Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:The statement is quite wrong. The stages of Sotāpanna and Cūḷasotāpanna are not rebirths, but attainments that are possible in this very life.
Arahantship is also attainable, but extremely rare. For a lay person to attain it would be ever rarer, but theoretically possible.
Being a monk, or a lay person, is just a choice of vocation, and has little to do with spiritual attainments.
Monks and nuns can be greedy, angry, conceited, deluded, just like lay people. Or they can be generous, kind, humble, and wise, just like lay people.
It is mental purity that leads to spiritual attainments like Stream-winning (sotāpanna), or lesser Stream-winning (cūḷasotāpanna).
The Progress of Insight enumerates the requisite stages that anyone must pass through, and of those a Lesser Stream-winner would, I believe, have attained at least Purification by Overcoming Doubt, while a Stream-winner has attained right up to Path Knowledge and Fruition Knowledge follows on inevitably from that.
waterchan wrote: What about the commentarial statement that a lay arahant must ordain immediately or he will die?
Note that whereas the declaration of attainment made by monks/nuns begin with arahantship, those for lay followers begin with non returning(in para. 18, 21). While it's possible for lay people to attain arahantship, they do so either when on the verge of death OR just before requesting admission into the Sangha.
..it's not easy living at home to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, like a polished shell. What if I were to shave off my hair & beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness..
fivebells wrote:I had not heard of Cūḷasotāpanna before. What distinguishes it from Sotāpanna? Any sutta references?
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