genkaku wrote:Will Rogers:
There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
Throughout the suttas there are numerous examples of people who came to listen to the Buddha and within the time of the discourse, the person, or the assembly had attained various levels of liberation. For example, Sariputta became a stream enterer while listening to a four-line stanza uttered by a bhikkhu before he meet the Buddha. Mahakaccana, while still a court brahmin attained complete enlightenment at the end of a discourse by the Buddha and the royal consort, Khemma, attained arahantship while still wearing royal attire. And there are other examples where entire assemblies attained various levels during the course of a discourse.
So, while these people really 'heard' the Dhamma, according to Bhikkhu Bodhi and Nyanaponika Thera, their extraordinary rapid ascent has been attributed to hagiography or super-human quality but an incalculably long prior period of prior preparation.
And for the rest of us, we're just slogging it out one step at a time.