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.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725Compassionate Hands Foundation
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