How common is stream entry?

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Re: ...---... How common is stream entry?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:37 am

Viscid wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I have known a number of individuals who are likely genuinely ariya, but the number of those who imagine they are ariya is far greater


What qualities led you to believe they were ariya, if it was not rumour that left the impression?
Demeanour and wisdom.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: ...---... How common is stream entry?

Postby danieLion » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:12 am

Hi,

Q: What's the best way to know someone's not (at least) a stream enterer?

A: They publicly declare they're a stream enterer.

Kind regards,
Daniel
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby khlawng » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:43 am

Ben wrote:
khlawng wrote:
plwk wrote:Great...just what we need...another sotapanna who doesn't know a forum's rules on double nicking.... :tongue:


:rofl: well.. its not one of the fetters is it?


Actually, perfect sila, to my knowledge, appears to be one of the defining characteristics of the first stage of awakening. By double nicking against the terms and conditions of Dhamma Wheel, one is effectively taking that which is not given, and engaging in deception, both of which are breaches of the second precept and fourth precept respectively.
kind regards,

Ben


Ben,

A sotapanna is merely one that has eradicated doubt, self-illusion and partaking in wrongful rituals and ceremonies. He is by no means a saint. He has not even began to weaken sense desire and hatred!

Precepts are general guidelines for us lay people to guide us until we have cultivated our minds. Please don't over apply them to every small situation. It is depressing and utterly unhelpful to continously shift the goal post for many who rely on forums like this to find some foothold to begin their journey!

I know there is a general conception that has been perpatuating itself around the Buddhist community that gaining stream entry is so difficult, almost impossible, by any lay people. But the Buddha's teaching is not that difficult that it is so inaccessible to all. We must have the conviction and fate that it is entierly possible for anyone of us to gain Nibbana, if not at least the entry path to Nibbana in this lifetime. If tradesmen, housewives, farmers, brahmans and the untouchables can gain stream entry by listening to the Buddha's words, which has been recorded in the Sutta, then surely, we as an educated bunch of modern day human beings, with access to years of education, so much more materials, recorded dhamma talks and access to meditation teachers all around the world are better equip to realize this.

If however, you have no conviction, no fate to start or worst, you convince yourself that attainment is not possible, or you let another tell you that attainment is impossible and you believe that, then Mara has truely won.
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:48 am

khlawng wrote:I know there is a general conception that has been perpatuating itself around the Buddhist community that gaining stream entry is so difficult, almost impossible, by any lay people. .
It certainly is not impossible for the laity to attain to sotapanna, but I seriously doubt that those who publicly claim it on a forum such this have actually done so.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby khlawng » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:57 am

tiltbillings wrote:
khlawng wrote:I know there is a general conception that has been perpatuating itself around the Buddhist community that gaining stream entry is so difficult, almost impossible, by any lay people. .
It certainly is not impossible for the laity to attain to sotapanna, but I seriously doubt that those who publicly claim it on a forum such this have actually done so.


Well tilt,

I for one hope anyone that believe they have attained sotapanna to come forward and tell us how they did. No judgement, no shame and no criticism. Sure there are the crazies. But I will go through a 100, 1000, 10,000 of them to find that 1 gem. That is my conviction. That is my effort.
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:03 am

khlawng wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
khlawng wrote:I know there is a general conception that has been perpatuating itself around the Buddhist community that gaining stream entry is so difficult, almost impossible, by any lay people. .
It certainly is not impossible for the laity to attain to sotapanna, but I seriously doubt that those who publicly claim it on a forum such this have actually done so.


Well tilt,

I for one hope anyone that believe they have attained sotapanna to come forward and tell us how they did. No judgement, no shame and no criticism. Sure there are the crazies. But I will go through a 100, 1000, 10,000 of them to find that 1 gem. That is my conviction. That is my effort.
Having seen the crazies in action, it is not worth effort. What is worth the effort is simply for those who are with some degree of insight to post, sharing their Dhamma without drawing attention themselves by making claims that will lump them in with the crazies. That, based upon expeerience, is what works best.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Ben » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:13 am

With respect, khlang, I believe you are mistaken.
When I have time I will make a more substantial reply.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby khlawng » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:15 am

Ben wrote:With respect, khlang, I believe you are mistaken.
When I have time I will make a more substantial reply.
kind regards,

Ben


No problems Ben. My apologies in advance if I have misunderstood your post.
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby James the Giant » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:20 am

divine wrote:...for instance I would like to have some guidance to meditation...

I seem to remember that it is a central part of Stream Entry that the person now knows deeply and certainly how to practise. They no longer need any instruction on how to meditate. Their dhamma eye is open, they can see the path and how to walk it.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: ...---... How common is stream entry?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:03 am

I do believe I have met an Ariya, although they denied it, their actions spoke loader than words & claims.
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.
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Ben » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:43 am

Hi khlawng,

khlawng wrote:Ben,

A sotapanna is merely one that has eradicated doubt, self-illusion and partaking in wrongful rituals and ceremonies. He is by no means a saint. He has not even began to weaken sense desire and hatred!


Here is part of the text of a post that David N. Snyder wrote some time ago with regards to the virtue of sotapanna:

There are also Sutta references that suggest the stream-entrant does have perfect sila, in regard to the Five precepts:

"One for whom these teachings are accepted thus after being pondered to a sufficient degree with wisdom is called a dhamma-follower, one who has entered the fixed course of rightness, entered the plane of superior persons, transcended the plane of the worldlings. He is incapable of doing any deed by reason of which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal realm, or in the domain of ghosts; he is incapable of passing away without having realized the fruit of stream-entry." Samyutta Nikaya 25.10

"Bhikkhus, a noble disciple who possesses four things is a stream-enterer, . . . He possesses the virtues dear to the noble ones, unbroken." Samyutta Nikaya 55.2

"There are, O monks, these blessings in realizing the fruit of stream-entry: One is firm in the good Dhamma. One is unable to fall back." Anguttara Nikaya 6.97

"Consider the person who is accomplished in the precepts, and is moderately successful in concentration, moderately successful in wisdom – by destroying the three hindrances, he becomes one, who will be reborn seven times at most [stream entrant]" Anguttara Nikaya 9.12

"The stream winner, with virtues dear to noble ones endowed, which are unbroken and without a rent, untarnished and without a blemish, purifying, praised by the wise, uncontaminated and conducive to concentration." Anguttara Nikaya 9.27

Shortly after the death of a lay person named Sarakani, the Buddha identified him as a stream-entrant. Then some monks complained that Sarakani could not have been a stream-entrant as this lay person indulged in alcohol. But the Buddha remarked that, "Sarakani the Sakyan undertook the training at the time of his death." Samyutta Nikaya 55.24

(note the words "unbroken" above)


The above are sutta references and if I had some of my commentarial works, CMA, and my hard copy of Ledi Sayadaw's Manuals of Buddhism at hand I am confident that I could provide more material from the post-canonical literature in support of my contention. David's post and the remainder of that hotly debated discussion can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7973&start=40

khlawng wrote:Precepts are general guidelines for us lay people to guide us until we have cultivated our minds.
Actually, my reading of the literature indicates to me that sila conditions samma-samadhi which also conditions panna. If we are to progress on the path then we need to maintain our conduct. That is not to say that as householders we may find ourselves in ethically ambiguous situations. In which case, I agree, the precepts and the wise counsel of our kalayanamittas can provide important guidance.

khlawng wrote:Please don't over apply them to every small situation. It is depressing and utterly unhelpful to continously shift the goal post for many who rely on forums like this to find some foothold to begin their journey!
I don't think I am over-applying the precepts nor shifting the goal posts. All I have done above is to encourage Divine to honestly and earnestly investigate all arisen states and to continue with the practice - which would be the same advice to anyone joining Dhamma Wheel and in their first post making a claim of an ariya attainment. Just about everything I do here is for the benefit of others, to encourage others to either pick up the practice or to keep going either by assisting in the provision of environment that supports Dhamma discussion or through my communications on thread or privately encouraging members to engage with the Dhamma.

khlawng wrote:I know there is a general conception that has been perpatuating itself around the Buddhist community that gaining stream entry is so difficult, almost impossible, by any lay people. But the Buddha's teaching is not that difficult that it is so inaccessible to all. We must have the conviction and fate that it is entierly possible for anyone of us to gain Nibbana, if not at least the entry path to Nibbana in this lifetime. If tradesmen, housewives, farmers, brahmans and the untouchables can gain stream entry by listening to the Buddha's words, which has been recorded in the Sutta, then surely, we as an educated bunch of modern day human beings, with access to years of education, so much more materials, recorded dhamma talks and access to meditation teachers all around the world are better equip to realize this.

Those people who were close to the Buddha already had great paramis and excellent kamma which is why many attained after just listening to a discourse or in no short time. Becoming a sotapanna is not impossible, it can be done in this life but in this era it requires great effort and it cannot be attained outside the dispensation of the Buddha.
khlawng wrote:If however, you have no conviction, no fate to start or worst, you convince yourself that attainment is not possible, or you let another tell you that attainment is impossible and you believe that, then Mara has truely won.

And equally, Mara has also won if we convince ourselves that we have attained an ariyan state when in fact we have not.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: ...---... How common is stream entry?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:07 am

:tongue:
Last edited by polarbuddha101 on Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby divine » Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:51 pm

As a former atheist/agnostic and certainly not a buddhist I would be very sceptical myself had anyone made claims like this. Several issues arises, how to prove it is one. Why argue for or against it is another. If someone actually had become a stream enterer, why convey it like this? As well I could mention several reasons why random people could claim this without it beeing true.

But for me it was an immense experience, which ended up with the basic knowledge somewhat like "Ok, so buddhism is the way things are - I have to learn more about it" and when I read the things about stream enterer and other stuff it was like "check, check, check" but also some "yes, but", "yes, and" "ok, but not limited to" and several "ok, this is interesting but is it true" etc. One of the questions I had was how common is stream entry, which lead me to this thread. Other terms and teachings I have never heard about, or cannot grasp or in other ways wrap my head around. I can easily understand certain people's sceptisism towards this claim, especially when it seems they take the written descriptions very literally, when the true reality of it is both on target but also not sufficient to grasp the wholeness of it. It's similar to the story of the blind men and the elephant. It will therefore necessarily become hard for some people to believe anyone can realistically attain the stage of a stream enterer. It is not true what one wrote about having attained the Eye of the Dhamma so the stream enterer would know everything. Also I think the level of insight and understanding is related to the prior knowledge of buddhism and meditation, because despite my nick I don't feel very divine except the fact that I became a stream enterer and saw and experienced what I did. But where in the scriptures is this?

Thank you all for good advice, I little by little intend to take up on the meditation but a lot of things is happening in my life - with Dhamma as my guide. I'm in a good run with ana pana now, but need to learn more techniques I think. I have no hurry, even though YOU might have chosen otherwise. I will work with what the insights gave me for the mission I took/accepted. And just to make things perfectly clear: I do not intend to misuse this forum by spewing out things that I gain insights about, I don't see that as something that will have any gain when the nature of man and internet are the way they are. I have understanding for the feeling, why is this guy telling the truth when so many others claiming the same is obviously not. And that's a healthy enough point, how would the world look like if it was that easy to get followers? In the end this is all my answer to "why convey it like this", I wanted to know how common it is.

If you are also a stream enterer, or know of one, please contribute in the ...---... How common is stream entry? in the GENERAL DHAMMA\Open Dhamma forum. But please, read the first post thoroughly before contributing.
One should believe it could be beneficial to post information about attainment in a thread like "How common is stream entry?", but I had no idea you are regularly vitnessing these claims and often there are something else behind it. You have been great giving only kind advice and healthy scepticism. Metta!
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Re: ...---... How common is stream entry?

Postby divine » Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:08 pm

Dear moderators, I am sorry I wasn't able to get accustomed to the do's and don't's on this forum before venturing into this, but if time and convention permits could you possibly consider moderating this thread a little bit?

I hope for this thread to be without discussion, a simple "I know of three living individuals" will suffice. There is plenty of threads where sceptisism can be expressed.

:twothumbsup:

Edit: It seemes the moderators merged the two threads, this post was originally the second post in a thread I created in the Open Dhamma forum, but apparantly because the contributors didn't stay on topic it was no point in having two of the same. Like someone said: This thread should be called "Why isn't stream entry common", while my failed attempt was to create a pure thread to easily get some overview of how common it is - in Open Dhamma, not Modern Theravada. Just so it's said.

:anjali:
Last edited by divine on Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
One should believe it could be beneficial to post information about attainment in a thread like "How common is stream entry?", but I had no idea you are regularly vitnessing these claims and often there are something else behind it. You have been great giving only kind advice and healthy scepticism. Metta!
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Re: ...---... How common is stream entry?

Postby Sokehi » Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:17 pm

if one is posting in a forum that emphasizes discussion one should be expecting this to happen. just my 2 baht.
Get the wanting out of waiting

What does womanhood matter at all, when the mind is concentrated well, when knowledge flows on steadily as one sees correctly into Dhamma. One to whom it might occur, ‘I am a woman’ or ‘I am a man’ or ‘I’m anything at all’ is fit for Mara to address. – SN 5.2

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Re: ...---... How common is stream entry?

Postby daverupa » Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:18 pm

divine wrote:Lets accept the claims - leave sceptisism and discussion out of it.


Udana 6.2 wrote:"It is through discussion that a person's discernment may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning."
    "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: ...---... How common is stream entry?

Postby divine » Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:31 pm

Excellent points guys, and it is the contributors and moderators who decide how valuable a thread will be. So at least have the respect to read the first post, and maybe follow the Reductor-link for some good quality sceptisism and discussion.
One should believe it could be beneficial to post information about attainment in a thread like "How common is stream entry?", but I had no idea you are regularly vitnessing these claims and often there are something else behind it. You have been great giving only kind advice and healthy scepticism. Metta!
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Re: ...---... How common is stream entry?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:04 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Over the past 44 years, I have known a number of individuals who are likely genuinely ariya, but the number of those who imagine they are ariya is far greater, and they tend to be far noisier.

I hate to reveal my ignorance but I keep coming across this term "ariya" and I can't find it anywhere. Is it a term for stream entry or attainment of one of the noble paths? The Buddhist dictionary I have doesn't list it. Thanks for clarification.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: ...---... How common is stream entry?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:29 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Over the past 44 years, I have known a number of individuals who are likely genuinely ariya, but the number of those who imagine they are ariya is far greater, and they tend to be far noisier.

I hate to reveal my ignorance but I keep coming across this term "ariya" and I can't find it anywhere. Is it a term for stream entry or attainment of one of the noble paths? The Buddhist dictionary I have doesn't list it. Thanks for clarification.

you will of see it, it is generally translated as "Noble" it refers in general terms to someone on the path.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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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: ...---... How common is stream entry?

Postby pulga » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:04 pm

There's an interesting quote by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi regarding Ven. Ñanavira:

I find many of his formulations highly insightful, even brilliant, and leave open the possibility that he might really have attained the first path and the first fruition.
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