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Questions about stream-winners - Dhamma Wheel

Questions about stream-winners

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
vinasp
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Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:24 pm

Hi everyone,

This is about stream-winners according to the five Nikaya's, but I thought I would put it here since my understanding of the teachings could be thought to be wrong by many people. I have three questions:

1. Is there a way in which one can know for certain that one is a stream-winner?

2. If you knew that you were a stream-winner, would you admit it to others on a forum such as this one?

3. Could some modern followers of Theravada Buddhism be stream-winners without knowing it?

Kind regards, Vincent.

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BlackBird
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby BlackBird » Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:06 pm

Dear Vincent

This (fairly recent) topic here may be of interest:
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1677

:anjali:
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:47 pm

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Cittasanto
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:41 am

I prety much agree with the Dhamma's responce except number 2?? not needing certification from and declaring are two different things in my mind, part of my signature is an adaption of what a lay stream winner can say on attaining that level according to the suttas, it is more of a case that they would say it and carry on with other things rather than saying and try to prove it.
just my take on that question.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Sep 20, 2009 2:01 am

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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:00 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

vinasp
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:49 am

Hi Blackbird,

Thanks for the link to the other thread. I did read it a few days ago, but I forgot where it was. That is a good thread and a link to it here will be useful. I would like to try a different approach on this thread.
What if one reads everything about stream-winners and still one does not understand. Are the teachings complete? Are they holding something back? People today expect a teaching to explain things, not to stop short just when it gets to the essential thing. Perhaps they are leaving an important step for us to understand for ourselves. Or it could be to enable them to test those who claim to have become stream-winners. It could even be essential things are missing in order to prevent the teachings from being stolen. You need the "keys" as well.

kind regards, Vincent.

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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Sun Sep 20, 2009 1:25 pm

Greetings TheDhamma,

Thank you for your interesting reply. What I had in mind with question 1 was more to do with ones understanding of the teachings. That a proper understanding of the teachings leaves no room for doubt about where one is on the path. On the opening of the Dhamma eye, it may be a metaphor which is only used for sudden, rather than gradual realization. As for the glimpse of nibbana I think that it is more than a glimpse. It is a permanent move closer to the enlightened state of mind. A permanent reduction in the amount of dukkha.
On my question 3 , I was thinking of people who have an insight into the truth of no-self , but are confused by the complexity of the teachings. They could be at the level of a stream-winner but their confusion about the teachings needs to be removed.
I think we are in agreement that "true" stream-winners would know it. It seems that insight into no-self and a correct understanding of the teachings are both required.
Kind regards, Vincent.

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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Sun Sep 20, 2009 1:42 pm

Hi everyone,

Could it be that in looking up all the passages about stream-winners we are missing something? There is also the distinction between the puthujjana and the ariya savaka. Some things which are said about the ariya savaka might be applicable to the stream-winner. My own view is that the transition from puthujjana to ariya savaka is the same thing as becoming a stream-winner. ( I could be wrong about this ). Also there is the term sekha which seems to refer to someone on the noble eightfold path, which would include the stream-winner. And dont forget that the path is the stream so winning the stream and attaining the path are the same thing. Does this make any sense?

Kind regards, Vincent.

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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby BlackBird » Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:45 pm

Dear Vincent

Perhaps this might be of interest:

"Teaching and Training" - Ven. Bhikkhu Moneyya
http://paauk.org/files/tt_web_03mar07.pdf

If you want to get to the heart of the matter.

Metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

vinasp
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:16 pm

Hi everyone,

The difficulty I have in making sense of the stream-winner is shown by the following question:
Has the stream-winner completely eliminated sakkaya ditthi ? It looks like a simple, harmless question does it not ? It is a simple question, in fact there can only be two answers : yes he has, or no he has not. But it is not harmless. If your understanding of the teachings is wrong then this question can be very troubling. In fact, whichever answer you choose you run into big problems. What is your answer ? And please, answer from your own understanding , do not just give me a link to something online written by someone else.
Best wishes, Vincent.

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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby BlackBird » Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:16 pm

"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:52 pm


vinasp
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:45 am

Hi mikenz66,

Of course we are all relying on writings, I meant ones understanding from what one has read, that is all. My problem is the large number of sutta's which seem to show those on the noble eightfold path still working on eliminating sakkaya ditthi. This includes those beyond stream-winners, for example non-returners. How can this be so if the stream-winner has already eliminated sakkaya ditthi ? The passages which you quote seem to be saying that the stream-winner has eliminated sakkaya ditthi. But such a view directly contradicts a large number of discourses. Have I mis-understood what sakkaya ditthi is ?

Best wishes, Vincent.

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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:08 am

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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:23 am


vinasp
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:57 pm

Greetings TheDhamma,

I know it must sound crazy, I could not believe it myself when I first discovered it. One such sutta has already been quoted on the Sotapanna Issues thread : The Silavant Sutta SN 22. 122 PTS S iii 167. Here we see non-returners still training themselves to see no-self in the five clinging aggregates. I understand this to mean that they are still in the proccess of eliminating sakkaya ditthi. There are hundreds of such sutta's, but they do not use the term sakkaya ditthi. However they do show that a view of self is still being removed.

Best wishes, Vincent.

vinasp
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:19 pm

Hi mikenz66,

Thanks for taking the time to engage with me on this issue. I think that much of what you are quoting is a modern interpretation of the teachings contained in the five nikaya's. It took me years to discover that these modern interpretations are wrong. I do not rely on them anymore, I look at what the nikaya's are actually saying. But this is just the approach that I have chosen, I do not ask others to follow it if they do not wish to.

Best wishes, Vincent.

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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby Jechbi » Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:54 pm


vinasp
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:17 pm

Hi Jechbi,

Thanks for your interest in this thread. You seem to have mis-understood what I was saying. It is probably my fault for not expressing myself clearly. I think you are conflating two separate statements.

1. If your understanding of the teachings is wrong then this question can be very troubling.

This seems true to me. The value of the question is it's ability to show one that ones understanding must be wrong. One will not find a right understanding unless one first rejects wrong understanding. But it is not pleasing to discover that one has a wrong understanding.

2. In fact, whichever answer you choose you run into big problems.

This refers back to the two answers to the question. One or the other answer must be true. But if you choose the wrong answer you do not solve the problem. If you choose the right answer you solve that problem, but then run into even bigger ones.

Why did the Buddha say that his teachings were like a poisonous water snake ?

Best wishes, Vincent.


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