fault and repairs the breach, unlike the puthujjana who is content to leave the precepts broken).

...where he speaks about "is capable (contrary to popular belief) of breaking any or all of the five precepts". Who knows what is the canonical source for this his statement? (if there is any at all). :quote: :spy:
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Re: Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:25 pm

Zom wrote:In Ven. Pa-Auk's Sayadaw book about Kamma I've read out that it is impossible that a stream-enterer would deliberately kill any living being, steal anything, tell any lie, commit adultery.

As far as I know, suttas only say that it is impossible for him to kill father/mother/arahant, split sangha, spill Buddha's blood. That's it.
And, suttas say, that it is impossible for an arahant to kill, steal, so on...

So, from where does Ven. Sayadaw took that information on such an impossibility about sotapanna? :reading: :spy: :quote:

I think the main word here is deliberately, the lesser and minor rules you quote are not the five precepts and refer to other rules more to do with etiquette than those rules related to the five precepts.

he is probably taking this from the standard formula of what qualifies one to be a sotapanna, having virtues dear to the noble ones, this means that they do not at the very least break the five precepts, as the qualification makes clear
Licchavi Sutta: To the Licchavi" (SN 55.30), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. wrote:"He/she is endowed with virtues that are appealing to the noble ones: untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the wise, untarnished, leading to concentration.

This does not mean that by some unintentional act they do not accidentally cause another to die, but that would not be a ground for the breaking of the precept, it would be a lesser offence or no offence at all, if you look at the vinaya treatment of the related rules this is quite clear.
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby Zom » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:52 pm

this means that they do not at the very least break the five precepts, as the qualification makes clear


Actually no, this is not clear.

Why?

Because why does Buddha speak at all about "impossibility" concerning killing mother, father, arahant, if he could just say: "No, monks, this is IMPOSSIBLE that a sotapanna could deliberately kill any living being". But he does not say that. Instead he says: "he can't deliberately kill father, mother and arahant". That's it.

Still being a subject to greed, hatred and delusion, I think, he can deliberately kill a living being in some circumstances - but not to the extent that he will fall into lower realms because of that, since killing doesn't necessarily lead to a lower realm.
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Re: Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:28 pm

Zom wrote:
this means that they do not at the very least break the five precepts, as the qualification makes clear


Actually no, this is not clear.

Why?

Because why does Buddha speak at all about "impossibility" concerning killing mother, father, arahant, if he could just say: "No, monks, this is IMPOSSIBLE that a sotapanna could deliberately kill any living being". But he does not say that. Instead he says: "he can't deliberately kill father, mother and arahant". That's it.

Still being a subject to greed, hatred and delusion, I think, he can deliberately kill a living being in some circumstances - but not to the extent that he will fall into lower realms because of that, since killing doesn't necessarily lead to a lower realm.

then can a sotapanna go to lower realm of existance? Why?
and read the bold part of the definition which is very clear.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:32 pm

but in case that isn't enough I found this for you


"Cakkhu Sutta: The Eye" (SN 25.1), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 30 June 2010, wrote:At Savatthi. "Monks, the eye is inconstant, changeable, alterable. The ear... The nose... The tongue... The body... The mind 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."
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby Zom » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:20 am

then can a sotapanna go to lower realm of existance? Why?


As I've said already, for example, killing doesn't necessarily leads to lower realms. It depends on what kind of killing it is. For example, I don't think that killing a mosquito is a kamma that will lead you to a lower realm. So, I guess, sotapanna is able to do such minor kind of transgression of 5 precepts. And it won't lead him to lower realms. But it will be wrong to say that "it is impossible for him to kill" - since killing mosquito is actually a killing. And the same situation with all other 5 precepts. Concerning the impossibility - Buddha says it is impossible for him to kill father and mother. THAT is impossible, yes. While for puthujjana it is POSSIBLE. Though this is a rare case even for puthujjana, as we may notice.
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Re: Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby reflection » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:10 am

We can draw a logical conclusion: Because a sotapanna understands karma, it is very unlikely they will do something like intentionally breaking the moral precepts. Out of delusion, it may happen accidentally or when very unmindful, but not un purpose and certainly not regularly. This is why the Sekhin Sutta says they are "wholly accomplished in virtue". But killing is one that is hard to do "on a slip", so I guess does not happen.
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Re: Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:51 am

Zom wrote:
then can a sotapanna go to lower realm of existance? Why?


As I've said already, for example, killing doesn't necessarily leads to lower realms. It depends on what kind of killing it is. For example, I don't think that killing a mosquito is a kamma that will lead you to a lower realm. So, I guess, sotapanna is able to do such minor kind of transgression of 5 precepts. And it won't lead him to lower realms. But it will be wrong to say that "it is impossible for him to kill" - since killing mosquito is actually a killing. And the same situation with all other 5 precepts. Concerning the impossibility - Buddha says it is impossible for him to kill father and mother. THAT is impossible, yes. While for puthujjana it is POSSIBLE. Though this is a rare case even for puthujjana, as we may notice.

Well what is being refered to is the Precepts, i.e. murder, theft, lying all deliberate acts, not just any kind of variant, and as the quotes which have already been used say it does not include the lesser and minor rules. nor is your question regarding the puthujjana.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby Zom » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:22 pm

We can draw a logical conclusion: Because a sotapanna understands karma, it is very unlikely they will do something like intentionally breaking the moral precepts. Out of delusion, it may happen accidentally or when very unmindful, but not un purpose and certainly not regularly.


Not only when he is unmindful. For example, he can feel hatred in a certain situation. And kill because of that. Why not.
Well, actually, when the mind is overwhelmed by delusion-hatred-lust - it IS unmindful ,) And sotapanna is not freed from delusion-hatred-lust. So, normally, he would not break precepts. But when obsessed by these 3 poisions - he can break it.

PS> It seems no one knows a sutta about the "impossibility" to kill, steal, ect. So it seems, Ven. Sayadaw took it from some commentaries or perhaps it is his personal opinion.
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Re: Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby Virgo » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:27 pm

Zom wrote:PS> It seems no one knows a sutta about the "impossibility" to kill, steal, ect. So it seems, Ven. Sayadaw took it from some commentaries or perhaps it is his personal opinion.

I've never found one. I think it comes from the Commentaries. Event he Buddha lied when he promised Nanda the nymphs if he would go through the with training. Of course, he said it with a completely pure heart, and being Omniscient knew what the outcome would be of it (Nanda followed the training and attained Arahantship, then relieved the Buddha of his promise), so it is a bit different.

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Re: Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:32 pm

Zom wrote:PS> It seems no one knows a sutta about the "impossibility" to kill, steal, ect. So it seems, Ven. Sayadaw took it from some commentaries or perhaps it is his personal opinion.


Hi Zom,

Yes, I'm fairly sure that it is the Classical view based on the interpretation of the Sutta references to unbroken, etc. that a Sotapanna cannot break the 5 precepts.

So are you becoming more Suttanta?

:jedi: Welcome to the Dark Side.

Image

(just messin' with ya, nothing serious here)
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Re: Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby Modus.Ponens » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:44 pm

Virgo wrote:
Zom wrote:PS> It seems no one knows a sutta about the "impossibility" to kill, steal, ect. So it seems, Ven. Sayadaw took it from some commentaries or perhaps it is his personal opinion.

I've never found one. I think it comes from the Commentaries. Event he Buddha lied when he promised Nanda the nymphs if he would go through the with training. Of course, he said it with a completely pure heart, and being Omniscient knew what the outcome would be of it (Nanda followed the training and attained Arahantship, then relieved the Buddha of his promise), so it is a bit different.

Kevin


Hi Kevin

I tried to search for this sutta on ATI under proper names, but there are 5 people with the name Nanda. So, can you give a reference to the sutta where what you say is stated?
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Re: Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:59 pm

MP,

Here it is:

Nanda Sutta, Udana 3.2

Kevin,

Thanks for reminding us of the Nanda Sutta; that is a good example that the letter should not always be used and that there can be some skillful means for example in not telling the complete truth on some rare occasions.
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Re: Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby Virgo » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:00 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Nanda Sutta, Udana 3.2

Yes, that's it. Thank you, David (I was just searching for it)

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Re: Sotapanna's Virtue

Postby Modus.Ponens » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:20 pm

Thank you both. :)
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